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I said "Yes" to a Perm???

I hadn't ever met Vicky when she called to book a consultation.  It was either a haircut or a perm she wanted/needed to give her hair the lift she'd been lacking, so we booked a date for the next week and I prepared myself to tell her that it wasn't a perm she was after.

See, it's not that I don't like perms or hate doing them (okay, that one client years ago cutting her own hair to about one inch in length the day before she wanted a "loose" perm?  Hated that.) but the truth is a lot of clients are a little confused when it comes to what a perm can and cannot do.

Let's clarify.  I get a request for a perm and during the consultation find out the client wants their perm to look like this (wash and wear, of course;   Just wake up and head out looking like this, cause we KNOW she does, right? *cough*) 

The problem is this - I could perm your hair to look like that, but it would "fall out" within a week or so (especially if you have any kind of length at all).  If I make it curlier, it's not what you wanted.  The truth is, if you have extremely curly hair, you could get it 'relaxed' (many different ways to do that - another blog post perhaps) which will soften your curls to waves.  If your hair is 'poker straight' getting a perm (even a really soft one like this) would better enable you to style your hair like Ms. K. up there, but it won't be wash and wear - it'll still be work.  Just a little less work than without the perm and the waves would stay longer through the day.

Now back to Vicky, my lovely new client.  When she came for her consultation, she walked in and this is what she looks like:

 What would you have said?  Thing is - there is no "wrong" answer.  We could've just given her a cut (it needed some 'picking  up' for sure though, in some way) but I surprised myself.  First thing I thought was that this woman could totally use a perm. Give her a fresh new look and that lift she'd been looking for.  Her hair was completely virgin (mind out of the gutter you non-hairstylists - it just means she had no colour or other chemical treatments in her hair LOL) so there was no concern that way.  So we booked it!  Perm and a haircut for the following week.

We didn't want any kind of "poodle head" or "grandma hair", or anything remotely like, say, this doozy of an example (thanks Coronation Street!):

So we stuck with larger rods (I really don't use anything larger than an orange rod on straight hair (read up there ^^ again if you've already forgotten why a too-loose perm is no good) and a spiral wrap (think of those long-haired 80's perms where the curl goes all the way from the roots to the ends of the hair, as opposed to just wave at root and curl on the ends)  I did all the chemical processing while the hair was wrapped to ensure a firm curl - especially with those bigger rods! - and processed about 23 minutes (summer time heat, yes,  but I have air conditioning!!! YES!)  I'm a J.A.G. salon (that means a member of the Joico Artistic Guild - fancy schmancy!) so I almost exclusively use  Joico products in my salon and went with the K-pak Reconstructive Alkaline Wave for Normal/Resistant, Fine/Limp, Grey/White Hair.  LOVE my Joico, with their patented Quadramine Complex delivering all kinds of goodness (nutrients! proteins! Hair LOVES this stuff!!) while doing it's job.

After the processing and the rinsing (oh! the rinsing!!!) and neutralizing and more rinsing (rinsing!!!), I took out the rods and gave Vicky a well-deserved head massage with K-pak Cuticle Sealer (yep! I really do love that K-pak from Joico!) which helped to tighten the cuticle back down, neutralize the hair and make it shiny.  Some things about perms have changed (thank goodness that smell doesn't stay with you for the next few months anymore) but I had to remind Vicky that you still don't want to shampoo it for at least 24 hours to let the bonds form a strong hold.

Let me know what you think in the comments below!  I think we achieved a great, relaxed new look for Vicky that flatters her face shape and lifestyle (very low maintenance look for this particular style)

A side by side for comparison:

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