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Top Ten Tips for Permanent Waving and Hair Coloring

With today's advanced technology, there are perms for almost every type of hair. Hairstylists can now offer gentle-on-the-hair perms that deliver texture, volume, and natural-looking waves.

But sometimes even professional stylists get caught up with the newest fads and forget the basics, like how to do a great perm. Here are 10 tips for successful permanent waving from award-winning colorist Dee Levin.
By Dee Levin

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Evaluate the integrity of the hair
The porosity, length, texture, color(s), and general health of the hair should be considered before determining if the hair is in condition for perming. Have a comprehensive consultation to find out if you can deliver what the client expects. Don't overpromise. It is better to have a client pleasantly surprised than sadly disappointed.
Select the proper product
Manufacturers are on our side. They make custom-formulated perms for just about every type of hair. It's up to our discretion and knowledge to make the proper selection.
Read the directions carefully
And then read them again. Visualize each step. But do NOT read the directions in the presence of the client. This is highly unprofessional.
Treat colored hair with care
Always remember that color-treated hair is delicate and must be given extra care.
Condition chemically-treated hair
Color treated or previously permed hair should be conditioned a week before the new perm. Your choice of conditioner should be one that will help equalize the porosity of the hair. Most manufacturers suggest conditioning the hair both before and after the perm.
Reduce the stress on hair
The use of wooden or plastic picks to separate the band from the hair causes less stress on the hair.
Protect the hair
Plastic coated end papers can be used to protect hair that has been previously permed and/or colored.
Wrapping the hair
Do NOT wrap the hair too tightly on the rod. To create a nice curl or wave, the hair must have room to expand and contract on the rod. Applying too much tension right from the first turn on the rod will produce a frizzy perm and possibly breakage.
Soft perms
To produce a very soft perm with very slight body and texture, you can use small plastic rollers with plastic clips.
Check for allergies
Should a client show any signs of redness around the face or neck, remove wet towels or cotton and gently pat irritated areas with ice water. Do not cover the irritated area until the redness subsides. Be careful using any medicated creams on a client – you never know what they may be allergic to.

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