We all have those days where we get really frustrated with our natural hair. You may even have had dreams about having bouncy, soft curls everyday or having straight, frizz-free hair when you wake up in the morning! If this sounds like you, you may be considering getting a perm or a keratin treatment in order to achieve these looks, which your natural hair just won’t let you do. But, there are a few truths behind these treatments, which you need to consider before making the big decision. Keep reading for all of the details behind the truth about perms and keratin treatments.
THE TRUTH ABOUT PERMS
What exactly is a perm? It’s a type of treatment that sets the hair in curls by treating it with chemicals in order to last several months. Wow, several months! It may sound great to have such voluminous, curls for that long without having to touch a curling iron. But, it comes with a ton of maintenance and is more of a permanent decision than anything. They don’t call it a “perm” for nothing! This is why talking about the truth about perms and keratin treatments is so important. It’s time to get real.
HERE IS WHAT YOU NEED TO CONSIDER:
YOUR HAIR NEEDS TO BE HEALTHY AND IN THE SUITABALE HAIRSTYLE FOR A PERM.
It is important to get honest with yourself here about how healthy your hair really is. In order for the curl to hold, your hair needs to be strong and healthy to handle the chemical treatment it’s about to undergo. Even if you have dyed your hair in the last month or so you’ll want to give your hair some downtime before committing to a perm. According to professionals, virgin, un-dyed hair is in the best condition for a perm.
Not only does it need to be healthy, but, a perm is not recommended if your hair is short or has a lot of layers. Since the curl can often be pretty dramatic on short hair, the extreme curl can often leave you looking like a poodle (and for several months!). Making sure your hair is at the right length for a perm is definitely a huge thing to think about before getting one done.
REALLY CONSIDER WHAT TYPE OF LOOK YOU’RE AFTER (THERE’S DIFFERENT STYLES OF PERMS).
Here is where you need to do your research. There are a ton of different types of curls which you can achieve from a perm, as a result of different setting times, costs, and levels of upkeep. Ask yourself, “what kind of curls am I looking for?”. Whether it might be subtle waves, hollywood style pin curls, tight ringlets, or curls like Carrie Bradshaw, this is your time to get on Pinterest and start pinning and researching for the best curl type for you!
YOUR HAIRCARE ROUTINE IS GOING TO LOOK A LOT DIFFERENT.
After getting a perm, quality hair care is extremely essential. Since your hair has undergone a treatment it isn’t necessarily used to, maintaining its health in the right ways is really important. Here is a list of tips:
- Use shampoo specific for curls and curl enhancement.
- Avoid creamy formulas, which end up weighing down your curls.
- Don’t towel dry your hair (this causes frizz), rather, use an old cotton t-shirt which soaks up moisture more effectively.
- The less heat the better! Avoid drying your hair with a blow dryer or straightening with an iron.
- Avoid dyeing your hair after getting a perm (at least a month).
- Get a trim every 3-4 months! If you let your hair grow out to a point that is too long and heavy, it weighs down the curls.
- Wear a swim cap if you are swimming and stay away from chlorine filled pools.
GETTING A PERM IS A COMMITMENT
As you can see, there is a lot to consider before making the leap to get a perm! It is not easily fixed, but it can be done right as long as you do your research and make sure you are treating the perm properly post-salon. The truth about perms and keratin treatments is a topic that you really need to be an expert on if you are making the choice since it is truly a commitment to your hair lifestyle.
THE TRUTH ABOUT KERATIN TREATMENTS
Moving over to the infamous keratin treatments! I am sure you have heard beauty YouTubers or even friends who just rave about how great their hair feels after getting it done. But before jumping the gun, let’s chat about some things you need to know.
First, what exactly is a keratin treatment? Basically, the hair is saturated with a keratin formula (almost like when you get your hair dyed), then dried with a blow dryer on high heat, then straightened, which locks in the formula. Your hair is filled with keratin naturally, but the treatment restores the keratin in the hair to a level that creates the frizz-free, shiny look.
HERE IS WHAT YOU NEED TO CONSIDER:
YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR
Since the treatment uses chemicals that can be very harmful to you (e.g. formaldehyde), it is super important to do your research when choosing a salon, stylist and which kind of keratin treatment you are getting. If you aren’t looking to pay the extra money to get the right treatment, it might not be worth the risk of damaging your hair for a cheaper form of it. Everyone’s hair needs are different, so going to a skilled stylist who will take the time to feel out your hair and know exactly what kind of treatment you need will make all the difference!
IT’S ACTUALLY A BETTER OPTION THAN STRAIGHTENING YOUR HAIR EVERY DAY
Straightening your hair every day is one the most damaging things you can do to your hair. So, if you are someone who is a day-to-day hair straightener, considering a keratin treatment might be a more healthy option for you.
