Repair burnt hair following a perm

Like with straightening treatments, hairdressers use thioglycolic acid to create a long-lasting perm. But there can sometimes be a few unfortunate hiccups…. Broken or burnt hair. Find out how to repair it!
Hair perming involves breaking the cysteine bonds in your hair using this thioglycolic acid. The cysteine bond is what gives your hair its structure. It therefore needs to be undone in order to achieve the new shape. “If the product is left on for too long it can cause these bonds to break permanently. The hair is therefore altered and can end up looking slightly burnt.” Using rollers can sometimes cause the same problem. “Each piece of hair should be wrapped around the roller in a circular movement. If this is not done correctly, for example if the roller is not straight, it can result in damage…”
To avoid any nasty surprises, take some precautions before going for your perm. “If you don’t want to end up with burnt hair, avoid the perm if you have coloured, fine or fragile hair.” If your hair is natural and resistant, you are less likely to end up with damaged hair, as long as you choose a good hair salon.
If, after taking precautions, you still end up with burnt or broken hair, you’ll just have to be patient as there is not much you can do about it. “Burnt hair can be treated but it cannot be repaired. Nourish the lengths and ends with shampoos and products designed for dry hair in order to hydrate them as much as possible. You can also try keratin-based products. These penetrate the hair’s fibre to regenerate the hair.” Oils are also a good option, as long as you’re careful not to apply too much. You don’t want to end up with greasy hair. Hair serums can also be used to touch up your hair during the day.
Another solution: have your hair trimmed. “If the hair’s structure is broken, start by trimming the ends to get rid of the dry and damaged hair. Do this regularly to encourage your hair to grow.”
Our tip: Look after your lengths and ends with lots and lots of hydrating masks. For a visible, effective result, apply a mask after each wash and leave on for 10 minutes for best results.

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The expert Jean Louis David

Vanessa Giani

Head of training in Paris

Vanessa Giani