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How to Get the Perfect Perm

Why Get a Perm?

It seems that the black hair community is all about wearing natural hair these days. If you frequent YouTube, you will see a plethora of style gurus styling their natural curls. The abundance of natural hair videos on Instagram might lead you to think that every woman can care for her natural hair. The truth is this; Some women struggle with their hair care and instead wear a perm to ease the process.

However, there is still a community of women that choose to relax their strands chemically. Although the style choice can be controversial for some, how one decides to wear their hair is solely an individual choice.

Some women choose to wear a perm based upon preference. They prefer to see their hair straight, they live in a climate that does not permit for their natural hair to stay straight for long periods of time, or they prefer to wear sew-in hair extensions and gravitate towards styles like the vixen sew-in which requires a lot of leave out and blending. Other women choose to wear a perm out of convenience perhaps their jobs or lifestyles don’t permit the daily maintenance it takes to maintain their natural hair. At any rate, wearing a perm is not a negative experience.

Choosing the Right Stylist

A perm is a permanent chemical treatment much like hair coloring. Like any other chemical treatment, this service should be done by a professional. While there are many home kits to do a perm yourself, professionals strongly warn against doing so. You should choose a stylist that is knowledgeable in chemical services and manages different hair textures on a daily basis.

Patch Test

Before you begin your perm, your stylist will do a patch test on a small portion of your hair. He or she will apply the chemical relaxer to your virgin hair and wait to see if you have any reactions. It’s essential that you remember not to scratch or wash your hair at least 24 hours before your chemical service.

Also, you need to report any sores or skin irritations to your stylist upon arriving at your appointment. If you do not develop a reaction during your patch test, then your stylist knows that it is safe to move on to applying the perm to the rest of your hair.


Before your stylist applies the chemical relaxer to your hair, they will apply a base to your scalp. The base is a petroleum-based substance that protects your scalp from getting a chemical burn. A seasoned hair stylist will know that the perm should not be applied directly to your scalp, however, sometimes the chemical “bleeds” and touches the scalp. The base will help protect the skin on your head from irritation.

Applying the Perm

Once the base is on your scalp, your stylist will begin your chemical service. The duration of your perm application depends on the density, thickness, and texture of your hair. When your stylist has applied all of the product to your hair, he or she will go through and begin working in the chemical to any spots that are not reacting to the relaxer.

Keep in mind that you are getting a chemical service, so it might not smell like a bouquet of fresh flowers. That’s okay. Just make sure that you don’t begin to feel any burning while the perm is sitting on your hair. If your scalp becomes irritated, notify your stylist immediately.

Stretching Your Perm

The results of getting a fresh perm will leave your hair silky to the touch. That feeling might become a little addicting, and you might find yourself booking touch-ups sooner than later. Buying a box perm is probably the worst thing you can do to your hair. Don’t let a little new growth cause you to go running back to the salon so soon. You should leave about eight to twelve weeks in between touch-ups.

Relaxing your hair too frequently might cause it to weaken and become brittle. If you find yourself getting frustrated with trying to style two different textures, try wearing a wig until you’re ready for your next relaxer to give yourself a little style break. Private Label Extensions Wigs are from 100% human hair and will keep you looking amazing until your next appointment.

Perm Do’s and Don’ts

Follow this list of do’s and don’t to get perfect perm results and maintain your look until your next appointment.

Do: Get a Trim

Requesting a trim at each follow-up appointment is essential. Even if you are getting your perm done by a professional, the chemical service is still harsh on your hair. Getting a regular trim will keep your split ends from moving upward on your hair shaft causing breakage.

Don’t: Use Too Much Heat

The idea that permed hair can’t suffer from heat damage is a myth. Don’t heat up that flat or curling iron on a daily basis to maintain your style. Applying too much heat to your hair will cause split ends and your hair to dry out. Instead, try some heatless styling like a rod or roller sets.

Do: Wrap Your Hair at Night

Just because your hair is permanently straight doesn’t mean that it doesn’t need TLC. To keep your fresh salon look, wrap your hair with a silk or satin scarf at night. If you’re not keen on sleeping with something on your head, you can relax on a satin or silk pillowcase. Sleeping on your hair will only cause friction and dry out your strands. Taking care of your hair at night will keep it beautiful during the day.

Don’t: Buy a Box Perm

This one is a big no-no! Getting a chemical relaxer can be an expensive service but don’t risk your hair health by purchasing a box perm. Your stylist is trained to know what the perm should look, and smell like in the container. Many box perms are expired, and the risk of using them can cause permanent damage. Don’t take any shortcuts. Your safety is most important. Steer clear of a box perm and book your appointment with a professional stylist.

Healthy Hair = The Perfect Perm

To get the best outcome from your perm, you need to have healthy hair. Getting a chemical relaxer will only compromise the integrity of your hair, so your overall hair health is most important. Having your perm done by a professional, keeping up with trimming your ends, and taking care of your hair in between treatments will give you healthy hair, and healthy hair will result in the perfect perm.