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Do Perms Cause Hair Loss?: 2 Ways a Perm Can Damage Your Hair

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It can be fun to experiment with different hair looks. Whether that be with going for a new color, a funky cut, or a texture change from straight to curly or vice versa.

But, it is important to know all of the potential risks involved for your hair when opting to go for a new style, like a perm. Most color or texture changes to your hair tend to come along with some level of hair damage, so it is good to take the current condition of your hair into consideration before leaping into the salon chair. 

Below, we will discuss just what a perm is, if it can lead to hair loss, the 2 potential forms of damage that can happen with a perm, and steps you can take to help limit hair damage from a perm.

What is a perm?

A perm is a hair treatment that uses some combination of curling rods, heat, and a chemical solution to make straight, wavy, or curly hair even curlier. This treatment is considered to be permanent in that the hair which is involved will be chemically altered, although the curly results tend to fade over time and will need to be reprocessed in order to boost the curl again.

Can a perm cause hair loss?

While most people that undergo perms will not experience hair loss if the process is done correctly by a professional and their hair is relatively healthy, some people may experience hair loss after the process.

The risks of dealing with hair loss or thinning after getting a perm are more likely if your hair is already in a delicate or damaged state, either from bleaching, hair coloring, heat styling, or previous treatments including previous perms. Also, if a perm is not done by a professional, or attempted by yourself at home (please don’t), it is more likely that the process will not be done correctly and could end up being more damaging. 

Using too much of the perm solution, or applying it in the wrong areas could cause excessive damage to your hair and scalp with may ultimately result in hair loss, breakage, or thinning.

What are the 2 potential ways that a perm can cause hair damage?

There are 2 potential ways that a perm may cause hair loss or damage. While these are not commonly seen when getting a perm done with a professional on healthy hair, these are possible scenarios if performed on very damaged hair or not done correctly.

1. Chemical damage to the scalp

The chemicals used to curl the hair during a perm are normally at quite an alkaline pH, so much so that it may cause chemical burns to the skin on the scalp if not applied carefully. Since this is the area where the hair follicles are located, damage to the skin here has the potential to lead to loss of hair from the follicles or even permanent scarring of the follicles enough to stop future growth in severe cases.

2. Drying and breakage of the hair

Similar to hair that has been overprocessed by bleach, perming can really dry out your strands. While this may not show up as hair loss of the full strand, and it is not permanent, your hair can turn brittle enough that it breaks and leads to hair loss or thinning. This drying effect may be exacerbated on hair that is already processed, bleached, or colored, or when using high heat styling tools regularly.

How to help reduce the risk of damage and hair loss from a perm

If you are ready to experience more curls in your life by getting a perm, there are better ways to go about it so that you have less risk of severe hair damage or hair loss.

Firstly, you should always get your perms done through a professional. Home hair perm kits can be tricky to apply and lead to excess hair damage without the skills of a professional. A hairstylist will also make sure that the chemicals used are appropriate.

Secondly, a hairstylist will be able to assess the current state of your hair and give you their honest opinion as to if your hair can handle a perm without loss or breakage. If they suggest that your hair may not be able to handle a perm at the moment, it is best to listen to them and assess it again once your hair is in a better condition.

Finally, once you have already gone through with your perm, give it a little extra TLC by using nourishing shampoos and conditioners made for processed or curly locks, and limit heat styling

Strut Health prescription hair loss treatments online

If you do have a perm and are also noticing hair thinning, it is possible that the two situations are unrelated. Most cases of hair thinning occur due to genetic hair loss called androgenetic alopecia, also known as male and female pattern hair loss. A doctor should be able to help identify if your hair loss or thinning is due to hair treatments, hereditary hair loss, or other reasons.

At Strut, we offer medications that help address genetic hair loss and try to slow the progression of the situation. We utilize medications like Finasteride, Dutasteride, Minoxidil, and Spironolactone in topical or oral formulations to help you take control of your hair loss. Many of our formulas are also customizable and can contain multiple active ingredients. We have options suitable for men and women.

If you are interested in seeing if Strut hair loss treatments are a good fit for you, you can have a free online questionnaire and image-based consultation with our U.S. licensed doctors in under 15 minutes. If you are a good candidate for treatment, your medication will be shipped to your door with our fast and free shipping.

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