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Every Type of Perm, Explained

Hair Salon Saratoga NY

This article comes from Byrdie.

Every Type of Perm, Explained

When thinking about perms, the images that come to mind span from ’80s Jheri curl mullets to Carrie Bradshaw’s infamous curls in the early ’90s. But these permed styles are not just a thing of the past. Permanent solutions are back on the scene, making waves of all shapes and sizes and catering to every hair type. Whether you have limp, fine strands that crave body and volume, or are simply looking to avoid a plethora of product buildup to keep your hair’s movement intact, there is a perm out there to solve your hair woes. We tapped two expert hairstylists to explain every type of perm there is. Keep reading to learn what they have to say about the various perms available and which one may be best for you.

1. Body Wave Perm

For individuals who want to achieve body and texture to the hair, a body wave is the perm for you. Body waves offer a softer, more natural-looking wave, and they can also provide added texture and longer-lasting blowouts.

To create these effortless, natural-looking waves, normally larger rods are used to create the look, giving it less of a curl. Larger rods and a more mild solution are the keys to this perm giving you that loose, desirable movement. The ideal hair type for this treatment? Anyone with straight hair or inconsistent waves who wants to have more texture or wants to get a soft, natural wave.

2. Spiral Perm

Depending on the density of the hair, spiral perms with their spiral-shaped curls are going to give medium-maximum volume. The rods used for spiral perms are usually on the smaller side and applied vertically rather than horizontally. The curls are normally tighter and last longer due to the thinner perm rods used, this will give a fuller, longer look to the hair.

If you’re considering an allover, voluminous curl pattern à la Sarah Jessica Parker circa 1990, the spiral is the perm for you.

3. Multi-Textured Perm

if you’re someone with straight or wavy hair and you’re looking for movement that’s less uniform, with more of a natural-looking curl, you’re likely striving to get the look of a multi-textured perm. Inconsistency in the curl size is what makes it look so effortless and natural.

These perms use a combination of different-size rods to create that more believable, natural-looking curl.

4. Straight Perm

Not all perms are curly. The catch that differs a straight perm from other straightening treatments? Well, it’s permanent. (Hence its name.) While a keratin treatment or a Brazilian blowout is a semi-permanent option with a shorter lifespan that smoothes over the cuticle, a straight perm is actually entering the hair shaft and altering the bonds of the hair for a longer-lasting effect. A straight perm is great for someone with curly or frizzy hair who wants it to be straight and smooth.

5. Stack Perm

Stack perms typically bring to mind a very ’70s look. This is a technique in which you use different perm rod sizes and focus on the middle and lower area of the head.

This used to be a popular style method for graduated bobs, giving them that stacked look. This is also how the rods are applied, stacked one on top of the other, and graduating away from the scalp as they move their way up. If you have a straight bob and are looking to add a lot of volume to your ends, the stack perm is your best bet.

6. Root Perm

Root perms are on the rise, and as you can imagine, this treatment gets applied to only the roots of the hair, matching the texture of your mid-shaft and ends. The main goal of a root perm is to create volume at the roots, and it can do this on curled or straightened hair.

While a root perm can also be done as a touch-up to the pre-existing perm that’s grown out (similar to the touch-ups you’d get with your hair color), a pre-existing perm is not required.

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