Short permed hair

Short permed hair DEFAULT

Back in the 80s (and early 90s), curly perms were “in”, but they were also (dare we say it?) a bit on the corny side. The curl patterns were so tight that it was hard to style which made the look more dated than anything else.

Thankfully perms have upgraded a bit. As you’ll see in just a few seconds, there are some that are actually quite pretty, fresh and modern too.

Here are some incredible pop perm styles…

Silver perm

permed long curly hairstyle - silver perms look

Silver hair is still (pardon the pun) making some waves right now. So, if you wanted to color your hair in this shade, there’s certainly no time like the present.

Loose curls perm

curly hairstyles - permed hairstyle for women

Between tight curls and loose waves, lies a curl pattern that is really close to this one. It basically looks like she took small sections of her hair and wrapped it around a curling iron barrel. It’s very soft and romantic.

Honey brown and blonde perm

permed short haircut for black women

African American hair ideas – the ombre permed haircut. This is an absolutely unbelievable haircut! The color makes it so enviable and the curl pattern adds tons of personality to it.

Brunette permed hairstyle for long hair

permed hair style for black women with long hair

There are basically two ways that you can achieve this look: with a curly perm or with a weave that has a curly pattern (if you don’t want to commit to a perm).

Loose perm with bangs

perms hairstyles - permed long brunette hairstyle with bangs

Cute Asian hairstyle for girls: Here’s one way to break up the monotony of a perm if you’ve already been wearing one for a while: get some bangs. Tip: Just make sure to keep perm out of your bangs area so that they will be as straight as possible.

Two-tone short perm

permed hairstyle for black women

Curly perms aren’t just for long hair. As you can see, they are adorable (and even a bit sexy) on short hair too; especially with a two-tone hair color like this one.

Platinum perm with dark roots

textured blonde curly hairstyle for black women

Platinum hair color can work for all skin tones. Even more so if you let a couple of inches of your natural roots show.

Perm with side part

short permed bob hairstyle

If you don’t have bangs but you want to wear your hair out of your face, while you can use a headband, barrette or a scarf, there’s another simple solution: put in a side part. It works for any type of hair. Including a permed style.

Tiny waves perm


African American permed curly hairstyle for girls

Permed hairstyle for girls: This kind of perm has tiny waves; the kind that are so small that they virtually appear non-existent. It’s a happy medium if you have days when you want to wear your hair wavy and others when you’d prefer to wear it straight.

Buttery blond perm

Golden Spiral Perm Hairstyle

Thinking about coloring your hair blonde? Our vote is to try a buttery blonde hair color. You’ll be as trendy as some of the top celebrities on the scene.

Ombre perm

permed hairstyles

Something that’s great about a perm is it can make different hair color technique look very different than it would if it were straight. This ombre color is a perfect example of that.

Long curly perm (with long layers)

long curly hairstyle - permed hairstyles

Hair ideas for 2016: If her hair was straight, it would probably be way past her bra line. But with the help of a perm, it makes her hair look really big and full. Plus, the long layers give it a “curly fro” look. Wild and wonderful in every way!

Brunette perm with blonde low lights

back view of layered permed hairstyle for long hair

You’ve probably heard a lot about highlights before but if you’re wondering how low lights look (especially on dark hair), here is one example. Basically, it provides a “barely there” kind of color. It’s nice if you don’t want anything that’s too bold or brass.

Light brown perm with blonde highlights

medium permed hairstyle for blonde hair

This is the kind of color technique that’s super versatile in the sense that no matter what skin tone you may have, this honey hue with blonde highlights is a good complement.

Loose waves perm

sun kissed permed hairstyle for medium length hair

This perm goes to show that not every perm has to consist of tight curls. Here’s one that provides wave patterns that actually look like you were born with ’em.

Spiral curls perm

curly hairstyles for women - permed hairstyles

If this doesn’t make you want to run out and get a perm, we truly don’t know what will! Between the spiral curls, the incredible hair color and those layers, this is the kind of look that is really (REALLY) close to perfection.

Perm with light brown tips

layered brunette messy bob hairstyle for shoulder length hair

Whether or not your hair is naturally brown, it will look like you’ve done a bit of sunbathing by coloring the tips of your hair a light brown shade.

Tri-color perm

Red dark Messy Bob Hairstyle for black women

Dark brown, auburn and light brown. What an amazing hair color combination for a curly do!

Black-and-blonde perm

medium dark to blonde ombre messy bob hairstyle for black women

Sometimes, two extremes go really well together. Like black and blonde hair. We love it on this curly ombre bob style.


How Long Does A Perm Last? And 12 Other FAQs About Maintenance and More

Can it vary?

‘Perm’ may be short for ‘permanent,’ but the hairstyle’s lifespan varies more than you might think. A perm typically lasts three to six months, depending on your hair type and how well you take care of it.

