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What You'll Get
- One Perm Service
- One Perm Service with Trim
Perms: If Nature Didn’t Do It, Science Can
How exactly do perms change hair’s texture so thoroughly? Find out with Groupon’s examination.
If you wanted to get a perm 100 years ago, it was a good idea to bring along a very big book. Using a process patented in 1909 would require 10 hours at the salon under an unwieldy, electrically heated machine. Eventually, the process became more streamlined, and around the height of the style’s popularity, beauticians reported giving approximately 36 million permanent waves in 1936. Today, stylists may use several different (much improved) formulas, but all follow the same chemical principles.
Hair is 95% keratin, a protein rich in the amino acid cysteine. The bonds between molecules of cysteine are called disulfide bonds, and the arrangement of these bonds will determine whether hair is straight or curly. To make hair curly, the key step is to break those bonds with one of several chemicals, which stylists choose based on your hair type. Ammonium thioglycolate (thio), a salt, is what powers most perms, though because of the damage it can cause, it’s usually recommended for non-treated and thicker hair. As the chemical slackens the hair’s disulfide bonds, the hair is free to be molded into a new shape, such as a pretty ringlet or Vincent Price’s profile. To do this, the stylist wraps the hair around rods or curlers of the desired curl size. Afterward, a hydrogen peroxide solution neutralizes the hair, locking it into its new, curly, “permanent” shape. The effects will last until the hair grows out.
Besides thio, other solutions may be recommended for thinner, color-treated, or damaged hair; the acid perm, for instance, is gentler on hair than thio, though it tends not to last as long. Stylists will also often use an intensive conditioner to help hair stay healthier after the treatment.
The Fine Print
Promotional value expires 120 days after purchase. Amount paid never expires. May be repurchased every 180 days. Appointment required. Merchant's standard cancellation policy applies (any fees not to exceed the price paid for the voucher). Limit 1 per person, may buy 1 additional as gift. Limit 1 per visit. Valid only for option purchased. All goods or services must be used by the same person. Additional fees apply depending on hair length, texture, and density. Merchant is solely responsible to purchasers for the care and quality of the advertised goods and services.
About Hair With Julie
Blowouts: Hot Air with a Purpose
Sure, you can blow-dry your hair at home, but it likely won’t be quite the same as a salon blowout. Find out why with Groupon’s look into the blowout’s sleek mystique.
There’s something like old-time alchemy going on every time someone gets a blowout. Take a couple of elemental ingredients—wind and heat—combine them with a professional’s trained hand and strong wrist, and you end up with something precious: movie-star hair. The actual process is simple: the stylist washes the hair, then blow-dries it in small sections to the client’s specifications, often using a round brush to create smooth volume. The result might be straight, wavy, or purposely tousled, and it can be such a look changer that some women refrain from washing their hair for days afterward to maintain the glamour. Many people find the service so valuable they return to the salon for it between haircuts, sometimes several times a week.
In some ways, this practice is a throwback to the beauty parlors of the past, where women would drop in weekly to have their hair styled and set. Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis used to get her hair blown out three times a week in the 1960s and 1970s; today, reportedly, so do celebs such as Kate Middleton and Gwyneth Paltrow. To keep up with demand, blowout-only salons have popped up in the last few years, dedicating all their chairs to the service.