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Thread: Help needed - Anyone have experience with perming long hair?

  1. #1
    Member oddelabop's Avatar
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    Default Help needed - Anyone have experience with perming long hair?

    Hi guys,

    recently I have been interested in styling my hair with a loose perm.

    I am ashamed to say however I know little about how loose perms work - what they look like and how they work on the hair?

    I was wondering if anyone had any pics or knowledge on the above topics? How damaging is a perm to the hair?

    Does it make your hair frizzy or lovely waves?

    Thanks in advance!!

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    Default Re: Help needed - Anyone have experience with perming long hair?

    When my hair was waist length I got a spiral perm, this was about 18 years ago. I used a leave in conditioner in it always and never blow dryed or manipulated it much. It looked great and in about a year it went straight. Only the ends needed a trim.

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    ~BleachedGuru~ justgreen's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help needed - Anyone have experience with perming long hair?

    As someone who has YEARS of experience with having semi-loose spiral perms put in my waist length hair once a year....my advice is DONT DO IT. Your long hair is lovely, please don't mess it up. Get you a Caruso steam roller kit and learn how to use it . (there are several threads on here with instructions for short/long, straight/curly). And as it's steam, it's much less harmful than the regular hot rollers.

    The damage depends on how good your stylist is. The better, up to date, SMART stylist will leave less damage, although she'll always wanna 'trim' your hair AFTER the perm. Hmmmm, wonder why. The not-so-good stylist will generally ruin your hair, for which a minimal hair cut will not help. And 99% of salons now make you sign a damage form, which gets them off the hook, before they even start on your hair.

    I love my stylist, she bleaches my roots out every 4-6 weeks and loves my hair probably more than I do. She told me once that she only does about 2 perms a month, to older ladies with short hair. I'm an older lady and wanna keep my long hair in good condition.
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    Member LaFlor's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help needed - Anyone have experience with perming long hair?

    I had a perm when I started LHC. My hair was only BSL. It wasn't horrible, but it was a pain to style and deal with. I have some pics in my album.

    I ended up growing it out because of all the damage and work involved. I will NEVER do that to my hair again... there are TONS of tutorials here and on youtube on how to get curls/waves without perms or heat.

    I'm not saying that no one should get a perm, some people really like them and get good results, but I would try some other curling options first. I think perms are like henna, you don't date them, you marry them, and if you don't like the results you are stuck with it until it grows out.
    Lady Lostariel Of the Flowers, In The Order of the Long Haired Knights

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    Hiding in plain sight spidermom's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help needed - Anyone have experience with perming long hair?

    Another "don't do it". Perms generally look good for a few weeks to a few months, then the difference in texture between the new growth at the scalp and the permed length will look just plain weird. And they always - ALWAYS - damage your hair to some extent.

    Braid waves look very similar to perms on long hair.

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    Member sparrowswing's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help needed - Anyone have experience with perming long hair?

    Just out of curiosity, how well does your hair generally hold curl and other treatments? We seem to have pretty similar hair, but mine doesn't hold curl or color at all. So the two times I had my hair permed - both times by very good, reputable stylists who had never had any trouble getting a perm to stay - it fell out in a few days. I wound up with a bit of frizz, but that only lasted maybe two weeks. Then I was right back to straight hair. It was a waste of time, money, and supplies, and all I really got out of it was damage. If you can find a less-damaging way to give your hair curls, I think you should go with that instead. But it's really up to you.

    On a side note, looking at some of these other experiences with perms, I'm actually kind of glad mine didn't last.
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    Now-shorthaired mod Anje's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help needed - Anyone have experience with perming long hair?

    The usual advice is "don't do it."

    Perms work by breaking down the disulfide bonds in hair and allowing them to reform in a different configuration, which holds the curl in place. The process tends to cause the hair to lose some of its strength and tends to make it protein-deficient in many cases. Most folks with straight hair assume a perm is to make hair curly, but folks with curly hair will often use the terms perm and relax interchangeably, and when they relax their hair, they are essentially doing a perm without the rollers.

    Once permed, hair will not behave the same way again, and your new growth will not match your length. So you could get your roots re-permed, but the stylists will have to be careful not to get any of the chemicals on the lower parts of your hair, as perming it twice will further weaken it and make breaking off likely.

    I had my hair permed a few times when I was in elementary school. I think they tended to fall out before the difference in texture was really obvious, but the pictures of me with permed hair also show frizz city. (To be fair, it was the late 80s and early 90s.)
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    LHC FairyGodMum lapushka's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help needed - Anyone have experience with perming long hair?

    I wouldn't do it either, not unless you're committed to being curly for *years*. If you don't want to be curly for years, there's going to be a major haircut in your future. I had a perm at about shoulder length, then grew it all the way to hip length... you guessed it, curly. It went flat at the top, was curly in the middle right up to the ends until I could cut it off, which was at around hip length. I had spent almost 2 and a half years growing it out, before I could cut it all the way off (to BSL) without losing too much length in the process - and it still wasn't all the way out. And I'm a slight wavy, so the difference wasn't that terrible visually.

    Also, there's no such thing as a soft perm, it's either going to be straight (like your hair is) or curly. Perms are set with rollers, so a "wave" is not a possibility, it's going to be a full-on curl, and that means it's an entirely different texture to the one you have now.

    A perm is a commitment. If you're not prepared for that, don't do it.
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    Member LaFlor's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help needed - Anyone have experience with perming long hair?

    Quote Originally Posted by sparrowswing View Post
    Just out of curiosity, how well does your hair generally hold curl and other treatments? We seem to have pretty similar hair, but mine doesn't hold curl or color at all. So the two times I had my hair permed - both times by very good, reputable stylists who had never had any trouble getting a perm to stay - it fell out in a few days. I wound up with a bit of frizz, but that only lasted maybe two weeks. Then I was right back to straight hair. It was a waste of time, money, and supplies, and all I really got out of it was damage. If you can find a less-damaging way to give your hair curls, I think you should go with that instead. But it's really up to you.

    On a side note, looking at some of these other experiences with perms, I'm actually kind of glad mine didn't last.

    This is a good point as well! My friend said the same thing happened to her, that the perm she got didn't hold more than a few days.

    I didn't have this problem with my perm, but it is still a possibility.
    Lady Lostariel Of the Flowers, In The Order of the Long Haired Knights

  10. #10
    Hair Dresser akilina's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help needed - Anyone have experience with perming long hair?

    I would say don't do it.
    I have done many very long haired spiral perms, and the hair is always damaged in the end, usually no matter how healthy their hair is.
    I have seen even the healthiest of hairs turn kind of nasty on the ends. Like cotton candy.
    And no matter what, I would recommend to never do a perm at home. Unless your friend doing it for you is a professional. Even then so, your hair is too beautiful to risk losing some of it!
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