Got Perm, Will Travel – Part 2

Holy hell, this whole hair-perm thing has been one serious rollercoaster the past few days. I went through an entire romance with this ‘do in the span of a few hours – from love to tearful breakup and total reconciliation in one night. And all it took to set me off was a shower. I actually wrote a whole blog post at each stage too, and am having to re-write it a third time now that the whole cycle is over. Here we go:

I got through Day 2 of the no-shampoo edict that was handed down when I got my perm on Thursday; the hair had calmed down a bit and I was thoroughly enjoying it. Then I went ahead and washed it Saturday evening since it was after the 48-hour time limit and I wanted to start playing around with it to see what it could do – major panic! The ends frizzed up and dried as soon as I got out of the shower, and it appeared to have suffered major damage from the perm. It looked really bad, and I was back in that “OMG I’ve ruined my hair” headspace I was in on Thursday.

Fortunately, I’d stopped off at Ulta Saturday afternoon and picked up a product called “Anti-Snap” by Redken that I had to use when I bleached and fried my hair two years ago; I figured I’d be needing some sort of deep conditioner to use regularly on my perm, I just didn’t know I’d be needing it this soon. In fact, the stylist specifically told me not to deep condition the hair right away, but this looked too bad to leave alone, and fortunately with a little Anti-Snap worked into the damaged ends it looked a bit better.

Taken before the breakup

I don’t mind telling you that the five minutes or so I was staring at all those fried frizzy ends was almost as bad as the first few minutes after I saw myself in the mirror Thursday. I went through a depressing period of considering all I was going to have to do to learn how to work with this new ‘do.  I considered the possibility that I would have to find all new products to use; the stylist put something in it that gave the curls nice definition, but the little bit of mousse and curl cream I applied Saturday night definitely did not do the trick. I began to swim through the internet sea of products available to curly hair currently on the market – the number is somewhere around eight billion I believe – and I began to worry I might spend weeks trying to concoct the proper hair cocktail to get the curls back that had apparently washed down the shower drain, while in the meantime I pulled my newly-permed hair back into a ponytail and prayed for a miracle.

Then I considered the ways I’d need to change my normal hair routine, as my usual one was working against me. I’ve always washed my hair at night and left it alone to air-dry, then styled it in the morning. Because of this, my hair generally looks terrible in the evening after I shower; I just let it go and don’t even put much product in it, so it’s a shapeless mess. I am totally used to this, but it was painful Saturday night looking in the mirror and seeing this big puffbull atop my head, waving back at me like a massive dandelion in a breeze bidding goodbye to it’s previous curl definition. I thought I would probably have to completely change my daily routine and start washing and styling my hair in the morning until my perm grew out to avoid being depressed every night.

And then I started thinking I would probably need to add some layers to my hair to balance out the triangle-shape that was going on too…and just about the time I started regretting the whole thing, I realized it would be easier, and not really all that ridiculous, to go ahead and finish the entire styling process to see what I was really dealing with, even though the the only thing I was going to do was go to bed once I was done, and I would have to do it all again in the morning. And of course, with just a little more product spritzed in it and a blow-dryer shot with a diffuser, it looked great. At least in my opinion.

Photo Jul 05, 11 29 33 PM
I was so excited I stuck my tongue out and it looked terrible, and no way I’m sharing that, sorry.

Overall the curl hasn’t relaxed much and is still very tight, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but if it tones down a bit more it’ll look more on-trend. Curls in general are making a comeback – or so the magazines say – so in time I can figure out how to work with this and make it more current if I need to do so. Oh and by the way – the stylist did mention that since my hair was dyed back in March, the perm would lighten the color, and that has definitely happened. Not totally thrilled with that, but it was unavoidable. And I really do still think some layers are going to be necessary to make the shape work better with the curl, but that’s not a major deal and can be done without losing much length – I think adding some long layers around the crown area would do it, and I’m supposed to go back to the stylist in 4 to 6 weeks to get the dried ends trimmed off anyway. I’m not going to do that too soon though, so I have time to play around and be certain that it’s what I need to do.

