The only sure way to get rid of a perm, while minimizing the risk of damaging the hair, is to get a reverse-perm treatment by a qualified stylist. Although it is a common belief that beer and vinegar solutions can wash out a perm, they are completely ineffective.
Curling and perming techniques work on the principle of breaking and reforming the chemical bonds in a person's hair, and the same principle is used to reverse the effects of such hair treatments. Although a perm is permanent, there are a few fixes a person can try in order to decrease the effects or get rid of it altogether.
- Apply conditioner
Hair conditioners add moisture to the hair, which prevents it from getting damaged by dirt, heat and sunlight. They also add volume to the hair and weigh it down, thus creating an illusion of straighter hair.
- Use an oil treatment
An oil treatment works in the same manner as a hair conditioner. When oil is applied to the hair, it weighs it down and minimizes the curls. Olive oil, coconut oil and canola oil are three best options for this purpose.
- Cut off the curls
The safest way to get rid of a perm permanently is to outgrow it. For those who cannot wait too long for their hair to completely straighten out, chopping off small portions is an effective alternative. Waiting 3 to 4 weeks between hair-cutting sessions is highly recommended.
- Get a reverse perm
The method makes use of the same chemicals to remove the curls that were used to perm the hair. Instead of putting hair in curlers, the hair-professional combs it straight from root to tip. The process takes about 10 to 20 minutes, but is quite damaging to the hair.