For decades, perms have been the go-to hairstyle for those who want curl and body in their hair. Today's perms differ from the curlier styles of the past. The goal now is to create lift, volume and softer curls. Due to the chemicals used in perms, it is recommended that you perm only hair that is healthy and free of breakage or excessive dryness. Hair that is permed should be washed and conditioned with products designed for permed or dry hair to help keep the hair properly moisturised.
Unlike traditional perms in which air is permed from root to tip, a root perm focuses solely on the roots of your hair. The objective is not to add pronounced curl to the roots, but to add volume to fine or limp locks. The perm rods or rollers are large in diameter, usually one inch or wider, and are used to lift the roots of the hair up and off of the scalp. The perm is then performed as usual, except the ends are coated with a protective cream to ensure they are not affected by the perm solution. The result is instant body and volume in the hair, making it easier to style. As the hair grows out, additional root perms will be necessary to maintain the look.
If you are looking to add a little wave to your poker-straight or limp hair, a body perm is likely the right perm for you. The hair is wrapped in large perm rods that create a big, loose curl or wave in the hair. The longer the hair, the larger the perm rod used. The larger rod ensures that the curl is not too tight. The result is a soft, natural wave that adds body and style to the hair. Body perms still involve chemicals that alter the bonds and shape of the hair shaft, so the perms are recommended only for hair that is not bleached or over-processed due to permanent hair colour.
While not as popular as they used to be, a spiral perm is still an option for medium-length hairstyles if done correctly. Spiral perms of the past consisted of tight, corkscrew-like curls that created a lot of volume throughout the hair. Today's version is more subtle and sleek. The goal is a larger curl that mimics natural curl. Perm rods are larger than those of the past. The rods will be wrapped in the hair vertically, as is traditional for spiral perms, but the sections of hair wrapped on each rod will be larger to create a more natural curl. When styling a spiral perm, use an anti-frizz styling product and focus on defining the curls. This will help make them sleek and frizz-free. Don't create a lot of volume in the style or your spiral perm will look like a 1980s throwback.