Do you still picture Madonna’s 1980s poodle curls when you hear the word “perm?” Well we’re here to erase that image from your mind—PERMANANTELY! Today’s perms, aka texturizing formulas, are nothing like the crunchy hairdos from decades past. They range from smoothing treatments to beach waves and could be exactly the hair treatment and style you are looking for! Matrix Director of Education Development, Donna Mann, answers all your questions about perms.
Q: How do I know if I should get a perm?
Donna: First and foremost, this is a conversation you should have with your stylist. He or she will be able to analyze the structure and condition of your hair, and after discussing your goals for a perm service, they will be able to select the right perm formula and technique for you. There are perms for soft curls, firm curls and waves. There are even texturizers that reshape tight curls and eliminate frizz. There are formulas for fine hair, normal hair, resistant hair and color-treated hair. In general, it’s important to know that today’s perms are nothing like the perms of 20 years ago. Formulas have improved and stylists have learned to use perm products and tools in new ways. A perm can certainly give you the style you’re looking for and make your life easier!
Q: Is there anyone who shouldn’t get a perm?
Donna: In general, avoid perms if you are extremely highlighted, or if you do multiple hair color services—like color plus highlights. You should also hold off on perming your hair if it is extremely damaged. In the meantime, you can prep and restore the bonds in your hair with a bond restoration treatment, from Matrix BOND Ultim8. Once your stylist decides your hair is healthy again, you can move forward with a perm. Plus, stylists can add BOND Ultim8 into your perm or smoothing formula, to prevent damage and keep your hair healthy and strong.
Q: What are the different types of perms?
Beach wave perm: Beach waves are soft, loose waves that are concentrated on the midlengths and ends of the hair. They’re usually worn on long hair. If you like to wear beach wave hair styles, but you’re tired of creating the waves with a curling iron or rod or flat iron every day, a beach wave perm is for you. Your stylist will use large rods and large sections to create the soft, beachy shape you love. They will concentrate the movement on the center and ends of your hair—there should be no height at the scalp. It’s part of a whole new generation of perms for the millennial that loves effortless waves!
How long will a beach wave perm last? 2-3 months.
Body wave perm: A body wave perm will support any type of hair style. For example, if your blowouts tend to fall flat after a few hours, a body wave will prevent that from happening. It’s ideal if your hair tends to go limp and lifeless. Your stylist will choose rod size that works for your hair style, but typically, body perms are very soft and loose. One popular body wave perm is called a skip weave—your stylist will use a tail comb to weave out every other section of hair, and she will roll just the weave section around a rod. This produces a soft and natural-looking texture.
How long will a body wave perm last? 3 to 6 months.
Smoothing Perm: Formaldehyde-free, thio-based smoothers like Matrix Opti.Smooth are ideal for people who want to manage or control curl that is too tight or too voluminous, and for people who want to eliminate frizz. There is a cold smoothing option that maintains your curl, and a heat straightening option that smooths your hair completely. There is also a 3-D Curl option for extremely curly hair that reduces curl size and banishes frizz.
How long will a thio-based smoother last? With cold smoothing, the smoother will gradually dissipate over time. With heat smoothing, your hair will remain straight until your natural texture grows out. As the new hair grows out, you’ll need to see your stylist for retouches. You’ll need 2-4 inches of new growth for a cold process, and 4-6 inches of new growth for a heat smoothing process. You can also transition more gradually by having your stylist do a cold process retouch on your heat straightened hair.
Q: Will I need to change the way I care for my hair after getting a perm or texturizing service?
Donna: If you haven’t had a chemical service before, you may need to change your shampoo and conditioner. To moisturize and enhance your new bouncy curls turn to Total Results Curl Please Shampoo and Conditioner. You might also want to consider different styling products that are designed to support your new texture.