Are Permanent Curls Right For You? (2)

Permed hair
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If your hair is mostly one length and you just want some curls at the ends, a stack perm may be perfect for you. With this method, the hair on top of the head is left untouched and only the bottom and middle sections are rolled.
A body perm is great for one-length hair or layered looks as well. It is a fairly loose roll that results in very little curl but lots of lustrous body. Think big hair, but not 1980s!
A weave perm is probably the most difficult of all perms and likely the most unknown. This technique requires a lot of skill from your stylist in determining which sections should be curled, and which should not. The results of this can be very dramatic.
Be careful, though; this type of perm usually requires a good amount of preparation time before going out the door. Ideally, you would curl some of the straight sections with a curling iron and, if all goes well, you'll look like a million dollars coming out of a top-notch salon every day!
Lastly, there is the spiral perm. It may be last on this list, but certainly not the least! Spiral perms are romantic. They are fun. They are almost always beautiful! Spiral perms are the result of having the hair rolled vertically rather than horizontally when wrapping for the perm. The curls can be done large and loose or smaller and tighter, but always rolled sideways toward the back of the head. Spiral perms are usually seen on longer hair, but look around, you will see very short hairstyles that are rolled in this fashion - and they are cute!

Just a few more things to consider before you decide if permanent curls are right for you. First, no matter what people say, perms do not usually result in a wash-and-wear style. They can, but ask for some training on how to style your hair after the perm. Also, make sure to really discuss with your stylist the cut before the perm, what type of roll they are going to use and what you can really expect it to look like. The layered look that flips out on the sides is very popular, but be careful, it is not very conducive to perming. You will likely end up with a lot of volume on the top and sides.
Check your face shape to see if this will work for you. Longer face shapes tend to need more volume on the sides, but very little on top. Rounder shapes lend themselves to most hairstyles and can tolerate volume on top, bottom, or all around. You may want to brush up on styles that are suited to your face shape.
And remember, don't be afraid to just have fun! Getting a perm may be scary, but what's the worst that can happen? If you don't like it, just go back and have them wash it out.
See also:
How perms work
After care for colored or chemically treated hair
How much does hair shrink up when you get it permed?
How do I maintain a perm?
How can I straighten my permed hair?