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Hairstyling/Best Perm for Bleached hair


QUESTION: Hi, I have two daughters that are both hair stylists and both of them say that you cant put a perm on bleached hair. I have natural medium brown hair that has been highlighted a light blonde. My hair is pretty healthy since I do monthly Hot oil treatments on it and use very good protein conditioner on it. My problem is Im very board with my hair, its very straight and I would really love to perm it so that I could have wavy hair. I have tried making the waves with my chi iron and they fall out. I've used pin curls which never turn out like I want them to so I end up using my flat iron to smooth them straight. I've even slept in braids to get the waves. I know there has to be a perm out there that is gentle enough to use on bleached blonde hair. Back in the 80's we used to "frost" our hair and perm it all in the same week. So I know its not recommended but can be done. Both of my daughters are recent graduates of cosmetology school so any advice you could give us on what products to use would be greatly appreciated.

ANSWER: Kelly,
 Although is is usually better to err on the side of safety, sometimes perming can be done on bleached hair. Although we used to do it much more years ago, just look back for a moment at what hair often looked like and you'll quickly agree that today's sensibilities are much better.
 The first issue is whether your hair is insuitable condition for perming. For this you can do a sink or swim test. Cut a few strands from the ends of the bleached hair in the worst areas and drop into a bowl of water. If they float the hair is in good enough shape to perm. If the hair sinks then it is a definite no to perming, simple as that, until the damaged hair has been cut off. If the hair is in sufficient condition, then an acid wave would be in order. It's not just a matter of the gentleness of the perm. If the hair is in a degenerated state to begin with it will not withstand perming without being totally destroyed.
 If the hair can be permed, once it is processed and rinsed WELL, there would then be a waiting period of at least 20-30 minutes, blotting well with paper towels every 5-10 minutes, before the neutralizer is applied, to stabilize the hair better.
Best of luck to you.
Stephe (hairman)

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thank you, could you give me some suggestions on which would be the best perms to use, should we use a pre wrap.
Can a leave in conditioner such as Infusium 23 be used as a pre wrap?

The brand does not matter, but rather, that it's a true acid wave. More important still is that you hair be in suitable condition to even proceed with perming.
A leave in conditioner can be used along with pre-wrap.
Best of luck to you.
Stephe (hairman)


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I have been a Licensed cosmetologist in New York state for over 26 years, and am well versed in many areas of the cosmetology and appearance enhancement profession.Specialties however, are hair colour, corrective colour and permanent waving,including the chemical and technical aspects of these services and their effects on the hair.I`m glad to consult on any problems you are having concerning your hair.If I don`t have the answer, I`ll try to get it for you.


I've been licensed for cosmetology in New York State since 1974.I am a salon owner, and very active with the National Cosmetology Association and New York State Cosmetology Associaiton.I am one of only a few hundred people in the United States to be certi

For the field of cosmetology, to become acredited as a state educator for the New York State Education Committee or HairAmerica, you must submit to a full day exam, encompassing written exam, practical segments, lesson plans and presentations to prove our knowledge and teaching skills.The same applies for HAirAmerica.I also becam board certified as a coulourist in the same way, by submitting to a full day exam process.I am also antionally certified for cosmetology by the National Cosmetology Ass

I have received several educational awards from New York State for my educational work on a state and national level.
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