All About Perms Guide. The Pros View

Perms, when executed with precision and understanding, can transform your clients' locks into cascading waves of beauty. However, like any craft, the mastery lies not just in knowing how to wield the tools, but also in comprehending when and how to apply them.

Understanding the Types:

Before diving into the art of perm application, let's unravel the varieties of perms available in the professional sphere. From traditional alkaline perms to modern acid-based and digital options, each type offers distinct results. Alkaline perms provide robust, long-lasting curls, while acid-based perms offer gentler, more controlled waves. Digital perms, on the other hand, utilize heat and chemicals to create versatile, natural-looking curls.

Alright, let's dive into the nitty-gritty of perms – acid, alkaline, porous hair, and the soft body acid variety. We're not aiming for perfection here, just a solid understanding to keep your clients' hair looking decent and avoiding any major disasters.


Acid Perms: First up, acid perms. These are the gentler cousins of the perm family, perfect for clients with delicate hair or those who've already put their locks through the wringer with color treatments or excessive heat styling. Acid perms work by using a lower pH level, which means they're less harsh on the hair shaft. The result? Softer, more manageable waves or curls that won't leave your clients looking like they've stuck their finger in a power socket.


Alkaline Perms: On the flip side, we've got alkaline perms – the OGs of the perm world. These bad boys use a higher pH level to break down the hair's structure and create those tight, defined curls that your clients either love or hate. Alkaline perms are best suited for clients with resistant or coarse hair who are looking for maximum curl power. Just make sure you follow the instructions carefully and don't leave the solution on for too long, unless frizz is the look you're going for.

zotos design freedom alkaline perms

Perms for Porous Hair: Now, let's talk about porous hair – you know, the kind of hair that drinks up moisture faster than you can say "humidity." Perms on porous hair can be a bit tricky since the hair shaft is already more susceptible to damage. That's where your expertise comes in. Before diving into the perm process, assess your client's hair and determine its porosity level. If their hair is more porous than a sponge, consider using a milder perm solution or even opting for a pre-treatment to help protect the hair from damage.

zotos acclaim porous hair perms

Soft Body Acid Perms: Lastly, let's touch on soft body acid perms – the middle ground between acid and alkaline. These perms offer a compromise for clients who want a bit of curl without the full-on tight ringlets. Soft body acid perms deliver subtle waves and added volume without the potential for over-processing or damage associated with stronger perm solutions. They're a great option for clients with fine or thin hair who want a little extra oomph without the drama.


zotos quamtum 5 perms for soft hair body

When to Use:

Selecting the right type of perm depends on several factors, including hair texture, condition, and desired outcome. Alkaline perms are ideal for clients with coarse or resistant hair seeking tight, defined curls. Acid-based perms are suitable for delicate or damaged hair, delivering softer, more manageable waves. Digital perms cater to clients desiring natural, beachy curls with enhanced volume and bounce.

How Not to Use:

While perms hold the potential for stunning transformations, mishandling can lead to disastrous results. Avoid over-processing hair by adhering strictly to manufacturer guidelines regarding timing and product application. Additionally, steer clear of overlapping previously permed sections to prevent uneven curls and damage.

Advising Clients:

As trusted advisors, it's paramount that we educate our clients on the importance of leaving perm treatments to professionals. Emphasize the intricate chemistry and expertise required to achieve desirable results while safeguarding the health of their hair. Encourage open dialogue to understand their expectations and tailor the perm process accordingly. Remind them of the risks associated with DIY treatments, including hair breakage, chemical burns, and unpredictable outcomes.

Mastering professional hair perms is a journey that demands both technical proficiency and artistic finesse. By understanding the nuances of different perm types, knowing when to utilize them, and effectively advising clients on the process, you elevate your craft to new heights. Remember, as stylists, we possess the power to transform not just hair, but also confidence and self-expression.