How to Get a Healthy Spiral Perm

If you've always enjoyed the look of spiral curls, but don't have the time nor energy to pull out the curling iron every morning, then having your hair permed is a shortcut. Many shy away from chemical perms because of the potential for damage or even hair loss. With the proper preparation, applications and post-procedure care, however, it is possible to achieve an envious head of healthy spiral curls.

Avoid perming newly color-treated hair. (Image: Goodshoot RF/Goodshoot/Getty Images)

Step 1

Head to the stylist to trim off any split ends prior to perming your hair. Avoid performing a deep conditioning or hot oil treatment within two to three days of perming your hair. These conditioning treatments could prevent the chemical processor from infiltrating individual strands of hair, resulting in a weaker perm.

Step 2

Sit down with your stylist for a pre-perm consultation. Tell your stylist if you've recently dyed or otherwise chemically-treated your hair. If you've dyed or highlighted your hair in the last week, consider waiting an additional week before having the perm to prevent any damage. If your hair is damaged, your stylist might suggest cutting or treating your hair with moisturizing product for several weeks or months before having a perm.

Step 3

Ask the stylist to shampoo your hair with a clarifying product. Clarifying shampoos help strip away any dirt, oils and chemicals from your hair. The stylist might also recommend conditioning your hair prior to the perm. Ask her to choose a lightweight product that leaves behind minimal residue on your locks. The cleaner your hair, the better the perm will set. If perming your hair at home, wash it first with a clarifying shampoo and lightweight conditioner. Allow your hair to dry naturally before continuing.

Step 4

Wait at least 24 hours before shampooing and conditioning your hair at home after having the perm. The entire process of rolling and chemically treating your hair to achieve the spiral perm probably took several hours. However, it takes an additional 24 hours after leaving the salon for the chemicals to fully infiltrate individual strands of hair.

Step 5

Wash and condition your hair two to three times per weeks with a product formulated for permed or chemically-treated hair. Work both products through your hair gently and rinse with lukewarm or cool water instead of hot, as scorching hot water will dry out your locks. Try to avoid washing your hair daily because this strips the natural oils from your hair and scalp.

Step 6

Avoid blow drying and heat styling your hair as much as possible. To prevent drying or damage to your fragile spiral-permed hair, use a wide-tooth comb rather than a brush and only tie your hair back with a fabric-covered ties instead of rubber bands.

Things You'll Need

  • Clarifying shampoo

  • Shampoo and conditioner formulated for permed or chemically-treated hair

  • Wide-toothed comb

REFERENCES & RESOURCES
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