How Do Korean Perms Work?

What is a Korean Perm?


A permanent aka perm, is a hair treatment that uses chemicals to change the structure of your hair by softening it and then moulding it into a different structure. You may know some of these perms, such as setting perms, digital perm and Korean trendy perm.

HOW DOES IT MAKE YOUR HAIR CURLY PERMANENTLY?

Firstly, to understand how a perm works, we have to understand what the hair consist of. Hair is made of keratin, which is a tough protein. Two cysteine residues on two mol­ecules of keratin can form a disulfide bond, a strong connection that links the keratin molecules, preventing them from slipping past each other.

During a Korean perm, the disulfide bond breaks and keratin molecules move around and adjust to the mould.

STEP 1: SOFTENING

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When the perm lotion is applied, it softens and swell up the hair cuticle layers and enters the cortex. Normally the lotion will process successfully, but you can also speed up the processing time by applying heat on it.

STEP 2: MOULDING

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When the disulfide bond is broken and become sulphide bonds, the hair mould into the shape of the perming rod.

STEP 3: FIXING

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After washing off the perm lotion, a neutralising product is applied to remove the hydrogen formed during the previous steps and add oxygen instead. The broken disulphide bonds can then reform and fix itself in the new shape.

 
 

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