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Cause of Hair Loss After Perm?

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January 21, 2020

Hair Loss After a Perm - hair on the tileI permed my hair and while washing out the perm all of my hair came out in clumps. I literally have about 2 inches of hair left. What could have caused this?

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Bronze Post Medal for All Time! 105 Posts
January 21, 20201 found this helpful
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It sounds like you left the chemicals in way too long or they were not the right ones for you. It has damaged your hair so badly it broke it off at the roots and now all you can do is wait for it to grow back. You may need to remove the rest of the hair and start over again.

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January 21, 20201 found this helpful
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Poor thing. My thoughts and prayers are with you for a speedy hair recovery. Maybe go to the doctor and make sure you're not suffering with Alopecia? Meanwhile, get some hair vitamins. You may have permed it one too many times so it's maybe so over processed it just couldn't take anymore.

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That's why I don't use curling irons, blow dryers, coloring, perms, or anything on my air. It made it change. Don't worry. It will grow back. My hair got too weird a couple of years ago so I had to chop it up to my neck and now it's long again.

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Gold Answer Medal for All Time! 617 Answers
January 21, 20201 found this helpful
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You may be suffering from Chemically INduced Cosmetic Allopecia www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/.../8504045

this is simply the hair loss that cumulative harsh hair products have on your scalp and hair

if you have used perms one after the other without giving your hair a break, or not conditioned your hair appropritely afterward, or done too many different treatments at once (bleaching, perm, excessive blow drying, etc), and if on top of that there was a flaw in the mix or you made it too strong, it causes a perfect storm for hair loss

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3 More Questions

Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

September 21, 2017

I had a perm done at Walmart about 1 month ago. Apparently it was not one of my better choices. About a week after the perm I began to lose my hair. Every day after brushing my hair, there is, what I think is a significantly greater than "normal" amount of hair in my brush. I have about 60/40 graying hair and it has always been thin and fine at it's best. Of course, it is thinning most in the top front where it's the first thing you see when you look at me. I don't know how to tell if it's just breaking off or it's coming out at the roots.

I have tried OTC name brand conditioners. There seems to be no difference in the hair loss whether I blow it dry or let it air dry. It seems to me that the issue is my scalp, rather than hair breakage, but I could be wrong. I really can't tell when looking at what has been in my brush. I'm wondering if, at this point, I should consult a doctor. Would an allergist, dermatologist, or a family practice physician be appropriate? Should I continue with leave-in conditioner? Help!

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Bronze Post Medal for All Time! 105 Posts
September 21, 20170 found this helpful
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I am so sorry this has happened. The person who did the perm on your hair has damaged your hair by leaving it in too long. I would suggest that you go and see a doctor for this. They might give you some advice or special medication to help out.

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You could have been allergic to the products she used on your perm. There are many different ones on the market and this one wasn't right for you.

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January 28, 2015

I permed my hair 2 weeks ago and it's falling out really badly. Is there anything to use on my hair so it won't all fall out? I've deep conditioned and used a hot oil treatment, but it just keeps shedding.

By Courtney

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Bronze Feedback Medal for All Time! 107 Feedbacks
January 29, 20150 found this helpful
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Stop using so much stuff on your hair. Conditioner alone will make your hair fall out. I used to do all the stuff you are doing and my hair had one problem after another. I went through a period of unemployment and left my hair alone, and gradually it returned to it's natural color, it's natural shine and it turned out I had a naturalslight wave. That was 1994.

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I am now 70. Yes my hair is thinner but it's shiny, slightly longer than shoulder length and I like it more than I ever did during those tinkering years. I wash it every other time with a warm water rinse of water and a tablespoon of baking soda, followed by rinsing. I use inexpensive shampoos alternately with NO conditioner. If I want a curl or wave, I twist and pin it in a bun while barely damp, and let it loose after a couple of hours.

I do not wash my hair very often, maybe every 10 days. Just brushing it does it. I use a soft brush, a Fuller Brush.

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January 29, 20150 found this helpful
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There is nothing you can do but wait for it to grow back. Apparently it broke either because you wound it to tight, or the rubber band broke it because your hair was either thin, weak, or already damaged from hair products such as some artificial color, or lots of sun damage.

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So, what I am trying to say is that your hair is breaking and the loss isn't coming from the hair follicle. All you can do is wait for it to grow out, and don't put anything on your hair with chemicals. Conditioner and shampoo won't hurt your hair though.