The appointment is a long process, too, often lasting anywhere from one to five hours.

The main thing you need to remember is that your hair must remain dry and relatively untouched for the first 48 hours after your perm. As Elle Woods says in “Legally Blonde”: It’s “the first cardinal rule of perm maintenance.”

What factors affect how long your perm lasts? 

Several things can wreck or prolong your perm.

Although you can opt for a DIY perm, a pro hairstylist has much more curl-setting expertise and a greater knowledge of the chemicals used.

Your dedication to perm maintenance also plays a role. Avoid heat styling and products containing alcohol or silicone wherever possible to keep your perm intact.

Last but not least, think about your daily routine, especially if you’re a gym bunny or avid swimmer. Chlorinated water can have disastrous effects on perms, and sweat and humidity can result in frizz.

What are the different types of perm? 

Two main types of perm exist: digital and ceramic. Both use a combination of chemicals — to break and reform the bonds of the hair — and rods to define how the overall perm will look.

Different-sized rods are used to create distinct curl shapes on different hair lengths. The rod placement affects the curl structure and location.

Digital, or hot, perms use a heated approach. The method involves molding the hair using heated rods and dousing it in an acidic solution that breaks the disulfide bonds in your hair.

The ceramic, or cold, perm uses no heat and a less damaging alkaline solution.

Cold perms will give tight, vintage-looking curls, while hot perms tend to look more natural. Both approaches end with the application of a neutralizer to lock in the curls.

Other terms to know

  • Rod. The tool used to curl each individual section of hair. Rods come in various sizes, with thicker designs providing looser waves and thinner styles resulting in tighter curls.
  • Solution. This often contains the chemical ammonium thioglycolate. It can either be acidic or alkaline and softens hair structure by breaking protein bonds.
  • Neutralizer. This solution is applied toward the end of the perming process. It rebonds hair and brings its pH level back to normal, finishing the curl-setting procedure.

How much does it typically cost? 

Most perms don’t come cheap. Expect to pay between $30 and $150, depending on the type of perm you want. Some stylists may charge more. You should also factor a minimum 20 percent tip for your stylist into your overall cost.

Do you need to prepare for your consultation or appointment? 

Preparing to have a perm means taking the time to prepare your hairstylist, too. Visit your chosen salon with photos of your ideal style. Your hairstylist can then ensure your hair type will work with the perm you want and leave you satisfied with your new curly appearance.

Your stylist will give you more detailed information, but general guidelines suggest:

  • In the month leading up to your appointment, refrain from dying or highlighting your hair.
  • Two days before, apply a deep conditioning treatment such as Miss Jessie’s Leave-In Condish.
  • Don’t touch your hair at all 24 hours prior.

Is there anything you can do to make it last longer? 

If your hair becomes too dry and frizzy, your perm may suffer irreversible damage that can only be fixed by the passage of time.

Here’s a few ways to keep those curls locked in for months.

  • Get your hair cut regularly. Curls become less pronounced with hair growth. Remember to book a haircut every three to four months to keep your perm in tip-top condition.
  • Wash your hair less, condition it more. Washing your hair too often can strip away natural oils. Research published in the states that these oils are needed to keep hair healthy. To banish unwanted dryness, cut down your weekly shampoo count and increase your conditioning time.
  • Invest in protein treatments. Perming chemicals break your hair’s protein bonds. They’re rebonded before you leave the salon, but will still welcome nourishing products. Olaplex’s Hair Perfector claims to relink broken disulfide bonds and is designed for all hair types. Alternatively, you can make your own protein hair masks. Try a combination of egg and yogurt or avocado and coconut milk.
  • Get into deep conditioning. Applying your usual conditioner will only help so much. A product like Shea Moisture’s Superfruit Complex 10-In-1 Renewal System Hair Masque contains raw shea butter for extra nourishment and the super moisturizing marula oil and biotin. Apply once or twice a week for maximum impact.
  • Change your brush. Brushing your perm with any old brush will ruin it in the blink of an eye. Use a wooden wide-tooth comb to gently comb damp hair. When it’s dry, use a soft paddle brush to remove any hardy knots.
  • Get acquainted with some new products. Look out for sulfate-free shampoos and products that focus on making the most of curls. TIGI Catwalk’s Curls Rock Amplifier aims to hold your waves in place and protect from humid temperatures.
  • Change your sleeping habits. Perms can often look unkempt first thing in the morning. Either wrap your hair in a silk scarf or rest your head on a silky pillowcase to keep hair tangle- and frizz-free.
  • Avoid chemical treatments. Wait at least a month after your perm before applying any further chemicals to your hair.

Other common questions 

Does getting a perm hurt your hair?

