What are the 5 Types of Perm
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Perm, short for permanent wave, is a popular hairstyle treatment that adds waves or curls to straight hair. It has been a go-to choice for individuals looking to add texture, volume, and style to their hair. With advancements in hair care techniques, several types of perms have emerged, each offering a unique curl pattern and result. In this article, we will explore the five main types of perms and their characteristics.


In this section, we will provide a brief overview of what perm is and its purpose. Additionally, we will discuss the importance of choosing the right type of perm based on individual hair type and desired outcome.

A perm is a chemical process that alters the structure of the hair, allowing it to hold a new shape. It involves the application of a perming solution, usually containing chemicals like ammonium thioglycolate, to break and reform the disulfide bonds in the hair shaft. Once the hair is wrapped around rods or rollers and the perming solution is applied, the hair is rinsed and neutralized to lock in the new shape.

The primary purpose of a perm is to create curls or waves that are semi-permanent. Unlike styling tools such as curling irons or rollers, perms provide long-lasting results. However, it’s essential to choose the right type of perm to achieve the desired outcome and maintain the health of your hair.

Body Wave Perm

A body wave perm creates loose, natural-looking waves that add volume and movement to the hair. This type of perm is suitable for individuals with straight or slightly wavy hair who desire a soft and subtle curl pattern. The resulting waves are larger and more relaxed compared to other perm types.

To achieve a body wave perm, larger rods or rollers are used during the perming process. The hair is wrapped around the rods in a specific pattern to create uniform waves throughout the hair. The result is a beachy, effortless look that adds texture and body to the hair.

Spiral Perm

The spiral perm is characterized by tight, corkscrew-like curls that resemble spirals. It is ideal for individuals seeking defined and bouncy curls. This type of perm works best on longer hair, as it accentuates the curl pattern and creates a stunning visual effect. Spiral perms require proper maintenance and regular deep conditioning to keep the curls healthy and intact.

During a spiral perm, smaller rods or rollers are used to create tighter curls. The hair is wrapped around the rods in a spiral pattern from the roots to the ends. This technique ensures that the curls cascade down the hair, creating a dramatic and eye-catching look.

Digital Perm

A digital perm is a modern variation of the traditional perm that utilizes hot rods with temperature control. It allows for more precise control over the size and shape of the curls. Digital perms can create various curl patterns, from loose waves to tight curls, depending on individual preferences. This type of perm is known for its longevity and ability to retain curls for an extended period.

The digital perm process involves wrapping the hair around specially designed hot rods. These rods are connected to a machine that controls the temperature and timing of the perm. The heat helps the hair take on the desired curl pattern. Digital perms are popular among those who want versatile styling options as the curls can be adjusted using different heat settings and styling techniques.

Stack Perm

The stack perm, also known as a spot perm, focuses on creating curls in specific areas of the hair rather than the entire head. It is commonly used to add volume and texture to the crown area or to create face-framing curls. The stack perm is suitable for individuals who want to enhance certain sections of their hair while maintaining a natural look.

During a stack perm, small sections of the hair are wrapped around rods or rollers to create curls in targeted areas. This technique allows for customization and precision in achieving the desired result. A stack perm is an excellent option for those who want to highlight specific features or add dimension to their hairstyle.

Spot Perm

Similar to the stack perm, a spot perm targets specific sections of the hair. However, it differs in terms of the curl size and tightness. A spot perm creates smaller, more defined curls in selected areas. This type of perm is often used to add texture and create intricate hairstyles with varying curl patterns.

Spot perms are commonly used to create curls or waves in areas like the bangs, ends of the hair, or even specific layers. By selectively perming certain sections, individuals can achieve a more customized and unique look. Spot perms offer versatility and allow for creative styling options.


In conclusion, there are five main types of perm: body wave perm, spiral perm, digital perm, stack perm, and spot perm. Each type offers a unique curl pattern and result, catering to different hair types and preferences. When considering a perm, it is crucial to consult with a professional hairstylist who can assess your hair’s condition and guide you in choosing the most suitable perm type.


  1. Can I get a perm if my hair is already damaged? It is not recommended to get a perm if your hair is severely damaged, as the chemicals used in the process can further weaken the hair strands. Prioritize repairing and strengthening your hair before considering a perm.
  2. How long does a perm typically last? The duration of a perm depends on various factors, including hair type, aftercare routine, and the specific perm type. On average, a perm can last for several months, with some lasting up to a year.
  3. Can I style my permed hair with heat tools? Yes, you can style your permed hair with heat tools. However, it’s important to use heat-protectant products and avoid excessive heat to prevent damage to the curls. Consult your hairstylist for recommendations on heat styling techniques for permed hair.
  4. How should I care for my permed hair? Proper care is essential to maintain the health and longevity of permed hair. Use sulfate-free shampoos and conditioners specifically formulated for curly hair. Regular deep conditioning treatments, gentle detangling, and avoiding excessive brushing or combing can help preserve the curls.
  5. Can I reverse a perm if I’m unhappy with the results? Perms are considered a semi-permanent change to the hair. While you cannot completely reverse a perm, the curls will gradually loosen and grow out over time. Trimming the permed hair or seeking professional assistance for a perm correction are options to transition back to your natural hair texture.

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