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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at GCU chapter.

Perms are coming back in style! And it’s not the perms we see in those classic 80s movies; more people are getting wave perms for that perfect amount of volume and less styling time. Before you book a salon appointment, there are some things you need to know. Perms are a lot of work; it’s not just a one-and-done thing. Like all other things involving hair care, there is always more than what meets the eye. So I took it upon myself to learn all you need to know about perms… and then I went and got a perm myself. So here’s my experience and thoughts on this new and upcoming yet also old trend.

Perms are pricey

Initially, I had a general idea of how much the perm would cost. However, it still didn’t fully register in my brain until I stood at the checkout and was told exactly how much money it cost. When looking it up online, it is said that a perm can cost anywhere between $60 and $250. I ended up getting my hair trimmed and reshaped to better fit the perm as well. In the end, my appointment ended up costing me $200. This doesn’t include the cost of the shampoo and conditioner. The set can cost anywhere from about $10 to $70. The curl cream can also cost anywhere from $10 to $40. All of these purchases can start to add up after a while. So, it’s best to save up a little before deciding to go forward with this investment.

Getting a perm is an all-day thing

Be sure to clear a day in your calendar because perms take a long time to do. I went into the salon early at 10 a.m. First things first, my stylist had to wash my hair. It’s actually recommended that you go into the salon with unwashed hair. Your shampoo might not mix well with the harsh chemicals of the perm, so the salon has to use their special salon-grade shampoo. My stylist had to trim and reshape my hair, since done-at-home wolf cuts aren’t perm-friendly, which took around half an hour to fix. I must say, the haircut looked pretty darn cute.

Finally, we get to the actual perm. Let me tell you, if you thought the longest part of the perm would be waiting for the chemicals to set, I am actually here to tell you that the longest part is getting the rollers put in. I got a spiral perm, which is more complicated than a standard flat perm, to give my thin hair more volume. Since I got the spiral perm, it took about 45 minutes to roll my entire head of hair. Then I just had to wait 20 minutes for the chemicals to set, neutralize for another 20 minutes, then rinse again. After conditioning my hair and putting on the finishing touches, I was finally free to go at 3:30 p.m.

Curly hair is high-maintenance

I have the luxury of having friends with curly hair who have given me all the warnings about how hard it is to deal with curls. This means I was well-informed before making the decision and before regretting it. Of course, the main thing is getting a good shampoo and conditioner. This was even backed up by my stylist. The one my stylist directly recommended is the Leaf Flower CBD instant. After the shower, you don’t want to rub your hair dry or brush through it with your wet brush like you would with straight hair. You’ll do what’s called plopping, which is gently scrunching your hair into your towel. It’s also good to get a curl cream and/or mousse to comb through your hair to define the curls. An option my friend uses is Cantu Curl Cream.

But even knowing how to take care of this new curly hair, it can be hard to adjust to styling it. Going from straight to curly hair has been an adjustment. Claw clips are a little harder to work with now, and rubber bands are out of the question. I have had to switch to exclusively scrunchies because my usual hair ties didn’t work with my new hair. It’s a little harder to braid my hair, but it’s still possible. Other than that, all hairstyles are still possible, if not a bit of a learning curve.

Final Thoughts

Ultimately, deciding what is best for your hair is up to you. Don’t just take my word for it. Always do extensive research when your hair is on the line. A bad haircut can ruin your month, but a bad perm can ruin your year. Be sure to ask professionals before making any decisions as well. Some hair types may not be suitable for perms.

Writer and illustrator. Communications major. Currently writing a comic called 'Pretend to Love Me'. Self identified Scemo. Studying to be a magazine writer or book editor.