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Old November 10th, 2003, 11:11 AM   #1
Dragonfly
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A question about non-thio, non-ammonia perms....

BOO HOO.

I want curly hair. Nothing stays; curlers, foam rollers; rags, solar rollers, braids.....my hair says "NO" and the curls just fall away. I had a perm once before and LOVED it because my stick straight hair finally had some personality.

I've tried it all since then to avoid perms (see above mentioned methods). I want curls again and I want them for a longer amount of time than one hour after I remove the many, many pieces of plastic, foam, hair tie, etc. from my head. Nothing but curls will do!

So, here's the question (of course, I have to come here before I make any rash decisions)....

Anyone ever try a non-ammonia, non-thio perm? My aunt, with incredibly thick amazing hair, has tried them and says that while her hair benefitted from the gentler effects of the less harsh chemicals, the perm fell out in about a month (all that for $300).

Opinions and such are welcome. Thank you!!!
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Old November 10th, 2003, 11:53 AM   #2
LisaMM
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I know this isn't the advice you want, but I can really relate to you so hopefully I can help. My hair is very straight also and I love curls. I have had many perms in the past, I have done many "gentle" non-ammonia, etc perms. They will still damage your hair. They will still cause breakage and dryness. I finally got tired of keeping up with the cycle of never-ending perms and grew out all the damage. Lo and behold, my hair in its natural state is pretty nice. I've learned to love my hair as it is. Admittedly I still enjoy the special occasions where I put in temporary curls, but I will never perm my hair again. It's so incredibly caustic to your hair! Think of the great things straight hair has going for it, like SHINE :shock: It's harder (not impossible, just harder) to get curly hair to shine like straight hair will.

If you do decide to perm your hair, get regular trims and get a super great moisturizing conditioner, like L'Oreal's Mega Moisture to use.

Good luck in your decision!
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Old November 10th, 2003, 12:01 PM   #3
LisaMM
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Dragonfly, I just realized we have the same hair types, and you have the color I have always wanted!!! Your hair is very long too. Any perm you get will not last long, even the spiral perms. With the length and thickness of your hair, no perm will last. Then you'll be stuck with all that length you've so patiently grown out being perm-damaged hair.

I'm sorry I'm not being more positive toward your wish for curls! I hope you aren't mad at me!!!
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Old November 10th, 2003, 03:54 PM   #4
Scorpeo
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I've had several perms before, and I ended up getting a bunch of hair cut off from the damage. After that, I waited until my hair got longer again, then I got a body wave. That body wave has grown all of the way out now and I really miss it. I like the body wave better because it still looked great while growing out ... no big demarcation line where the new hair grew in. If I could find someone I trust to do a body wave, I'd do it again. I wouldn't do a perm though, just the body wave.
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Old November 10th, 2003, 06:42 PM   #5
Daneille
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No matter how perfect the perm and hairdresser are, there will be damage. It might be wonderful for a few months. That is all. After that it will become drier and more prone to breakage. It also gets worse when you have a partially grown out perm. What do you do. If you perm over old perm the damage is intensified and half straight, half curly is really hard to live with without a lot of styling work and that also adds to the damage. Make peace with your hair, I am sure it is more beautiful than it would be with a perm.
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Old November 11th, 2003, 04:14 AM   #6
MemSahib
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Dragonfly, I'm am a "super-straight", too. I have no idea how many Tonettes (perms for little girls) I got in the 50s. After a few washes, they were gone. My last perm was in the early 80s and I swore I would never get another. My hair was fried, but we also had to abort the process because my scalp turned bright red and burned like fire. Never, never again.

It was then I realized there is nothing wrong with my hair. My hair. It's fine — nice, even. My own straight hair has a beauty which is different from usual. Did you know that in the United States there are relatively few real Straight-Hairs? We are not like everybody else, and I enjoy having different hair. And, like Lisa said, we have that wonderful shine going for us that other people just can't match.

If you want your curly "dos" to last longer, have you tried mousse or gel? They really help, but will wash out with the next shampoo. That's much gentler on your beautiful hair than any perm I can think of.

Please try to come to peace with your own, unique, straight hair.

This is probably not the help you are looking for, but I am someone who has been there/done that, and I wouldn't go back to a perm again for anything.
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Old November 11th, 2003, 04:48 AM   #7
Dragonfly
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I appreciate everyone's input, but I do want to say, I don't have a problem with my own hair. I like my own hair. But I also like change, and with hair as straight as mine, there are relatively few ways to get any kind of curls or waves that will last much longer than an hour after taking them out.

Basically I wanted to know if anyone had tried the non-thio, non-ammonia perms so I could get some more opinions on what the general consensus was about them since I know only one person who has one of these kinds of perms. She was very happy with the outcome, her hair was not dry or brittle at all because she had major conditioning therapy before and after the perm (which could *possibly* be why it didn't last as long as it could have, too much condition beforehand). The only complaint she had was that it only lasted a little while and she had t pay so much.

So keep those opinions about this sort of process coming (if anyone has tried these perms). I am interested to see if anyone else had any complaints, raves about them.

Thank you! :mrgreen:
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Old November 12th, 2003, 02:16 PM   #8
Bethany
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I haven't tried them... but if it changes your hair from straight to curly (or curly to straight) and doesn't vanish when your hair gets wet, then it's bad for your hair. The only question is, how bad? The milder the perm, the less damaging it is... and the less well it works.

I'm not an expert by any means, but my understanding is that there are two main kinds of chemical bonds that give your hair its shape: hydrogen bonds and disulfide bonds. Hydrogen bonds break in water, which is why you can curl your hair for a while by setting it wet and letting it dry while still set: getting the hair wet breaks the hydrogen bonds, and as your hair dries the bonds reform in whatever position the hair happens to be in. Of course, this all falls out when your hair gets wet again, or even with simple humidity... the hydrogen bonds break and your hair reverts to its natural state.

To make curl that lasts when wet you have to break the disulfide bonds and let them re-form in a new position. The problem is, disulfide bonds are hard to break. That's why perms are (semi) permanent, but anything strong enough to break a lot of those bonds is going to mess with the rest of your hair as well. Milder perming agents are gentler on your hair but also break fewer bonds, so you don't get as much curl and it doesn't stay as well.

At least, that's my kinda vague understanding of how it all works.

My hair doesn't like to hold a curl, either, and I liked the way it looked permed, as well. So I feel your pain. :-) But, I personally don't think it's worth the risk... especially since you'd have to perm over and over to keep it curly.
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