What is a Perm? How Long Does A Perm Last? (Updated)

How long does a perm last?
Image: Stas Walenga via Shutterstock.

This article elucidates everything you want to know about getting your hair permed like what’s a perm and how long does a perm last?

Should you get your permed or not? There are so many myths and misconceptions about permed hair that may throw you off balance. Luckily for you, this article will help clear any doubts about permed hair.

Please keep reading.

Need to know: Perms For Natural Hair: Should You Get It?

What is a Perm?

A perm is a type of chemical that is applied to the hair shaft to help break the bonds.

The process allows one to add curls or remove them permanently. A neutralizer formula helps keep the new hair shape permanent.

What kind of perms are there?

How do I choose the right perm for my hair?  Picking the perfect perm for your hair is not a walk in the park, we all know that.  Read below to determine which type of perm is recommended for your hair type.

1. Acid – balanced perms

Acid-based perms are great for thin, colored or weak hair. These types of perms have a PH of between 4.5 and 6.5. They require heat to enable them to get into your hair shaft fast. The solution works instantly and leaves fragile or weak hair intact and healthy looking without any noticeable damage.

Acid-based perms increase the hair curl and moisture so you do not have to worry about unforeseen breakage.

2. Alkaline perms

These perms are highly recommended for hairs that do not curl fast.

They are strong enough to work on the hair shaft in order to make it able to hold onto curls for a longer period. Alkaline perms are able to quickly penetrate the hair shaft than their counterpart acid-based perms.

  • They take longer to relax because they do not need heat to speed up the process. These perms have a PH of between 8 to 9.5

How long does a perm last?

hair hair
Image: Giphy.com

There are several factors that determine how long a hair perm lasts. How you maintain your perm is an important aspect. So, to answer the question “How long does a perm last?” Generally well made and maintained perms should last up to 26 weeks.

Avoid using heat and hair care products containing alcohol so that your perm stays intact for longer. Chlorinated water is a big enemy to permed hair, spending most of your time in the water or humidly areas can lessen the lifespan of your perm.

Mostly, a perm will last up to 6 months when well taken care of.

Do perms cause hair loss?

Hair loss is a common occurrence with women but generally, a perm should not cause hair loss unless it’s not done properly, the chemical and heat used for the perm can burn the scalp and although this is not common it can happen and frequent perm can cause the hair to become dry and flaky too.

The chemicals can also change the structure of your hair follicle because it’s a drying treatment which should not be in excess.

While perm can have a drying effect on your hair, it might not cause it to fall out, it only impairs the strength of the hair shaft and causes it to weaken and might lead to hair loss depending on the condition of the scalp.

Read more: 8 Illnesses that causes hair loss and what to do about them, based on research.

Do perms damage hair?

hair curl
Image: Gfycat.com

Yes and no. A perm can only damage your hair when not done or taken care of the right way.

A perm changes your hair’s chemical structure and may cause irreversible damage when proper measures are not taken on time.

It is important to talk to your hairstylist before you perm your hair. Highlighted hair will be prone to more damage than a natural one. The best way to know if a perm is likely to damage your hair is to talk it out with the experts.

Can I perm my dyed hair?

Dyed hair can be permed. However, you have to be aware of the fact that a perm will bleach your hair to some extent. So take note of what perming your hair may do to your dyed hair.

Can I dye my hair after I get a perm?

Because the two procedures may strain your hair so much. We advise that you wait until a month is over so that you dye your hair. You do not have to worry about damage to your hair if you are doing as advised by your hair specialist.

Tips on how to take care of your perm hair

To help keep your perm hair in shape:

  • Treat your hair using hydrating shampoos and conditioners specifically for permed hair. Make sure your hair care products do not contain alcohol content.
  • Perming compounds break your hair’s natural structure. For this reason, protein treatments help rebuild your hair strength so that it is healthy and shiny. Home protein masks also work well. Yogurt, eggs, and avocado make the best home protein treatments for relaxed hair.
  • Deep conditioning allows your hair to acquire moisture and ingredients such as biotin that are great for regrowth. We advise that you deep condition your hair at least twice a week for better results.
  • Use a wooden wide-tooth comb when combing out damp hair. Use a paddle brush to comb your hair when dry.  Some hair brushes will lead to massive hair loss in no time.
  • Avoid over washing your hair. Natural scalp oils are stripped away with regular hair washing. Double the conditioning frequency so that the hair maintains its moisture.
  • Avoid chemical treatments on your permed hair, permed hair is fragile and such treatment may cause damage in no time.
  • Wrap a silk scarf on your head before sleeping to help maintain the hair’s moisture. Also, silk pillows help keep the hair tangle-free which leads to easier combing in the morning.
  • To help keep your curls in place, wash your hair with non-sulfate shampoos.
  • Avoid heat styling tools; we advise that you check out accessories that are mild on the hair.
  • Regularly trim your hair. Every 6-8 weeks get a trim to keep the damaged ends off the shaft.

Always ask your hairstylist the correct timing for the next appointment. This helps you prepare on time before things go south with your hair.

How long does a perm last?
Image: Stas Walenga via Shutterstock.

About Your Permed Hair, Remember

With utmost care, your permed hair will stay in shape for up to six months.

Any question about your hair state should be directed to your hair expert, they are able to determine the course of action at any particular time. We hope that this article answered your burning questions about perms.

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