Hair Ye, Hair Ye: Perm-Anent Solutions Solve Style Woes

By Laura Christman Scripps Howard News Service | St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO), March 30, 1995 | Go to article overview

Hair Ye, Hair Ye: Perm-Anent Solutions Solve Style Woes


Laura Christman Scripps Howard News Service, St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)


THE DREAM: You envision carefree hair that has bounce, shine and soft curls.

The nightmare: You emerge from the salon looking like an overprocessed poodle.

That's the thing about perms - a good one can make your life easier; a bad one is discouraging.

Permanent waves are nothing new, but the techniques and products for producing curls and waves that don't wash away have changed over the years, as have the styles.

The permanent waves of years past had well-defined curls and waves. Today's perms are much softer.

Trish Pohorilak, a stylist at Images Hair Design in Redding, Calif., said perms are being used with straight styles. "The trends we're seeing are very soft perms to support straighter styles. Even straight looks can have perms under them. There's more wave than actual curl."

Another option these days is a reverse or straight perm in which permed hair is relaxed by using perming chemicals and set on thin boards that bend back toward the head, she said.

The popularity of perms rises and falls, said Pohorilak. Those over 50 are steady perm customers, while other groups come and go. She said interest in perms is waning with teens, but perms are big with career women who want wash-and-go hair.

Gentle or so-called damage-free perming solutions are a new choice. Many hair-product companies now offer an ammonia-free perming solution, Pohorilak said.

"They don't last quite as long, which in a lot of cases is a benefit. It's almost like you can try on a perm," she said.

Michael Allen, owner of Designline Hair Salon in Redding, said no perm is damage-free. "Perming is a very carefully controlled injury to your hair. The benefits are easier styling and hair that, to some extent, will defy gravity."

Allen, who has been in the hair-styling business for 30 years, said perming products are much less potent than they once were. However, they stay on the hair longer to achieve the same effect.

The chemicals dissolve the protein structures of the hair and then re-form those structures, Allen said.

Damage can occur from improper use of chemicals, inefficient rinsing, incorrect timing and too much tension on the rods.

What type of damage? …

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