Ahh, the allure of curls!
For decades, waves and curls have held a unique space in the realm of hair fashion, prompting women (and men too) from all over the world to embrace the trend of perming. Most recently, the trend that many will remember was prominent in the late 80's and early 90's; like most trends, it has once again reignited in a BIG way!
"Many Curlies are heading to the salons and opting for a perm to gain some consistency in their curl patterns".
The big question though; Is it wise to grab the straightening iron once you've achieved those coveted spirals or the consistency in the pattern you desire?
Let's take a closer look into this curly conundrum and see what the verdict is.
History of Perming:
The journey from vintage curls to modern waves.
Perms have seen a remarkable evolution from the tight poodle curls of the 1950s to the loose beach waves of today. "Perms have evolved, but the allure of curls has remained constant throughout history."
To Straighten or Not: Delving into the Debate
The age-old debate of curly vs. straight hair was only intensified by the introduction of the perm.
The ability to transform one's hair from curly to straight and vice versa offers a tempting versatility. One that many have taken advantage of over the years.
The late 90s shifted perceptions. The harsh stance that many had where straight hair was seen as "polished" and "neat," while curls, particularly in professional settings, were deemed "wild" and "untamed." The era of pin curls and voluminous hairdos seemed forgotten as hair straighteners urged us to "tame those rebellious locks." Sadly, this often came at the expense of damaging our natural hair texture.
The Science Behind the Damage
The chemical process of a perm alters the hair's natural structure by relaxing and reforming its disulphide bonds. When you add the heat of a straightener, you're complicating this chemistry.
Permed Curlies have been warned, "When hair undergoes a perming process, its natural structure gets altered. Adding heat to the equation can further destabilise it." The direct impact of heat on the hair shaft, especially on already processed hair, can lead to severe damage.
Post-Perm Hair Care: Protecting Your Investment
Steps to maintain the integrity and longevity of your curls.
Avoiding Excessive Heat:
The best way to care for permed hair is to avoid heat styling when possible. If you must, always use a heat protectant.
Deep Conditioning Treatments:
Processed hair craves moisture. Regular deep conditioning can replenish lost hydration, ensuring your curls remain bouncy and vibrant.
Trimming ensures split ends don't travel up the hair shaft, causing more damage.
Meanwhile, protein treatments can help rebuild and strengthen hair. We recommend using Olaplex Intense Moisture Mask or a K18 strengthening bond. To counteract the damage caused by the perm, you can integrate Olaplex into your neutraliser for a rejuvenating post-treatment.
K18 is a molecular repair treatment.
Fueled by the restorative K18PEPTIDE, the K18 (combining K18 PRO mist + PRO mask) reinforces and bolsters hair before procedures and mends harm post-salon services. Using these products empowers you to confidently undertake more transformative procedures with healthier, more resilient hair.
Embrace styles like braids, twists, or buns that look chic and reduce daily wear and tear on permed hair.
Expert Insights: What the Professionals Say
Jonina Menzies, Curl Specialist and salon owner of Maiden Hair says, "Permed hair is already processed. Adding more heat without proper care can lead to irreversible damage." She adds, "While I love giving my clients the flexibility of style, I always caution them about the dangers of frequent heat styling on permed hair."
Alternatives to Straightening
There are other ways to rock your hair without reaching for the flat iron.
Before you reach for that straightener, consider hair wrapping or using large rollers for a smoother appearance.
"Your natural or permed texture is unique and beautiful in its own right. Celebrate it!"
Our hair is a reflection of our choices, our styles, and sometimes, our mood. While it's tempting to switch between curly and straight, it's crucial to prioritise hair health over fleeting style. Embrace your curls, care for them and give them the love they deserve.
Whether you're team curly or team straight, always be team healthy hair!
Love and Hydration xx