Okay, so what haven't I covered here?
I know, Perms !
So what are your questions or concerns or horror stories about Perms? I know we all have one. Whether it is about ourselves or someone else.
I used to get perms all the time and found out as I got older that I have natural wave. All it took was the right cut to bring it out. But some people have stick straight hair no matter what cut they get, and they want a little body, or a lot of curl.
The first thing I can recommend is looking for pictures in magazines, and online of curl you would like to have. Then consult with your stylist. If you don't have a stylist, or are switching stylists refer to my article here on choosing a stylist. Then refer to my article on communicating with your stylist. I am sure you will find them here easily if you look.
Now, so you want a perm. Is your hair color treated? Is it bleached (even just highlighted or colored a lighter than natural shade) ? Then be honest with your stylist. Bring the pics you probably showed her in your consultation and listen to what she recommends. If she says it is going to be a little tighter than the result you want, keep in mind that she is trying to keep the perm from relaxing too soon for you. IF you STILL want the looser wave, tell her you really DON'T mind it relaxing as quickly and as long as it isn't going to completely fall out going with a larger perm rod, you would like to do that. Remember that even when you do get a perm and she does everything as you ask, going from straight hair to curly/wavy is a huge change since you won't be used to it at first. If she says she needs to add some layers so that the curl takes better, listen to her within reason. If you don't want say six inches taken off your already medium length hair, use your common sense. Six inches off of really long, unlayered, or very long hair is not much when it comes to perming. But on shorter hair, it can be quite drastic. The layers removed makes the hair lighter and helps the curl to take better because there is less weight on the hair.
So you have virgin hair? Thats hair that has never been chemically treated, or is currently NOT chemically treated. This includes everything from sun in products, to hair that is in contact with chlorine on a regular weekly basis (swimmers, or during the summer season) to relaxers, and ANY type of hair color however permanent or temporary. Ok, so lets say you are twelve years old, and you want a perm. Most likely you have virgin hair. And then again, today, maybe not, but lets say you are. Your stylist will probably want to make it slightly curlier than your end result in order for your hair to take the curl nicely. Virgin hair is resistant to curl and this is why she wants to do this...also, virgin hair relaxes more quickly.
Remember to wash hair when the stylist says it is ok. If you don't it can become dry, frizzy, or the curl may relax or fall out entirely. This is nothing to mess with. Just do as you are told. We stylist KNOW when you have been messing with it, so don't try and lie if you screw it up.
Most stylists will recommend certain products to use. This is very important. Your hair is in a chemically changed state and requires products that are made for this hair type. Although you can find many non professional products in the grocery/pharmacy stores nation wide, it is best to use a PROFESSIONAL shampoo/conditioner for permed or chemically treated hair. These companies are also your PERM manufacturer and they want you to continue to perm, and continue to purchase the products they have made to specifically treat your hair. These products may cost more, but for good reason. They are TRULY PH tested for your specific hair condition. Unlike store brands which are just looking for the quickest sale and claim to be all that they are meant to be. So plan on spending a bit more, and if she offers you a product you can't afford there is usually more than one brand available at the salon so ask if she has something in another brand that suits your budget, or perhaps something on sale. Often, there are gift sets available for nearly any holiday or event your mind can muster, or you can always check the discounted products that are almost always available.
Well, I have covered a lot, but I am sure you have other questions,so fire away.