Partial Body Perm

Permed short hair
Q: I want to get a body perm for the back of my short (ear length layered) hair. I have streaks from a commercial kit which are blonde throughout the front/crown forward and sides. The back of my hair is uncolored or only has a few streaks in a few places.
Can I give the back a body perm without harming my fine hair? What would I use for curlers and which perm is available to purchase easily for this purpose? Is this something a hairdresser needs to do for me?

A: As long as your hair is in good condition, you select a perm formula for fine hair and you follow the directions carefully, there's no reason why you can't perm whatever portion of your hair you choose.
The act of perming only a portion of the hair on the head is called a partial perm, and the worst problem you are likely to encounter is an inability to reach the back of your head easily to wrap the hair on rods and apply the perming chemicals evenly.
I recommend that you enlist the assistance of a friend to wrap the hair and apply the chemicals, so as to avoid any accidents and create less potential for mess.
As to which curlers to use, that depends on the size of curls you want. For a rule of thumb, unless you want very curly hair, you should use a rod large enough that the hair will wind around it no more than two full revolutions.
You can find a lot of perm kits at your local beauty supply, but many of them require license to buy. For those available to the general public, try the Ogilvie Home Perm, since it is well-known and is a self-timing perm, and therefore less likely to cause damage.
See also:
Perm one section of the hair
A perm and its toll on your hair
The different perm formulations for different hair types