I'm thinking of getting my hair permed to a tight Afro curl, any advice on this?

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I want to get a perm, but several people have told me that if I do this I will regret it. I want to get a perm that will give me a tight Afro curl.

Personally I am fed up with having to straighten my hair and spending so much time on it. My hair is naturally wavy and when I straighten it, it doesn't take long before it is wavy again! I have never used any chemicals on my hair before.

Is getting a perm suitable, and is this the best way to go to combat my wavy hair which I don’t have the time or patience to keep straightening anymore?

Thank you,

Anon, UK

Perming your hair would certainly give it proper curl definition, and might make it easier for you to control. A stylist will be able to advise you on what type of perm you need, and also show you how to shampoo, condition and style your new locks. This should make your life a lot easier.

Johan van der Merwe, senior stylists and colourist, Simon Webster Hair (Brighton)

I don't hear many people wanting a tight Afro type perm but I will give you as much information as I can about doing so. Perming as you may know was very popular in the 1970's through to the late 1980's. If I was going to get a perm then I would look for a hair stylist who has experience in doing this and one who may have been trained in this period (so someone with many years of experience!).

Perm is short for permanent wave so you have to be prepared for that, it will grow out with your hair looking straight at the roots and the ends tight and curly. The texture of the hair will change and possibly be drier as the chemical process does remove moisture and makes the hair more sensitive.

Remember that you will have to change your styling regime and also your shampoo and conditioner.

It is quite a big thing to think about. Make sure you have a consultation with your stylist before hand, taking along pictures of what type look you want.

I hope whatever you choose you love it.

John Clark at Brooks+Brooks, London 

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