Is there really a difference in kiddie and adult perms? This is a question posed outside of the industry. However, for those of us in the beauty industry, the answer is no secret.
Kiddie perms are essentially permanent relaxers that require continuous maintenance much like any other chemical service. Once the hair has received a so-called kiddie perm, the adult that applies it should assume responsibility for shampooing, conditioning and protecting the hair that is no longer virginal.
The misunderstanding about the words ‘kiddie perm’ takes on the connotation that it is different from what we know as an adult perm. The word itself is an abbreviation of ‘permanent,’ which indicates the hair will require additional products in order for it to feel and look healthy. Constant use of moisturizers with a blend of protein are necessary in order to maintain this balance of healthy hair.
The term kiddie perm is a marketing term used to sway the consumer to feel as if the product does not have the ability to damage the hair. However, what consumers must understand is that once the product has been applied to the hair, it permanently changes the hair shaft.
The active ingredients in most permanent relaxers or so-called kiddie perms are some form of hydroxide. The most popular are sodium, calcium, guanidine and lithium hydroxides. All of these share one common goal and that is to remove curls, in which bonds must be permanently broken in order to achieve change in the hair texture. This procedure cannot be reversed with the use of any known product. That’s why it’s called permanent.
We must understand that packaging is a part of what sells the product. Therefore, what you see on store shelves branding a relaxer for children does not mean it’s safer or less damaging to the hair.
A-List salons do not use kiddie perms. They well understand that what’s seen on packaging is marketing and the product cannot guarantee safety and desired results.
When it comes to chemically altering children’s hair, you should consult a licensed professional. Discuss maintenance, frequency of salon visits and time needed to commit to maintaining a healthy mane. For questions, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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