Another one taken before the split-end meltdown – actually, I think you can already see the curls getting a little softer in the photo above

On another note, I am having thoughts about the blog and ways in which I’d like to change it. I’d like to utilize better categories than the ones I have now, since it appears the blog is never going to be solely about art and will always in part discuss things like clothes, hair perms, and other frivolous life-in-generals. I figure I might as well structure the blog that way so it makes more sense instead of labeling everything that isn’t about photography “blog” and letting it all pile up in that category. I’d like to change up the look of it too – it feels so dark to me right now. Lightening it up should be easy; the rest might take awhile, so stay tuned.

You can read another update to the perm adventure here!



17 thoughts on “Got Perm, Will Travel – Part 2

  1. Tried sending a comment on “permanent” but once again it failed. Basically said, “Time” is the best product you can use. Seriously, it does look cute…not blowing smoke.

    • Beth mentioned having trouble with comments on her blog today too…I think WordPress is tinkering and we’re all getting caught in their wake. Anyway thank you – this has been more time and effort and well, stress, than I’ve put into my hair in quite some time. Just because it’s so new and perms are still considered so ‘serious’ and therefore scary…but I think this was the last big test (first time washing and styling it myself).

  2. Mary, Mary, Mary,
    So sorry you are going through this transition. However,
    the good news is that you are correct in realizing that it will eventually relax. Being attractive as you are you can wear anything and this is no exception. As a hairdresser of umpteen years, you want to moisturize to give softness and pliability. Protein will give the hair strength but might tend to dry hair if over used. Using products like Aveda’s Brilliant Line, especially the Emollient, which will soften and give shine to the cuticle. Try not to cut it for at least 4 weeks and then have them do surface long layers. It looks like you have great hair so give it time. You always look great. Hugs, Alma

    • Thanks for mentioning that – I read somewhere else about Anti-Snap containing protein but I forgot why that mattered. I know nothing about hair products or hair styling, really. I will pick up something moisturizing tomorrow and be sure to use that more regularly and save the Anti-Snap for maybe once a week or something. Thanks for stopping by!

    • And in a way I guess it’s good that I put a strengthener instead of a conditioner on it, since the stylist wanted me not to do that right away anyway 😉 Lucky accident maybe!

  3. OK, so, first things first: I love that lip color; I have a top like that but yours looks prettier; I like the new tagline and lighter theme; those are great-looking glasses.

    Now, I still like that hair. In fact, I think the color is great too. You have to give this some more time. It will evolve. You will find the right products and get this under control. I wish I had straighter hair to have these worries. Mine does whatever it wants (although the two products I am now using are really helping).

    And, you hair is growing out so all is not lost.

    Net net – I still love that look, on you, and in general.

    • The lip color is called “Coconutty” and it’s by MAC. I’ve worn it for something like 15 years-and last year they discontinued it! I bought as many tubes of it as I could when they announced it, and I am down to my last two. 😦

      I still like the hair too, it is just making me nervous! I had such a routine down and now it’s all thrown. Plus all the sudden I’m uncertain how much abuse my hair can take, and am nervous to mess with it. I need to get over that and just play around. I mean I already subjected it to the chemicals so the hard part should be over! I think if I could just play all day I might get over it quicker, but I get one chance to try something out in the morning then I’m done until the next day, instead of being able to just wash it over and try again. I don’t want to do that and totally stress the hair out (although I’m thinking of re-washing this morning before I go out).

      I like the lighter look, too, and once I get the categories re-done (and I may also change the theme) I think it’ll make more sense to me. Might as well present the blog for what it is instead of pretending it’s just the blog of a photographer and poet – hell I haven’t written poetry in eight years!

      • I wonder if Amazon has any resellers that stocked that lipstick. I buy up my faves that way. Why do companies discontinue great products.

        Yeah, well one thing you could do is just wash it with diluted conditioner with a little lemon juice added. The stylist I go to when I’m in NoCar told me to do that after I have used a flat-iron or had my hair colored with any ammonia product.

  4. Ya iv finally figured out how to do category’s and put posts about the topics in to them. Might take a while but at least you can find them better if need be.

  5. Pingback: Another Perma-Post: The Perm Summary | mareymercy.

  6. Pingback: Got Perm, Will Travel | mareymercy.

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