Thinking About Getting a Perm?


So, you want to get a perm? Perms are not just an 80s throwback anymore! More and more people are interested in that permanent curl and are researching some of the updated techniques before they take the plunge and book their first appointment. Celebrities like Julianne Hough have been getting perms and putting their experience on social media. Perms are also not just for the ladies! Hair artist Guy Tang recently permed his hair and showcased his amazing results! Undoubtedly, this has generated quite a bit of buzz around perms! In fact, clients have been talking about perms more now than ever before in recent times. The wash and go ease of permed hair is making it extremely popular!

In case you are interested in the science of the perm, we’re happy to explain! After the rods are chosen and the hair is rolled into place, a reducing agent, ammonium thioglycolate is used. Disulfide bonds are then broken and keratin molecules will be able to conform to their new shape- the curl! Next, the neutralizer is used to allow the disulfide bonds to form again. Ta-da- a whole new shape!

If your hair is in good condition, you could be a candidate for a perm! We don’t like to perm already damaged hair, as it will end up further compromising the integrity of your locks. Having previously colored hair will not preclude you from getting the perm of your dreams, but we don’t recommend hair that has been double processed or recently colored. Simply put, colored hair should be fine as long as it is not damaged or colored in the last month. Also, shorter hair is sometimes not the best for perms. While there are definitely clients that do perm very short hair, many individuals don’t realize that perms will cause their hair to look a good bit shorter! Another thing: this is not something to try at home! The at-home perms are infinitely more damaging than the salon version. Extreme damage done from such kits can be difficult to remedy and cost the client much more money in the long run, not to mention the heartache of damaged hair.

For your appointment, plan for at least two to three hours. Perms are a bit labor intensive and take a good bit of prep, so it’s a good idea to eat beforehand and be prepared to be at the salon at least as long as you would with a full foil or balayage. Your stylist will help you choose the right size rod. The larger rods give the softest, loosest waves. The smallest rods offer up smaller, tighter curls that are more reminiscent of perms past. The sizes are determined by color and are generally, from smallest to largest: red, blue, pink, grey, white, and purple. Bringing a photo of the size waves you are after could be helpful. However, it is important to remember that curls done with a curling iron do look different than curls you get with a perm. We offer something called a t-shirt perm at Shear Bliss, and it is a unique and fun take on the traditional perm! Your stylist will use pieces of an actual t-shirt to set your perm. This method will give you fun, loose, beachy waves, perfect for Virginia Beach!

What you see right after your perm is not necessarily the same results you’ll see after you wash it. The perm will have time to settle in and look better! After your perm, you will want to avoid washing it for two or three days, possibly longer if you can stay away from the shampoo bottle! It may not be easy, as the smell of the perm is not the most pleasant in the world. However, modern perms do smell better than ones of days past. You will want to also keep your hands off your hair and avoid touching and playing with your new curls. Brushing should also be avoided right after getting your perm. Even tying your hair up is not recommended at first. This is because you do not want to do anything to reshape your new curls. If you think an activity may reshape your curl, it is best to avoid it! Conditioner is also important after a perm, as you’ll want to have lots of moisture for your new curls. A shampoo for curly or permed hair is great to have on hand as well. If you can manage to wash your hair weekly, that is also recommended. You will want to use a wide-toothed comb when detangling your curls. To style your curls, a cream for curly hair is best! Also, heat is not recommended and your curls should be allowed to air dry most of the time. A diffuser is a great tool and recommended if you would like to dry your hair yourself. You are still able to straighten your hair even with a perm; however, straightening it is not recommended frequently because of the heat damage.

Your perm will be able to last up to a year, but you may feel the need to perm it again before then. You also may be able to perm just your roots, but your stylist will be able to determine whether that will be your best option. Regular haircuts are still important to keep your hair in top notch shape. Trimming the ends every 4-5 weeks is best. If you decide to grow out your perm, it should not be terribly difficult, as the curls will not be as tight as they were at the beginning. Your perm is maintenance like color, but it can be less costly and time consuming, as the service is not performed on a monthly or bi-monthly basis.

If you like what you’re seeing and need a hair salon in Virginia Beach that knows a lot about curls, we’d love to hear from you! Please call our salon or book your appointment online! We are happy to do a free consultation to let you know if a perm is right for you!

Hours of Operation

10 am - 8 pm

Wednesday - Friday
10 am - 6 pm

9 am - 4 pm

Although walk-ins are welcome, we encourage you to call for an appointment to avoid any waits.

Call to book (757) 412-4443

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