Perming naturally curly hair may seem like a crazy idea to most people. I can just hear the puzzled masses asking – “Why would you need to make your curls curly?” I get it! On the surface, it makes no sense. But of course, being curlies, we know that it’s usually not always straightforward (no pun intended) when it comes to our hair.
The truth is, a lot of curlies want a little more oomph. Our curls can sometimes look a little flat and tired, so a perm is one way to add volume and bounce. A full perm will do that for you, but it might not be the kindest thing you can do for your curls.
While a full perm might not be something you’d consider, a spot perm might be. A spot perm is for people with a few straight or wavy sections throughout their otherwise curly hair. So if you have a few problematic areas in your hair that never do as they’re told, you could be on of those people that might consider a spot perm. A spot perm is also kinder to your hair because the chemical process is limited to a few sections rather than all over your hair.
Hairstylist, Danielle Valiente, talks about perming and spot perming curly hair here.
However, perming naturally curly hair isn’t something we’d usually advise here at BCHQ. The process of perming can be damaging and drying, and dry, damaged hair is not going to curl properly. The chemical used to in perming breaks the disulfide bonds of the hair, these bonds are responsible for holding together the keratin of the hair. Once this protein has been broken down, the hair can take a new shape. Then, a neutraliser is added (hydrogen peroxide in many cases) to reverse the damaging effects of the previous chemical.
So many chemicals! Cringe.
Perms can be quite harsh on hair, and having a perm too often will leave your hair feeling dry and brittle. There are ways to encourage your stubborn sections to curl without the use of harsh chemicals, such as the curly girl method.
However, far be it from us to judge, and if you absolutely believe that a perm or spot perm is your only solution, then you do you.
You can perm without the chemicals!
By far the best thing for your hair is to do a chemical-free perm. It’s a lengthy process, and the results won’t last as long (they’ll likely only last until your next wash) but it’s much better for your hair.
Perm Curly Hair Before and After
This video shows the process of doing a perm at home for bouncier, more voluminous curls.
As you can see, it’s a long drawn out process if you’re doing it all over your head, but this could be a great way to spot perm those problematic areas that just won’t curl.