How to piggyback a permanent wave

Updated April 17, 2017

A piggyback perm is different from a standard perm only in the way the hair is wrapped around the perm rods. It is used for longer hair when the hair is too long to wrap around one perm rod alone. Two rods are used per hair segment instead. The piggyback perm ensures an even effect throughout the entire hair length and can give you the same lovely curls. You will need clear instructions of how to wrap the hair before beginning your piggyback perm.

Comb damp hair. Separate hair into six sections with hair clips.

Remove the hair clip from one section. Separate a thin section out with a point-handled comb. Place a perming rod in the middle of the hair strand. Wrap the end of the hair once around the tool while holding it to one side.

Roll the perming rod to the base of the head letting the loose end follow. Position a second perming rod at the end of the strand. Roll the rod with the strand to the base of the head. Secure the end rod to the base rod.

Repeat the wrapping process for your entire head. Apply perm solution to each rod. Follow the kit instructions.

Remove the perm solution by rinsing hair in warm water for seven minutes. Dry each rod thoroughly by blotting with paper towels

Smear on the neutralising solution that comes with the perm kit. Follow instructions. Unwind the rods and rinse hair. Do not shampoo.


Wear latex gloves and a smock to prevent chemical damage.

Things You'll Need

  • Hair clips
  • Point-handled comb
  • Perm rods
  • Home perm kit
  • Paper towels
  • Latex gloves
  • Smock
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About the Author

Based in New Hope, Pa., Stephanie Abir has been writing business- and health-related articles since 1980. Her work has appeared in “Business Week” magazine and “American Health” magazine. Abir holds a doctorate in American literature from the University of South Carolina.