Q: As of lately, I have wanted to get a twisted spiral perm or body wave perm to add volume and curls to my straight, thick
hair. My hair is a little bit past my shoulders and has some old layers in it from 5 months ago. I was wondering if I should get a
bigger-rod twisted spiral perm or a body wave, but I'm worried because I hear that when a body wave grows out it looks terrible and the
roots look flat in contrast to the voluminous bottom. Is this true or does a body wave grow out nicely? P.S. I am also getting bangs,
should that affect my decision?
A: First of all, the way your perm will look as it grows out depends largely on how dramatically different your natural wave pattern is
compared to the wave pattern created by the perm. Generally speaking, the larger the curl, the less noticeable the new growth is (to a
point, obviously). For example, if your shoulder length hair is stick straight naturally, and you have it permed using quarter-inch
perming tools (whether they are traditional or spiral tools) when the hair begins to grow out, the new growth is still going to be
stick straight and very quickly you will notice the difference. However, if your hair already has a little wave to it, and you get
a body wave to give you more fullness, you could very easily grow the perm out completely and be the only person who notices that
your hair is a little “flatter” than it was previously.
The choice between a spiral perm and a body wave is really a matter of choice. Bear in mind that the
two services have two different purposes. A spiral perm is meant to create a hairstyle look, and the hair is subsequently styled to
maximize and enhance the curls. A body wave is intended to add a bit of volume and, well, body to the hair, and the hair is styled in
its normal fashion (or the desired fashion) with the body wave giving the hair the ability to curl easier and hold its style longer.
As for your intent to get bangs: if you get a body wave, or a large curl spiral perm, you will
probably have your bangs wrapped and permed, too. The difference comes after, where you will most likely style your bangs to lie
straighter, according to the way they were cut. If you opt for a spiral perm with a tighter curl, you may want to make sure the stylist
does not perm your bangs, or at least wraps them on a large tool, so that you don’t end up with a “poodle-puff” on your forehead.