I cannot be sure about you. But I have had my hair permed. Not once, but twice.
I am born with straight fine hair. So, ringlets were always a fascination for me. I guess you always wish for what you do not have.
Women like Sheetal Malhar awed me with their curls. I got a picture with that beauty. Her curls look so pretty. As it is obvious from the image, my hair is flat and straight.
After a number of failed attempts in getting temporary waves. I got my first perm after I got my first job. Getting a professional perm is expensive. So, I did it with my own money.
I recall that the stylist did a soft perm on me as my hair are soft and flimsy. Thus, there was not a plethora of heat and chemicals on my mane.
No wonder then, my perm set loose within 2-3 months.
So, with my next attempt, I got a determination to do a stronger one. As you can sense, I regretted my decision afterward.
Though I did get crazy curly curls. But I also got a lot of hair fall, damage and few gray strands as well.
Along came a bigger problem that compounded many times over. That was a mass of frizzy hair bundled up in knots due to product buildup.
My hair was like those of some senile hobo who would have been living under a rock for years.
Needless to mention, that was the last time I got a perm done.
What exactly is damaged permed hair?
When your hair begins to look like a broom after a perm. You know that you got damaged hair.
The following list will guide you to detect an issue with perm:
1. Excessive dry frizzy hair
This is the most common problem post perm treatment. The chemicals in the perm end up drying the hair. Thus leading to frizzy hair.
At times the damaged permed hair end up losing the outer cuticle layers as well. This leads to tangling and knotting of hair strands. I have gone through this difficult situation.
The product buildup from the perm added to my woes. My scalp turned super itchy and flaky. The buildup also led to more hair tangling.
2. Thinning hair
Damaged hair cuticle and an irritated scalp together lead to hair breakage. A lot of hair breakage further leads to scanty hair.
I lost a lot of hair after my perm treatments. I ended up losing hair in big chunks. Washroom, pillow, office desk and every place that I visited had hair fall.
There came a stage when I panicked to run my hand through my hair. As I would end up with countless strands of broken hair. My severe hair fall made my stylist suggest me a hair wig. That was the rock bottom situation for me.
3. Gray hair
Needless to mention that the chemicals from a perm end up discoloring the hair. My second perm was so strong that it turned my hair to white within a month.
In an ideal scenario, the perming solution should not touch the scalp. But in my case, it ended up dripping on my scalp. This led to my hair getting a few gray strands.
Both the times I got the perms done at a professional Lakme salon. But still, I ended up with damaged permed hair.
I have heard such perm gone wrong stories from many people. Even when they got it done from the best salons.
So, one thing is certain. Irrespective of where you get a professional perm treatment. There is a probability of the situation going kaput. That is why it is important to be wary of the situation.
But in case the damage has already happened. Then, you can try to minimize it by following certain measures.
How to Fix Frizzy Permed Hair
It is difficult to fix damaged permed hair. But there are a few hacks that help lower the harm of a perm.
1. Deep conditioning
As the outer cuticle layer takes a beating with chemicals in the perm treatment. The moisture in the hair strands loses.
If that moisture is not replenished. The hair ends up frizzy. The prolonged frizziness makes them matte, and thus entangles them in a knot.
The solution lies in providing deep nourishment to the scalp and the hair. In that situation, coconut oil for permed hair works like a miracle.
It nourishes the scalp, reduces dryness and helps smoothen the pesky knots.
You can massage a good quality organic coconut oil on your scalp. Then leave it overnight and wash your hair the next day.
I wish I knew about this when I began to have issues with the perm. Another good thing about coconut oil is that it does not loosen the perm. This oil is not heavy, unlike the oils like castor and mustard.
So, it helps with perming issues such as drying and tangling. But it does not straighten the hair.
You can also make the oil more potent by adding extracts of curry and sage leaves. Both these leaves arrest graying of hair.
You can try any of the following options to make the coconut oil more potent:
1. Soak dried curry and sage leaves in coconut oil for about 15 days. This way the extracts of dried herbs will infuse in the carrier oil.
2. Heat coconut oil with dried/fresh curry and sage leaves for 5-10 minutes. This way you will have a speedy version of the previous step. But ensure that the heat is on low flame. Else the high heat will destroy all the goodness of oils and herbs.
You should use this heavy duty coconut oil at least once a week. Within 4-5 applications, you will find a drop in your hair woes. That includes issues of dryness, tangling, and white flakes. For extreme dryness, you might need a boost from other heavy conditioners.
2. Clarifying cleansers
Nourishing is one part of tackling the damaged permed hair issues. The second is to cleanse the hair with mild cleansers.
Chemicals and heat create permed hair. So, by using chemical-laden shampoos, the poor hair gets more of the bad stuff.
The stronger the shampoo, the more buildup. Thus, more of hair issues.
If you are not into a no poo life. Then, you can replace your usual hair care products with the milder options.
Shampoos without parabens and sulfates do not harm the curly hair. Though they are efficient in their cleansing job.
This is the final and important step for maintaining permed hair. As the permed hair are permeable due to damaged outer layers. They need a strong protecting layer to withstand wear and tear.
I recall once I went for a bike ride by the sea when I had perms. I returned with nest-like hair. The ocean wind played havoc on my hair.
I send the subsequent weekend struggling to separate my individual hair strands.
You do not have to be a fool and a naive like me. You can use protect your permed hair with the following measures:
- Use a protecting heavy duty leave-in serum. You can use organic shea butter or cocoa butter for this purpose.
- Tie your hair in a bun to reduce their exposure. This will keep the fly-away ends at bay.
- Use a scarf to protect hair. I am a hoarder of cotton and silk scarfs. Silk is best for permed hair. As the softness of the material reduces friction between individual hair strands.
I love to get my hair permed. But it is the aftermath of the process that scares me.
After 2 attempts at destroying my hair after a post perm treatment. I figured out how to fix permed hair gone wrong with trial and errors.
Frizzy hair, knots, and excessive hair thinning are few of the demerits of perming hair.
Measures like deep conditioning help deal with the post perming issues. I have tried each of the issues and quick fixes mentioned in the article.
They will help you deal with your damaged permed hair with ease. Make sure you give them a try before snipping your dreaded curly hair off.