A perm isn’t as detrimental to your hair health as bleaching. But the process may weaken and dry strands, according to a study. If you already have damaged hair, you may be more prone to a brittle feel or even breakage.

Does your hair type or texture matter?

Perms will work on most hair types and textures. Those with thicker and slightly wavy hair may find the process easier. Thin and stick-straight hair will often require expert help.

Does your hair length matter?

The more hair you have, the more difficult a perm can be. An even application of both chemicals and rods is needed to create a uniform look, so it’s best not to go down the DIY route if your hair is long. Layers can also be tricky to deal with, particularly if they’re on the shorter side.

Can you get a perm if you have dyed hair?

You can, but be aware that a perm can lighten hair color. Perming fully dyed hair is often better than perming highlighted hair, which could go frizzy pretty quickly.

Can you dye your hair after you get a perm?

You should wait around a month before doing anything drastic to your hair. It’s possible to dye permed hair but, as with everything else, ask your hairstylist before committing to anything.

Can you use heat tools after you get a perm?

If you’re set on using any kind of heat styling, protect your perm first. Use a product like Kenra Platinum Blow-Dry Spray and invest in a diffuser for your hair dryer. This will ensure the air isn’t concentrated in one place, keeping your curls where they should be.

When should your next appointment be?

A hairstylist will give you a rough indicator of how long it will take for your perm to grow out. Some people can go six months, others only three. Unfortunately, you might have to deal with a few weeks of straight roots but it’s worth it to keep your hair in a healthy state.

The bottom line 

With the right care, your new curls can last for months on end. And if you have a burning question that you just can’t find the answer to, always ask a professional.

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All Women's Talk

Wavy hair have been all over the runways recently and if you want to get the look for yourself, you need care tips for short permed hair. Having a perm helps you to get rid of straight hair and breathe new life into your personal style. If you want to get a perm, you will need to get the best tips possible. Here's everything you need to know about taking care of short permed hair.


There are two modern types of perms. A digital/hot perm is the most common and leaves your hair curly/wavy when the hair is dry. The other type of perm is a cold perm. This type of perm means your hair is only curly/wavy when it's wet or has a styling product in it. A cold perm uses less heat and is safer for your hair. Learning care tips for short permed hair for each type of perm will give you great looking hair every single day.

2 WAIT before YOU WASH

Washing your hair right away will actually ruin your perm. Wash your hair only after three days have gone by. This allows time for the curls to set in. Waiting before you wash is the single best way to keep wavy perms for short hair looking awesome.


Chlorinated water and treated water can make it hard for your hair to hold its wave. To help keep those waves, avoid treated water for as long as possible. If you are a swimmer, wear a swimming cap to protect your perm.


Part of having your wavy hair stay intact is using a shampoo that is specifically designed for those with wavy hair. The ingredients in such a shampoo are gentle on permed hair. This kind of shampoo is also designed to coax the hair into staying the way it is. Most women use conditioner but using a quality conditioner regularly after you have a perm helps to keep that perm looking fab.

Getting a wavy perm for short hair can help you to get a brand new look. Being able to change up your straight hair with a natural looking perm is a desire that many people have. With the right stylist, you will have perfect hair to impress all of your friends and even yourself.

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How To Get Curls With Short Hair! ( Perm Tutorial )

The Guide to Getting a Perfect Perm

The '80s called, and they want their perms back. It could be because what was once the crinkly, crimped on-trend 'do decades ago has now become what's lauded as the modern-day, tailor-made perm. Nowadays, perms can be fine-tuned to give you the exact waves you're looking for, whether it be bouncy, voluminous strands (think: Jennifer Lopez) or corkscrew curls à la Emmy Rossum. Even a "straight perm," which will semi-straighten curly or wavy hair, can be created with a perm solution. To learn more about this coveted hair technique—including which hair textures it's ideal for, styling tips, as well as how long perms last—we spoke with professional hairstylist Michelle O'Connor. Keep scrolling to find her answers to all of our burning perm hair questions.

What Is a Perm?

Short for "permanent hairstyle," the perms of the 80s meant permanently straightening, curling, or waving the hair via a chemical solution. Fast forward to the present day, and perms have become a recycled hair trend that now offers a sleeker way of altering the hair's texture. "Perms are most commonly associated with wrapping straight hair on hair rollers or rods and applying a perm solution on top," says O'Connor. "Then there's what's called a digital perm, which uses temperature-controlled rods and infrared heat to create loose waves and natural volume." The perm is activated by heat to break down the natural molecular structure of your hair—this results in restructured hair that mirrors the shape of the rods.

