Permanent Wave: Unlocking The Secrets To Beautiful, Wavy Hair

Permanent wave

Welcome to our comprehensive guide on permanent waves, an exciting hair treatment that can transform your locks.

If you're a woman of any hair type looking to stimulate hair growth, you've come to the right place.

In this article, we'll cover everything you need to know about permanent waves, from its basics to its benefits and alternatives.

So, let's dive in!

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What Is A Permanent Wave?

A permanent wave, often referred to as a perm, is a hair treatment that transforms straight or limp hair into bouncy, textured waves or curls.

It's a popular choice among individuals looking to add volume and texture to their hair.

Woman with permanent wave

What Is The Importance Of A Permanent Wave?

A permanent wave is important for several reasons:

  • Enhanced Volume: It adds body and volume to fine or flat hair, making it appear fuller and more vibrant.
  • Texture and Style: Permanent waves give your hair a beautiful, natural texture, making it easier to style and experiment with different looks.1
  • Low Maintenance: Say goodbye to daily curling or styling routines. A permanent wave provides a lasting solution for effortlessly chic hair.

How Does A Permanent Wave Work?

The magic behind a permanent wave lies in a chemical process that reshapes the hair's structure.

Here's a simplified breakdown:

  • Preparation: Your hair is washed and wrapped around perm rods of various sizes, depending on the desired curl type.
  • Application: A waving lotion, often containing chemicals like ammonium thioglycolate, is applied to break down the hair's natural bonds.
  • Setting: The hair is left to set for a specific amount of time, allowing it to take on the shape of the perm rods.
  • Neutralization: A neutralizing solution is applied to rebuild the hair's bonds in their new, wavy configuration.
  • Rinsing and Styling: After rinsing and conditioning, your stylist styles your newly waved hair.
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What Are The Benefits Of A Permanent Wave?

Opting for a permanent wave can bring you a host of benefits, including:

  • Long-Lasting Waves: Enjoy your wavy locks for months, reducing the need for daily styling.
  • Versatility: Experiment with different hairstyles, from loose waves to tight curls.
  • Added Volume: Achieve a fuller, more voluminous look that lasts.
  • Time Savings: Cut down on styling time in your daily routine.

Are There Any Downsides To A Permanent Wave?

While permanent waves offer numerous advantages, it's essential to consider potential downsides:

  • Damage: Chemical treatments can weaken hair over time, so proper care and maintenance are crucial.2
  • Regrowth: As your hair grows, a noticeable contrast can appear between the treated and untreated sections.
  • Allergic Reactions: Some individuals may experience allergic reactions to the chemicals used in the process.

What Are The Alternatives To A Permanent Wave?

If you're hesitant about a permanent wave, there are alternative ways to achieve wavy hair:

Curling Irons

Use a curling iron or wand to create temporary waves whenever you desire.

Heatless Methods

Try heatless methods like braiding damp hair before bed for natural waves.

Texturizing Products

Use texturizing sprays, mousses, or sea salt sprays to add waves without chemicals.

Wigs and Extensions

Consider wigs or extensions if you want a quick change without committing to a permanent wave.

What Are The Different Types Of Permanent Waves?

When it comes to permanent waves, there are several options to choose from, each offering a unique style and curl pattern. Here's a breakdown of the various types:

Body Wave

  • Body waves create soft, loose waves that add volume and texture to your hair.
  • Ideal for: Those seeking a natural, beachy look.

Spiral Perm

  • Spiral perms produce tight, corkscrew-like curls that can range from small to large.
  • Ideal for: Individuals who want defined, eye-catching curls.

Digital Perm

  • Digital perms use heated rods and temperature-controlled devices to create well-defined, bouncy curls.
  • Ideal for: People who desire long-lasting, uniform waves.

Root Perm

  • Root perms focus on adding volume and lift to the roots of the hair, creating a fuller appearance.
  • Ideal for: Those with flat or limp hair looking for added height.

Multi-Textured Perm

  • Multi-textured perms combine different curl sizes throughout the hair, offering a textured, dimensional look.
  • Ideal for: Anyone seeking a trendy, modern hairstyle.
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How Long Should Your Hair Be For A Permanent Wave?

The length of your hair plays a significant role in determining whether you can get a permanent wave.

