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Different Types of Perms: Spiral, Body Wave, Beach Wave & Digital (2024)

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types of permReady to give your hair a new look? Perms are the perfect way to add volume, wave, or curl and change up your style. No matter what kind of hair you have – straight, thin, or thick – there is sure to be a perm that will work for you.

From spiral perms and body waves through beach waves and digital perms, these 11 types of permanent curls can provide just the transformation you’ve been looking for! With so many options available, it’s important to understand which type of perm works best with different lengths and textures.

This way, when it comes time for an appointment, you’re confident in choosing the right one.

Key Takeaways

  • Hot and cold perms are two different methods of transforming hair texture.
  • There are various types of perms available for different hair types, such as body wave, spiral, and beach wave perms.
  • Each specific perm style offers different results, such as tight curls, loose waves, or salon-perfect curls.
  • Perms require proper aftercare, which includes using sulfate-free products and regular trims.

What is a Perm?

What is a Perm
A perm is a hair styling technique used to transform the texture of your locks. There are two main methods: hot and cold perming, which involve using rollers or rods in different ways.

Hot Vs. Cold Perming Methods

You’ve got two choices when it comes to perming your hair – hot or cold – so weigh up the pros and cons before taking the plunge!

Hot perms use rods, heat, and chemical solutions to break down bonds in each strand of hair.

Cold waving uses only chemicals but can take longer than its heated counterpart. It’s also gentler on strands that are prone to heat damage or have low tolerance levels.


  1. Faster results from hot perm methods
  2. More precise curl patterns from heating rods
  3. Lower risk of burning sensitive scalps with cold waves


  1. Longer processing time for colder options
  2. Chemical-heavy processes may cause dryness over time
  3. Heated methods can burn if not used correctly

Perming safety should be taken seriously no matter which technique you choose! Research is key before getting any type of permanent wave treatment done – know what works best for your individual needs and get ready to rock those new locks!

Perms for Straight or Thin Hair

If you have straight or thin hair, don’t despair! There are plenty of perms to choose from that will give your locks a new look.

Root Volume, Styling Techniques, and Maintenance Tips can all be achieved with volumizing and curling variations like the body wave perm or volumizing perm.

For those who want more texture in their hair, there’s the beach wave style for an effortless-looking finish.

Consider trying a multi-textured perm for some added volume while keeping it soft and natural-looking too!

Last but not least is the pin curl, which gives curls a classic twist – perfect if you’re after retro glamour vibes or simply want to pep up your everyday look!

With so many options available, no matter what type of hair you have, there’s something out there just right for you.

Perms for Straight or Wavy Hair

For straight or wavy hair, choose from beach wave, multi-textured, pin curl, and stack perms to create beachy waves that look like you’ve spent the day in the sun! Curling techniques vary between hot and cold perm methods, both of which can provide dynamic texture variations.

Depending on your styling preference, it’s easy to find maintenance tips for keeping curls looking fresh throughout the day.

Before curling your hair with a perm rod or roller set, consider properly preparing it by using products such as a volumizing spray or heat protectant.

Perms for Curly or Thin Hair

Curly or thin-haired people have a variety of perm options, such as straight, partial, and spiral perms.

For example, with thinner hair types, it may be beneficial to get a body wave perm, which adds texture and volume. For those with naturally curly hair, they can opt for curling techniques that help enhance their curls’ shape while adding definition.

Whatever your choice is, proper maintenance is key. Use curl-enhancing products regularly and avoid excessive styling tools like blow dryers to keep your style looking fresh throughout the life of the perm.

With some effort, you can ensure that your chosen type of permanent hairstyle looks great!

How is a Perm Done?

How is a Perm Done
When it comes to the different types of perms, there are some popular options. The spiral perm provides tight curls in even sections all over the head; a body wave perm is great for adding volume and texture; beach waves provide gentle, loose curls along with more volume at the roots; and a digital perm gives hair an almost-permanent style that can be customized for each individual.

Spiral Perm

A Spiral Perm is a modern perm style that creates tight, bouncy curls throughout the hair. The technique uses smaller rods to curl each individual strand and create consistent patterns for better styling results.

It’s known as one of the more advanced types of perms and should only be done by an experienced perm specialist or stylist.

For best results, it works best on medium-textured hair, but can also work with other textures depending on the desired look.

Key factors to consider when thinking about this type of perm include knowing your own hair texture, understanding how long maintenance may take, and comparing spiral vs digital techniques, which produce different looks altogether.

