How to Apply a Perm to White People's Hair

Goodshoot/Goodshoot/Getty Images

Perms can give straight, limp hair extra volume and bounce. When applying a permanent to a Caucasian's person hair, it's important to follow the instructions outlined in the kit. Although slight variations exist, almost all perms use roughly the same procedure. By familiarizing yourself with the basics of perm application before purchasing a kit, you will be more confident through the entire process.

Wash the hair using regular shampoo and warm water.

Towel dry the hair to remove excess moisture. It should be damp but not wet.

Place a towel or cape around the person's neck to prevent her from getting dripped on. Have another towel handy to wipe away any drips.

Wrap the person's hair in rollers. The direction in which you wrap the rollers depends on the type of curl you want. Use small rollers for tight curls and large rollers for loose curls. Make sure that the end of each tress is tucked smoothly against the roller. If the hair starts to dry while you are rolling it, use a spritzer filled with warm water to add moisture.

Rub Vaseline along the hairline, starting at the forehead and making your way behind the ears and around the neck. This will protect the skin from being burned by the perm solution.

Press the cotton roll on the Vaseline so that it surrounds the scalp. Tuck the cotton behind the ears. This will prevent any of the solution from dripping onto the person's forehead, neck or ears.

Mix the permanent solution according to the instructions outlined in the kit.

Apply the permanent solution to each curler, being careful not to miss any. Each curl should be saturated, but not dripping, with the solution.

Allow the permanent solution to remain on the hair in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions. If the perm requires heat to be activated, use a blow dryer.

Rinse the permanent solution from the curlers using lukewarm water. Do not remove the hair from the curlers.

Gently dab away excess moisture from the curlers using a towel.

Apply just enough of the neutralizing solution included in the kit to cover the curlers.

Remove the cotton from the hairline and wipe off any excess Vaseline.

Gently unroll the curlers, being careful to to stretch the hair.

Apply the remainder of the neutralizing solution.

Thoroughly rinse the neutralizer from the hair using lukewarm water.

Apply a leave-in conditioner only if instructed to do so in the kit.

Allow the hair to air dry.