Lets Have a {perm} Chat

It's time for "the talk" everyone. The perm talk. How many of you are under the impression that perming your little ones hair would be a good idea? Or even with recent (adorable) movies with cute wild little red-heads, with curly hair make you want to perm your princesses locks? Well I wanted to have the chat with you about why I think this is a bad idea. If you are considering perming I hope you will read the following. If you know someone who is considering a perm please send them this way. I'd love to talk them out of it.

I know your out there with the idea and craze to perm your daughters hair. Back in the Shirley Temple days perming became a trend for little girls. I was totally a victim of this trend. I had permed hair and I totally loved it! LOVED IT!!! But we've learned a lot from the time I was a child. We now know the dangerous effects of perming your wee-ones hair. I know all about having an undefined curl pattern and wanting to make it more definite. Or having part of a head curly and part strait wanting to have consistency. I know some people want to perm not just as "a trend". I want to talk you out of the perm (with facts) and hopefully help you embrace the hair you have.

When you go in for a perm you are going in for a chemical service. The chemicals used in a perm can irritate the scalp, eyes and the fumes can hurt the sinus membrane. Because children's bodies are undergoing very radical biochemical changes due to puberty they may react very differently to various chemicals.

Maturity should be considered as well. The maturity to maintain the new wave pattern YES, but the maturity I am talking about is the maturity of the hair follicle. Beans hair is not mature (neither is your child under the age of 15). Its still developing all the layers that make up one follicle of hair. To throw chemical on an immature follicle can have lasting, DAMAGING effects.

Some salons will gladly perm your daughters hair and not take into consideration everything they know about trichology (the study of hair). It is your responsibility as the parent to know the dangers and possible damage that can happen. But (in my opinion) a good salon won't do ANY CHEMICAL services on anyone under the age of 16. (Just my opinion.)

We wait for so long when our babies are born to be able to do that first awkward ponytail on top of there heads. Its even more awesome when you can do piggy-tails out of little stubble's of baby hair. Just because they they finally have lots of hair doesn't mean its ready for the harsh world of chemicals that the salon world holds waiting for them.

Beans hair is not being permed in the photo above. I was just rolling a perm wrap for school to get credit for practicing rolling a perm. While I do think she'd be darling with ringlet curls I will not be encouraging a perm anytime soon. And even when she asks its going to be one of those things that gets shot down every time until she's at least 16 years old. Because sometimes we have to make decisions based on what is best for our child's well-being. And I promise you a perm and all the damage it can cause will never be the best choice.

BUT IF---- you decide to go against my judgement and EDUCATED opinion and have your darling child's hair permed AT LEAST insist on doing a test curl and wait for 48 hours to make sure your child doesn't have any reactions to the chemicals. This will also give you the chance to see if it will hold in her hair as well.


  1. Thank you for posting this! I had perms for many years as a child and I certainly believe that my hair has suffered permanent damage because of it. No perms for my daughter!!

  2. I totally agree. I have personally had a bad perm experience, and I was an adult. It burnt my hair bad and I had to practically cut my hair off and it still looked bad for years. I finally have healthy 'straight' hair again, as do all three of my daughters. Besides I like being able to curl it one day and have it straight the next. And all the cute hairstyles I see here and on Babes in Hairland keeps me busy and happy. NO Perms for us!

  3. So glad you're not a perm lover! I was Annie for a year or two and don't remember loving it - but it's what we did! I have no plans on perming kiddo hair (or mine) around here! Love the pic of Beans though - so cute! Would love to have seen the after pix if you let it dry. :)

  4. I totally agree.i go to beauty school and I am amazed at how many mothers and grandmothers bring there little girls in to get a perm. I don't think people realize how big a commitment a perm really is. Its definitely not something to rush into.i kno grown women whose hair is so damaged and brittle that out feels like straw and 9 times out of 10 they had a perm before they were even out of middle school.its not really good for any one let alone children.

  5. My perm horror story: When I was little, I had super thick, ringlet curly, blond hair. Well, after a few years of fighting it, my mom got it cut SHORT. It grew back brown and wavy. Well, when I was 13 or 14, I guess, my mom asked me if I would like a perm. I'll admit, I'm still slightly mad about chopping of my lovely blond curls, so I said YES! We got it done in the fall, and it looked lovely! But then it started wearing out, and it ended up being straighter than before. To make matters worse, the next summer, I started tanning... but my hairline would not tan. As the summer wore on, it looked like I was wearing a mask. Turns out, I had had a reaction to the chemicals which triggered my skin to lose pigment. An expensive jar of cream later, the sharp line faded, and I looked normal.

  6. Can you explain what the "lasting damage" would look like? I'm an Annie generation kid and probably had a perm for the majority of third-10th grades. I'm hoping for an explanation for why my hair sucks, lol!

    1. Chances are it is from perming. Sometimes its ultra dry when its damaged. Other times it feels like mush when its wet. It can be easily tangled. I would HIGHLY suggest deep conditioning often (weekly) or even going to a salon and sitting under a drier with a deep conditioning treatment on your head every other week. This might help you to feel like it is a little healthier.

      Hair should be able to stretch up to twice its length, if it cant stretch when tugged a little you probably damaged it.


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