Sure, you love your naturally straight hair – but sometimes it can be fun to add a little curl to your life. Perming your hair is a simple way to get a lasting change in style. Also known by its full name, a “permanent wave” uses chemicals that reshape your hair with an effect that lasts for two to six months, giving you the tight curls or silky waves you’ve always wanted.

Types of Perm Looks

What kind of perm is best suited to your tastes and lifestyle? There are plenty of choices when it comes to perms:

  • Waves
  • Tight, corkscrew curls
  • Loose curls
  • Ringlets
  • Stack perms with curls of different sizes to give the appearance of layers
  • Partial perms that curl the top or bottom of the hair, but not the entire length

Is a Perm Right for You?

First, make sure you know what you’re getting into. Today’s perms are much more versatile than the classic 80’s perm, but they’re still a relatively permanent change that you’re stuck with, so it’s important to discuss your wishes with your stylist to ensure that you get a result you love.

Perms work best on hair that hasn’t been coloured or treated, and thicker hair will take to a perm better than thin, dry, or frizzy hair. If your hair has been exposed to chemical treatments and you’re not sure whether it can handle being permed, a local hairstylist can tell you whether you’re a good or bad candidate for the procedure.

How to Get the Best Perm

How can you make sure you’re getting the perm you want, and extend the life of your new curls? First and foremost, sit down with your stylist and discuss the results you want. You should always bring a picture with you, so you’ll be sure you’re on the same page about your curls.

You can prep your hair for perming by applying a deep conditioner, but don’t wash or condition your hair for 24 hours before you get your perm, or within 48 to 72 hours afterwards. Washing too soon will remove the chemicals that make your hair curl and will ruin the perm. If everything goes right and you care for your perm properly, the curls will last for two to six months, depending on the natural texture of your hair, the chemicals used by your stylist or salon, and how often you wash your hair.

Whether you’re hoping for tight curls or loose, kinky waves, a local stylist can help you find the best perm for you and give you curls you’ll love.