Body Wave Perm

A body wave perm gives you loose, natural-looking waves that add texture and volume to your hair. It is created by wrapping the hair around a larger rod than used for a regular spiral perm. The technique produces looser curls with more movement and bounce in them compared to other types of perms.

Perm maintenance requires regular deep conditioning treatments and avoiding heat styling tools as much as possible. Styling a body wave can be done using products like curl creams or mousses, which help define the curls without weighing them down too much, giving it an effortless look.

Additionally, it’s important to know that there are subtle differences between beach waves vs body waves. Beach waves are slightly tighter but still have plenty of definition while providing extra hold after styling due to their tighter structure overall.

Beach Wave Perm

Enjoy the look of beach waves without having to spend long hours in the sun! The Beach Wave Perm is a popular choice for many, with over 70% of people favoring it as their go-to style.

Saltwater and beach wave perms are two very different styles that produce unique looks. For saltwater styling, think big curls that will create more texture and volume throughout your hair while still providing a relaxed feel.

A beach wave perm will give you smaller curls with less definition but natural-looking movement in each strand for an effortless appearance.

When maintaining these styles, use specially formulated products like sea salt sprays or waxes to add texture and hold without weighing down your hair or creating unwanted crunchiness.

After getting either type of perm done by an experienced stylist, celebrities such as Rihanna have been seen sporting truly stunning modern versions – so dive into the world of perms today!

Digital Perm

Embrace a modern style with a digital perm for salon-perfect curls that last. With this type of perm, you can get the beach wave styling results without any additional maintenance. Digital perms work on all hair textures and have great longevity when properly cared for after the procedure is completed.

Your local hair stylist will be able to discuss the pros and cons of getting a digital perm so you can make an informed decision about whether it’s right for your desired look.

Pin Curl Perm

Experience the effortless glamour of a pin curl perm, which adds texture and volume to your hair for an elegant look. Pin curl perms are quite versatile – you can experiment with vintage-inspired styles or create more modern looks.

Maintenance is easy too: just brush out curls while wet, spritz with hairspray, and let them dry overnight! When compared to spiral perms, pin curling requires different techniques to achieve perfect shapes that won’t unravel quickly.

Considerations Before Getting a Perm

Considerations Before Getting a Perm
Before deciding to get a perm, it’s important to be aware of the amount of maintenance they require and that the length of your hair may reduce after the perming process. As with any type of chemical treatment, you should take into account both short-term and long-term effects before committing.

You Must Do Some Low Maintenance

Before getting a perm, it’s essential to understand that you must put in some low maintenance effort to keep your curls looking gorgeous – so don’t expect them to be never-ending! To achieve long-lasting results and maintain the natural look of perms, opt for styles like root or partial perms.

Perming solutions should also be applied correctly, with enough attention paid to hair health. Additionally, use aftercare tips such as using sulfate-free shampoo and deep conditioners regularly. Lastly, try out styling ideas like braiding wet hair overnight for defined waves or sleeping on silk pillowcases for frizz prevention the next day.

Low maintenance is key when it comes to making sure your perm looks picture perfect all season long!

Low Maintenance Perm Styles:

  • Root & Partial perms

Perm Care Tips:

Long Lasting Perm:

  • Styling Ideas (Braids/Silk)

Your Hair Length Will Be Shorter

Keep in mind that when you get a perm, your hair length will be shortened since it’s being reshaped. Short hair perms are also more prone to breakage and require special care for styling and maintenance.

If you decide to get a perm, make sure to use the proper products to avoid damage or excessive dryness. Additionally, keep in mind that permed styles typically last around three months before needing touch-ups or reapplication.

This means you’ll need to visit the salon frequently if you want long-lasting effects.

To maintain healthy locks while enjoying beautiful curls and waves, consider investing in quality haircare products specifically designed for short hair perming treatments. Proper styling techniques are also crucial in keeping your new look at its best.

Check That Your Hair Type, Length, and Texture Are Ideal for the Perm Type You Want

Before deciding on a perm, make sure to check if your hair type, length, and texture are suitable for the look you want to achieve. It’s pointless to have amazing curls if they won’t last! Hair compatibility is crucial, as short or fine hair may not hold its shape well.

Consider the length of your hair and how much time you’re willing to spend on styling. Longer locks require more effort, while shorter cuts need less work but still require careful texture analysis. Keep in mind that perm suitability can vary based on these factors, and even stylists may have different recommendations.

You Should Avoid Color Treatments

It’s best to avoid any color treatments before getting a perm, as it can interfere with the process. Perm color compatibility is key if you want to ensure that your hair not only looks great but remains healthy and strong.

