Curls, curls and more curls! That’s what every girl is dreaming about these days! While some of us flaunt natural curls, the others struggle to create even small ‘waves’ on their hair. This is where Perming can help! Perming develops curls on your otherwise straight hair by altering its structure. Even limp and thin hair can magically transform into a voluminous curly mane.

Since it is a chemical process, it makes sense to learn about the procedure and the caveats involved in perming before getting it done. To simplify things for you, we have put together some information about Perming types, techniques along with some important tips for permed hair.

What is Hair Perming and How Does it Work?

Hair Perming is a chemical process that alters the structure of your hair ‘permanently’. The procedure involves wrapping small sections of hair with rods, followed by a chemical application. This results in tight curls to loose waves, depending on the type of perm. The results last for about 5-6 months, based on the care and maintenance.

Types of Perms

Perming is not a one-size-fits-all process! You must choose the right type to suit your hair texture, volume, and expected results. Here are some of the popular perming types you must know about:

  1. Spiral Perm: If you dream about tight curls, then spiral perm is the best perming type for you! Hair is split into thin sections and wrapped around thin rods which are placed vertically. The stylist gives you the option to choose the curl size and tightness using different-sized perm rods.
  2. Pin-Curl Perm: Pin-curl perm is an ideal perming type of short, thin hair to add some volume. Pin- curls are created on chemically treated hair by twisting sections of hair and securing them with pins. Once the process is complete, your plain hair transforms into a bouncy mane.
  3. Spot Perm: If you have uneven textured hair that looks half straight and half curly, you can go for spot perm. In this type of perm, curls are created only in specific locations of hair instead of the entire mane. For instance, if the top section of your hair looks flat and the lower half is curly, Spot perm lets you even out this look by curling only the ‘straight’ area.
  4. Body Wave Perm: This perm is ideal for people who prefer soft, beach waves to tight curls. Stylists use large-sized rods to create long curls that bounce and move along with you. These body wave curls usually have a short life compared to other perm types.
  5. Stack Perm: In stack perm, only the middle and the lower sections of hair undergo the perming treatment. The idea is to add more volume and texture to hair without taking away the natural look. The perm uses different size rollers to achieve the desired look.
  6. Multi-Textured Perm: Multi-textured perm works well for people with long hair to give some volume boost. Stylists use varied-sized rollers and wrap to create different types of curls on the hair. The result is an impressive, natural-looking curly mane!
  7. Root Perm: This type of perm helps you achieve more volume in the root section. The roots get a ‘lift’ with a perming treatment strategically done in the area.

Different Perming Techniques

There are two major ways to perm hair – Hot perm and Cold Perm.

Hot Perm:

  • In a hot perm, an acidic solution and heat is applied to form curls. This type of perm is also called Digital perm, which usually lasts longer and requires less maintenance compared to cold perm. However, the hot rollers can damage your scalp, making it an unsuitable perming technique for root perm.
  • Suitable for: Thin, pin-straight hair

Cold Perm:

  • Cold perm uses an alkaline solution and normal curling rods to achieve curls. It is also called traditional or classic perm. Due to the absence of heat, a variety of styling creams and gels are used to achieve the desired look
  • Suitable for: Dense, Coarse hair

Whatever may be the type of perm you opt for, salon perming involves a standard procedure:

  • Firstly, the hair is treated with an appropriate chemical solution. This helps in breaking the disulfide bonds in the shafts
  • The shapes are moulded using different winding techniques like a spiral, piggyback, weaving, root, hopscotch and double wind to create curls of varied sizes and shapes.
  • Once done, the reformed hair is set with a neutralizer

Top 10 Tips for Taking Care of Permed Hair at Home

Once you are done with your perming session, tell yourself that the stylist’s job is done, your’s will start now! Permed hair is high on maintenance and requires special care. To enjoy long-lasting curls with minimal hair damage, we recommend you to follow these tips:

1. Avoid Washing Hair: Do not wash hair for at least 2-3 days after getting your perm done. Shampooing hair within 48 hours of perm may lead to uneven curls. Also, standing directly under the shower can weigh down the hair in the crown section.

NOTE: Some salons claim that washing your hair with a mild shampoo will not affect curls. But, that applies to salon-quality shampoos done by professionals. So, if you want to use a regular drug-store brand at home, it’s better to follow the no-wash rule!

2. Use Wide-Toothed Comb: Refrain from combing or brushing hair within 24-48 hours of permining. After this period, you can use a wide-toothed comb to gently detangle hair without ruining the shape.

3. Say No Heat Tools: Your hair is already super dry after all the chemical treatment. Using heat tools like blow dry, curlers etc. will strip away essential moisture and cause severe dryness. If you want to dry your curls, use a towel and simply scrunch your hair.

4. Do not Color Hair: Stylists recommend not to color treat your hair atleast two or three weeks after the treatment to avoid further damage. Coloring your hair before a perm may fade the color and give you uneven results.

5. Avoid Swimming Pools: Do not get into a swimming pool for 1-2 weeks after a perm. Chlorine and other chemicals used in pool water can interfere with the chemicals used in the treatment.

6. Condition Your Hair: Permed hair can dry out very quickly due to the presence of chemicals. So, using a conditioner after hair wash is a great idea to restore lost moisture levels. Go for light-weight products instead of heavy ones to prevent weighing down your hair.

