Perm (Permanent Wave) – Hairstyling Technique

by Shine My Crown Staff
Alias: Permanent wave, Perming, Curly perm, Wave perm, Texturizing, Texture perm, Body wave, Curling treatment, Permanent curl, Perm hairstyle, The Creamy Crack, Relaxed Hair, Relaxer


What is a Perm (Permanent Wave)?
A perm, short for “permanent wave,” is a hairstyling technique that chemically alters the structure of the hair to create curls or waves that last for an extended period. It’s a popular method for achieving long-lasting, textured hairstyles.

Can Anyone Get a Perm?
Most people can get a perm, but the success of the process may depend on the individual’s hair type and condition. Hair that is too damaged or over-processed may not be suitable for perming. Consulting with a professional stylist is recommended to assess hair health and determine if a perm is a good choice.

How Is a Perm Done?
The perm process typically involves the following steps:

  1. Preparation: Hair is shampooed to remove dirt and oils and towel-dried.
  2. Wrapping: Sections of hair are wrapped around perm rods or curlers of various sizes based on the desired curl/wave type.
  3. Applying Perm Solution: A chemical solution is applied to break and reform the hair’s disulfide bonds, allowing it to take on the shape of the rods.
  4. Processing: The hair is allowed to process for a specific time, determined by the desired results and hair type.
  5. Rinsing: The hair is rinsed to remove the perm solution.
  6. Neutralizing: A neutralizer is applied to set the new curl/wave pattern by rebuilding the disulfide bonds.
  7. Final Rinsing: The rods are removed, and the hair is rinsed again.
  8. Styling: The newly permed hair can be styled as desired.

How Long Does a Perm Last?
The longevity of a perm can vary depending on factors such as hair type, maintenance, and the specific perm solution used. On average, a perm can last for several months before gradually loosening and returning to its natural state.

How Do I Maintain a Perm?
To maintain a perm, it’s essential to use hair products formulated for permed hair and follow a proper hair care routine. Regular trims to remove damaged ends are also recommended. Avoiding excessive heat and using heat protectant products can help prolong the life of a perm.


The history of perms dates back to the early 20th century when the technique was developed as a way to create long-lasting curls and waves without daily styling. Perms became particularly popular in the 1980s and have since evolved with advancements in hairstyling technology.

Products Needed:

  • Shampoo
  • Perm rods or curlers
  • Perm solution
  • Neutralizer
  • Towel
  • Plastic cap or wrap
  • Hair clips or pins
  • Heat protectant products (optional)


  1. Start with clean, dry hair.
  2. Section the hair and wrap it around perm rods or curlers.
  3. Apply the perm solution, process, and rinse.
  4. Neutralize the hair, rinse again, and remove the rods.
  5. Style the newly permed hair as desired.

How-To Remove:

To remove a perm and return the hair to its natural state, the hair will need to grow out and be cut or trimmed. Perms are a permanent change to the hair’s structure and cannot be fully reversed.

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