acid perm
Perm Hair

Acid Wave Perm | What is an Acid Perm | Acid vs Alkaline perm

For those girls, who have tried out every curling technique in the world to get those ecstatic bohemian waves, perming or “permanent waving”  can do wonders!

Perming usually has three steps to be followed in order of Softening, Moulding and Fixing. This whole process requires the use of tons of chemicals.

The Lotion used contains

  1. Ammonium Hydroxide which opens us hair cuticles and swells up the hair and
  2. Thioglycollic Acid which is responsible for breaking up disulphide bonds and allow reforming of the hair.

Perming isn’t just any form of art. It takes a lot of experience to be able to select the right kind of perm for different hair types. You are more likely to use an Alkaline Perm if you have thick hair and an acid perm if you have thin and damaged hair. Leaving aside the envious thick hair, let’s talk about the thin and damaged one.

What is An Acid Perm?

Acid Perms are the Perms obtained using the mild chemicals having a pH of around 4.5-6.5, they are free of ammonia and are made of glyceryl monothyioglycylate. It is gentler to the hair and produces beautiful loose curls which are easier to relax. As they use mild chemicals, heat becomes an integral part of the process when using these.

Acid Perms came to the market almost 50 years back, but lost their charm after false claims of damaging the hair.

In a recent research, Asian Companies have taken Acid perms one step ahead and have come up with “Digital Perm” where you can control the temperature of the hair using a computer.

How does Acid Perm work?

Secret behind Acid Perms: Most of the hair products use the information about the fundamental chemical structure and crack the code. Acid perms are no exceptions!

An Individual strand of hair can be thought of as a superstructure made up of hundreds of keratin molecules. These Keratin Molecules contain an acid composed of reactive sulphur atoms. The residues of the acid form a disulphide bond with the keratin and prevent them from slipping.

This Permanent connection can only be broken by external forces and that’s where the perm comes into the picture. The bond is attacked and broken by the reducing agents present in the perm. Thus, keratin molecules become free to bond with other molecules and can be re-bonded into curls.

Later, sodium bromate which acts as a neutralizer is added to keep the curls in place.

Popular Acid Perm Products available Online

How long does an Acid Perm Last?

The acid perms can last for as long as 3 – 6 months depending on the quality of perming process, material used.

The longevity of the curls is an important question to keep in mind when choosing perming methods and products. The Word “permanent” IN perming can be misleading.

However, this span of time depends on how well you take care of your hair also. The first 48 hours after perming are very crucial. As Elle has stated in “Legally blonde” – “The first cardinal rule of perm maintenance is to not touch is for 48 hours.”

There are several other factors to keep afterwards. Avoid swimming for a few months in case you’re a regular swimmer, as the chlorine water can prove to be disastrous for your perms. Heat styling products or products based in silicon should also be kept at bay for the sake of your curls.

However, there are a few tips which can help you in keeping those curls locked.

  • Getting your hair cut regularly is one way out of the problem. Lessen the number of shampoo counts and boost up conditioning time to keep the perms in their best condition.
  • Investing in protein treatments and new hair products can also help in keeping a check on the curls.
  • Change your brush to get the best results. Use a wooden comb in damp hair and a paddle brush when it is dry.

Advantage of Acid Perm over any other Perm:

Long term perming appointments followed by an awful smell can rip you off your excitement of your new perms. That smell is usually caused by Ammonia and can be done away with by simply opting for an acid perm! This big advantage overpowers acid perm over an alkaline one.

Getting rid of the smell after using an alkaline perm can be tricky and time-taking. It stays, regardless of how well we wash the hair afterwards.

Acid perms might be slower in acting, but they are gentler and are best suited for thin and damaged hair. And odor free! The Senior Vice president of a leading perm brand said that 30-40 percent perms used in beauty salons of United States is Acid perms. These kind of perms are preferred over alkaline ones as they give a tender look to the curls.

Acid Perm Vs Alkaline Perm

acid perm vs alkaline perm

This question might be raised a lot of times by cautious minds that need to know all the information before they do anything to their hair.

  • Low pH Acid waves need heat to speed up processing. Considering that  hair has a pH of around 5.0, acid waves prove to be less damaging to the hair, produce loose curls and are accompanied by a dryer for heat. You would want to opt for acid waves for individuals with extremely fine textured hair or the ones whose hair is damaged or has been processed multiple times.
  • Alkaline waves as their name suggests is made using a base, generally ammonium thioglycolate. Their Ph ranges from between 9.0 and 9.6. Alkaline waves also known as cold waves, don‘t require any heat to process. They are best suited for coarse and thick hair which is usually resistant to processing. They also work wonders with virgin hair.

Popular Acid Perm Products

1. Zotos Quantum Classic Body Acid Perm

  • Quantum Firms come with a lot of goodness at a very low price
  • With the highest rating, this product can be used with both water as well as lotion.
  • The neutralizer is infused with the richness of argon oil for healthier curls.
  • No heat is required with this product which comes as a very good advantage.

2. Quantum – Extra Body Acid Perm 12 Packs

  • Another product by the Quantum which is available at discounted prices and can be bought by hair stylists in bulk.
  • No heat is required which comes as added benefit with this product.
  • There is a wide range of Quantum Products available  for all types of hair.
  • From dry hair to oily, they cater to everybody’s need.

3. Zotos Acclaim Extra Body Acid Perm

  • Reviewed at 4.3 stars, this product brought by Zotos is different than any other ordinary perm kit
  • This can be considered as the best buy by the beauty salons in terms of price, quantity, usage, texture and adaptability.

4. True Cystem True Acid Perm Kit (Pack of 2)

  • True Cystem True Acid Perm Kit brought by Revlon Professionals comes in a pack of 2 and is claimed to be free of harsh chemicals.
  • Recommended by top stylists, this product has been successful in giving flawless results.

5. One and Only Acid Perm

  • This product particularly uses natural body heat as a heating source and comes with the goodness of Argan oil for long lasting, damage free curls.
  • This product is usable on Normal, tinted as well as highlighted hair.
  • Recommended for beauty salons for its Price and versatility.

Few Concerns about Acid Perms

Just like a coin has two sides, health problems associated with the use of these perms have been reported. But an even bigger problem is the allergic reaction to glyceril monothioglycolate among the consumers and hair dressers, both. Usage of gloves by the hair dressers is advisable.

Perming kits usually have instructions at the back regarding testing the effects of the lotion on a small section of your scalp. If it has allergic reactions, then you should not go any further with the process.

Another concern is about how often an individual should use perms. Sometimes, consumers tend to over use and end up having frizzy and dull hair. Manufacturers say that Acid perms can be used once every 4 months to get the best results.

The Ultimate factor behind a successful Perming is the condition of your hair. Better the Hair Better will be the Perm. Few hairstylists In the US suggest that “if your hair quality isn’t up to the mark, then you should delay the perming by a few months, until the hair quality improves”.

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