It has been estimated by manufacturers of chemicals employed in permanent hair-waving procedures that some "permanent wave process will be carried out at least fifty million times during the current year."1 There is then, an apparent need for a critical study of the irritant properties of the chemicals so casually applied to the hair and scalp.
Permanent hair-waving methods are classified by Reed, Humoller and DenBeste1 into two main categories. Briefly, in the "hot method, the hair is treated with an alkaline sulphide preparation and wrapped around a rod of small diameter. Heat is then applied to change the configuration of the hair from a straight to a curled state." In the "cold method, the hair is also wrapped around a rod of suitable diameter either prior to or after treatment with an alkaline reducing agent—usually thioglycolate. In contra-distinction to the hot permanent waving method, no external heat
GOLDMAN L, MASON L, McDANIEL W. PERMANENT WAVE PROCESS: Clinical Report With Special Reference to the Effect of Ammonium Thioglycolate on the Skin. JAMA. 1948;137(4):354–357. doi:10.1001/jama.1948.02890380024007
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