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She is 81 yrs old. Thank you.

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Hi Shay2226,
Everynight I used to do my Mother's hair before she went to sleep.She loved her hair and wanted pretty curls around her sweet face,so I'd rub some gel called
TRESemme' hair gel into my fingers and I'd run it through the hair I was going to curl.She wanted little curls.so I used the little,soft blue foam curlers you can get at Walmart and I rolled her hair and put on her snood for the night.Then the next morning,she had her nice,tight curls she wanted.That's what worked for us and I hope you find what works for you too.Take care~
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Reply to luckylu
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I permed my mother’s hair for years at home but I was pretty experienced with taking all precautions not to get the solution in her eyes.
The last few years of her life I took her to beauty salon and in the last year, the beautician that worked at the NH part time (mom passed at 89).
The big deal is preventing the perm and neutralizing solution to burn their scalp and avoiding drips into ears and eyes. I used Vaseline at the hairline and then cotton strips anchored by the vaseline to avoid the dripping.

It depends on if your mother cooperates but for my mother taking her to a beauty salon was best as she followed their directions quite well.

I gave home perms to my mom and her sisters since I was about 12 yrs old.
I made it a point to take my mother at least 1-2 x yearly as with the perm even unstyled my mother had curls and it made her happy.
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Reply to Shane1124
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I personally dont see what the big deal is about giving a home perm. I cant even use a curling iron and I have managed to give one to my grandma. At Sally's Beauty Supply, they have a perm solution for elderly gray hair that is not as harsh as normal ones.
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Reply to tacy022
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First take her to a hair dresser and have her hair set. Then ask the hairdresser which setting lotion or product she used and buy a bottle of it.

If you are going to be putting rollers in her hair, please be careful, some are sharp, some tug hair.

My former mil at 84 still perms her hair at home 2x per year and sets it weekly, she cuts it herself too. She also colours it a violent red. She cannot see that each time she perms it she is losing hair.
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Reply to Tothill
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Phew!!!

Thats a relief. Home perms are a recipe for disaster- even under the best of circumstances.

Beside - the 80’s are over. No one should be perming their hair anymore.

As for setting hair - there’s only about a thousand options for that these days. Mouses, gels, pastes, lotions and rinses. Endless.

Do you have an Ulta or Sephora store near you? Either store will have a good selection of products for setting hair with products that will help to activate and/or hold curl. There should be staff available as well to give good advice.

Still - caution should be advised. Getting product in the eyes is always a risk and you should have a plan for preventing and/or treating this should it happen. However - as fair as risk to skin and scalp - you should be okay.
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Reply to Rainmom
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I think just a curling iron (with a good cut) will accomplish what you’re looking for. My mom used to go to the hairdresser weekly for a styling, but as her anxiety grew, it was hard for her to sit waiting for other ladies ahead of her. So now I “do” my Moms hair after her weekly shampoo given by her aides. I just add a little mouse, blow dry it, and use a 1/2” curling iron on it, then a small amount of hair spray. My “set” usually lasts a couple of days until I have to use the curling iron again. Every 6 weeks or so I take her down to the hairdresser just to get a trim, but I’ve even gotten pretty good at trimming it myself if needed. No way would I attempt to give her a stinky perm, she’d freak out.
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Reply to rocketjcat
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Setting lotion, you mean. I think that's what it's called.

I make it a rule with hairdressers I go to (I'm not exactly a frequent flyer) that if they can't do my hair without the aid of what I call "gunk" I won't be coming back. The true test of skill is in the hands, not in a bottle.

But it sounds as if your MIL comes from the generation that sat under those space age dryers like they had in Grease, when French dropped out and went to beauty school. And if it makes her happy to think she's had her hair properly "done" because it smells like a hospital laboratory, then have a good look at some of the lovely products that are around and go for one that is hypoallergenic, light touch and smells nice.

Wella and Schwarzkopf and Ellnett are probably brands she'd recognise - have you asked her what she used to use? If you poke about in the backwaters of department stores and old fashioned local pharmacies you'll be amazed at what you can still get. Pond's cold cream. Atrixo hand lotion. Pretty much the same little pots that I found at the bottom of my great aunt's 1930s purses when I cleared her apartment.

If you get a plain empty plant sprayer and put (well diluted) rose water or lavender water in it, you can spritz her hair and make like a stylist for the teasing part. I'd avoid aerosols of anything you don't think you or she should be inhaling.

This should be fun! Also, get some magazines and go through them with her looking for ideas. Happy bonding!
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Reply to Countrymouse
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Yikes!

It's safe for an 81 year old lady to have a perm if she really wants one, sure.

What is not safe is for an enthusiastic amateur to set about doing this at home. If you can't get her to a salon, and you can't get a mobile service to come to her, then I should go for old fashioned rollers and a hair dryer on a low heat setting.

Looser waves are generally much more flattering on older ladies, anyway.
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Reply to Countrymouse
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Oh, for effs sake!!!

Do NOT attempt to give a home perm to an elderly woman!!!

This has to fall in my Top Three of Worst Ideas I have heard in my years here on AC.

Just the fact that you are asking for a brand suggestion says that you don’t know what your doing. Thus - the last thing you should be attempting is to apply toxic, burning chemicals to the head of an elderly woman!

Seriously?!!

For effs sake!
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Reply to Rainmom
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Shay2226 Jan 26, 2019
Ogosh! I called it a perm but I guess I meant a solution of some sort to hold curls so I can tease her hair every day. She told me that she used to set her hair once a week, then teased it daily. I want to do this. I feel awful for saying a perm. Please help me.
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I agree with the above answers. Perms do burn the scalp. Has she had them before? If not I wouldn't start now. Just get her a good cut thats easy to handle.
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Reply to JoAnn29
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Please take her to a salon. My mother had one of the nieces give her a home perm and all her hair simply burned off. It was a LONG time before it grew back.

I guess it was later attributed to her diabetes, which she hadn't been dealing with as well as she should.
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Reply to Midkid58
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IMO a home perm isn't something you should try unless you are very experienced. My mom used to go for her weekly wash and set and only needed a perm two or three times a year, once she couldn't tolerate sitting through the time it took for a perm we just made do with a weekly set. Eventually even that became too much and I just put in curlers after her shampoo and I think she looked just fine.
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Reply to cwillie
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Shay2226 Jan 26, 2019
Ogosh! I called it a perm but I guess I meant a solution of some sort to hold curls so I can tease her hair every day. She told me that she used to set her hair once a week, then teased it daily. I want to do this. I feel awful for saying a perm. Please help me.
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If MIL wants a perm take her to a salon. Don't try this yourself. Elderly people skin is thin and sensitive. You have no idea what could happen!

Just my 2 cents!
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Reply to Shell38314
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Are you a licensed hair stylist? No one can say whether or not it's safe for you to give her a perm. Have you ever done this before? Do you know how to test for hypersensitivity (allergic) reactions? You have to test a product on her skin first before you can go ahead and cover her head in the product. Even the mildest skin reaction can be very painful. And a serious reaction could land her in the ER.
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Reply to NYDaughterInLaw
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