Are There Different Types of Perms? Discover the Perfect Style!

Perms are back in style, and they have come a long way since the ’80s. People today opt for perms to add volume, texture, and even curls to their hair. But with so many different types of perms available, it can be overwhelming to choose the perfect one for you. In this article, we will dive into the various types of perms and help you discover the best style for your hair.

The Different Types of Perms

1. Body Wave Perm

The body wave perm is perfect for those who want to add volume and texture to their hair without going full-on curly. This perm produces gentle waves throughout the hair, creating a natural-looking texture. It is ideal for individuals with straight hair or fine hair who want to add some movement to their locks.

During the process, the hair is wrapped around large perm rods and doused in a waving lotion. The lotion breaks down the internal structure of the hair, allowing it to be shaped and molded around the rods. After leaving the waving lotion on for a certain period, the hair is rinsed, and a neutralizer is applied to reform the bonds and set the shape.

2. Digital Perm

The Digital perm involves the use of hot rods with temperature-sensitive curls that are adjusted using a digital machine. This type of perm is ideal for those who want to achieve defined and bouncy curls without using heat styling tools. The digital perm works best on coarse hair that is not too damaged or dyed.

The process involves wrapping the hair around hot rods of different sizes, which are connected to a machine. The machine heats the rods, setting the curls and creating a natural movement. The hair is then rinsed and styled to achieve the desired look.

3. Spiral Perm

The spiral perm creates beautiful, tight curls that flow from the root of the hair to the ends. This perm is ideal for individuals with long hair who want to achieve voluminous, bouncy curls. The spiral perm can also be used to create waves in shorter hair, but it requires experienced stylists.

To achieve spiral perms, long and narrow perm rods are used. The rods are wrapped tightly around small sections of hair, creating corkscrew-like curls. The waving lotion is then applied, and the hair is left to process. Afterward, the hair is washed and styled to give a bouncy, voluminous look.

4. Stack Perm

If you love volume at the crown of your head and more subtle curls at the ends of your hair, the stack perm is perfect for you. This perm style creates height on top, while maintaining loose curls at the bottom.

The stack perm is achieved by using large rods at the top and smaller ones at the bottom. The hair is wrapped around the larger rods at the crown and around smaller rods at the bottom. The styling solution is then applied to the hair, and after processing, the hair is conditioned and rinsed.

5. Multi-Textured Perm

The Multi-Textured Perm is ideal for individuals who want to add some definition and texture to their hair without going too curly. This perm involves soft waves and curls strategically placed throughout the head, giving a natural look. Multi-textured perming works well for hair that is layered.

The hairstylist will use different rod sizes when creating multi-textured perms. Wide rods and smaller rods are both wrapped around the hair to create varying textures. This perm takes longer than other perms, and it requires a skilled stylist to create an even, natural-looking wave throughout the hair.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Perm

1. Hair Type

The type of perm you choose will depend a lot on the texture of your hair. Coarser hair tends to hold curls better, while fine hair can be easily over-processed or damaged. Thicker hair requires larger rods, while thinner hair calls for smaller rods.

2. Face Shape

The shape of your face plays a big role in the type of perm that will suit you. Individuals with round faces should opt for perms that add volume at the crown while creating softer waves around the face. Those with square faces should aim for tighter curls around the face to soften the jawline.

3. Lifestyle

Your lifestyle will determine the level of maintenance you can tolerate for your perm. If you are constantly on the go and don’t have much time to fuss over your hair, then low-maintenance perms such as the body wave or stacked perm will be perfect for you. However, if you don’t mind dedicating time and effort to your hair, you can try the spiral perm or digital perm.

Perm Aftercare

Your hair is vulnerable after perming, and it requires special care to keep it healthy and avoid breakage.

1. Wait to Shampoo

It is advisable to wait at least 48 hours after perming before washing your hair. This allows the chemicals to settle and ensures that your curls take shape. After the first wash, be sure to use a gentle shampoo that does not contain harsh chemicals that could strip your hair of its natural oils. Conditioning your hair after shampooing will ensure it stays hydrated and healthy.

2. Avoid Heat Styling Tools

Heat styling tools such as straighteners and curling irons can damage permed hair. Instead, opt for air-drying or using a diffuser if you need to use a blow dryer.

3. Get Regular Trims

Trimming your hair regularly prevents split ends and keeps your hair looking healthy, bouncy, and fresh.


  • Q: Can you perm colored or bleached hair?
  • A: Yes, you can perm colored or bleached hair, but it requires a skilled professional as the hair is more fragile and prone to breakage.
  • Q: How often can you get a perm?
  • A: It is recommended to wait at least three months before getting another perm, as the chemicals can be harsh on your hair and cause breakage.
  • Q: How long does a perm last?
  • A: The length of time the perm lasts depends on the type of perm and the care taken. Perms can last for up to six months, but this can be shortened if the hair is not correctly cared for.
  • Q: Can you swim with a perm?
  • A: Yes, you can swim with a perm, but it is advisable to cover your hair with a swim cap to avoid chlorine damage.


Perms have come a long way since the ’80s, and there are now many different types to choose from. The perfect perm is possible when you consider your hair type, face shape, and lifestyle when choosing a style. Remember, caring for permed hair requires special attention, and with proper care, your new style can last up to six months.


  • Bellatory. (2021). Different Types of Perms for Hair. Retrieved 2 August 2021, from
  • Cosmopolitan. (2021). The Different Types of Perms You Can Get. Retrieved 2 August 2021, from
  • Glamour. (2021). Here’s Every Little Detail On How to Get a Perm. Retrieved 2 August 2021, from

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