An Introductory Guide to Getting a Perm: Everything You Need to Know Before Your Salon Visit


Believe it or not, the first-ever iteration of a perm was performed in 1872 by Marcel Grateau. He placed ironclad tongs over open gas burners and then utilised the heated forceps to generate beautiful, long-lasting waves, which marked a departure from the curly haired look that was in vogue at the time. This strategy reimagined the nature of hairstyles and it brought salons to the forefront of fashion, appeal, and sophistication.

However, it’s important to note that perm techniques have advanced significantly over the years, so let’s take a moment to delineate exactly what you should expect after scheduling a treatment with your local perm specialist in Perth.

Understanding the Role of Keratin

The secret to obtaining a long-lasting perm at a professional salon actually lies in the biological makeup of your hair follicles:

  • If you looked at your hair under a microscope, you’d be able to see that more than 90% of each follicle is comprised of a protein called keratin.
  • Keratin cells combine in large helices to form the structure of each individual follicle.
  • Keratin cells are interconnected with microfibrils and macrofibrils, which allow these proteins to essentially stick together in a very sturdy fashion.

As such, the key to executing a perm is to manipulate and alter the blueprint of your follicles by modifying the composition of keratin.

What Are the Most Popular Types of Perms?

Your salon specialist will help you determine the best-looking hairstyle based on your hair type, facial features, and unique preferences, but you should be aware of the hottest trends before you book your visit:

  • Spiral perms are very tight and they look like miniature coils or corkscrews
  • Pin curl perms present a natural look with clusters of long, curvy strands
  • Multi-textured perms utilise two separate perm rods to affect a carefree, less-defined visage
  • Root perms are highly sought-after by women who have shorter, flatter hair, because this technique lifts the follicles at the roots and adds noticeable volume
  • Spot perms will modify a specific portion of your hair, which means that you’ll be able to style the remaining sections as usual

Your hairdresser will assist with the selection process, and you’ll be able to peruse through before and after pictures to nail down the most suitable option.

Additional Advice

The onus is on you to take your perm seriously, both before and after the treatment:

  • Your hair must be healthy and supple prior to a perm – your hairdresser might recommend an alternative treatment before beginning the process
  • You should avoid utilising OTC chemical treatments during the lead up to your perm
  • Following your appointment, your hairdresser will recommend the best shampoos, conditioners, and hair sprays to maintain the hairstyle

It’s imperative to consult with a professional stylist and to learn about the ins and outs of getting a perm before you sit in the salon chair, so be sure to book a face-to-face meeting as soon as possible.