Preparing and protecting your client

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It is vital to the wellbeing of your client that you follow your salon’s rules for preparing and protecting your client during the perming and neutralising processes. You must always consider the effects of the chemicals you are using and their potential for harming your client. This will help you evaluate any risks and prevent accidents happening.

Preparing the hair for perming
Begin by correctly gowning your client. Next, prepare the hair ready for perming by shampooing, using a soapless base shampoo with no additives, to ensure no residue is left on the hair as a barrier between the perm lotion and the hair.

When shampooing before a perm, use only cool/tepid water and do not massage vigorously to avoid over stimulation of the scalp, as this can lead to sensitivity during the chemical process.

Barrier cream
This is a thick protective cream that should be applied all the way around the client’s hairline before applying perm lotion (including nape area) to avoid irritation of the skin. Care must be taken to avoid putting the cream on to the hair as this will cause a barrier between the perm lotion and the hair and will result in straight areas. Clients with sensitive skin will be more likely to have a skin reaction from the perm lotion so always take the utmost care to avoid this happening.

In the salon
Jonny is a junior at Jake’s Hair Studio and is assisting Gill with a perm on Mrs Thomas. Jonny is asked to apply barrier cream and cotton wool before the perm lotion is applied. He absent-mindedly forgets the barrier cream and only applies cotton wool around the hairline. Later, Mrs Thomas complains of a sore neck and forehead during processing and Gill discovers chemical burn marks all around her hairline. Gill removes the soaked cotton wool and immediately soothes the affected areas with cool water while Jonny calls Charlie, the salon’s first aider.
Have a group discussion on the possible consequences of this situation. Also discuss who is responsible for Mrs Thomas’s hairline burns. What should be completed before Mrs Thomas leaves the salon?

Pre-perm treatments
Pre-perm treatments are applied to the hair after shampooing and before the perm rods are used. They are used to:
• even out the porosity along the hair shaft to help the perm lotion absorb at an even rate, which results in an even curl along the hair
• form a protective barrier along the cuticle region and close any cuticle scales that are raised
• make the hair more pliable when winding the perm rods into the hair.

Pre-perm treatments come in either individual bottles or sprays and are applied to shampooed, towel-dried hair.
Some companies make in-perm additives that are mixed with the perm lotion immediately before application to the hair. These types of products contain oils, which lubricate and strengthen the hair.

content provided by Heinemann

Some clients use a lot of styling products that can leave white deposits on the hair even after shampooing. This build-up could cause a barrier between the perm lotion and the hair and should be removed with a lacquerremoving/clarifying shampoo and then a second shampoo using TLS should be carried out. 
Jordan Burr
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 UK: England & Wales

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