The permanent wave, or perm, as it has come to be known, has grown and developed over the years, from being a procedure that was extremely risky on your hair, to a much more easy to deal with process. This is the evolution of hairstyles.
The perm is done in two stages, the actual wrapping of the hair, and then the chemicals that break disulfide bonds in the hair so that it softens it. Even though it has evolved over the years, the perm is still harsh on the hair - no getting around it. The most important thing is to know what your hair type is, because the protein chains get broken and then the hair expands and stretches as it takes shape.
It is critical to understand your hair if you are to understand what kind of procedure you are going to do. There are, of course different kinds of hair, such as resistant hair, like gray or Asian hair that has low elasticity, and then there is fine hair which is hard to perm, and should be treated with an alternate perm. Of course, healthy hair that has good elasticity needs a mild acid. Hair that needs to be straightened needs to have a permanent relaxer or straightener applied so that the hair isn't wrapped.
As I always say, if you are unsure, consult your stylist and get the right advice. It is far better to do that than to get "Hair from hell". Before you consider getting the perm, consider your hairstyle, different hairstyles require different perms, whether it be a stylist perm or a home perm.
Make sure if you are getting a perm that you have considered all the possibilities and all the factors that will affect you, from hairstyles to types of perm, and from types of hair to what kind of product will best for you.
If you are doing a home perm, be sure to read the directions. They will tell you what kind of hair this product is best for, and what procedures to take before applying the product. Before you apply, make sure that you comb your hair thoroughly so that all knots are out. Then, when you sue the shampoo, (preferably a rich protein one), don't use a conditioner as it will prevent the perm from setting.
When applying the product always wear rubber gloves, because the perm product isn't meant for skin, and if it gets on the skin it can be very caustic resulting in damage to the skin, Vaseline is a pretty safe bet. Always protect the skin around your neck, and use the safety equipment recommended on the box.
If you are unsure about the application procedure, you can look up the best methods that are good for you, or ask your stylist. It is always best to" know before you go', so that your hairstyle will always be the compliment to your appearance.