All You Need to Know About Perms
New to perms? No worries, this article will cover everything you need to know about all the types of perms that are available in Singapore and at our KIMAGE salons!
What is a perm?
Before we touch on different types of perms, it is important that we know what perms are and it does to your hair during the process.
Perming is a process that breaks and rebuilds your hair with disulfide bonds to form the desired waves in your hair. There are mainly two ways to do so: through cold perms and hot perms.
Cold perming involves using an alkaline perm solution typically containing ammonium thioglycolate. This solution will break the disulfide bonds while your hair is being wound up around a perm rod.
Hot perming is identical to cold perming but in this situation uses an acidic solution to break the disulfide bonds.
So, what is the difference in the result of a cold and hot perm?
Hair which has undergone a hot perm tends to have more waves as it dries whereas, for cold perm, more styling such as applying gels and curling cream is required to achieve the same effect. This means that hair that has undergone the hot perm will require significantly less maintenance as compared to a cold perm. However, one downside to hot perms is that the hot rollers cannot be kept too close to your scalp. So, if you want a lift at your hair roots for volume or body, it is generally recommended for you to get a root perm and not a hot perm.
What are the different types of perms out there and how are they different from each other?
With modern hair innovation available now, perms now can be more natural looking, giving it a gentle look. Salons in Singapore now offer a wide array of perms for your hair, so it is important that you do your research beforehand. Our guide here will go through different types of perms available.
Ceramic ‘S Curls’ Perms
A ceramic perm uses ceramic rollers. As ceramic rollers can reach a higher temperature, the curls made by the ceramic roller tend to last longer. Ceramic rollers also add volume to your well-defined S curls.
However, due to more defined curls made by ceramic perms, the hair will seem shorter as compared to other types of perms. So, it is advisable to avoid ceramic perms if you have very short hair. If you have coarser hair, a ceramic perm is recommended as the thicker hair helps to withstand the damage dealt to your hair during the process of curling. Ceramic perms usually take 4 hours to complete.
Technique wise, digital perms are very similar to ceramic perms. One key difference is that for digital perms, the hair ends tend to be looser and softer. This difference is due to the lower temperature on the digital rollers.
Due to looser curls generated, the length for digital perms can be shorter than for ceramic perms. Shoulder length hair, in this case, is alright. As perming is a chemical process, thicker and coarse hair is safer to withstand the damage dealt to your hair. Hair that is too thin or weak and over-processed runs the risk of breaking and falling off. Digital perms usually take 4 hours to complete.
Wave/Body ‘C Curls’ Perms
A wave/body perm generally creates C-curls as compared to S-curls seen in digital and ceramic perms. This perm will also increase your hair volume without adding too many curls. Due to the nature of the perm, short to shoulder length hair is generally advised for this. Although C curls also reduce the overall hair length, shorter hair length ladies would enjoy this more as this look has become popular in recent years with Korean dramas and Asian actresses. Wave/body perms will usually take 3 hours to complete.
A classic perm is an old technique before heat perming was popular. Hair is wrapped in curlers and chemicals are applied to create curls. Different sized curlers used creates differently sized curls. This procedure is suitable for all hair types. Classic perms are less damaging to the hair as compared to the aforementioned 3 perms and this process generally tends to last longer than cold perms. A classic perm will usually take 3 hours to complete.
A twist perm is a cold perm process which produces small tight spirals in your hair. This is done by twisting your hair, wrapping them in a smaller curler and applying the chemicals. This produces very defined curls, therefore requiring a longer visit to the salon.
This procedure might excessive damage your hair, so therefore a healthy, shoulder-length hair is generally recommended for this process. A twist perm will usually take 5 hours to complete.
A pin curl is characterized by defined waves that increases volume and texture to the hair. A pin is used to clip your hair during the curling, hence giving it the name. This procedure is popularized by Marilyn Monroe, Mad Men and Elizabeth Taylor. This is best suited for ladies with flat hair and want to increase volume. Though not very common as a permanent procedure, it is mostly seen at functions or on the red carpet. Looser pin curls like the one displayed here are more popular for day to day life.
Japanese and Korean Perms
Japanese perm and Korean perms are just variations and combinations of the Ceramic Perm, Digital Perm and Wave Perm. A key difference is a Korean perm will give you more defined curls, focusing on the bounciness, volume and how the hair is framed around the face.
On the other hand, a Japanese perm will give you a lighter and wavy appearance. The more natural falling curls and ‘messiness’ gives it a more youthful look.
Examples of Japanese perms
How long does a perm usually last?
The effect of a perm is highly dependent on how well you maintain it. A well-maintained perm can last up to 6 to 10 months and even a year. However, if you neglect your perm, it may break down into a frizzy mess. Te curls will generally get looser with time, especially if you have naturally straight hair. So generally, maintaining the strength of your perm is required. Using the right shampoos and conditioners, using curling lotions and sprays are all important in maintaining the health of your perm. Coming up with a hair routine is best, consult your hair stylist when you are getting your perm done and do some research on which products best suit your hair type.
So which perm is recommended?
We would advise that you research on the different types of perms and observe your hair conditions and length. You can book an appointment our stylists at Kimage are well-equipped to advise you on achieveing your desired look with the ideal perm for your hair type.
How do I maintain my hair after a perm?
After sitting down for 3 to 5 hours for the procedure, congratulations! You now have a beautiful, healthy looking curls. However, maintenance is required to make them last longer. There are specialized shampoos and conditions that are required that will help your curls to maintain their shape. However, salon-grade products tend to be pricer as compared to a supermarket grade as they are made to be used with a perming agent and helps to keep your hair together.
We recommend you to coat the conditioner and/or hair mask on for 5 to 10 minutes before you rinse it off. This may increase your showering time, but the effects are noticeable. Sculpting lotions may be applied to give your curls more strength. Do avoid creamy formulas as they might increase the weight of your curls and therefore affect the strength of the curls. Consider purchasing conditioners that protect you against frizz, static and flyaways, and those that help in prolonging your hair curls.
With that, we do hope we helped you with your process with the pre-perm and post-perm process! We hope you look forward to your brand-new perm and look that you can start to enjoy!