YOU NEED TO TAKE A CLOSER LOOK AT THE INGREDIENTS IN YOUR HAIR PRODUCTS AFTER GETTING THE TREATMENT
Sodium chloride (a.k.a salt) is the demon ingredient included in hair products that will wash out your keratin treatment. Now going forward, you are going to have to pay close attention to what exactly is in your shampoo, conditioner, and any other products you are using, so that you are ensuring the treatment lasts for the long-term. If you make sure to use the right products, your treatment will last up to two months, maybe more depending on your hair type. So, sadly this means if you are planning a vacay in the near future, dips in the ocean or chlorine-filled pool is a bit of a no-no when it comes to keratin treatment hair care.
And there you have it! Are you still unsure whether the perm or keratin treatment is right for you? Well, there are tons of great ways to get the hair of your dreams without chemically altering it, and it starts with using the right products for healthier hair and the right hair tools to accomplish the styles you are looking for.
Oh how we love those beautiful, flawless, bouncy curls. But you know what’s even better? Beautiful, flawless, curly hair that lasts all day. Here are some tips to help those curls last longer.
1. Get Your Curls To Stay: Cool Them Down
One of the most effective tricks on how to get your curls to stay is to let the curl cool down and set before letting it go. Take each fresh curl (still keeping the curl shape) and secure it with a clip or a bobby pin. How does this work? Well, as you wrap your hair around the curling iron, heat is transferred onto the hair strands, which is what makes them change their shape. So once your pinned curl is cooled down, it will allow the cuticle to close and set in place, making the curl last for a much longer period of time. When unclipping your curls, be sure to let them cool down for a couple of minutes prior to brushing them out. If you break the curls too quickly, they will loose their form in a shorter amount of time.
Hint: If you don’t have time to wait 10-15 minutes for the curls to set, pin them all to your scalp and use your blow drier to blow cold air on them from a distance.
2. Use the right hair products
Help your curls! Apply styling products to your hair, which will help hold the curls in longer. Depending what works with your hair, apply a tiny bit of mousse prior to drying your hair, or simply spray hairspray before, during and after curling. This will give your hair a rougher texture, which will help prolong the lifespan of your curls. All this is after applying heat protectant, of course – always remember the heat protectant first!
Hint: Don’t hold the hairspray too close to your hair as this will make your curls crunchy and heavy. You want to spray mist onto it, and wait a few moments for it to dry prior to applying heat.
3. Invest in good hot hair tools
For years, you may think that your hair is ‘stick straight’ and that ‘your curls will fall apart in 20 minutes anyway.’ You will think that as long as you use cheap, drugstore brand curling irons or curling wands. Only when you switch to better quality, higher-end hot tools, will you realize that the problem isn’t in your hair – it’s in the curling iron! Yes, they may be more expensive, however, they damage your hair less, they heat up better (so you will apply heat for a shorter period of time), and good quality curling irons will last you a very long time. We recommend to set your tools at a heat temperature of 300-350 F to achieve the optimal curl. If you are curling your extensions, be sure to use a lower heat setting of 250 F.
4. Use the right barrel size
Barrel size is actually pretty important. It’s easy to think that a bigger barrel curling wand or curling iron is what will give you those sexy Victoria Secret Curls. We find, however, that most of the time, a smaller barrel will do the magic. Depending on your hair, of course, try using a 1″ or 1.5″ barrel, and see what difference it can make! Not only will the curls look better, but they will also last longer. Sometimes, using a larger barrel just leads to the curly hair loosening up faster and falling out.
5. Your hair still doesn’t curl?
Well, my beautiful friend, this is a sign that your hair is screaming SOS. Overly damaged hair (including split ends) doesn’t curl well. Period. It’s time to give your hair some love and get a trim!
When you give love, you get love so why not have a little fun with it this Valentine’s Day?
We know you’ve got the whole “Valentine’s Day” thing down pat. But in case you’re looking to spread a little more love around, try one of these ideas for making everyone’s love holiday the best yet.
- Visit a shelter and walk a dog (or love on a cat)
- Bake someone a cake, cookies or cupcakes.
- Write a letter to someone you miss.
- Buy fresh flowers and put them in every room.
- Find things at home you don’t use and give them away.
- Pass out $1 bills to children randomly.
- Write cards of appreciation to those who’ve helped you.
- Visit a senior center and give out flowers.
- Take a lonely friend to a movie and buy them popcorn.
- Give some slightly used books to a teen or woman’s shelter.
- Buy makeup or toiletries and do the same.
- Treat a friend to foot massage.
- Buy a box of chocolates and give them out at work or a class.
- Keep nuts or snacks in the car to give to the homeless holding signs by the road.
- Give up your seat on public transportation.
- Pay for the order of the person behind you at the coffee shop or fast food restaurant.
- Tell a stranger you like their shoes (or hair, or coat, or etc …)
- Listen to love songs on your iPod in public … and dance!
- Smile! Your positive energy is a gift to everyone around you.
- Send old-fashioned Valentines (the kind school kids buy in a 30-pack!) to all of your friends.
- Leave conversation hearts with cute messages in random places where people will get a giggle.
- Try a new recipe — and make extra to share!
- Resolve not to say anything negative, for the entire day.
- Ask a couple you admire to tell you the story of how they met.
- Tell your own “couple” story to your kids, nieces or nephews.
- Say “Happy Valentine’s Day” to everyone you meet … and mean it!