So, what exactly does the process entail? Brace yourself because it could be a lengthy one that lasts all of two hours. "First, hair is set on rods based on the size of the curl that you desire, then a perm solution is applied over the rollers," says O'Connor. "This changes the hair structure and reshapes it to take on the curl size of the roller it’s been set on." Sounds dreamy, but how this fares on our precious locks, in the long run, has us scratching our heads. "Perms can definitely cause damage, as they structurally change the hair in significant ways," says O'Connor. "But it’s usually not as harsh or drastic as bleaching, and having the right products that help to rebalance and fortify the hair will help tremendously."

What’s Different About Modern Perms?

Perms have made a major comeback in recent years, but contrary to how we're used to seeing them, they now take on a more slick, modern look. "Whereas perms in the '80s were rolled on tight rods, crunchy, and resulted in a stiff, harsh appearance, the perms of today flow more naturally and appear softer," O'Connor notes. And according to her, the rods used today mark a notable difference between old versus new. "Larger rods may be used to create beachy waves, and they can also be placed primarily at the root areas (versus the ends) to create lift and volume," she says. "I’ve also seen pipe cleaners being used on straight hair to create highly textured hair (oftentimes to mimic traditionally textured hairstyles like locs and Afros)."

How Long Does a Perm Last?

According to O'Connor, perms can last up to six months; however, unlike hair color, a perm won't wash out and can't be chemically reversed. A perm always has to grow out, but thankfully, they typically grow out as natural-looking waves.

When it comes to perms, maintenance is key. Treat your hair as you would if your hair were naturally curly (or naturally straight, depending on the case). "Permanent hair color shouldn’t be performed immediately after a perm service," says O'Connor, noting that you should wait at least a week before dyeing. She adds that you should "Steer clear of parabens, alcohol, and sulfates in your hair care products, as these ingredients can strip your hair of moisture." Instead, opt for products that use buzzwords like replenish, moisturize, nourish, and hydrate. Below, she lays out some other noteworthy tips:

  • Avoid washing or wetting a new perm for at least two days after getting it done.
  • Limit the use of heat styling tools.
  • Use a moisturizing shampoo or one that's specifically designated for chemically-treated hair.
  • Protect hair from frizzing and tangling by pinning it up and sleeping with a satin cap.

Do Perms Work on Every Hair Texture?

"Perms work on hair types ranging from straight to wavy," says O'Connor. "When referencing perms for curly or highly-textured hair, this will translate to a permanent wave or curly perm, which involves the use of a chemical called ammonium thioglycolate." She adds that, unlike perming straight hair, the process of waving textured hair involves applying the thioglycolate chemical to remove the natural curl, then rinsing it off. "The damp hair is then set in perm rods, and a waving solution (also called a reshaping solution) is applied to set the hair in its new shape. This is then rinsed off and neutralized—this is considered a double processed service." 

Because perms are generally done to give the hair more body and bounce, O'Connor notes that you’ll have to adopt the principles that most naturally curly-haired folks already contend with: taking care of your hair. "From protecting it at night to the concerted efforts you make to maintain hydration and nourishment, curls need moisture, whether they're natural or chemically-treated," she says. "Keep those things in mind, and you’ll have the hair of your dreams!"

Does Hair Length Matter?

While your hair length doesn't play a role in getting a perm, the hair does need to be long enough to wrap around the rod. "To achieve a good curl, you'll need to have hair that’s at least long enough to wrap around a rod two to two and a half times," advises O'Connor. "If you have layers, they won't affect whether you can get a perm or not, but the sizing of the rods you use may vary depending on the accommodation you need to give the assorted lengths." And just like curling your hair with a curling iron, the longer the hair you have, the more time it'll take to wrap around the perm rod.

Can You Perm Dyed Hair?

Virgin hair, or hair that has not been colored, makes the best candidate for a perm, but innovations in technology mean pretty much anyone can get a perm. O'Connor notes that while you can perm dyed hair, it’s inadvisable to perm hair that's been bleached or highlighted. Still, the last thing anyone wants is dry, brittle hair that breaks off in chunks, so consult with your stylist if you're on the fence.

How to Style Permed Hair

"The extra body that you'll get from your perm will make styling a lot easier," notes O'Connor. "Your go-to style will be a diffuser on a low heat setting—this will help encourage your curls to spring up." Or, you can also do a set at night that'll vary your texture, like doing braids on damp hair before bed that'll land you loose waves come morning. And while you can use hot tools, it's best to keep them on a low setting—no more than 300 degrees Fahrenheit—to ensure you're not frying your hair and stripping it of moisture.

The Best Products for Permed Hair

Below, find our favorite perm-enhancing styling products.

SH-RD Protein Cream

SH-RDProtein Cream$28


Permed hair requires hydration and protection, and this protein-rich leave-in does exactly that: It locks in hydration with its silk protein complex and protects locks from chlorine, hot tools, and UV rays.