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August 21, 2019

I am over 70 with very thin hair and have given myself perms for decades. Usually with 2-3 years in between. After some research, it was recommended I use an 'acid' based perm solution. I also experimented with Velcro curlers instead of perm rods.

Big mistake. At least 1/3 of my hair broke off and more is still dropping. Was the problem a combination of Velcro rollers and acid perm?

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Gold Post Medal for All Time! 677 Posts
August 21, 20190 found this helpful

You may have a problem with either. That is why it is important to try a strand test first. Deep condition your hair weekly and dont use any heat appliances on your hair.

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Gold Post Medal for All Time! 523 Posts
August 22, 20190 found this helpful

Acid perms were all the rage for a while during the time I was in practice. They were processed with the heat of a dryer. The most popular of these had a urea acid base. Many a customer left the salon with their head smelling like urine. These perms were gentler than a regular cold wave (being best for damaged hair), and they produced less curl.

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My customers went back to the regular cold wave. They said they disliked being overwhelmed with the scent of urine every time they stepped into a shower.

I don't think the fault was in the perm or the rollers. I will say this. I have no use for Velcro rollers when giving a perm, but if I did, I still would not use them on thin or fine hair.

I'm inclined to think your hair was over processed somewhat. This could easily happen what with acid perms requiring a longer processing time. This along with too much tension applied while wrapping the hair around the Velcro rollers was probably the cause of the breakage.

I see no advantage of 'acid' waves over regular cold waves, except under certain circumstances. If you were having success with regular cold waves, I suggest you go back to using them.

I know of no conditioner that will prevent further breakage. If they make your hair more manageable and look better, then by all means use them.

Treat your hair as gently as possible while the damaged portion is growing out. It is possible that applying vinegar to the hair after shampoos and leaving it in for 15 minutes before rinsing, may prevent some future breakage.

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Gold Post Medal for All Time! 523 Posts
August 24, 20190 found this helpful

Considering your hair type, I would think Velcro rollers might be the best for you when setting your own hair. They're likely to be easier to use. If I were setting your hair, I probably would use magnetic rollers. It's just a matter of choice.

Using them for a perm is a different matter. Here is why I choose not to use them for a perm, especially on fine and/or thin hair. Natural hair is said to be in a 'hard' state. Perm solution softens the hair during processing. It is re hardened into the new shape when the neutralizer is applied.

While the hair is in this soft state, it is somewhat delicate. While the neutralizer re hardens the hair, it doesn't do so 100%. Actually, it can take 24_36 hours for it to completely re harden into it's new shape.

During this period, it's best to handle hair, especially fine or thin, very gently. It's just too easy for hair to get tangled in the hooks of the Velcro. Also, you don't get that completely flat, satin ribbon effect on the ends of the hair (when wrapping for a perm), that you get when the hair ends are placed between wrapping papers and wound around a smooth rod. If people give successful perms with Velcro rollers, I can't argue with that.

As for the breakage, over processing and/or too much tension, either from wrapping or from too tight rubber bands (if regular rods are used). are almost always the cause of breakage.
As a matter of fact, I can't think of any other reason.

Very thin hair can be a challenge, I know. I've had customers with hair so thin, I had to use perm wrapping papers when setting their hair. Otherwise, half of the rollers would fall out before they got to the dryer. And too, I had to use the tiny, single prong clips. The weight of the regular, double prong clips was just too much.

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August 24, 20190 found this helpful

My hair is curly, but when it gets too long, it's time to smooth it a little. I'll run the hair dryer over it for a few seconds, then I'll quickly roll it all over with the biggest velcro rollers I could find. Then I'll use the hair dryer for just a second on each roller. When it cools down, my hair will be smooth, at least until I step into our Texas humidity.

After years of dealing with brush rollers (horrors!) cloth rag rollers, several different sets of hot and steam rollers, I love the ease of the velcros.

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Bronze Feedback Medal for All Time! 196 Feedbacks
August 25, 20190 found this helpful

Your post has me concerned more for your health than for your perm question. I think that was covered quite thoroughly.

My concern is that hair issues like you describe can be caused by thyroid issues. Left unchecked this could be very serious. It could just be the whole perm issue, but I speak from experience when I tell you hair falling out and breakage is often a health issue and perm thing is just making the situation worse. If you haven't already done so, please talk to your primary care doctor. It is a simple blood test.

If you have an existing thyroid and are on medications, it is possible you need your dose adjusted. Also if you are on meds check to make sure where your meds are being made as I had issues when they changed my med from a US company to a foreign one. When I was moved back to my original brand, it resolved my issues.

Please post back with an update! Prayers for your health!

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