To make sure your perm lasts, take precautions such as avoiding over-washing or using styling products too frequently.

Lastly, stick to proper maintenance tips like an occasional trim and regular deep conditioning treatment.

Perms Can Be Costly

Getting a perm can quickly add up, so be sure to look into the costs before you commit! The price of perms varies greatly depending on the type, length, and thickness of hair, as well as the salon choice.

Cost factors to consider include the cost for products used, such as chemical solutions or rods/rollers, in addition to hairdresser fees. If budget is an issue, there are affordable options like digital or root perms, which create more texture without curling the entire head of hair.

It’s always best to consult your stylist ahead of time about pricing and any other questions related to types of perm longevity and care, so that you’re prepared when getting this service done!

How Much Does a Perm Cost?

How Much Does a Perm Cost
Deciding whether or not to get a perm is an important decision, and understanding the costs associated with it can help you make an informed choice. The cost of perms varies widely based on several factors such as salon vs DIY, type of perm desired, and hair texture/length.

The most significant factor in determining price is location. Salon prices will vary greatly depending on your area. Additionally, more intricate types of perms may come at a higher cost than simpler ones due to their complexity in terms of time and products used by stylists.

Hair length also plays into pricing. The longer the hair, the more expensive since there’s more work involved for styling professionals! Lastly, hidden expenses like additional fees for deep conditioners or curl toners may be added onto your total bill after services are rendered, so keep that in mind when budgeting too!

On average, though, expect to spend anywhere from $30 to $400 depending on all these variables mentioned previously—it truly depends! But knowing what goes into pricing ahead can save headaches down the line if you decide getting this look is right for you!

How Long Does a Perm Last?

How Long Does a Perm Last
Knowing how long your perm will last is important when considering the commitment and cost.

  • Perm Longevity: How well you care for your permanent curls affects the longevity of it.
  • Perm Maintenance: Regular trimming, styling options like pin curl perms, or protective hairstyles all help maintain their shape over time.
  • Perm Aftercare: Using sulfate-free products specifically designed for curly hair, applying deep conditioning treatments after washing helps with maintaining moisture levels in curled locks, which prevents dryness/breakage that comes along with wearing a perm longer than necessary.
  • Perm Damage: Wearing too tight rollers or leaving them on too long during the process can cause more damage than intended.

With proper research and preparation before opting into this type of treatment, you’ll be able to enjoy perfectly styled ringlets without worrying about any potential damages associated with it while also being mindful of the post-perm care routine required to keep these beautiful bouncy waves lasting longer!

Can Perms Damage Your Hair?

Can Perms Damage Your Hair
Considering the perm process and aftercare can be damaging, it’s important to understand how perms can affect your hair. Perm damage is caused by breaking the bonds of your hair, which allows for curl formation.

This process may leave weak points in those areas that are more prone to breakage or split ends if not cared for properly afterwards.

To prevent excess damage, you should use products specifically formulated for chemically treated hair. Additionally, it’s important to avoid heat styling tools like blow-dryers and flat irons until your locks have fully recovered from a perm treatment.

Aftercare also includes regular trims to keep split ends at bay. It’s also advisable to avoid swimming pools immediately after getting a perm, unless you wear protective gear such as swim caps or scarves around wet strands when exiting water sources.

Repairing damaged tresses requires patience. Nourishing treatments with protein-rich formulas will help restore strength, while conditioning masks will guarantee softness and shine over time.

Ultimately, understanding the extent of potential harm done by perms helps ensure proper maintenance going forward, so you can enjoy beautiful curls without compromising on healthy strands!

Aftercare Tips for Perms

Aftercare Tips for Perms
Are you considering getting a perm? It’s important to understand the various types of perms, how long they last, and which aftercare tips are best for maintaining your hair. You may be wondering if it’s possible to perm colored hair or dye it afterward; which type of perm lasts the longest; and what other post-perm care measures should be taken into account.

Here, we’ll discuss all these points so that you can make an informed decision about your next look.

Can You Perm Colored Hair or Dye It After?

When it comes to coloring your hair before or after a perm, it’s better to be safe than sorry. It’s not recommended to color your hair before getting a perm because the chemicals can interfere with the effectiveness of the perming solution.

If you have colored hair and want to get a perm, wait at least two weeks after any chemical treatments so that there is no interference between them.

After getting your perm done, it’s best to wait 4-6 weeks before dyeing again. Freshly permed locks are more prone to damage from additional treatments like dyeing or bleaching processes.

Which Perm Lasts the Longest?

Wondering which perm lasts the longest? The answer depends on several factors, such as hair type, the quality of the perm job, and aftercare.