Herbal Essences Potent Aloe + Mango Shampoo

Herbal EssencesPotent Aloe + Mango Shampoo$6


Keep curls looking their very best with this curl-specific, sulfate-free shampoo that's made with aloe, antioxidants, and sea kelp extract.

Matrix Wild Boho Texturizing Air-Dry Cream

MatrixWild Boho Texturizing Air-Dry Cream$18


The name says it all—if your look calls for a carefree bohemian look, O'Connor recommends this air-dry cream. It'll give a tousled, textured look, sans heat.

Marc Anthony Curl Defining Lotion

Marc AnthonyCurl Defining Lotion$8


Permed hair can be prone to frizziness and flyaways. Keep both at bay with this lotion that's resistant to humidity and leaves curls feeling bouncy and silky smooth—just as they should be.

Kristin Ess Strand Strengthening Reconstructive Moisture Mask

Kristin EssStrand Strengthening Reconstructive Moisture Mask$14


O'Connor stresses the importance of hydration and nourishment on permed hair, and this color-safe mask delivers on all fronts. It conditions damaged hair follicles (specifically dry ends), detangles hard-to-brush locks, and drenches hair with moisture and shine.

Bounce Curl Light Creme Gel

Bounce Curl Light Creme GelBounce Curl Light Creme Gel$18


This lightweight gel boasts a fragrant scent of exotic fruits and promises extra-hold for any curl shape, from beachy waves to springy curls.

The Guide to Getting a Perfect Perm


Hair short permed

hair salon niles park ridge

There are tons of perm trends and options in the current market.

The most important question is, which one is right for you?

In this comprehensive guide we will walk you through the different types of perms and how they look and affect your permed hair.

What is a Perm?

A perm or Permanent wave is a hairstyle produced by setting hair in loose to tight curls or waves and then treating it with a special perm solution so that the style lasts for several months.

You might be thinking which perm will be right for me?

Read on to learn about all the available perms and which perm will be right for you.

For anyone over the age of 20 the thought of a perm may send us ‘spiraling’ back to the 80’s. Pictures of you, or your family with hair teased so high. But believe it or not they are making a comeback, and for a good reason.

Perms and the products used to achieve them have come a long way. With advances in the chemistry behind producing the solutions used for perms there has been positive evolution in maintaining the integrity of the hair through a perming service.

One major game changer has been the Arrojo American Wave Perm…we will discuss this later on.

The beauty of a perm is that it is customizable for the individuals expectations and needs. There are various “wrap patterns” that can be utilized to create the desired result of each individual client.

Types of Perms

  1. Traditional Perm
  2. Olaplex Perm
  3. Perm Styles
  4. Braid Perm
  5. Man Perm
  6. Root Perm
  7. Digital Perm
  8. Beach Wave Perm
  9. American Wave Perm

Traditional Perm

Perm Before And After

Hair by: Shanyia Thailer Parker

IG: hairbyshanyia

Traditional perms are created using hard perm rods with a rubber band that hold the hair onto the rod. These may be the rods you remember when you think back to sitting in a salon for 6 hours getting a spiral perm, or hanging out with your grandma while she got a perm with tiny little pink perm rods to insure that her wash and set will stay in place for the week in between beauty shop visits.

While stylists can still give you this look, it may not be what you desire. You also do not want to go with a traditional perm if you have had highlights in your hair, or if the integrity of your hair is compromised.

Traditional perms restructure up to 80% of the bonds in the hair while modern options, such as the American Wave Perm, only restructure up to 25% of the bonds in the hair leaving the hair feeling more natural and healthier.

Olaplex Perm

Spiral Perm

Hair by: Missy Mauricio

IG: hrhsehuggs

An additional option that can be incorporated into a traditional perm is an Olaplex Perm. Olaplex is a bond rebuilder, it helps repair and protect bonds in the hair.

This will make a traditional perm solution a little more gentle on the hair, it also allows people with highlights to have a perm with a regular perm solution.

You may have seen pictures of Julianne Hough perm after her Olaplex perm it helped her achieve a beachier curl on her highlighted hair!

An added bonus of using Olaplex in a traditional perm solution is that there is no 48 hour waiting period. The hair can be shampooed immediately after the service is performed.

Perm Styles

Brick Lay Pattern

Hair by: Trisha Gader

IG: hair_and_makeup_by_trisha

If you decided to go with a traditional perm you can still get a spiral perm wrap, or brick lay pattern wrap and get a lot of texture to your hair.

And don’t worry if you have extremely long hair, you can always get a “piggy back” wrap which uses two rods wrapped on top of each other to incorporate all of your length.


Hair by: Heather Sykes

IG: hairbyheathersykes

Traditional perms do require more maintenance though, requiring touch ups every couple months to diffuse the “line of demarcation” where your natural hair grows in. Maintaining a perm is like maintaining colored and highlighted hair. It is easy to see the line of outgrowth so keep up with your scheduled appointments.

