Hairstyles, Hair Care & Fashion

How to Wrap a Perm

Wrapping Techniques for a Body Wave

The biggest factor in a successful perm is the perm wrap. How the hair is wound on the perm rod, the size of the rod, and the number of rods used all effect the outcome. So, we're going to show you how to "Wrap a Perm".
perm wrapping diagram 1
perm wrapping diagram 2
magnifier Click to enlarge
For our demonstration we will be wrapping the hair for a "body wave". The difference between the standard 'perm' and what is called a 'body wave' is simply the size of the tools used.
The perm wrapping tools come in many sizes, from the teeny-tiny rods (usually bright red) to large, thick rods (usually orange or purple in color), and many steps in between. The smaller the rod is, obviously, the tighter the curl.
You need: Hair clips, perm rods, end papers, tail combs, and spray bottle of water.
Step One:
Shampoo the hair two times with a clarifying shampoo. Do not apply any conditioner or other product, so as not to hinder the hair's absorption of the waving lotion. Section the hair on the head into nine sections. The sections should be a little shorter than the length of the rod you will use. Sectioning the hair makes it easier to work with as you wrap the perm by keeping the hair not being wrapped out of the way.
Step Two:
  • perm wrapping instruction 2
  • perm wrapping instruction 1
magnifier Click to enlarge
Begin with section one (center crown section, see diagram) and slice a segment of hair approximately as thick as the rod you are using. Comb out the section until it is smooth and fold an end paper over the segment about 1/3 of the distance from the end of the hair. Lightly mist the folded end paper and hair segment (allowing the end paper to 'grip' the hair segment) and slide the end paper down past the ends of the segment.
The purpose for end papers is to make sure that the ends of the hair wind smoothly around the rod. Without using them, the ends of the hair can get folded back onto themselves in the wrapping process and cause "fish hooks" in the completed perm.
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