Caring for Your Permed Hair

When You Get A Perm, you put your locks through a complicated process designed to break down, then reconfigure strands’ structure. All this quick-changing is hard on hair, leaving tresses fragile. Coddling is required to prevent treated locks from looking or being damaged.

Careful handling

You used to rake through your hair with a vent brush, or tug at wet strands with a fine-toothed comb. Maybe you scraped locks back into a tight ponytail that you held in place with a rubber band you removed from a bundle of newspapers. Or perhaps you were constantly twirling your hair or nervously fiddling with it in some other way All this has got to stop now that you have a perm. Think of your strands as something precious and very delicate, akin to the fibers that make up a silk blouse or angora sweater. Careful handling doesn’t require any special instructions – simply use common sense: detangle hair gently before brushing, don’t style or touch or play with strands more than necessary, pull hair back in windy weather so locks won’t become knotted, and so on.

Don’t get a permanent wave if your head has scratches, nicks, pimples, or if your skin is in any way broken – the chemicals can severely irritate your scalp.

Shampoos and conditioners for permed hair

If, before your perm, you were using shampoo and conditioners formulated for oily or normal hair, or if you were using bodybuilding or dandruff shampoos, post-perm is the time to switch. Harsh detergents rough up your permed hair’s already manhandled cuticle, damaging strands, drying hair, and turning locks into a frizzy mess.
You see, products for chemically treated hair not only have gentle detergents, they boast concentrated emollients, which do several things: they protect hair from moisture loss, condition and help repair perm-abused hair, and keep curls fit and bouncy. It’s true ­moisturized curls are springier than their dehydrated cousins.

The right styling products

To emphasize individual curls, some people use gel, sculpting lotion, and/or mousse on permed hair. I don’t. Not only can these products dry already-dehydrated hair, they create a “crunchy” finish. Have you ever tried to run your hand or a brush through crunchy hair? Because these products behave like adhesive, hair loses its flexibility and you end up accidentally pulling strands of hair from the root or trying to bust apart glued-together ends. Instead, opt for conditioning creams and sprays.

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