A perm is a great way for a woman to change her hairstyle. It adds curls or waves to flat or straight hair. The hair gets an application of a chemical solution that breaks down the follicles. Rollers or rods reshape the relaxed hair strands into tight or loose curls to create a new look. Depending on the type of perm, the effects can last from six weeks to five months. When selecting a perm type, consider the chemical reaction on your hair, the best style for your haircut and the shape of your face.
An alkali perm has a high PH level that can damage hair. Do not get this perm if you have colour treated or thin hair. It works well with normal hair, and hair that has never had a perm. The benefit is the curls last for up to five months. The disadvantage is an alkali perm dries hair out if not moisturised with conditioners for permed hair. It is the best type of perm for all hairstyles and face shapes.
An acid perm does not dry out hair as much as an alkali perm. Brittle and coloured treated hair works best with this perm. The relaxed effect of the perm creates looser curls that do not hold their shape longer than three months. The gentle curls of an acid perm make a square shape face appears longer when styled with shoulder length hair.
A root perm only penetrates the hair roots giving a slight curl that lifts the hair. The advantage of a root perm is it works effectively on short or flat hair. The main disadvantage is the perm effect last just two to three months. A root perm adds a carefree and feminine look to medium length and short haircuts.
A body wave perm adds a slight wave all through the hair. A wave's advantage is it adds body to flat hair. Straight hair produces large gentle curls while curly hair will result in tighter ones. The disadvantage is the wave loses its shape after about two months. A body wave softens facial features. It is easy to style with a blow dryer, and is perfect for shoulder length haircuts.
This type of perm adds volume to hair instead of curls. A volume perm cost less and works well for women experimenting with hairstyles. The disadvantage is it last about six weeks at the most. A volume perm benefits thick long hairstyles and oval face shapes.