Which brand of perm lotion is better for my hair?
We often get customers asking us this question. In short, as long as the perm lotions are from reputable brands where the quality of the product is consistent, there is no superiority between the brands. It’s all about using the right chemical on the right type of hair, and leaving it on at the right amount of time.
Why do we say so?
Every customer’s hair is different and have different history. Some comes in with virgin hair which are strong and resistant. While we have some who have already done a lot of previous chemicals such as coloring or perming/rebonding on their hair which makes their hair already weakened. And at the same time, they might have new grown hair which are strong and healthy. Thus this is when it makes things complicated for the stylist and where the experience of the stylist comes into place.
In general most reputable brands perm lotion does not come in one type, but can come in various types, sometimes up to 5-6 different types. The different types symbolises different strengths of the chemical. But to make things simple to understand for you guys, we will categorise them into strong, medium and mild.
Most customers will have the misconception that a strong perm lotion will not be good for their hair. We will say it depends. For new grown hair at the roots which have never been through any chemical services before, or what we call a virgin hair, it is often essential that we use a perm lotion that is stronger as the hair is more resistant in this case. If we try to use a mild perm lotion in this instance it will often mean either wasting the customer’s time sitting in the salon waiting for the lotion to fully soften the hair (when it can be done in 10mins to 20 mins with a strong lotion, it can take up to 45 mins to 1 hour to get the same result with a mild lotion) or in some occasion the hair is “under processed” and the curls turns out straighter or did not even turn out as the hair is not fully softened during the chemical process for the new bonds to take place.
On the other hand, undesirable results may occur if a strong perm lotion is put on a hair that is already very dry and weak. What happens here is that when the chemical is put on the hair, the overly strong chemical processed at a rate faster than expected. And if the stylist is unable to control it well, the hair might reach its “soften” stage faster than usual, and if the chemical is not washed in time, the hair is over processed, which leads to what we call “damaged or over processed” hair.
Simply knowing the above is not sufficient, as most of the time customer do not come in with hair that is evenly strong throughout or evenly dry throughout. Like for example, a customer might come in with top 1-2 inches of new grown virgin hair, middle section hair has been through coloring previously, and ends portion that has been through coloring, perming/rebonding. Thus a lot of time, it is not possible to apply one type of chemical throughout the hair and it requires the stylist’s in depth consultation with the customer and analysis of the hair before applying any chemical on the hair.
Firstly, it is important for the stylist to understand the history of your hair. Like what types of chemical services done previously and how long before it was done. This allows the stylist to gauge which part of the hair has what chemicals done. For example if a rebonding has been done 6 months previously, and estimating that our hair is growing at a speed of one inch per month, counting from the scalp 6 inch of hair should be new grown hair that have not touched any chemicals before. And 6 inch onwards are hair that have been through a rebonding process previously.
The stylist will then use his/her naked eye to examine the customer hair, and based on use his/her experience to further pinpoint where this intersection point between the new hair and previously chemically processed hair is.
Usually the stylist will then base on his/her hair experience choose the strength of chemical to be used on the different parts. At the same time determine how long each chemical should be left on the hair. Logically, the stylist will first start by applying a stronger chemical at the roots of the hair, where the new grown hair are. Cause this might need a longer time for the chemical to process since the hair is more resistant. After applying this strong chemical from the roots to the intersection point, the milder chemical will then be applied from the intersection point to the ends.
The difficult part comes in to gauge when both chemicals have to be washed off at the same time. We do not want the top part to be still processing while the bottom part is already ready. So the trick is how to make sure that the whole strand of hair is softened “evenly” throughout, and where the experience and judgement of the stylist places a very important part. If the hair is not soften evenly, what customers might experience is uneven curls or some occasions top part under processed and bottom portion over processed.
In Summary this article hopes to educate our customers that
1. Hair perming is not as simple as “putting” a chemical on the hair. There are a lot of scientific knowledge and experience needed behind each hair perm. Make sure that the stylist is well-trained and know what he/she is doing.
2. For all reputable brands, as long as the performance of the product is consistent and the quality is guaranteed by the product company, there is no brand that is superior. It’s all about putting the right product on the right type of hair at the right amount of time.
3. Always be truthful to your stylist about the history of your hair. And as precise and clear as possible. This will help the stylist to do his/her job better to help you achieve the hair that you desire.
4. Experience helps in making sure that the stylist choose the right chemical for your hair. You will be ensure that the stylist makes less error in his/her judgement. Having said so, we hope you can still understand less error does not mean no error. After all, we are still all human being, there are still times where our stylist still make judgemental error.