Perm Rods (2)

The cleaning of perm rods
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Let’s take a look at the rod color groups. Please note that the listed lengths are approximations and not strict rules.
Red: Red rods are the smallest in size and are typically reserved for short hair lengths to achieve tight, kinky curls. These rods are commonly used for hair lengths less than 2 to 2-1/2 inches.
Blue: Blue rods are larger than red rods and can be used on very short hair lengths to create larger curls. They can also be used on hair lengths ranging from 2 to 3-1/2 inches to achieve a tight, curly style.
Pink: Pink perm rods are the next size up and are suitable for creating tight curls in hair that measures approximately 3 to 4 inches in length. They can be used on shorter lengths for looser curls and waves, or on the 2 to 3-1/2 inch range for a loose curl.
Gray: Gray perm rods are considered the standard thickness and are versatile. They work well for creating tight curls in hair that is 3 to 5 inches long. They can also be used on shorter hair lengths to achieve looser curls or waves.
White: White rods are generally the largest rods used for a "curly perm" style. They are ideal for hair lengths ranging from 4-1/2 to 6-1/2 inches and produce tight curls in this range. When used on shorter hair lengths, the curls will appear looser and can even provide some body.
Purple: Purple perm rods are often referred to as "body wave rods" because they create large curls. Most salons use them exclusively for body waves unless the client has really long hair and wants lots of curl.
Occasionally, you might come across slightly larger body wave rods that are orange in color, although they may not be commonly available.
Hair wit red perm rods
Photo: Stanislav Sablin/Getty Images via Canva
Finishing the Style:
In perms designed to create curls, the hair is typically styled after the perm to enhance volume and emphasize the curls. This may involve blow-drying using a diffuser and scrunching the hair, or it could entail cutting the hair to optimize the curl by evenly distributing its weight.
For body waves, the hair may not be styled to utilize the curl created by the perm. Instead, the purpose may be to create added texture in the hair to allow the hair to be more easily curled. The hair may be rerolled on standard perm rods, blown out with a hairdryer and a round brush for soft waves, or may be set in any other of a myriad of ways.
Body waves are primarily used for hair that is limp or lacks volume to enhance texture and body (as the name implies). They can also be employed to adjust or normalize the natural wave pattern of hair that is too curly according to the client's preferences.
See also:
Perms Q&A
How perms work
How to wrap a perm
How to wrap a spiral perm