History of permanent waves or perms and its health point of view.

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During the late 1800s and early 1900s, several hairdressers discovered that by applying chemicals and heat to women's hair, they could create curls and waves that would last for days, weeks, or even months. These hairstyles were called permanent waves or simply permanents. Permanents brought the latest technology into the world of women's fashion and beauty, and, because the machines were located in shops, rather than the home, they made women's hair care into a social event rather than a private ritual.
Founder of this style
This is a human nature to look different time to time and this human desire some times discover new and modern ways of fashion and style. Modern women was eager to find new ways to style their hairs with a new look.


A French hair stylist named Marcel Grateau (1852–1936) invented the first long-lasting hair waving technique in 1870.


In 1906 Charles Nestlé, a Swiss hairdresser working in London, England, invented a new and even more permanent way to style hair. His first permanent wave machine used gas to heat hair that had been wrapped around chemically treated pads. This actually caused the chemical composition of strands of straight hair to break down and re-form in curly strands, creating a wave that lasted for months. Later machines used electricity to heat the hair.



Around the turn of the 20th century, Karl Nessler developed a system that is closer to the present day method, which combined the chemical process with the thermal process. Using an alkali chemical combined with heated brass rollers, he developed a cumbersome machine that was capable of permanently curling hair. Around the turn of the 20th century, Karl Nessler developed a system that is closer to the present day method, which combined the chemical process with the thermal process. Using an alkali chemical combined with heated brass rollers, he developed a cumbersome machine that was capable of permanently curling hair.
The early part of the 1900s was an exciting time of new inventions and new freedoms for women. People wanted to try modern ways of doing things, and they wanted the latest styles, in hair as well as in clothes. Though the early permanent wave machines looked very strange, with separate wires leading to each chemical-wrapped curl, they were the most modern, and many women wanted to try the new style. New stores called beauty shops began to open, offering haircuts, styling, and permanent waves. These shops created places for women to gather and socialize while their hair was done.
While those women with straight hair wanted permanent curls and waves, others with naturally curly hair wanted their hair straightened. An African American hairdresser named Marjorie Joyner (1896–1994) invented a new, more compact permanent wave machine that also worked to straighten very curly hair. Patented in 1928, the machine was a dome-shaped helmet that used electrical current to heat hair which was clamped in one-inch sections.



Ms. Marjorie Stewart Joyner was the first patent-holder in the US for a permanent wave machine in 1928, becoming the first female African American to receive a patent. Stewart got the idea for her machine from a pot-roast cooker, which employed 16 pencil-shaped pot roast rods connected to an old-fashioned hair dryer hood and then joined together with a single electrical cord. Her invention was developed for African American women who wanted to change their hair's tight curl to a wave, but the machine also found another use in helping


Caucasian women add curl to their straighter hair. Curls from her machine lasted longer than regular thermal styling, and she also developed a scalp protector to help keep the patron comfortable.


In 1941, Evans and McDonough were the first one to use thioglycolic acid in the "Thio Cold Wave", which revolutionized the permanent waving industry and laid the foundation for the modern permanent waving method. Since the development of thoiglycolic acid (ammonium thioglycolate) a tremendous amount of research has been conducted in this area and quite an array of studies on permanent waving exist as literary sources.

Permanent waving has been popular among consumers with straight hair for many years. However, permanent waving was long thought to be impossible for consumers with excessively curly hair. In 1976, it was Jheri Redding who first started to experiment with permanent waving on excessively curly hair using small toothpicks for rolling the hair. This technique created a style that left the hair tightly curled yet still like the "Afro" style that was popular during the mid 1950s through the 1960s.


Later on, it was Willie Morrow who perfected the art of perming excessively curly hair. First, he would use ammonium thioglycolate cream for straightening the hair. Next he would wrap the hair on normal perming rods of various sizes. He would then perm the hair one more time with a permanent waving lotion called "curl booster". Finally, he would use a sodium bromate solution as a neutralizing solution, in order to avoid lifting the natural dark pigment of the excessively curly hair.


These early perms were very drying to hair, so the hair needed a strict daily regimen consisting of glycerin based products, known as curl activators, in order to combat the dryness and frizziness of the curled hair. The permanent wave process was further improved along with maintenance products and the ethnic hair care market experienced a tremendous growth spurt that continued well into the late 1980s. For the first time, men and women were able to wear their hair in carefree styles that required very little maintenance as compared to chemically straightened hairstyles.

Modern style of Perm


Due to the harsh nature of the chemicals, it is important that contact with the skin be minimized. Modern chemicals are less irritating, but measures should still be taken to reduce contact with anything other than hair.


A poorly performed permanent wave will result in breakage of the disulfide bonds through chemical reduction, because it fails to fix the newly formed bonds. This results in hair that is no longer elastic and flexible, but brittle and fragile. At this point, even combing the hair will result in hair loss. The hair shafts will experience fracture where they exit the scalp. Because the bulb of hair has not been removed though, the hair follicle is not damaged and the hair will regrow; however, the temporary hair loss may be distressing.

Home Perm
A number of brands of home permanent kits are available, but their numbers have decreased as permanent waves are not as popular as they were in the 1980s. The first popular home permanent was the Toni brand. The Toni company used a set of twins to advertise their products — one with a salon perm and one with the home perm. Another brand that was a household name in Britain in the late 1960s and 1970s was Twink.

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