Whether you want waves or defined curls, this Zoto perm will give most users salon-quality results without leaving home.
An alkali perm that's not extremely harsh on the hair yet produces long-lasting body, waves, and curls. Results are natural-looking. Works well for most hair types and textures. Perm is popular among professional stylists.
A few reports of frizzy ends after use.
Choose this quality perm if your hair doesn't take curl well, or if you want extra body without using a harsh alkali-based option.
Although it creates impressive body, it isn't likely to cause damage thanks to being acid-based and less harsh than alkali perms. Includes an argan-infused neutralizer and the brand's proprietary Equalizer 3 conditioner to moisturize hair.
Quality control issues have been reported.
An excellent choice for perming your hair at home that is gentle yet effective at producing beautiful curls without an overpowering odor.
Produces firm, defined curls, and long-lasting results. Doesn't have a harsh scent. Formulated with argan oil for added conditioning. Can be used on most hair types. Easy to use for most people.
Has quite a strong smell which may bother some users.
This kit features a worry-free and easy-to-use formula and is ideal for straight and long hair.
This heat-activated conditioning formula works fast but is gentle and delivers salon-like results. It provides long-lasting curls and waves and has built-in conditioners for softening hard-to-wave hair.
It doesn't come with gloves or conditioning serum.
Those with thin or color-treated hair can achieve a high-quality perm with this formula.
This kit ensures long-lasting shine and curls and helps prevent dryness and frizz. It delivers natural-looking results thanks to a B4 pre-perm conditioner and features an after-perm conditioner to help balance your hair's moisture level.
There are reports of some kits missing instructions.
We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.
If you were born with straight hair but dream of having full-body, soft waves, or bouncy curls, a hair perm kit might be exactly what you need to get the locks you've always wanted. Often referred to as home perms, permanent waves, or just perms, these products make it possible to transform stick-straight hair into waves and curls with lots of body that will last for months.
It's the combination of rolling sections of hair around perm rods and processing them chemically that creates long-lasting changes to straight hair. Once processed, hair relaxes a bit over the following few days, revealing a new look. And although giving yourself or a friend a perm is a process that requires some time and a little skill, it's well worth the effort for the possible hair-changing effects.
A perm requires a commitment to a different look for your hair. That's why choosing the right perm kit and understanding the steps involved are vital to getting results you’ll love.
If you’ve ever set your hair with rollers or twisted it around a curling iron, you know that the curls don’t last long and might even flatten in a few hours on a humid day. When you perm your hair, however, the waves and curls can last for months, and they hold up to inclement weather and repeated washings. It’s the chemical process from the perm-waving lotion that changes the appearance of hair by breaking down and altering the hair’s internal structure. Wrapping the hair around perm rods then gives it a different shape in the form of waves or curls.
Hair perm kits come with the basics, but they don’t contain all the perm necessities. You’ll get the chemical solutions you need, but you’ll have to supply other items.
Comb and clips: Before you roll your hair, you’ll have to divide it in sections with a comb. Clipping the segments in place will keep them out of the way when you start to roll your hair onto perm rods.
Paper end wraps: Most hair perm kits come with end wraps, but you might need more, especially if your hair is long and thick. That’s why it’s a good idea to have some extra wraps on hand just in case.
Perm rods: The type of waves or curls you prefer determines the size of perm rods you need. Perm rods vary widely in length and circumference. Keep in mind that the thinner the rod, the tighter the curl. Jumbo-size rods are best for waves and loose curls.
Drip guard: This is typically a long piece of cotton that’s wrapped around your hairline once the perm rods are in place. It keeps the perm solution from dripping down your face and neck while it’s processing your hair. Some perm kits come with a drip guard and some don’t.
Timer: A timer allows you to keep track of the time as the perm solution sets so you don’t overprocess your hair.
Towels: Have several towels handy to wrap around your neck while the perm processes to wipe up any spills, to blot your hair once you’ve rinsed out the waving solution, and to gently dry your hair after you’ve removed the rods and rinsed out the neutralizer.
Hair perm kits have the power to drastically change the appearance of your hair, but there are some downsides to the process and using the chemicals it takes to achieve a new do. Here is a closer look at some pros and cons to help you decide if a perm is right for you.
A hair perm kit includes a waving solution that’s used to set the curls and waves in the hair rolled on the perm rods. It also includes a neutralizer solution that is applied after the desired processing time.
You can choose between alkaline and acid perms.
Alkaline perms have a pH level of about 9 to 9.6 and are best for healthy, coarse, and hard-to-process hair.
Acid perms have pH range of about 4.5 to 7 and are gentler on fragile hair. This type of perm is recommended for hair that is color treated, dry, or damaged.
All hair perm kits come with instructions that walk you step by step through the perming process from start to finish.
Additional items that may or may not be included in the hair perm kit vary from brand to brand, and can include end papers, gloves, drip guards, and other solutions like activators or conditioners.
If you decide that giving yourself a perm in the comfort of your home is for you, the affordable price of hair perm kits is another selling point. Quality kits of different varieties, including alkaline, acid, and those for color-treated hair, range from about $8 to $20, with salon brands falling on the higher end of the price spectrum. When compared to what a perm costs at a salon, you can save hundreds of dollars by using a perm kit. However, remember that you’ll also have to purchase the rods and additional supplies, though they’re fairly inexpensive.
A. The good news is that it’s possible put a perm in your long hair if you use a special technique called a piggyback wrap. Using this method, you place two perm rods in each section of hair. First you roll a section of hair from mid-strand to the scalp, then you wrap and roll the end to the first rod. It takes a little extra time and a lot of perm rods, but you’ll be able to perm the entire length of your hair with this technique.
A. Think of a strand test as a trial run that gives you an indication of how long you’ll need to leave the waving lotion on your hair, or in other words, how long it will take to get the type of curls you want. To do a strand test, once the rods are in place, select one rolled segment of hair and apply the waving solution. Check it periodically to see how well the curl “takes” before you proceed with the rest of the perm. While not everyone performs a strand test, it’s especially important to do one if you’ve never permed your hair before or if your hair is very dry or damaged. This will help prevent overprocessing your hair.
A. It’s best to wait at least 48 hours before washing your freshly permed hair to securely lock in the waves or curls.
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