18 Types of Perms (for Short, Medium, and Long Hair)

If you’re contemplating a new look, you’re not alone—according to a survey, about 60% of women change their hairstyle at least once a year. One popular option is getting a perm, but did you know there are various types to choose from?

Perms come in various styles to suit different hair types and desired looks. From Spiral and Body Wave perms for dramatic or natural curls to specialized options like Root or Spot perms for targeted volume or curling, there’s a perm for everyone. Other types include Acid, Exothermic, and even Hair Straightening perms.

Have you been craving a change in style? Let’s elevate your look and simplify your styling routine by finding the perm that’s tailor-made for your hair type and lifestyle!

Best Type of Perm According to Your Hair

Perm TypeBest ForLookProcessCost Range
Spiral PermMedium to long hairDramatic, tight corkscrew curlsWinding hair around long, vertical rods$100-$250
Body Wave PermMost hair typesLoose, natural wavesUsing large rollers for soft, flowing waves$70-$150
Pin-Curl PermShort to medium hairVaried curl sizesManually curling and pinning before chemical treatment$80-$200
Root PermFlat or fine hairLift and volume at the rootsApplying chemical solution only to the roots$50-$100
Spot PermMost hair typesMixed textures and curl sizesApplying chemicals to specific sections$60-$150
Multi-Textured PermMedium to long hairNatural, varied curl patternsUsing different sized rollers$100-$200
Stack PermMedium to long, layered hairCurled middle and bottom layersUsing rollers only on the middle and bottom layers$80-$150
Acid PermFragile, damaged, colored hairSofter, natural curlsUsing a milder chemical solution$100-$200
Exothermic PermMost hair typesDefined, long-lasting curlsUsing heat to speed up the chemical process$100-$250
Digital or Hot PermMedium to long hairLoose, natural curlsUsing hot rods and a temperature-regulating machine$200-$500
Cold PermMost hair typesTight, well-defined curlsApplying a cold chemical solution and setting it with rollers$50-$100
Volumizing PermFine or limp hairAdded volume without curlsUsing large rollers or curling rods$70-$150
Loose PermMost hair typesLoose, relaxed curlsUsing larger rollers and a milder solution$70-$150
Textured PermMost hair typesTextured, tousled lookUsing specialized rods and techniques$100-$200
Beach PermMost hair typesCasual, beachy wavesUsing specialized rods for a tousled look$80-$200
Hair StraighteningCurly or wavy hairStraight hairUsing chemical relaxers and flat irons$100-$300
Partial PermMost hair typesCurls in specific areasApplying chemical solution to selected sections$60-$150
Braid PermMedium to long hairCrimped, wavy textureBraiding hair before applying a chemical solution$80-$200
This comprehensive chart should provide you with a quick reference for the best hair types, looks, processes, and cost ranges for each perm type.

Spiral Perm

The Spiral Perm is a dramatic transformation ideal for those with medium to long hair. It features tight, corkscrew curls that cascade down, offering an intricate and eye-catching pattern. This perm style is perfect for those who want to make a bold statement with their hair.

Body Wave Perm

For a more natural, versatile look, the Body Wave Perm is a great choice. Suitable for most hair types, it creates loose, natural-looking waves that add both volume and movement. This is the go-to option for those seeking a relaxed yet voluminous style.

Pin-Curl Perm

The Pin-Curl Perm is a vintage technique that brings versatility in curl sizes. Best suited for short to medium-length hair, this method involves manually curling hair into loops and pinning them to the scalp before applying a chemical solution. It’s perfect for those who love a retro look.

Root Perm

The Root Perm is a lifesaver for individuals with flat or fine hair. Unlike other perms, this one focuses solely on the roots, adding lift and volume. A chemical solution is applied only to this area, making it an excellent choice for those who want height without curling the entire length of their hair.

Spot Perm

The Spot Perm allows for targeted curling, letting you perm specific sections of your hair while leaving others straight or less curly. This creates a mix of textures and curl sizes, offering a dynamic, natural look that’s perfect for those who like to mix things up.

Multi-Textured Perm

The Multi-Textured Perm is ideal for those aiming for a natural look with varied curl patterns. Best for medium to long hair, this perm offers a mix of tight and loose curls, mimicking natural variation and providing a dynamic, textured appearance.

Stack Perm

The Stack Perm is unique in its approach, curling only the middle and bottom layers of the hair while leaving the top layers straight. This creates a stacked, voluminous effect, making it ideal for medium to long hair, especially those with layered cuts.

Acid Perm

The Acid Perm is the go-to for those with fragile, damaged, or colored hair. It creates softer, more natural-looking curls using a milder chemical solution. This makes it a gentler option that minimizes potential hair damage.

Exothermic Perm

The Exothermic Perm uses heat to speed up the chemical process, resulting in defined, long-lasting curls. Suitable for most hair types, this modern technique offers quicker results, making it a convenient choice for those on the go.

Digital or Hot Perm

The Digital or Hot Perm is a cutting-edge method best suited for medium to long hair. It uses hot rods connected to a temperature-regulating machine to create long-lasting, natural-looking curls, offering a modern twist to traditional perming techniques.

Cold Perm

The Cold Perm is a traditional method that provides tight, well-defined curls. Suitable for most hair types, it’s generally more affordable and involves applying a cold chemical solution before setting the hair with plastic rollers.

