About The Perm | Malta
The first permanent wave or “perm”, was designed by a German-born hairdresser on October 08, 1906. His name was Charles (or Karl) Nessler and he developed a rather ingenious method using hot curlers, combined with a combination of water and cow urine(according to some accounts). It was especially effective, and helped the permed hair last for six months.
Nessler’s first applied technique was quite terrifying, as he wrapped the woman’s hair in spirals around a dozen two-pound brass rollers that were connected to an electric machine.
This heated the hair and the cow urine mixture was applied to set the curls. Hair temperatures reached heights of around 212 degrees farenheit. Nessler kept the infernally hot rollers from burning his client’s scalp with, oddly enough, a chandelier. This was counterbalanced with an complex weighting system.
The process took over six hours and Nessler’s wife, Katharina Liable, was the first unlucky test-subject. She had to endure two rounds of severe scalp and hair burns before he perfected the technique.
If you would like to read further into Charles Nessler’s endeavours, you can click on the link(http://www.historychannel.com.au/classroom/day-in-history/863/first-permanent-wave-
for-hair-is-demonstrated), where it will give you a more lengthy account of the patent he received during World War I and the money he lost during the Black Friday market crash.
How does a Perm Work ?
The perm is not just an art form. It relies on the chemical structure of hair for all of its effects. So how do a few chemicals and some heat produce that desirable effect ?
About 95% of hair is a single protein named keratin. Individual keratin molecules combine, forming the superstructure of an individual hair. Keratin molecules are full of chemical bonds, which hold them together and this connection is quite permanent, until chemicals are introduced. The chemicals break the bonds in the hair and reform them in a wavy pattern.
In a standard “cold” perm, hair is put into curlers and the chemical is added. The bonds break and the keratin molecules are now free to move around and adjust to the shape of the
curl. Then another chemical called a “ is added to reverse the effect, while keeping the new shape of the hair.
Are They Still Fashionable ?
Perms were very popular from the early 80s, made so by Farrah Faucett feathered-back styles. It reached it’s peak in popularity in the very late 80s and early 90s, when it was fashionable to see just how high you could tease your hair into rising. It usually took up to 2 hours to achieve, and meant daily hair washing and extraordinary amounts of hairspray.
The whole fad took a small dip in the early-mid 90s. Grunge took over and straight, unstyled hair (like ponytails, etc) became popular. The perm continued to evolve and remains popular till this very day, being sported by plenty of prominent musicians , celebrities and normal people alike.
Can Everyone Get a Perm ?
Perms work best on so called “virgin” hair, which is hair that has not been colored or highlighted. That is not to say that colored hair or previously treated hair cannot withstand the process. This can be done both in a professional hair salon and at home. The latter however, can have some very adverse effects if done improperly. Due to lack of experience or imprecise following of instructions, you can end up majorly frizzing your hair and damaging it. This will require you to go to a hair stylist to undo the damage that has been done.
Where to get a Perm | Malta
Contact Leonard’s Hairdressers
T: 21 331 207
A: 5, Tigne Street, Sliema, Malta
NB: We are situated further up the road from Wallis, Jane Norman, Coco Nuda and the Union club. Closest car park, CCP situated on high street near Tower Supermarket.