7. Do not touch your hair too often: Frequently touching your hair or running fingers through it separates the curls and reduces their definition. After a period of time, the effectiveness of a perm gets reduced.

8. Go for Touch-ups: Perming is similar to hair straightening, which requires regular touch-ups. You can get a touchup done after every 5-6 months to extend the life of your permed hair.

9. Use the Right Products: To make curls last longer and look smoother, you must replace regular shampoo and conditioner with special hydrating products. These shampoos nourish your hair without damaging it further.

10. Cover your hair from Sun: The harsh UV rays from the sun can cause irreversible damage to permed hair. So, it’s always a good idea to cover your hair with a scarf, hat or apply a hair product with sunscreen

How to Choose the Best Hair-Care Products for Permed Hair?

With so many products to choose from, it’s often a challenge to buy the ‘right’ product for your permed hair. Check out these tips which will help you find the best perm-friendly shampoo, conditioner and other hair-care products:

  • Always check the ingredient list carefully and avoid products that contain

– Alcohol – which dries out your already dry hair further.

– Silicones – which weigh down your hair and make your curls lose their definition

  • Look out for rich, hydrating hair mousses to control frizz and smoothen out your locks
  • Go for protein-rich hair masks or conditioners which are specially designed for curly hair. These products seal in moisture without making your hair look flat
  • Invest in some hair gels to moisturize your hair and define your curls post-hair wash
  • Pick some curl enhancers which control dryness and give you soft, beautiful curls

Top 5 Hair Care Products for Permed Hair

Permed hair requires special hair-care products to maintain beautiful, well-defined curls for a long time. Here is our list of the top 5 best-rated products specially designed for permed hair:

1. True Frog Shampoo For Curls:


True Frog is an India-based Vegan haircare brand which offers an exclusive range of products for curly hair. The shampoo for permed hair is well-received by many customers for its non-toxic, sulphate and silicone-free formula. It is infused with extracts of chia seed, flax seed and beetroot to maintain the natural texture of hair and prevent color-fade. The shampoo combats the effects of humidity on your curly hair and doesn’t let it weigh down!

2. Curl Up Curl Hydrating Conditioner:


Permed hair requires a special conditioner to tame frizz and combat dryness. Curl Up Hydrating conditioner is designed for Indian weather conditions to strengthen and moisture curly hair. It is free from harsh products like sulfates, parabens and silicones. With the goodness of ingredients like Argan oil and Chia seed extract, Curl up conditioner transforms unruly curly into luscious ringlets. The brand also offers other products like shampoo, serum, mask etc. for permed hair.

3. L’Oreal Paris EverCurlHydracharge Sulfate-Free Shampoo:


L’Oreal Paris Evercurlhydracharge shampoo is rated as one of the best drugstore shampoos for permed hair. The product contains the goodness of coconut oil which offers intense hydration to hair without weighing it down. Your curls will enjoy a 48-hour intense moisturization with this shampoo. The sulfate-free formula cleanse your scalp without damaging hair or fading the color.

4. Fix My Curls Leave-in Cream For Curly And Wavy Hair:


Along with shampoo and conditioner, your permed hair also requires a good leave-in cream to set the curls in place. Here is one of our favourite products from the leave-in segment for permed hair. The Fix My Curls Leave in Cream for Curly and Wavy Hair is infused with Jojoba Seed Oil and Nigella Sativa Seed oil to nourish your hair. It repairs your strands and make them incredibly smooth to touch. It is free from parabens, silicones and sulphates!

5. FLAWSOME Kinky Berries Moisturizing and Strengthening Hair Mask:


Here is a CG (curly girl method) friendly mask from FLAWSOME that smells like a fresh berry pudding! The intense moisturizing mask for permed hair contains berry extracts and Moroccan argan oil to severely damaged, chemical-treated hair. The product contains only natural extracts to gently tame your curls and boost their health. The mask is ideal for weekly deep conditioning and can also be used in place of a regular conditioner.

Now that you have learnt about the techniques and tips for permed hair, it’s time to take the big decision! Before you go for this treatment, speak to a stylist and understand the pros and cons involved in it. You must note that perming invites a lot of responsibility towards your hair, so make sure you are ready for it!

Frequently Asked Questions:

1. How long will a perm last?

A perm usually lasts anywhere between 4-6 months. The longevity depends on the maintenance, thickness and even your hair growth cycle. People who have faster hair growth may end up with uneven curls just after 3 months. In such cases, touch-ups must be done earlier than the usual schedule to retain the perm.

2. How much will a Perm cost in India?

The cost of hair perming in India depends on the city, the salon and the length of hair. On average, a should-length hair perm will cost around 4500 INR and waist-length hair will cost around 7000 INR. The overall cost varies with the type of perm used, products and techniques involved in the process.

3. Can men get a Perm?

Yes! Just like straightening, perming is not exclusive to women and even men get it done. Perms look great on young boys and men when done in the right way. Your hair must be of a good length to support the rods and the wrapping process. With a perm, men can achieve some volume and texture to the hair, especially on the front and crown parts.


About Suvarna

Suvarna is a freelance content writer with over 8 years of professional writing experience. She specialized in developing research-based content on Beauty, Skin, and Hair Care. Suvarna believes that beauty is one of the key factors for every personality. She always strives to bring more authenticity and credibility to her articles.