10 Tried-and-Tested Ways to Make Your Perm Last LONGER

Published on Jul 04, 2018

Wouldn't it be great if #goodhairdays could last forever, especially when you paid hundreds of dollars at the salon for a semi-permanent service, only for it to last for several months? Those of you with straight hair might be all too familiar with the disappointment of your curls fading faster than expected. Though sometimes that is genuinely due to stylist error, there are a few things that you can do at home to keep your hair looking curlicious.

1. Perm smaller curls


Perms have become increasingly popular, thanks to the various types of curls you can achieve. Though most women tend to go for big loose curls, it's actually more long-lasting if you request for tighter curls. Does this mean that you have to resign yourself to auntie curls? No! The eventual style actually depends on how dry you blow-dry your hair. For digital perms, the longer you blow your hair, the straighter it becomes. 

Digital Perm by Joel Park at Pro Trim Korean Hair Salon

Digital Perm by Joel Park from Pro Trim @ Ngee Ann City

This is why Agent G always requests stylists to give her really small curls as smaller curls allow her perms to last for 6 months or more. Look at how small the curling rods above are. After blow-drying at home, Agent G's hair actually looked like this ...

Small Curl Perm by Project Hair Salon

Similarly Agent W recently permed small curls at Project Hair @ Jurong.

Small Curl Perm

And the curls eventually turned out like this ...

Small Curl Perm

Doesn't it look gorgeous?

2. Go for a low-damage perm


A perm looks best and lasts the longest when your hair is healthy. With lower damage, the curls don't loosen as quickly since healthy hair can retain the shape created by the hairstylist. This is possibly why Korean salons used to have an edge in this area. 

Low Damage Digital Perm by Leekaja

Digital Perm by LeeKaJa Korean Salon

Their exclusive low-damage Korean lotions give an iconic "Korean Perm" look which can last for more than 6 months!

Low Damage Korean Perm by Zinc Korean Hair Salon

Digital Perm by Zinc Korean Hair Salon

However, the recent introduction of Paimore GRATS perm lotion has reduced their advantage somewhat as it is a low-damage treatment perm that doesn't even open the cuticles to get your hair permed. It is available at a number of local salon Act Point Salon.

Low Damage Paimore GRATS Perm by Act Point Salon

Paimore GRATS Perm at Act Point Salon

3. Begin the perm higher


Start the perm higher so that it can last longer. As your hair grows out, it will look begin to look like volume rebonding. If you are going for the style where just the ends of your hair are wavy, start the perm from mid-length onwards. Once again, if you feel the curls begin too high for your liking, you can always blowdry certain parts straight.

Volume Perm by Picasso Hair Studio

Volume Perm by Picasso Hair Studio

4. Go for a pre and post-treatment during the perm


Aside from a low-damage perm, what you can do to minimize the damage and extend your perm's life is to opt for a pre and post-treatment. This will add some cost to the perm but both the pre and post treatment ensure that the damage done to your hair is minimized so that it can last longer. If you have already spent quite a bit on the perm, it is worth it to spend a bit more to ensure best results. 

Post Treatment for Rebonding Perm To Make Long Lasting Perm

Intensive Post-Treatment for Rebonding Perm at Act Point Salon

5. Apply hair mask once a week


Perm dries out your hair, as any chemical service does. As moisture is needed to maintain curl definition and bounce, avoid washing your hair with clarifying shampoo often and make it a practice to deep condition your hair with a hydrating mask at least once a week. If you are not sure which deep conditioner is the best, consult your hairstylist and ask which they would recommend. 

Princess Perm at Focus Hairdressing

Princess Perm at Focus Hairdressing

TIP: Agent G uses a hair mask in place of a conditioner so it is a lot more moisturizing! Just a little bit of hair mask will do each time so you don't have to spend too much on it. She picked up the hair mask during a sale and got a big bottle that lasted her more than a year! :P 

6. Blow-dry your hair 


Though a perm cuts down on your styling time, it still does require a bit of maintenance. Blow-dry your hair to keep your curls looking bouncy and to give it definition. But avoid using hot styling tools such as curling irons and straighteners to add more definition to the curls as you wouldn't want to damage your hair further and deprive it of moisture. Blow-drying your hair on medium heat should be sufficient.

Blow Dry Red Hair Colour and Perm at No. 8 Hair Studio

Perm and Colour at No. 8 Hair Studio 

7. Use curl defining products 


Seek out products that will enhance your curls as well as keep it moisturized. The last thing you would want is for your perm to turn into a frizzy mess. Some products to look out for include curl defining shampoos, conditioners, and styling products. These can go a long way in ensuring your curls look its best and last longer!  For Agent G, curling lotion is a must have because it helps enhance the curl definition and is really not tough to use.

Blow Dry Cushion Perm by Picasso Hair Studio

Cushion Perm by Picasso Hair Studio

8. Twirl your curls


Twirling your curls with your fingers while applying curl defining products will give it more definition and bounce as well. You can also try flipping your head forward and scrunch it upside down. This adds volume to your hair as well! However, keep in mind to not twirl or scrunch your curls too often in a day as touching your hair excessively will cause frizz.

Blow Dry Twirl Chiffon Perm by Art Noise Japanese Hair Salon

Chiffon Perm at Art Noise Japanese Hair Salon

9. Bun it up


Bun Updo Hairstyle

If you are heading to bed or have an event to attend and want your curls to look its best, simply bun up your hair! You want to keep the bun up for at least several hours for this method to work well. Do it before bed and you'll wake up to curlier hair with lots of volume on top; saves you the hassle of spending extra time on your hair in the morning! You don't have to do a tight bun, just a casual messy bun will work just as well.

10. Go for a hair treatment to refresh your curls


If you have the budget, consider scheduling hair treatments once every 1-2 months. These hair treatments will specifically work to repair the damaged caused by the perm as well as moisturize your locks. Interestingly, a hair treatment can also help lengthen the time in between perms as it helps to refresh your curls and make it more bouncy. Once again, Agent G tried it out with the Tokio Inkarami Treatment at Koinonia Salon and the curls did look more bouncy afterwards!

Hair Treatment at Koinonia Salon to Maintain Curl
Hair Treatment at Koinonia Salon to Maintain Curl

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