Generally, your hair should be:

  • At least 4-6 inches long: This length provides enough hair to wrap around the perm rods effectively.

How Often Should You Get A Permanent Wave?

The frequency of getting a permanent wave depends on your hair type, personal preference, and maintenance routine.3 

Here's a general guideline:

  • Every 4-6 months: Most permanent waves last for several months, so you can wait until you notice significant regrowth or a change in your desired style.

How Long Does A Permanent Wave Last?

The longevity of a permanent wave varies, but you can expect it to last for:

  • 3-6 months: With proper care and maintenance, your permanent wave can retain its shape and beauty for this duration.

How Do You Get Permanent Wave Hair?

Achieving permanent wave hair involves several steps, and it's best done by a professional stylist.

Here's an overview of the process:

  • Consultation: Schedule a consultation with a skilled stylist to discuss your desired look and assess the condition of your hair.
  • Preparation: Your hair will be washed to remove any products and buildup.
  • Wrapping: Sections of your hair will be wrapped around perm rods, with the size and type of rods chosen to achieve your preferred curl pattern.
  • Application: A waving lotion or solution is applied to break down the natural bonds of your hair.
  • Setting: Your hair will be left to set for a specific duration, allowing it to take on the shape of the perm rods.
  • Neutralization: A neutralizing solution is applied to rebuild the hair's bonds in their new, wavy configuration.
  • Rinsing and Styling: After rinsing and conditioning, your stylist will style your newly waved hair to reveal your stunning, permanent wave.

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Final Thoughts On Permanent Wave

The world of permanent waves offers an exciting journey to transform your hair into stunning waves or curls that enhance your natural beauty.

From understanding the different types of permanent waves to considering their benefits and maintenance, we've explored the ins and outs of this timeless hair treatment.

As you embark on your quest for fabulous, wavy hair, it's essential to remember that maintaining the health and vitality of your locks is equally important.

At Fully Vital, we're dedicated to helping you maintain a healthy relationship with your hair.

Our range of hair growth products is designed to combat the effects of aging, ensuring that your locks remain vibrant and full of life.

So, whether you're considering a permanent wave or simply looking to elevate your hair care routine, explore our selection of hair growth products at Fully Vital.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Permanent Wave

Is a permanent wave suitable for all hair types?

Permanent waves work well on most hair types, but your stylist can assess if it's suitable for your specific hair condition.

How long does a permanent wave last?

The duration of a permanent wave varies from person to person but typically lasts for several months.

Can I color my hair after getting a permanent wave?

It's generally recommended to wait a couple of weeks before coloring your hair after a permanent wave to avoid excessive damage.

Are there any home kits for permanent waves?

While home kits are available, it's advisable to seek professional help for a successful and safe permanent wave.

How can I maintain my permanent wave?

Proper maintenance includes using sulfate-free shampoos and conditioners, minimizing heat styling, and scheduling regular trims.

Can I swim with a permanent wave?

Swimming is generally safe with a permanent wave, but wearing a swim cap or applying a protective product is recommended to prevent damage from chlorine or saltwater.

Is it possible to reverse or remove a permanent wave?

While it's not easy to reverse a permanent wave, you can grow it out over time.

Trimming your hair regularly and using deep-conditioning treatments can help speed up the process.

Additionally, some salons offer chemical treatments to help relax the curl, but these can be damaging to your hair.

Are there any specific hair care products recommended for maintaining a permanent wave?

To maintain your permanent wave, consider using sulfate-free shampoos and conditioners designed for curly or wavy hair.

These products help preserve the curl pattern and prevent excessive dryness.

Can I use heat styling tools on permanent wave hair?

While it's possible to use heat styling tools on permanent wave hair, it's essential to do so sparingly.

Excessive heat can damage the curls and lead to frizz.

If you must use heat styling tools, use a heat protectant spray and keep the heat at a moderate level.


Can you get a permanent wave if you have extremely long hair?

Yes, you can get a permanent wave with long hair.

However, the process may take longer due to the additional length, and you may need more perm rods to achieve the desired effect.

Your stylist will adapt the technique to accommodate your long locks.


  1. (n.d.). What to Know About Hair Perms. WebMD.
  2. ‌How to repair damaged hair: Methods and how they work. (2020, April 22).
  3. How Long Does a Perm Actually Last? (2018, December 17). Healthline.