Longest lasting perm styles include root perms for straight or thin hair and spiral or stack perms for curly/thick strands. Perm maintenance tips may also help extend a style’s lifespan. Proper shampooing techniques, touch-ups every three to four months, and avoiding over manipulation can all help keep newly permed hair looking its best.

Aftercare is key when it comes to maintaining curls. Moisturizing regularly helps keep natural waves from becoming too frizzy while allowing enough movement in your tresses! Finding an experienced stylist who understands how your unique texture responds to different types of perm will ensure you get maximum longevity out of each treatment without damaging your locks with overly tight curls.

This is especially important if you’re willing to invest more into higher cost factors like digital perming service.

How Perms Work

How Perms Work
You might be curious about how perms work, so here’s a quick overview:

Perm Science – A perm is an acidic chemical solution that changes the shape of your hair cuticle to create curls and texture changes.

Curling Chemistry – The chemicals loosen the bonds in your hair cuticles, which allows them to curl up when they come into contact with rods or rollers during processing time.

Hair Transformation – As the chemical reaction takes place, it transforms natural straight textures into bouncy curls or waves, depending on what kind of perm you get done at the salon!

Chemical Reaction – During this process, damage can happen if not done correctly by a professional, resulting in loss of moisture and structure from over-processing or using too much heat for certain types of perms like hot ones.

Texture Change – When used properly, however, these treatments are great for adding volume and body while maintaining healthy-looking locks!

Different Types of Perms

Different Types of Perms
Are you looking for more stylish and modern perms? Body wave and beach waves are two popular perm styles that can help create beautiful curls. Body wave offers a sleek, defined look, while beach waves provide natural-looking volume without sacrificing definition.

Body Wave

Try a body wave perm to give your hair some extra volume and texture. It’s great for coarse, thick hair that needs more definition or movement.

When styling a body wave perm, use products like mousse or curl cream – but avoid heavy oils and creams as they can weigh down the curls.

To maintain the longevity of your style, make sure you use sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner specifically formulated for curly/wavy hair.

A body wave is different from a beach wave in terms of tightness. Beach waves are less defined than traditional perms due to their looser spiral patterning, while still allowing plenty of bounce!

With proper care, expect up to six months before needing another treatment. So enjoy all those compliments!

Beach Waves Perm

Feel the beach vibes and get a soft, tousled look with a beach waves perm. This type of perm is great for limp hair or people wanting to add volume to their style. Different techniques can be used depending on your desired outcome, from tight curls to more natural-looking waves.

Styling products are key in maintaining this look; use light mousse or sea salt spray for added texture and hold without weighing down the hair too much.

Pin-Curl Perm

Experience the sweetly sophisticated look of a pin-curl perm, boasting curls that stay bouncy and defined. With this timeless style, you can have voluminous waves or tight ringlets with just the right level of bounce.

The styling technique uses heated rods in different sizes to create shape and texture for perfect results every time.

Maintenance is simple; use light shampoos, hair oils, or conditioners as needed to keep your mane looking healthy and shiny! Pin curl styling has been around since the early twentieth-century Hollywood days.

Partial/ Spot Perm

Discover the Partial/Spot Perm for a stylish, natural look with looser waves in specific areas. From all-over curls to face-framing pieces, this perm can be tailored to your desired outcome. Considerations before getting one include hair texture and length, as well as maintenance needs after the procedure.

Over time, it may need touch-ups, but regular deep conditioning treatments will help preserve its luster and shine.


Try a relaxer to get smooth, sleek hair with minimal effort. Relaxers chemically change your hair texture from curly or wavy to straight. Benefits include frizz control, easy styling, and a low-maintenance hair care routine.

However, safety is important; avoid bleached hair as it can be damaged by the chemical process, and use clarifying shampoo regularly for the best results. Moroccanoil and Living Proof are two excellent products that can help protect against damage while relaxing your locks.


So there you have it: the different types of perms you can choose from. Whether you’re looking to give your hair some extra volume with a body wave perm or try something more daring with a spiral or digital perm, there’s something to suit everyone’s individual style.

With a good perm, you can expect to enjoy a luscious, stylish look for up to six months. But keep in mind, it’s always best to go to an experienced stylist and take your hair type into consideration before getting a perm.

So, grab those rods and get ready to show off your new ‘do!

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Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim is a published author and software engineer and beard care expert from the US. To date, he has helped thousands of men make their beards look better and get fatter. His work has been mentioned in countless notable publications on men's care and style and has been cited in Seeker, Wikihow, GQ, TED, and Buzzfeed.