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Perms: Everything you need to know before taking the plunge

The ultimate curly mane could be yours...

Dreaming of perfectly wavy, flowing locks of hair? The answer could be as simple as getting a perm (yes, really). Believe it or not, perms have evolved way beyond those dated styles from the ’80s and can be a great solution to achieving beautiful curly hair. And, thanks to its permanent nature, it’s an especially great solution for those not blessed with natural curls who don’t want the daily styling involved in creating them.

Thinking of getting a perm? Here’s everything you need to know before you take the plunge!

5 Things you should know about perms


perms blonde hair
Permed blonde hair. Credit: Indigital

1. It works better on undamaged hair

If your hair’s in pretty good shape to start with, it’s in an ideal state to enjoy the dramatic changes a perm can bring. A virgin mane is perfect because the perming process uses chemicals that change the bonds in your hair to create those dreamy waves (so the less processing your hair has gone through before, the better the result!).

Also, beware that perms won’t work as well on dry, bleached-out or damaged hair as the procedure might just make it weaker and more brittle. We advise you to check with your stylist first in order to know if your tresses are in the right condition for a perm.

2. It’s a look that really lasts

A perm done well in a salon can really go the distance – you could enjoy tantalising waves in your hair for months afterwards, without needing to do very much to style it at all. And because it’s achieved by a process that chemically affects the structure of your hair, it won’t fade or wash out easily. Of course, this means that you really need to take care of your locks. Trust us, you’ll see a big difference between DIY kits for perms at home and having it done professionally at the salon.

3. Don’t judge too fast

Getting a perm is definitely one of those ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’ scenarios. When you’re salon-fresh, your perm might look a little more funky than you’d expected, because it’ll be slightly dry and prone to frizzing. Don’t worry, though: your perm will eventually soften and relax, looking a lot more natural as you wash and style it.

4. You’ll need to change your products

To take care of your perm in the best way possible, you’ll need to change the products you use. Avoid washing your hair for the first couple of days after having it permed, and stick to gentle formula shampoos and conditioners, like the TRESemmé Colour Revitalise Vibrance Protection Shampoo (500ml, £3.69*) and TRESemmé Colour Revitalise Vibrance Protection Conditioner (500ml, £3.69*), as they will help to protect your mane. You can also use a little curl-shaping product to keep your hair hydrated and frizz-free. Try: VO5 Smoothly Does It Curl Defining Mousse (£3.99*).

perms hair care
You’ll need to change the products you use when you get a perm.

5. It might get a little lighter

Don’t be too shocked if your hair seems to have gone up a shade or two after you get it permed! After all, it’s a chemical process that changes the properties of your tresses, which means that – depending on the length of time and the chemicals used – it can lighten its colour a bit. Don’t fret: the effect won’t be drastic, and it should look natural. If you’re concerned, speak to your stylist before getting your perm to assess what the result will look like.

*RRPs are Unilever suggested retail prices only, it is at the discretion of the individual retailers to set the actual price.

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