IÕm struggling to get a decent haircut which will suit a perm

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I have been having my hair permed about twice a year for three years now. I have only been happy with my latest perm, which was done in China. Obviously it's impractical to go back to China just to get a perm, so I was wondering what I should convey to my future hairstylist to make sure that I can get what I want.

The first two times that I had a perm came out horrible, mainly because the stylist cut my hair horribly. My hair is long and thick, thus I've been told that cutting layers into it and then perming it is better. However, the same people that told me this have done a horrible job in cutting my hair.

So please could you give me some advice on what I can tell my future hairstylist in regards to cutting my hair before perming it.

Thanks for your time,

Susan, New York

Hi Susan,

For a well shaped perm it's always better to have a few layers cut in, but not too short otherwise the hair will not have enough weight and the curls will come up too high. It's also really important to use a good shampoo and conditioner to keep your hair smooth and shiny; something like Bumble&bumble's Mending range would be good. If you use a deep-conditioning treatment once a week that will help you maintain the condition. 

Alice Gazagnes, SWH Team Senior Stylist & Colourist at Simon Webster Hair, Brighton

Hello Susan,

I must apologise on behalf of the hair industry for your bad haircut, there is no excuse and you are quite right in saying that a bad haircut will also make your perm look bad.

I have worked in Hong Kong for many years and also Japan and learned that the Oriental hair structure is quite different from western hair. I was personally responsible with introducing perms into Japan in the sixties and seventies. In China they are used to Oriental hair which can be thick and long and they know how such hair structures will react.

One suggestion would be to look up a Chinese stylist in New York, there are many available. A good haircut is essential for any hair to fall right and it can last for a few weeks whilst keeping its shape.

It is almost impossible for me to explain a haircut online especially not knowing what type of hair you have. I know you write thick and long hair, but this does not give me the right information for me to diagnose correctly.

However, when you have your next cut and perm make sure that your stylist knows your hair type and is experienced with your hair type in perming and cutting. When you have found the right stylist he/she will know what to do without you needing to tell them. That is the difference between a professional stylist and a non-professional stylist, experience counts especially when chemicals are involved on long thick hair.

The best way to find a hairdresser which will suit you is to look around you when shopping, working, travelling or just walking around. Look for someone who you think has similar hair to yours and ask them where they have their hair cut. This does two things, you compliment a total stranger on their hair making their day and you find the hairdresser you need. Recommendation is always the best way to find what you’re looking for!

I hope Susan that I was able to help you in my advice and I wish you many good hair days soon.

Pierre Alexandre of Pierre Alexandre, Manchester

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