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Nothing screams #hairgoals more than bouncy, voluminous-looking curls, and they are dominating our Instagram feed. We spend time on special days painstakingly curling our hair with a curling iron and there will come a time when we decide that maybe it’s time we make this (semi-) permanent; we should go for a perm.

But receiving a perm is a somewhat serious commitment. We don’t know if it’ll suit us, and if we can really style it after our perm to look as great as the photos we’ve been ogling at.

Before you take the plunge, here are four questions you should honestly ask yourself before you head to the salon.

1. How is your hair condition like?

Performing a hair check is important before you decide whether to perm your hair. Your hair has to be in a good condition in order for curls to appear decent. Dry and damaged hair is a no-no as the perming session will not only ruin the quality of your hair but affect how the perm will turn out in the end.

If you fall into the dry damaged hair zone but you are really dead bent on getting a perm, start laying off chemical hair dyes and caring for your hair. Wait a few months for your hair to look healthier before you consider the perm.

2. Are you willing to change up your hair routine?


New hair = new routine. Are you willing to change up your hair routine and products to maintain your new curls? Having curly or wavy hair requires a whole new set of hair care shampoos and conditioners to help it keep in shape. Your curls also wouldn’t look as defined as when you step out of the salon without styling.

Before you commit to the perm, do your research and speak to your hairstylist to find out what you need to do to style and maintain your new hairstyle. Ask yourself honestly if you’re ready for these changes and the amount of time you may need to maintain the look.

3. What perm styles are you looking for?

Perms can last for a few months, so it’s important to know what style of perms you’d want to stick with for a while. Are you looking for tight curly hair, loose cascading waves or pin curl perms? There are so many varieties and styles of perms. Before you do, find out what’s your face shape and hair texture to discover which style would suit you best. Not every perm will look good on you as it does on your favourite celebrities.

If you are still unsure, consult your stylist and ask for their expert opinion. Bring along pictures that you like so they can advise if it’s possible to achieve something similar with your hair length and texture. They will also be able to advise you on the perm style and cut that would flatter your face shape.

4. Do you know about the perm techniques available?

How you want your curls to turn out depends on the perm techniques you’ve decided on. Knowing what these techniques are will make sure you won’t be disappointed by the results.

There are two methods of perming to choose from – (1) cold perm and (2) digital perm. Cold perms are the traditional method of perming your hair. First, the stylist soak your hair in an alkaline compound – ammonium thioglycolate – before they tie it into smaller curls and ringlets. There is no heat involved.

Digital perms are hot perms using hot curlers to re-condition your hair. Heated curling rods are used to form curves and waves. The process may take three to four hours, depending on your hair length and thickness.