Volumizing Perm

The Volumizing Perm is perfect for those with fine or limp hair. It uses large rollers or curling rods to create a lifting effect, adding volume without necessarily adding curls. This is ideal for those who want a fuller look without the commitment to a curly style.

Loose Perm

The Loose Perm is popular among those who prefer relaxed, loose curls. This perm is favorable to all hair types, and it uses larger rollers and a milder solution to create a relaxed curl pattern, offering a laid-back, easygoing look.

Textured Perm

The Textured Perm delivers a tousled, textured look that’s versatile and modern. Specialized rods and techniques are used to create this textured, messy look, making it a popular choice for those who prefer a casual style.

Beach Perm

The Beach Perm is for those who adore the casual, beachy wave look. Specialized rods are used to create this tousled, relaxed style, making it a popular choice for those who want to capture that just-off-the-beach vibe.

Hair Straightening

Hair Straightening is the ultimate choice for those with curly or wavy hair who desire a sleek, straight look. It involves the use of chemical relaxers and flat irons to achieve a polished, streamlined appearance.

Partial Perm

The Partial Perm is a customizable option that allows you to have curls in specific areas of your hair. A chemical solution is applied to selected sections, making it a versatile choice for those who want a mix of textures.

Braid Perm

The Braid Perm offers a crimped, wavy texture, ideal for medium to long hair. The hair is braided in sections before a chemical solution is applied. Once rinsed, the braids are undone, revealing a unique, crimped texture that adds a playful twist to your look.

How to Choose the Right Type of Perm for You

Choosing the right perm involves considering your hair texture, the look you desire, and how much upkeep you’re willing to commit to.

For example, for fine or straight hair, a Body Wave Perm can add the right amount of volume. If you’re after more defined curls, a Spiral Perm might be your best bet.

Here are some things to consider overall when choosing:

  • Hair Texture: Fine hair suits softer waves, and coarse hair can handle stronger curls.
  • Hair Length: Short hair limits curl size; long hair offers more options.
  • Hair Health: Damaged hair should opt for gentler treatments.
  • Desired Look: Choose between natural waves and defined curls.
  • Maintenance: Consider how often you’re willing to get touch-ups.
  • Chemicals: Ammonia-free is less damaging but may not last as long.
  • Cost: Basic perms are cheaper, and specialty perms cost more.
  • Professional Advice: Always consult for a tailored recommendation and consider a patch test.

Hot vs. Cold Perming Methods

When it comes to perming, the two primary methods are hot perming and cold perming. Both have their unique advantages and disadvantages and are suited for different hair types and desired outcomes.

Understanding the nuances between the two can help you make an informed decision about which method is right for you.

Hot Perming Methods

Hot perming, also known as digital or hot perms, is a modern technique that uses hot rods connected to a temperature-regulating machine.

This method is best suited for medium to long hair lengths and is designed to create natural-looking, loose curls or waves. The heat helps to break down the hair structure more efficiently, allowing for quicker and longer-lasting results.

However, the heat can also be damaging, especially for hair that is already dry or brittle. Hot perming is generally more expensive due to the specialized equipment and expertise required, with costs ranging from $200 to $500.

Cold Perming Methods

On the other hand, cold perming is the traditional method that has been around for decades. It’s suitable for most hair types and lengths.

This method uses a cold chemical solution to break down the hair structure, which is then set with plastic rollers to create curls. Cold perms offer a tighter, more defined curl pattern compared to hot perms.

The absence of heat makes it less damaging to the hair, but the results may not last as long as hot perms. Cold perming is generally more affordable, with costs typically ranging from $50 to $100.

Can Perms Damage Your Hair?

The question of whether perms can damage your hair is a valid concern, and the answer is, unfortunately, yes—perms have the potential to damage your hair.

However, the extent of the damage can vary based on several factors, including the type of perm, the condition of your hair, the expertise of the stylist, and the quality of aftercare.

Here’s a breakdown of how perms can affect your hair and what you can do to minimize the risks.

  • Chemical Impact: Perms use chemicals to alter hair structure, making strands prone to breakage and dryness.
  • Heat Exposure: Hot perms can intensify damage, stripping natural oils and causing dryness.
  • Pre-existing Condition: Already damaged or colored hair is more vulnerable to perm-related damage.
  • Stylist Expertise: The skill level of the stylist can significantly affect the outcome; experienced stylists minimize damage.
  • Aftercare: Essential for reducing damage; includes sulfate-free shampoos, deep conditioning, and avoiding heat styling.

What is the Least Damaging Type of Perm?

When it comes to minimizing damage, the Acid Perm is often considered the least damaging type of perm. Acid perms use a milder chemical solution with a lower pH level, making it gentler on the hair compared to other types of perms.

Another option to consider is the Root Perm, which focuses solely on the roots and avoids treating the entire length of the hair. This localized application minimizes the exposure of your hair to chemicals, thereby reducing the potential for damage.

Final Word

In summary, the variety of perms available offers something for every hair type, from fine and flat to thick and curly. Your hair’s unique characteristics play a crucial role in determining which perm will best achieve your desired look.

And let’s not forget the importance of aftercare; the right maintenance can extend the life of your perm and keep your locks looking fabulous.

So, whether you’re after volume, texture, or a complete curl overhaul, there’s a perm out there tailored just for you.

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