Alkaline, Acid and Exothermic Perms for Hair

Posted by admin - April 24th, 2010

It’s more than half a century that hair perms, also known as chemical waves, have been in rather wide use. Still, quite many prefer to avoid perming because of the common belief that perms can seriously damage the hair and make it brittle, dry, lifeless and fragile. Though, in most cases this happens because of incorrect use of perms. To avoid such drastic effect, it is recommended to apply different perms according to your hair type. All in all, there are three basic types of perms: acid, alkaline and exothermic.

Alkaline perms are considered to be the most popular type. The main reason for this can be the fact that they create a more firm curl that stays permanent for a longer period of time. Another reason is that are applied much more quickly than acid and exothermic perms: it takes only 20 minutes to finish the procedure. Moreover, they don’t require additional heat while applying. That’s why alkaline perms are also known as “cold” perms. They contain ammonium thioglycolate, an active chemical that makes an unpleasant smell during the process. Alkaline perms have a pH level of approximately 9.5, which is very high. Therefore, alkaline perms give strong and firm results on normal, thick, coarse and resistant hair. On the other hand, the higher the pH level of the lotion’s pH, the more damaging it is for the hair. This is probably the reason why certain conditioning agents are often added to these perms.

Acid perms are becoming more and more popular nowadays. They produce highly conditioned and flexible waves. These perms have activators added to them and generally require heat to open up the cuticle scales to get into the cortex. Though, additional heat may not be necessary in cases when the cuticle layer is damaged (in bleached or chemically treated hair). Acid perms contain a chemical called glyceryl monothioglycollate that has a milder acidic action. That’s why they generally have a slightly acid pH (from 5.5 to 7). Still, they are known to cause allergic reactions if used frequently. Also, because of their gentle formulation, acid perms take much longer to be applied on hair. In comparison with alkaline perms, acid perms  are more suited to fine, sensitive, bleached, fragile, porous, chemically treated, damaged or tinted hair because they minimizes the risk of hair damage have a mildly acidic action that.

Exothermic perms, or exothermic waves, are self timing and self heating. They creates chemical reaction that makes them heat up internally. The heat allows the lotion to get into the cortex and moulds the hair into its new form from inside. Exothermic perms give beautiful bouncy and resilient waves. They are thioglycolate free and have a neutral or low pH level what make them suitable for weak and fragile hair.

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Main Stages of Perming

Posted by admin - April 21st, 2010

In order to choose the proper type of lotion to perm the hair, it is important to understanding the overall chemical process of perming. All in all there are three main stages of perming. They are: softening, moulding and fixing.

First, the hair is softened with the use of the perm lotion. Let’s dwell upon it in more detail. The strong disulphide bonds in hair shafts are made of an amino acid called cystine. These bonds are broken by the alkaline perm lotion while perming, as it contains a reducing agent called ammonium thioglycollate. In most ceses perms will successfully process without the use of additional heat. Nevertheless, the processing time can be speeded up if you use an accelerator or an additional source of heat.

During moulding the hair acquires the new shape. The perm lotion covers the perm rods and gets through the cuticles reaching the cortex and making hair shafts softened. Now it will easily mould itself to the shape of the perm rods. When the correct degree of curl or waves is achieved, proceed to the next step.

Now it’s time to fix your hair into its new position. During this stage the hair is fixed permanently with the help of neutralizer. Neutralizers have different concentrations and forms. Therefore, some of them can require dilution prior to use by an applicator flask or sponge, others can be applied instantly to the perm rods from an applicator bottle. A great deal of neutralizers need a development phase but a few work comparatively faster. As far as neutralizing is complete, it is necessary to use an anti-oxidant hair conditioner  in order to close the cuticles, wash out ramaining neutralizer, replace moisture, and restore еру natural pH level of hair.

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