Especially if you have very straight hair to begin with.

Another reason someone might get a traditional perm is to loosen very kinky curls. Just because you want to embrace your curls, does not always mean you like your natural curl pattern.

Curly girls can get their curls loosened with larger rods, using traditional perm solutions, or American Wave perm solution.

Braid Perm

Braid Perm

Hair by:Kiana Haar


French braid perms have recently become a new trend. Instead of using traditional perm methods of wrapping around perm rods, the hair is braided into one or multiple braids (french or dutch) and perm solution is applied to the hair creating a “zig zag” type pattern in the hair.

This type of perm is great for a client looking to add bend to their hair with an effortless “bed head” look. This braid perm can be created using traditional perm solution or Arrojo American Wave Perm solution.

Traditional or modern perms can also be used to achieve style support. For someone with limp straight hair it might be a challenge to keep a voluminous style looking fresh throughout the day. Some clients like getting short hair perms to keep their roller sets in place, or add extra oomph to their short style.

Short Hair Perm

Hair by:Charbonet Hightower

IG : charbonet

By receiving a perm, you can add a little texture and movement to your hair to support your blowout. In addition, a perm can add some texture to your bangs as seen in the picture below.

Man Perm

Hair by: MaLeah Dawn

IG : fargohairdresser


Man Perm

Man Perms have also become a fun new trend. The perm is no longer just for the ladies.

Man Perms

Hair by: Charbonet Hightower

IG: charbonet

Men can also enjoy the added texture to their hair. Depending on their length a man can either perm his whole head or just the top, utilizing a partial perm method, for some additional oomph and style support!

In a partial perm only the top “length” of the hair is permed, where the shorter, usually faded sides are left as their natural texture. Some men like to rock tight curls and some men also prefer a looser beachy look.

If your going for that California Surfer Dude look, an American Wave Perm can be the perfect option for you. But if you want to rock it out like Bruno Mars Perm a tight traditional perm is the way to go.

Root Perm

Maybe your thinking to yourself, I love my straight hair, and I don’t want to perm my head and turn my nice straight locks curly but I would love the texture a perm could give me.

A root perm could be an option you might choose, A root perm is applied only to the first 2-4 inches of the hair. This gives some extra body at the scalp allowing your hair to gain and retain volume at the roots more easily.

Be aware, when a root perm grows out you will have a “straight, curly, straight” look where the outgrowth creates a line of demarcation. This could be a great option for someone who is willing to keep up with their root perms.

Digital Perm

Digital Perms

You may have heard “buzz” about digital perms. The difference between a digital perm and a traditional perm is that the digital perm uses heat from within the rods to process.

This kind of perm will look more relaxed when the hair is wet but can create nice prominent waves when it dries. A traditional perm will likely look more curly when wet but the curls will loosen as the hair dries.

This type of perm comes with a larger price tag. Most salons start at around $250-$300 for a digital perm.

Beach Wave Perm

Beach Wave Perm

Current hair trends are leaving people lusting after loose wave perms that are more organic beachy waves.

Isn’t that what all women really want?

Wave Perm

To wash their hair, throw a little product in and look like they have just had the wind at the beach give them the perfect style. Based on this we can be so thankful to the modern hair companies for coming up with an answer to all of our prayers.

American Wave

American Wave Perm

Let’s talk about The American Wave Perm by Arrojo!

A new kind of perm solution has just become available recently on the market, the Arrojo American Wave perm. The American Wave Perm solution is a gentle formula only restructuring up to 25% of the hairs bonds.

This perm solution keeps the hair in a healthier condition and also leaves the client with a softer more natural looking wave.

Flexible foam perm rods are used to wrap this type of beach wave perm and can be used to add natural looking waves, add volume and style support, or a tousled look.

Hair Perm

An American Wave Perm is perfect for a client who is looking for a low maintenance kind of perm. Because of the gentle nature of the formula a client would not need to keep up with maintaining the perm if they decide they no longer desire the look.

It will slowly loosen out of the hair after a few months of wear allowing for less commitment than a traditional perm. This kind of perm is perfect for almost anyone. It can be performed on almost all hair types including colored and even highlighted hair for as long as the clients hair is in good condition.

Traditional perms can be a little too harsh for individuals with highlights.

Even with all of the benefits of permed hair, don’t be fooled by google. There are many pictures on google which are misleading.

Convincing a client that they can wash their hair and allow their hair to air dry into perfectly styled curls. These pictures usually illustrate someone who has used a wand to create a perfect tousled beachy look.

While the right perm can make achieving these styles easier, it is not a guarantee to wash and go out with red carpet worthy waves. Keep in mind, the American Wave Perm is called a “wave” for a reason.

