The Dangerous Effects of Perms (Hair Relaxers)
January 7, 2013
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By Pam Jefferson
Perming hair has been around since 1905. That means women, though able to beautify themselves, have also subjected themselves to the harm that comes with perming. They’ve been doing it for over a century. Hair perming involves the use of chemicals or heat applied to hair. Basically, perm works when the hair is rolled and then heat or chemicals are applied. Yes, it may be a good way of getting fuller or lush curls, but perming can also severely damage hair. The use of hydrogen peroxide can also result to serious burns.
Moreover, badly done perms can have hair lose its normal elasticity, making it brittle, fragile, and prone to breakage. Other side effects of perm include scalp damage, which can include redness, itching, burning, and peeling. Perm can also stop hair from regrowing, which means some chemicals inhibit new hair growth. Perm can also alter hair’s texture, making it frizzy. Baldness can also result as hair is pulled and wrapped onto curlers, which can tear the hair from its roots.
Other bad effects of perm include:
- Although the permanent solution is applied to the hair, some may inadvertently be applied to your scalp through sloppy application or by accident. This solution is made up of a highly potent ammonium thioglycolate chemical solution, which can be irritating to some users, and cause itching, redness, burning and peeling.
- Because of the strength of the ammonium thioglycolate solution, many find their hair texture changed after using it. Ammonium thioglycolate can dry out the hair, leaving it brittle and more susceptible to breakage. The only way to fix this problem is to grow the hair out and cut off the damaged portion.
Lack of Hair Regrowth
- Some perm users realize that their hair is cracked and damaged, and then wait patiently for new hair regrowth to replace the damaged hair. However, some may find that the chemicals have actually inhibited new hair growth.
- While a perm seeks to change the texture of your hair by causing it to go from straight to curly, you may find that this texture change is permanent, rather than lasting a few months, as most perms are supposed to. Some users find that they went from straight hair, to permed hair, to permanently frizzy hair after the perm. If you don’t mind your hair’s texture as it is, choose another, less severe way to curl your hair, such as a curling iron or three barrel waver.
- Some perm users may find that heading to the salon to receive a perm can be a painful procedure. Not only can the ammonium thioglycolate solution burn the scalp during application, but the hair has to be tightly wound in curlers when it’s been applied. This can be a painful process, as the curlers must be placed tightly to the scalp, and can cause pulling or tearing of the hair which makes the pain even worst.
Here’s a video from Dr Akilah explaining why she stopped applying chemicals to her hair after visiting a morgue while working as a police officer.