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Kendra Aarhus

Reader Mail: Will a Perm Take in Fine Hair?

By May 10, 2011

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One reader recently wrote in on one of our user answer sections on perms. Stevie writes: I have healthy, fine, baby soft hair that's shoulder length and wish for a digital perm. I've been told that those with fine healthy stick straight hair, I might not even see a result after getting a perm. Would a digital perm hold in my hair? I really want this perm for the summer.

First and foremost, you have to understand a digital perm. A digital perm is different from a standard perm, in that it uses heat produced from a giant machine to perm your hair.  The machine is actually very similar looking to the way that perms were done over 70 years ago, although I believe the risk of fire is far reduced (thank goodness, right?). The process takes several hours and the results promise to be very big, loose, "beachy" waves.

It's hard to tell how well any perm will take, unfortunately. Typically, finer hair will respond better to a perm than course hair. However, fine hair can also be easily damaged by a perm (or even by heat). The best way to know how your hair will respond to a perm is to find a stylist that you can trust. Ask about experience with perms, how often they do them, and to see photos of results.

A perm breaks down the bonds in your hair and semi-permanently restructures those bonds into a new pattern. In order to reverse a perm, you have to rebreak the bonds again. The risk of severe breakage and damage to your hair is great, so it's important to be sure you're dealing with a professional that cares about your hair.

I hope that helps a little, Stevie.

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