Let’s face it, when it comes to hair we all want what we don’t have. Whether that’s stick-straight tresses, beach tousled waves, or springy spiral curls, if we don’t have it, we want it. Fortunately, we live in a time when we can have it all. For those vying for curls, a spiral perm will do the trick. Before you hop on the horn to get in the hot seat of your favorite salon, first decide if a spiral perm is right for you. We’ll help you decide.

What Is a Spiral Perm?

This is the classic curly hair look. The shape of the curl looks like a repeating pattern of the small letter “S”. Think of a billowing fountain of tight, springy, coiled hair with a distinctive corkscrew curl pattern flowing downward, and you’ll know what we mean. If you want this coif and weren’t born with it, a spiral perm is for you.

A spiral perm is a hair treatment performed at a salon to mold the hair into the shape mentioned above.

Spiral Perm Process

Spiral perms are stunning and anything that beautiful must take time to do. On average, this type of perm takes between an hour to three hours to complete. What happens in all that time? Find out below.

Prep Time

Your stylist will probably give your hair a wash and gently comb it out before the perm. This is to ensure that there isn’t any product or environmental residue in your hair. Residue can prevent the perm from delivering exceptional curls.

Rods

To create the shape, stylists curl small sections of hair around narrow rods in a vertical position. This is the opposite of a classic perm which requires the rods to be placed horizontally. To get the piles of coils found in a spiral perm, the rods must always sit vertically. When the hair is all set, dozens of tiny rods jut upward around the crown of the head.

The precise size of the perm rods will depend on the length of your hair and how small you want the curls to be. Thicker rods create larger curls; smaller rods produce smaller curls.

Setting Solution

After they set the hair in rods, your stylist will saturate your hair in a foul-smelling chemical solution made from fun ingredients like ammonia and thioglycolic acid. These ingredients penetrate the hair to dismantle the hair’s disulfide bonds and keratin storage supplies. This process makes hair malleable enough to conform to the shape of the rod. If at any point you feel burning in your scalp, let your stylist know. Seriously, don’t bite your tongue. This solution can burn your scalp.

Processing

After they set the hair in rods, your stylist will saturate your hair in a foul-smelling chemical solution made from fun ingredients like ammonia and thioglycolic acid. These ingredients penetrate the hair to dismantle the hair’s disulfide bonds and keratin storage supplies. This process makes hair malleable enough to conform to the shape of the rod. If at any point you feel burning in your scalp, let your stylist know. Seriously, don’t bite your tongue. This solution can burn your scalp.

Rinse and Neutralize

Image from Pixabay

After they set the hair in rods, your stylist will saturate your hair in a foul-smelling chemical solution made from fun ingredients like ammonia and thioglycolic acid. These ingredients penetrate the hair to dismantle the hair’s disulfide bonds and keratin storage supplies. This process makes hair malleable enough to conform to the shape of the rod. If at any point you feel burning in your scalp, let your stylist know. Seriously, don’t bite your tongue. This solution can burn your scalp.

Toss the Rods

After they set the hair in rods, your stylist will saturate your hair in a foul-smelling chemical solution made from fun ingredients like ammonia and thioglycolic acid. These ingredients penetrate the hair to dismantle the hair’s disulfide bonds and keratin storage supplies. This process makes hair malleable enough to conform to the shape of the rod. If at any point you feel burning in your scalp, let your stylist know. Seriously, don’t bite your tongue. This solution can burn your scalp.

Air Dry

After they set the hair in rods, your stylist will saturate your hair in a foul-smelling chemical solution made from fun ingredients like ammonia and thioglycolic acid. These ingredients penetrate the hair to dismantle the hair’s disulfide bonds and keratin storage supplies. This process makes hair malleable enough to conform to the shape of the rod. If at any point you feel burning in your scalp, let your stylist know. Seriously, don’t bite your tongue. This solution can burn your scalp.

Is It Right for You?

curly hair

Image from Pixabay

Bouncy curls are gorgeous; that’s why you want them. But there is a dark side to curly hair you might not know of. This twisted shadow can sneak up on you if you aren’t prepared. Here we’ll help you understand what you’re in for.

The Awkward Phase

You know that you can’t wash your hair for 48 hours. You know that you’ll be leaving the salon with air-dried hair. You know that your hair will be more curly than you planned because the curls take a couple days to settle. Check. What could be more awkward? Remember that smell we mentioned? Your hair will smell like ammonia for at least two days after your perm; maybe longer. Once you’re given the go-ahead to wash your hair, add baking soda to the mix to absorb any residual chemical smell.

Perm Means Permanent

To be fair, a spiral perm won’t permanently make your hair curly. Hair will grow out in its natural texture. Herein lies the problem. Hair grows about a half inch per month. If you don’t love your new perm, you’ll have several months before it grows out. If you are enjoying it, know that you must perm your new growth every six to ten weeks to maintain the look.

Chemical Reaction

To get your hair to stay in place, the solution used in a perm contains chemicals. Hair is sensitive to these ingredients and they may damage the hair or cause it to break. Many stylists won’t perm hair that has highlighted or bleached strands. When in doubt, consult your stylist about what coloring options you’ll have after getting a spiral perm.

Say Goodbye to Brush and Go

Unlike with straight and wavy hair, hairbrushes and curls don’t mix unless you’re going for some frizzed flair. Opt for a wide-toothed comb on wet hair to best care for your curls and air dry whenever possible.

Curls are Thirsty

Keeping those curls taught and smooth requires moisture; a lot of moisture. Be ready to soak your hair every morning to keep your curls in check. Become best friends with natural oils, hair masks, and leave in conditioner after getting a perm; your hair will thank you.

Conclusion

Is a spiral perm right for you? Only you can know. Hey, if it were easy, everyone would have one.

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