How to Make Your Own Spiral Perm Rods

Written by kathy mayse
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You can perm hair with any type of nonporous, non-metal, cylindrical objects that you have lying around your home, including straws, plastic bottles and candlesticks. Although these objects work great for traditional perms, they do not possess enough length and flexibility for spiral perms. Instead, you can adapt the thin, flexible, plastic tubing that is commonly used to connect refrigerator water systems and water filters to a direct water supply.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Plastic tubing (95 feet to 100 feet)
  • Ruler
  • Permanent marker
  • Utility knife
  • Cork (flat sheet 1-inch thick)

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  1. 1

    Unroll a section of tubing and measure 15 inches from the end of the tube. Mark the measurement directly on the tubing with the permanent marker. Slice the tubing clean through with the utility knife. Repeat until all of the tubing has been cut into 15-inch lengths.

  2. 2

    Press one end of the tubing firmly into the cork until it leaves an imprint. Quickly outline the inside imprint left by the tubing with the permanent marker.

  3. 3

    Carve the cork along the marked outline to create a thin, cylindrical, 1-inch cork plug. Insert the plug into the end of the tubing to check for fit. Trim if necessary. Use this cork plug as a template to carve out a plug for each section of cut plastic tubing.

  4. 4

    Insert a cork plug into one end on each section of tubing. Push the cork into the tubing halfway, leaving half of the cork exposed. Continue until you have plugged all of the tube sections on one end. After the hair is wrapped, you will bring the two ends of the tube together and push the exposed cork into the end of the tubing that does not have a cork plug. This will hold the homemade perm rod in place.

Tips and warnings

  • You can purchase plastic tubing in a wide variety of lengths and thicknesses. It is not uncommon to use 60 to 75 spiral perm rods in long hair. Each rod should be approximately 15 inches in length, which means that you will need 95 to 100 feet of tubing. Thinner tubing is more flexible, easier to use and creates tighter spiral curls. Choose tubing that is no more than 1/2-inch thick for the best results.

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