This is definitely a more tousled natural look. Do not expect to walk out with a head of hair like a poodle. This is the “I was born with this hair” perm.

Speaking of the red carpet… the American Wave Perm is becoming a hot Hollywood trend. Pictures of Emma Stone’s Perm and Jaime King’s Perm are all over the internet, so these stars have already started rocking these beachy waves.

Even celebrities want some body and fullness to their hair without needing a whole team to get them there.

American Wave Perm Training

Stylists who are certified in the American Wave Perm have gone through training directly through the company and will be able to help you acquire your desired look while keeping the integrity of your hair as their top priority.

Perm Care

You might be nervous about what to expect when getting a perm. Be aware you will need to wait 48 hours after your perm to wash your hair. It is recommended that you use sulfate free shampoos to maintain your locks.

Brushing curly hair isn’t always the best idea, you will want to use a wide tooth comb. You can use a variety of products to help achieve your desired look. Whether it be a curl defining cream or light curl gel. Drying your hair is best with a diffuser.

How To Keep A Perm Healthy

You should not be messing with your hair or touching it too much. To refresh your curls you can apply a salt spray in the morning to perk up your curls and either let it air dry or hit it with the diffuser once more.

To get a more polished look you can style your curls with a diffuser and re-touch some with a wand.

We always recommend a great cut after any permanent wave treatment.

Cutting Hair

A great cut can really bring your curls or waves to the next level.

Your stylist can clean up your ends, remove unneeded weight from the hair and add the right layers to add life to your new texture.

As with any chemical process it is always recommended to keep up with trimming your hair to keep it as healthy as possible and to keep your style and hair looking its best.

Whether you choose a traditional perm or an American Wave Perm make sure to talk to your stylist about what your expectations are. Different perm rod sizes can be used to achieve different types of curls.

Short Permed Hair

Smaller rods can be used to achieve tighter curls, and larger rods can be used to achieve bigger waves. Also talk to a professional before making this decision.

American Wave Perm

This is always a better option than depending on Google to tell you what you can and cannot expect with your hair. Everyone has different hair texture, and everyone’s hair has been through different things.

A professional stylist can tell you about your different options, what looks you can realistically achieve and what kind of maintenance to expect.

How Much Does A Perm Cost

How Much Does a Perm Cost

  • Traditional Perm with basic rod placement Average Starting Price- $85 (specialty wraps usually cost more)
  • American Wave Perm Average Starting Price – $200
  • Partial Perm Average Starting Price – $55
  • Digital Perm Average Starting Price -$250-$300
  • Root Perm Average Starting Price – $45
  • Olaplex Perm Average Starting Price – $120

Pricing with perms is just like other salon services, it is dependent on the length and density of hair. Special wraps can be an upcharge.



When it comes to throwback hairstyles, perms are pretty much as iconic as it gets. Although we typically associate the hairstyle with the '80s, perms have been around much longer than that, which is why the hair treatment is largely seen as, well, kinda outdated. But if you thought that perms were limited to only one look (probably the one we all picture when we hear the word "perm"), then you were today years old when you learned that modern perms can actually create a ton of different styles.

You see, perms are chemical treatments that break the bonds of the hair to change its structure, leaving you with a new texture. Whether you want a wavy perm, a tighter, more-defined perm, or just a perm that'll give you a little body and texture so you can cut back on heat-styling, there's a style out there for ya. But before you go buying that at-home perm kit (please don't ever do that), you're gonna want to read this guide first.

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Is getting a perm a good idea?

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If you've done your research (you're here, so that's a good first step), you're ready to make the commitment, and you're planning on going to a professional, then yes, definitely. But trying to give yourself a DIY hair perm? Not so much. I hate to be the party pooper, and I know there are a lot of things we tell you not to try at home (like highlighting your hair or removing gel polish), but this is really, really something that you shouldn’t try yourself. With all the required technique and skill, the different sizes and kinds of perm rods and rollers, and the countless types of perming solutions (which, for the record, are formulated with intense chemicals), there are just way too many factors for newbies to consider.

And honestly, perms are even challenging for some professional hairstylists to pull off. So if you've found someone or a salon that specializes in a specific perm you're interested in, consider making the trip to ensure that it turns out the way you want (because, spoiler alert, perms aren't cheap). At the end of the day, it's definitely not worth sacrificing your hair to save a few bucks.

Are there different perm types?

Back in the day, perms were very one-size-fits-all, but today you've got all different types of perms with different processes to suit your preferences—whether you want something soft and wavy, or more defined and curly. The biggest and main difference between present-day perms vs. the classic perms of the past is the technique. The TL;DR: Modern perms are all about customization.

