Body Wave and a Root Perm

Hair with perming rods
Q: I get body waves just to give my fine straight hair some volume. I do not like curl - just body. I usually wash and blow-dry my hair every other day when I have the body wave to give it a straight and fuller look. Does using the hair dryer this often result in my body waves not lasting very long? What can you tell me about root perms?
A: Even though the body wave doesn't curl the hair as much as a regular perm technique, it does use the same strength of chemicals to create the soft wave and texture and, therefore, will leave the hair more porous that it was before.
Without using proper conditioning and protection after a chemical texture service, blow-dry styling can easily cause damage to the hair and reduce its elasticity. The result is that the body wave will seem not to last as long, because the hair isn't strong enough to hold the wave.
The key is proper after-wave care. You need to make sure to use a conditioner rich in moisture and weekly deep-conditioning treatments with a protein-rich conditioner to help maintain the strength of the hair and restore resilience. You also need to use a leave-in conditioner as well whenever you plan to blow dry the hair to prevent styling damage.
As for root perms: A root perm is a perming technique where only the 2-4 inches of hair nearest the scalp is permed to thicken it and make the hair stand away from the scalp. The technique creates more volume in the hair. However, in most cases, especially when the hair is fine or limp, the results of a root perm won't last more than a few weeks when the new growth is long enough to lie flat again.
If you want to add volume to the hair, one of the surest ways is to use styling product at the scalp area, and dry the hair using a diffused blow dryer and lifting the hair and holding it out from the scalp.
Photo: Tmon/Shutterstock
See also:
Partial body perm
What is a foil perm?
What is a spot perm?