What Are the Dangers of Getting a Perm?

by Kay Ireland

While you might think that a perm is the ideal way to get a head full of lush curls and volume, there are some dangers associated with getting a perm. It's true that perms can give you curlier hair, but in the process, a perm can severely damage your hair as well.

Scalp Damage

Although the permanent solution is applied to the hair, some may inadvertently be applied to your scalp through sloppy application or by accident. This solution is made up of a highly potent ammonium thioglycolate chemical solution, which can be irritating to some users, and cause itching, redness, burning and peeling.

Hair Damage

Because of the strength of the ammonium thioglycolate solution, many find their hair texture changed after using it. Ammonium thioglycolate can dry out the hair, leaving it brittle and more susceptible to breakage. The only way to fix this problem is to grow the hair out and cut off the damaged portion.

Lack of Hair Regrowth

Some perm users realize that their hair is cracked and damaged, and then wait patiently for new hair regrowth to replace the damaged hair. However, some may find that the chemicals have actually inhibited new hair growth.

Texture Change

While a perm seeks to change the texture of your hair by causing it to go from straight to curly, you may find that this texture change is permanent, rather than lasting a few months, as most perms are supposed to. Some users find that they went from straight hair, to permed hair, to permanently frizzy hair after the perm. If you don't mind your hair's texture as it is, choose another, less severe way to curl your hair, such as a curling iron or three barrel waver.

Pain

Some perm users may find that heading to the salon to receive a perm can be a painful procedure. Not only can the ammonium thioglycolate solution burn the scalp during application, but the hair has to be tightly wound in curlers when it's been applied. This can be a painful process, as the curlers must be placed tightly to the scalp, and can cause pulling or tearing of the hair.

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About the Author

Kay Ireland specializes in health, fitness and lifestyle topics. She is a support worker in the neonatal intensive care and antepartum units of her local hospital and recently became a certified group fitness instructor.