Difference Between Alkaline and Acid Perm (With Table)

Human beauty is admired in different ways hair styling is also considered as a part of the beauty in creating different hairstyles that can give a complete makeover to a person’s personality and appearance. Expert hairstylists and experienced technicians with the skills and knowledge give declines ‘waves for days’ using the perming technique. There are two types of perms, either thermal or chemical. Farther, the chemical method is subdivided into Alkaline and Acid Perm.

Alkaline vs Acid Perm

The main difference between Alkaline and Acid Perm is that Alkaline Perm contains ammonium thioglycolate as one of its main and important ingredients and has a pH level of around 8.2 to 9.6 due to the nature of the ingredient used. Acid Perm, on the other hand, contains monothioglycolate as the active pharmaceutical ingredient and has a pH between 4.5 and 7.

Alkaline Perm is generally referred to as cold Perm seen that it doesn’t need extra heat to perform the process. Alkaline perms contain ammonium thioglycolate as one of its main ingredients and the result is mostly strong curls or perfect stick curls. Alkaline perm technology utilizes a pH between 8.2 and 9.6 to provide stable, strong, flawless curls.

Acid Perm is also known as Warm Wave because it utilizes a pH between 4.5 to 7.0 followed by a heating process to give your hair a flawless warm wave. It has monothioglycolate as the main pharmaceutical ingredient and is considered to be less harmful to hair, especially if your hair has undergone some treatment.

Comparison Table Between Alkaline and Acid Perm

Parameters Of ComparisonAlkaline PermAcid Perm
Ingredient UsedThe main ingredient used in the Alkaline Perm process is ammonium thioglycolate.The main ingredient used in the Acid Perm process is monothioglycolate.
PH BalanceAlkaline Perm makes the use of PH levels between 8.2 to 9.6. Acid Perm makes use of PH levels between 4.5 to 7.0.
Heat RequirementNo heat is required in the Alkaline Perm process.Heat is required in the Acid Perm process to curl your hair.
Time RequiredIt takes about 20 minutes to set and process to occur.Styling hair takes longer and takes much longer than an alkaline perm process.
Effects On HairsAlkaline Perm can damage your Hair.Acid Perm is considered gentle less damaging as compared to Alkaline Perm.

What is Alkaline Perm?

Alkaline Perm is also referred to as cold Perm because there is no heat involved in this process. Alkaline pearl is most suitable for thick and coarse hair rather than thin hair types.

The Alkaline Perm technique was introduced in the year 1938, as there was seen the use of different chemicals in the cosmetic industry. It can be seen that an Alkaline Perm can make hair stronger and flawless without the use of external heat.

In the Alkaline Perm process, the main ingredient used is ammonium thioglycolate and the pH level is between 8.2 to 9.6, this action can be damaging to have as the strong chemicals are used which can cause hair breakage, frizziness, etc.

To activate the chemical, it only takes about 20 minutes to set the hair and treat it. It has a strong odor due to the presence of ammonia and it is recommended mostly for thick and coarse hairs.

The alkaline Perm process involves wrapping the hair with a wand after curling it with certain chemicals. The result obtained from the Alkaline Perm technique is always intense curls or perfect stick curls.

The Alkaline Perm technique can be hair damaging and can be harmful to your hair and it shouldn’t be done on regular basis. As it can lead to hair fall and new roots of hair growth can be damaged, as they are harmful chemicals are used in this process.

What is Acid Perm?

Acid Perm is also called a warm wave. Acid Perm was first introduced in the year 1970. Heat is required in the Acid Perm method and usually takes a long time to set your hairs using this method, particularly for hairstyling.

Acidic Perms use a pH between 4.5 and 7.0, then wrap the hair around the wand after applying chemicals and external heat, which provides soft, flawless curls.

The main active pharmaceutical ingredient used in Acid Perm is monothioglycolate. Since the ingredients used are alkaline It is considered a gentle and less damage-causing process for your hairs.

Acid Perm can also be harmful and shouldn’t be done bi-monthly this process can hair damage in the form of hair fall, hair breakage and sometimes it can cause certain types of hair allergic reactions.

Main Differences Between Alkaline and Acid Perm

  1. The main ingredient used in the Alkaline Perm process is ammonium thioglycolate, whereas The main pharmaceutical ingredient used in Acid Perm is monothioglycolate.
  2. In Alkaline Perm It takes about 20 minutes to set and process to occur. On the other hand, Styling hair takes much longer than an alkaline perm process.
  3. No heat is required in the Alkaline Perm process whereas Heat is required in the Acid Perm process to curl your hairs.
  4. Alkaline Perm is also referred to as cold Perm because there is no heat during this process, instead, acid perms are called warm waves because the process requires heat.
  5. Alkaline Perm makes use of PH levels between 8.2 to 9.6 and causes damage to your Hairs whereas, Acid Perm makes use of PH levels between 4.5 to 7.0 and is considered gentle less damaging as compared to Alkaline Perm.

Conclusion

The word Perm means permanent, but it isn’t in this case. Styling techniques only shape the length of your hair. But at a certain time, your hair loses its given shape and comes back to its normal shape. The perming technique helps you to either straighten or curl your hair.

Alkaline Perm and Acid Perm, both are different methods with different results. Both rely on harmful chemicals and this method can damage your hair. One must not do this bi-monthly.

References

  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0190962284701381
  2. https://link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.1007/978-3-540-46911-7_25.pdf