Hairstyles, Hair Care & Fashion

Body Wave for Long Hair

Q: I was thinking about getting a perm. My hair is to the middle of my back and it's straight and kind of thick. I was just wondering if it would be better to get a perm or a body wave. I don't want something that won't hold because my hair might weigh it down. And I don't want something extremely curly.
A: Well, as I've explained before, the only real difference between a body wave and a perm is the size of the tools used in wrapping the hair. It sounds as though what you want is actually more of a body wave than an actual perm, but the length of your hair is going to make avoiding a "curly" look difficult.
What you will need is a specialty wave, where the stylist who performs the service will wrap your hair on non-standard perming tools. He/she might use plastic magnetic rollers (the kind used for wet roller sets) or some other type of instrument. (I know a stylist who used washed-out frozen-orange-juice cans to wrap her client's ultra-long hair for a body wave.)
There are different strengths of permanent wave formulas so I'm sure that your stylist can find one that will work for your hair type. Given the length, and therefore the weight of your hair, the stylist may recommend the addition of some layering to the hair to give a better resultant look.
The biggest benefit of getting the body wave in your long hair isn't so much the curl you get from the body wave, but the improved "body" of the hair - allowing it to better hold a style when you style it. Any curls you put into the hair with curling irons or roller sets will last longer, and the hair will hold better in up-styles than before the body wave.
Related posts:
Perms and perming hair
Are permanent curls right for you?