All About Alkaline Perms

Carlos Shah

Posted on August 31 2020

All About Alkaline Perms


The way you wear your hair can make a big difference on your look and the first impression you make. While it’s fun to experiment with different hairstyles every once in a while, wouldn’t life be so much easier if you could wake up to pre-styled hair that needs very minimal effort on an everyday basis? 

Getting an alkaline perm is one of the quickest ways to transform your hair from drab to fab. The process of getting this hair treatment done takes anywhere between 2 to 6 hours (more if you have longer or textured hair), but it can last you three to six months. 

What is an alkaline perm? 

An alkaline perm, also called a cold perm, is a hair treatment that uses chemicals to set your hair in a wavy or curly hairstyle, depending on your preference, using an active ingredient called ammonium thioglycolate. Unlike an acid perm, an alkaline perm does not use heat. It is also easier and more convenient to use and the curls stay on your hair for a longer period of time which is why more people prefer it over an acid perm. It’s stronger than an acid perm so if you have thick hair or textured hair then this would be a good option for you. 

Tips For Doing a DIY Alkaline Perm at Home

  1. Prep your hair properly - for best results, you should start with clean, wet hair. Wash your hair with shampoo and conditioner prior to perming to get best results. 
  2. Do not abuse your hair - do not do an alkaline perm on your hair if you’ve just had another treatment done or if you just had it colored. Give your hair some time to breathe and relax. Doing consecutive treatments can damage your hair because of all the chemicals that will be applied to your locks. 
  3. Do not get your hair wet after perming - the main ingredient that sets your waves in place when you do an alkaline perm is a chemical that needs to sit on your hair to work its magic. Washing your hair will deactivate the active ingredient and will give you ugly looking waves/curls. Wait at least 24 to 48 hours before washing your hair after having it permed.
  4. Use curl enhancing products - after getting your alkaline perm done, make sure you use curl-enhancing products on your hair. This will make your perm last even longer and it will keep your curls or your waves looking gorgeous all the time. 
  5. Buy alkaline perm kits from reputable sellers - if you’re thinking of doing your alkaline perm at home, be sure to go with a reputable brand like Goldwell and buy only from a reputable store/seller. Beware of counterfeits that could cause more harm than good to your hair, too. 
  6. Read and follow the instructions - while the process for doing an alkaline perm is pretty standard, it’s still best to read the instructions that your alkaline perm kit came with and follow the steps according to the guide. 

If you have access to a professional, it is highly recommended that you leave the perming to them. However, if you’re on a budget or, for whatever reason, you’re simply unable to see your hairstylist, go ahead and get yourself an alkaline perm kit. 

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