I know what you’re thinking. “What is this woman talking about? How can perms cause hair loss?” You may ask yourself why anyone would want to chemically alter their beautiful head of naturally healthy hair into something so unnatural. The answer is simple. Perm users will tell you that if you don’t like how your hair looks with its current length and style, then get a perm! They say that if you are unhappy with your appearance because your hair is too straight, curly, coarse, kinky, frizzy, dull, dry, greasy, limp, or unmanageable – PERM IT OUT!! But there’s more… Perms are expensive, but they are also very unhealthy and not just for your hair.
Perms cause hair loss. Here is why
Yes, I hear you screaming in horror,” NO WAY!” Well, unfortunately, the reality is precisely that way. If you’ve had one, done both, or even considered getting a perm at some point, chances are good you experienced some hair loss during the process. We can all agree that our hair is essential to us no matter who we are (men/women). And when chemical products such as shampoo, conditioner, styling product(s), etc., come into contact with our precious locks, we need to take precautions. Yes, even women who use permanent color dye daily should still consider taking care of their hair by using protective heat-styling tools, special shampoos, and other necessary measures. Unfortunately, sometimes those things aren’t enough. When people choose to go under the ‘perming’ gun, they often end up experiencing significant levels of temporary and long-term hair loss. This happens, but most of these cases occur without prior warning signs. Later in this article, we’ll talk about how perms contribute to severe hair loss. First off, let’s discuss how and why perm solutions work.
The basic idea behind a perm solution is to convert your normal curlier or wavy strands into straighter, smoother ones. This conversion occurs by applying an alkali neutralizing agent called Ammonium Hydroxide (NH4OH). It sounds harmless. Just water, ammonia, salt, & hydrogen peroxide mixed and applied to your roots, resulting in damaged follicles that die off, leaving shorter, weaker hairs behind. These new thinner, lighter-colored, less textured coats look great for a while but eventually fall out due to lack of proper nourishment and protection. So, here comes the big question…
Did you know perms have other side effects?
Good question. Let me try and explain.
Imagine how many different hair types exist within the human population alone; imagine how many perm solutions must also exist. There is a market for each perm type. Some customers get a complete salon service, including root touchups, conditioning treatments, scalp massages, deep moisturizer masking sessions, hot oil treatments, scalp exfoliation, and professional blowouts. Others prefer to shop online where they can save money & cut down on travel expenses. Still, others decide to DIY and purchase individual solutions from local retailers. However, they risk serious injury to themselves and their families.
In 2004 the US Consumer Product Safety Commission reported that over 4 million children were exposed to toxic fumes from heated ammonium hydroxide caused by overheating certain spray bottles used to apply perm solutions. Most of them developed asthma attacks, respiratory issues, eye irritation, coughing fits, nausea, headaches, skin rashes, burning eyes, blurred vision, dizziness, lightheadedness, breathing problems, chest pains, trouble sleeping, fatigue, shortness of breath, wheezes, tightness in the throat, tinnitus, memory impairment, ringing ears, drowsiness, slurred speech, heart palpitations, irregular heartbeat, nervous system disorders, seizures, convulsions, coma, paralysis, death, blindness, brain injuries, and multiple amputations.
Wow, scary stuff, isn’t it?! Now, discuss another significant reason permed hair begins to shed faster.
Permanent coloring has become increasingly popular among consumers. According to recent statistics, 60% of females between 18-35 desire colorful highlights. That number jumps to 70% for individuals aged 35-50. Over half of men aged 25-34 wish to add some form of color to their heads. For males aged 45-54, that number rises to 65%. Color-treated hair becomes weakened quickly once the chemicals involved in the coloring process wear off. As mentioned previously, this happens every single day since your hair is constantly absorbing various ingredients found in everyday household products. Whether it’s shampoo, conditioners, detergents, cleaning agents, makeup removers, deodorants, sunscreens, insecticides, herbals, cosmetics, medications, alcohols, nicotine, caffeine, tobacco, sugar, salts, acids, bases, oils, grease, waxes, protein supplements, proteins, vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids, enzymes, hormones, phytochemicals, pesticides, preservatives, fungicides, herbicides, industrial solvents, plastics, petroleum, metals, glues, adhesives, rubber, paints, sealants, varnishes, nail polish, glass cleaners, toothpaste, mouthwashes, hand sanitizers, perfumes, laundry detergent, fabric softeners, fabrics, fibers, paper products, plasticizers, food additives, sugars, juices, teas, processed foods, and pretty much anything else you can put inside your body, it will likely be absorbed by your hair. Therefore, it stands to reason that your hair will absorb these harmful substances. Once again, we see yet another example of how hair continuously suffers from exposure to harsh chemicals.
Lastly, let’s talk about the third main culprit causing excessive shedding.
Heat Styling Tools such as flat irons, curling rods, tongs, brushes, combs, ponytails, and brush cuts have been proven to weaken and break fragile hair shafts. Why? Because these instruments create friction on the surface of your hair, creating microscopic tears in the outer layer of the hair strand. Think of it like tearing off the top layers of a piece of construction paper. Your scalp reacts to this trauma by sending signals directly to the nerves near your hair follicle stimulating increased blood flow. More importantly, hair cells start to release inflammatory compounds known as cytokines. These molecules seek relief from the pain created by the microtears and inflammation-causing further harm to already injured areas. Hair cell production slows down significantly, resulting in slower growth cycles, premature graying, brittle splitting ends, and a rapid hair loss rate. Remember, stress plays a huge part in triggering hair loss conditions. Stress causes hormonal changes in the body leading to elevated cortisol hormone levels, which inhibit hair regrowth. Cortisol prevents nutrients from reaching the hair follicles, effectively preventing them from producing healthy new hairs. On average, permed-haired ladies lose approximately 50% of their original thickness compared to their unarmed counterparts. Men tend to experience similar losses, although the degree varies greatly depending upon age and genetic predisposition.
How to minimize hair loss from perms and other side effects
So what can you do to reduce the impact of hair loss and protect your valuable mane from becoming damaged beyond repair? Here are four quick tips to follow immediately to help ensure healthier, longer-lasting hair.
- Use moisture-rich shampoo and conditioner formulated specifically for permed hair.
- Choose gentle non-ammonia-based perms rather than ammonia-containing formulas.
- Use quality heat-protecting serums designed to prevent split ends.
- Avoid sulfates, parabens, mineral oil, silicone surfactant, sodium lauryl sulfate, and gluten-free.
Now, here’s the kicker…if you are going to subject your hair to dangerous chemical treatment and expect it to stay strong, sleek, shiny, thick, lustrous, manageable, manageable, and ready to rock 24 hours a day, seven days a week indefinitely – STOP NOW!! You may ask, “Why?”. Simply put, PERMS ARE NOT NATURAL!!!! Nature gives us beautiful flowing silky sexy long hair because she knows best. She creates everything perfect for her own needs. Our bodies are made differently; therefore, we require a specific nutritional value to sustain life and function properly as humans. Chemically altered hair cannot provide adequate nourishment for the health of our hair follicles.
PERMS SHOULD NEVER BE CONSIDERED A NORMAL OR OPTIONAL HAIR CARE PRODUCT!!!!!