Today’s Video of the Day from the American Chemical Society describes the chemicals that took hair to new heights in the 1980s.
A single strand of hair is essentially held together by hydrogen bonds and disulfide bonds.
Hydrogen bonds are weak and can easily be broken down, but disulfide bonds are a lot stronger.
Temporary waves, crimps, and curls were achieved by breaking down hydrogen bonds using the heat of styling tools such as curling irons.
On the other hand, perms used compounds like ammonium thioglycolate to break down the stronger disulfide bonds for curls and waves that lasted.
Video Credit: American Chemical Society