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Hairstyling/perm for fine thinning hair


QUESTION: I have shoulder length fine straight hair. I also get schwarzkauff viviance color for body about every 5-6 wks. I use many of their color products. I am 54 yrs old. I would like to get a body wave with soft curls.. not the 80's perms i used to get. My current stylist tells me he wont do it and got attitude when I asked him to stop putting layers in my already fine hair. It has grown out and I would like to have c some volume and body and wonder what might be a suggested perm product. My hair is not gray just a few here and there. Any advice is very much appreciated.

ANSWER: Hi Robin,

Highly recommend that you have a heart to heart with your stylist. Since you already have your hair colored, perming it requires specific products and expertise. Because color is so much better than it was 40 years ago, it doesn't really give body. The reason it used to help plump up hair was because it was so damaging.  

I layer my fine clients with a technique called swelling where the hair is wrapped around the head. Never just straight up or straight out. However, it's just one way to do it, not THE way to do it.

Schedule a consultation with your stylist so you can have time to discuss your concerns.  Take lots of pics and be prepared to talk about what you like and don't like. If he can't offer you solutions or doesn't appreciate your input, it's time to find a new stylist.

Good luck.

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

QUESTION: Thank You Dana i appreciate your answer. But just want to is it really still possible to get like a body wave. Can u suggest a perm product that u think migjt work? the reason I would like to get a body wave is because my hair is so so fine and I have balding areas to the left and right of my crown that i continually have to cover. .I don't know whether its hormonal or not the dermatologist told me she didn't think anything wrong, but no one seems to understand od have emphathy. I definitely notice very much. The thinning spots are the biggest reason I asked him not to layer my hair. I can send a picture of what my hair looks like. The last time i had a perm,  the guy fried it( notf my current stylist but someone working in his salon) And i about had to cut it all off. That was 4 yrs ago. I feel very ugly and wish i had magical curls. I have clip in remi extensions i use on special occassions.. but day in and day out... its usually my baseball hat. :)  thank you again.. have a blessed day.

The perm isn't the problem. You a designer who really REALLY has a lot of experience with perms. They are so much better than they used to be but finding someone who knows how to perm fine, thin, color treated hair is tricky. Have you asked your stylist why he refuses to do it? If it's just that he doesn't like them, find someone who does.

If you actually have bald spots, you might talk to your doctor and have your thyroid checked and your hormone levels. Also, check any drug interactions.

Since you've already had a bad experience with a perm, you probably should exhaust all other options first.  

Have you tried any products like Bosley? Or Cerafil by Redken?  


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Dana Sear


I can answer questions on all types of hairstyling, cutting, designing, coloring, corrective color, perming techniques,product knowledge, and in general, anything that has anything to do with hair. PLEASE NOTE: I am a professional designer and trainer. I do hair and teach advanced classes to licensed designers. I do not, under any circumstances, recommend doing chemical services including but not limited to relaxers, perms, color, highlights, or any other chemical service at home. I will not tell you how to use professional products nor will I tell you how to do your color at home. What I CAN do is arm you with current and accurate information and help you to be able to better communicate with your stylist/designer. I can also help you with what you need to do at home to maintain, protect, and treat your hair.


I have been a designer and educator for 31 years. I have been a salon consultant for Redken, affiliate trainer for ABBA Pure and Natural, Director of Education for my own salon and am currently a member of the design team and advanced trainer for my company. I specialize in corrective color, perming and style support, and image updates (make overs)

I have been actively licensed for 31 years. I actively participate in and teach cutting, perming, coloring, and business building classes. I am a REDKEN Certified Haircolorist, and REDKEN Specialist. I also have extensive training in Structure in Motion Cutting Techniques and Tigi Cutting.

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