In general, the type of perm your stylist uses will be determined by their personal style and technique, so it's best to do a little research to make sure you're on the same page before your appointment. There are way too many types of perms to walk you through each one (just being honest!), but these are definitely a few of the most popular options:

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First, you've got your standard perm, which uses traditional, plastic perm rods to give your hair a more defined curl. Then you've got your softer, looser perms to create more movement and texture if you're someone with flat, fine, or bodiless hair. Some examples are the MareWave by Mare Salon in Los Angeles (which requires larger rods and different sectioning techniques to create more volume, texture, or body) and the digital perm (which involves rollers that attach to a machine to control the heat, giving the hair a beachy texture).

But perms aren't only for transforming straight hair into wavy or curly hair. If you already have curly or coily hair, you can get a relaxer (sometimes called a perm, which softens the curl for a straight finish) or a curly perm (when the hair is still curly but you've altered the texture or the curl pattern). A couple examples of curly perms are the Wave Nouveau (which starts with a cream to first straighten the curl) and the GinaCurl by Hair's Talent (which doesn't require double-processing).

Are you exhausted yet? Because I am. The point I'm trying to make is there are a million different perm types, techniques, and names, so don't just choose the first one that pops up. Do your research and find the perm that'll work best for you and your desired end results.

Do perms ruin your hair?

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Can they? Absolutely. I mean, the internet is full of perm disasters for a reason—you're working with chemicals that are powerful enough to change the texture of your hair, which is why it's so important to see a pro. An experienced professional knows to take into consideration your hair type, texture, porosity, past treatments, color history—you get the idea. It’s a lot to keep up with, which is why, again, it’s better left to the hands of a hairstylist.

According to Kiley Fitzgerald, hairstylist at Mare Salon who specializes in the MareWave, those with heavily highlighted hair (that includes bleached) or already damaged hair should avoid perms. If you try to perm hair that's already damaged, you're just going to damage it more, says Fitzgerald.

How long does a perm last?

Generally, perms last anywhere from four to six months, but fun fact: The word "perm" is actually short for "permanent." Because you're actually changing the hair's texture, a perm doesn't just go away—you have to grow it out. If your perm is much softer than the classic '80s perm, your hair will grow out nicely without being too obvious. Otherwise, you'll probably want to go back for touch-ups around the six-month mark if you want to maintain your perm.

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How much does a perm cost?

If I haven't drilled it into your head enough, perms (especially the good ones) aren't easy. Because of the difficulty level, you'll want to make sure you go to someone who's very experienced in the technique, so prepare to shell out some cash. Determined by the type and the salon, theprice of hair perms vary, but you can expect to pay a base rate, sometimes up to a couple hundred dollars, plus more depending on the length and thickness of your hair.

How do I prepare my hair for a perm?

The number one most important step in preparing for a perm is to schedule a consultation with your stylist before the treatment to find out if you're even a good candidate. If you're someone who colors their hair, that's an important consideration that needs to be brought up with your stylist before your perm. Once it's been decided that a perm will work for you, Fitzgerald suggests strengthening your strands with conditioning treatments leading up to your appointment for the best results.

Olaplex Hair Perfector No 3 Repairing Treatment


Briogeo Don't Despair, Repair! Deep Conditioning Hair Mask


Davines Love Curl Hair Mask


Adwoa Beauty Baomint Deep Conditioning Treatment


What should you not do after a perm?

This also depends on the type of perm, but generally, you shouldn't wash your hair with shampoo for two to three days (we've all seen Legally Blonde, right?), and Fitzgerald also tells clients to avoid tight hair ties and hats before that first wash. Basically, you want to avoid doing anything that might alter the shape you've just worked so hard (and paid so much) to get. After that first wash, you'll also want to opt for air-drying over heat-styling with curling irons or straighteners as much as you can to protect the curls.

How do I keep my perm curly?

Hope you didn't finish off that bottle of deep conditioner while prepping for your appointment, because you'll also want to use conditioning treatments at least once a week to maintain the integrity of the perm. It's also a good idea to invest in a silk pillowcase, if you haven't already, or sleep with a hair bonnet to protect your strands from friction, tangles, and frizz while you toss and turn.

If you're new to curly hair, it's important to note that curls aren't any easier to style than straighter strands, but if you love your new shape and texture, it'll be worth any extra time spent. The first step is to trade out your regular formulas (especially the ones with sulfates) with wavy or curly hair products. Then, figure out how the heck to use all those products (check out the Curly Girl method if you now have anything between 2c to 4a curls) and experiment to find an application technique that works best for your new look.

The final word

If you're looking for a relatively easy way to try out a new hair texture, you should definitely consider going for a perm. Just remember: You can't DIY your perm (no exceptions!) and you'll want to book a consultation with a professional to make sure you're an ideal candidate. That said, there are so many types of perms available today that you're basically guaranteed to find a style you love.

Brooke ShunatonaBrooke Shunatona is a contributing writer for

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