Chemical Hair Treatments

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Chemical hair treatments include permanent waving, straightening and hair lightening/coloring. These treatments cause permanent changes to the hair.

Q. Who is licensed to perform these services?

A. In California, only licensed cosmetologists and barbers working in State-licensed salons or barbershops may perform chemical hair treatments.

Q. What should I do if I am considering having a chemical hair treatment?

A. When considering having a chemical hair treatment, ask the cosmetologist/barber to do a pretest. A pretest can help determine how your hair will react to the chemicals used and whether you can get your desired result. Be sure to ask the cosmetologist/barber in advance if there is a charge for a pretest.

Q. What are the different types of pretests?

A. Some types of pretests include:

  1. Preliminary test curl: this test is performed for permanent wave services. It can indicate actual processing time and curl results based on the curler size and product used.
  2. Strand test: this test is performed for hair coloring services. It can determine processing time, color result, and whether the hair is able to withstand the effects of the chemical being used.

Q. Am I protected during a chemical hair treatment?

A. Yes, for all chemical hair treatments, a towel and/or other sanitary neck strip must be used to keep the protective covering (e.g., shampoo cape, drape, smock, etc.) from directly touching the skin.

Q. What will happen if the chemical solution gets on me?

A. Immediately remove the chemical solution from the skin. Be sure to tell your cosmetologist/barber immediately if you feel chemicals dripping on your skin or if you begin to feel a burning sensation.

Q. Can the strong odor from the chemicals hurt me?

A. Salons and barbershops should have adequate ventilation. If a chemical odor causes you any discomfort, immediately inform your cosmetologist/barber.

Q. Should I wait to shampoo my hair after having a chemical treatment?

A. Yes, you must wait before shampooing your hair after having a chemical treatment because it is critical that the hair be allowed to adjust to the permanent changes. Be sure to listen to your cosmetologistís/ barberís advice and wait the specified number of hours or days before shampooing your hair. This will help to avoid severely damaging it.

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