How to Perm Natural Hair

Getting a perm may be as easy as getting the right chemical and giving your hair a thorough wash, but it could mean more for those who want to look their best. If you think curly waves around the hair is something you are interested in, you could perform a perm treatment in the comfort of your bathroom.

Gone are the days of bushy looking perms that could pass for unkempt hair. With the latest techniques, it is possible to spot waves, even without trying too hard. Of course, you could visit a stylist and have them get the job done for you at a price. There is also the option of doing it yourself, which I will be showing you just how in the section below.

Run a Brush Through

The first thing you should do is run a brush through your hair to untangle all strands. It is a lot easier for you to work in your shampoo when your strands are brushed. There are useful tips here for how best to brush for a perm.

Wash your Hair

The next step will be to make use of a good shampoo to get rid of any oil residue and dirt. You want to be careful not to apply any conditioner during this stage. It is crucial so as not to prevent the perm from setting in.

Once you are done with rinsing off the shampoo, you should take a dry towel and get out any excess water remaining. It is better of damp that to have water dripping from the top of your head.

Get Protected

Before commencing the perm proper, you want to get yourself protected since you will be dealing with chemicals. Whatever you do, you want to avoid getting in contact with the chemical. Protect your skin from direct contact with any chemical, which is why you should follow the steps below to the letter.

  • Wear protective gloves around the hands to prevent your fingers from damage when applying the solution.
  • Run a large towel around your neck to catch any loose strands or droplets once the styling begins.
  • Use a plastic cape as a final safety measure to prevent the solution from soaking through the cloth. Remember, you want to do all you can to avoid contact with the perm.

Begin Styling

Once all safety measures are in place, the next step will be to get to work. It will help if you start by parting your hair into three sections. By so doing, it would be easy for you to direct things. The three partings should be to the left, right, and the last one in the middle. You can find out more about how to style the best perm.

When making your parts, the middle section should be from the center of your forehead down to your nape so that the side sections can be easily twisted into a bun and separated.

Wrap your Hair

Take a strand from the middle section. You can do this using the handle of a rat-tail comb. Stretch the strand out, until it is directly in front of your hair. The rule is that the thickness shouldn’t be larger than the perm rod you plan to use for the styling.

Use an endpaper around the base of the strands to safeguard your scalp and make it easy to locate each one when you begin using the perm.

Using Curling Rods

Curling rods are essential if you want to have good looking and long-lasting perms. You should get as much as you need.

So once you have your endpaper in place at the bottom, you want to take your curling rod and wrap the strand around it. It would help if you closed the rod once you get to your scalp. When choosing a rod size, you should pick one that fits the curl you intend to make.

Use the curling rod to twist all the strands in the middle section of your parting. For the part of hair on your left and right side, you should ensure that you use two columns of curling rods for both sides.

When your curling rods are in place, you should tuck a cotton strip at the base of your hair. This acts as a barrier between your skin and the perm solution. You can get one from your local beauty store or salon.

Using the Perm Solution

With the rods in place and your strands perfectly curled, the next step will be to apply the solution. You get to choose from both acidic or alkaline solution. The nature of perm to use depends on the type of hair.

An alkaline solution works best for hair with low elasticity. This includes fine, coarse strands like that of Asians. An acidic solution is fit for high elastic strand that is either fragile or damaged.

For extremely tough hair, like those of African-Americans, or one that has been damaged by excessive color treatment, you may want to visit a salon or ask someone to help you out. The steps involved include

  • Use a pin or thumbtack to pierce the tip of the container. Most solutions are packed in a plastic squeeze bottle, which makes it easy to control the use of the solution.
  • Using a small circular motion, apply the solution near the rods. It would be best if you took it one rod at a time, and focus on getting the liquid on the tips of the rod. With time, the liquid will get towards the bottom.
  • After a few minutes, pick a rod and unravel the hair tangled on it. If you notice a form of s-shaped curl when it is unwound, your perm has set in. If not, you should twist back the curl, and wait another 2-3 minutes. You should repeat the process until you get the curl you desire.
  • Once you are sure the curl has formed all around the partings, you should rinse your hair thoroughly with running water for 3 minutes until there are no more traces of the solution.
  • Using a dryer, dry out excess moisture with the curling rods still in place.
  • Apply the neutralizer for the solution around the rods. You can wait for 10 minutes before rinsing it out. You want to leave the rods in place during this stage.
  • Once your hair is thoroughly dried, you can now take out the rods to expose your curls.

Final Note

If you are considering getting a perm and a bit worried about the procedure, you can check this site for some of the common questions you need to answer before you begin.

When correctly done, you could get curls that last for as long as six months. For shorter strands, you could have them in for three months or more. You want to avoid using a conditioner and shampoo or even washing your hair after the first three days. After this period, you can wash once or twice weekly.

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