Atelier Benoît Poirier d'Ambreville

The New Perm: More Natural Bounce and Curl

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Miss Gisele Bündchen has inspired a lot of ladies with her hair color and highlights, which, by the way, is done with the balayage technique as you will know if you have read my article on it.

The masses are going for pin straight hair, with straighteners which are horrible in the long-term for the health and integrity of the hair (the majority contain formaldehyde) and/or the over use of the flat-iron which will leave hair with a lot of breakages and a fried look from mid length to tips.

In 2005 in New York, Christophe (owner of salons in Washington, Las Vegas and Los Angeles) and Roy Teeluck, the owner of the salon I was working at then, and I were approached by a journalist of Self Magazine to take a new approach the perm. But don’t be scared by images which are engraved in our memory by the perm fried poodle look from the 80s. For the bouncy wavy look of the Californian suffer ladies, here came miss Bündchen.

It has been nearly a decade since I established myself here in Chile and I am still getting overwhelmed with perm demands.

So ladies if you are considering “bouncing” your locks up, here are the golden rules :
Perms aren’t for everyone, one of the basic rules you need to comprehend about perms is that they won’t look the best if your hair damaged. If it’s over-processed, discolored or dried out, the wavy curls won’t curl as much as frizz and the extra exposure to chemicals won’t help your hair look any healthier either! So if you hair is stawlike then it is a no-no.

Your hair gets lighter: chemical compounds that perm hair might cause your tresses to go a shade lighter, all depending on the product used, your hair type and the processing time. Be happy when it happens and the result is more of a sun-kissed look than a color gone wrong. If you’re particular about tone, color after a perm with a week between each treatment.

You will need new products: shampoo treatment and curl-enhancing cream, curl spray and a diffuser for your hair dryer. The only and best way to have frizz-free, perfectly formed wavy curls is to let your hair dry naturally, without the help of a hair dryer. You can wrap your hair into a towel, wait five minutes, unwrap, shake your hair, wrap again and wait another five. By doing this you’re making sure the most of the excess moisture is absorbed without the damaging, frizz-inducing rubbing.

You can still go straight. When blow-drying, it will take more time and more serum than you were used to, but your hair will be smooth and have body until the next shampoo. So the good news is if you believe that getting a perm means you’re sacrificing every other texture but that, ladies, this is definitely not the case. You can blow dry your hair straight, set it into rollers, do a glamorous wave style and still get to keep the wavy curls you’ve paid for. And like I say, simply shampoo your hair and they will be back!

A good curly perm doesn’t come cheap, especially if you opt for a quality product and spiral curls of different diameter to mimic a natural look. But the great thing about it is that, if pampered properly, a perm can last up to six months which, you’ll agree, is a fabulous bargain. Ladies with pin straight hair might not be so lucky, although their perms can look amazing for months too, if taken care of adequately.
And the last but must important of all! Do not, and I insist, do not wash your hair immediately after the perm! Not even the next day! Your new gorgeous wavy curls will need anywhere from 24 to 36 hours to become permanent, so shampooing is most definitely not a good idea. Again, your hair needs to stay dry for three days. You’re free to wash any way you’d like once this time has passed, although I’d recommend you use a gentle and nutritive shampoo for your first post-perm wash. Special formula shampoos for perm-treated hair are available too, to enhance curls and waves and are something you should definitely check out if your hair is straight and doesn’t hold a style very well.

The comments I am getting from clients after I do a follow-up call are that it took them a few days to get used to it, but now they can’t even think about going back.
One last tip for your hair, body and skin: your body needs at least eight glasses of water a day. So after the summer months we had, you will need to drink as much water as you can. Keeping your body well hydrated is the best way to make sure your hair stays in shape.

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