How Long Do Hair Perms Take

This article will explore the time it typically takes to get a perm and factors that may affect the duration.

Whether you’re a busy bee or just curious, we’ve got you covered.

So, sit back, relax, and dive into the world of hair perms and the time it takes to achieve those gorgeous waves or curls you’ve been dreaming of.

How Long Do Hair Perms Take

If you’re considering getting a perm, there are several different types. One popular option is the spiral perm, which creates tight, bouncy curls. Another option is the pin curl perm, which creates smaller, more defined curls.

Additionally, there’s the spot perm, which targets specific areas of the hair for added volume or texture. You might opt for a body wave perm if you prefer looser waves.

Lastly, there’s the stack perm, which adds height and volume to the crown of the head. Each of these perm styles has its own unique look and can take varying amounts of time to complete.

Spiral Perm

The spiral perm typically takes around 2–4 hours to complete. If you’re considering getting a spiral perm, you should know it is a long process.

First, your hair will be washed and then sectioned into small, spiral-shaped sections. Next, a unique solution will be applied to your hair to break down the bonds and make it easier to reshape.

After that, your hair will be wrapped around perm rods and left to set for a certain amount of time. Once the rods are removed, a neutralizer will be applied to lock in the new shape.

Pin Curl Perm

Getting a pin curl perm is a great way to add volume and texture to your hair.

With a pin curl perm, you can achieve beautiful, bouncy curls that last for months. The process involves wrapping small sections of your hair around a rod and securing it with a pin. This method allows for more control and customization compared to other types of perms.

On average, a pin curl perm can take anywhere from 2 to 3 hours, depending on the length and thickness of your hair.

Spot Perm

A spot perm is a quick and easy way to add curls to specific sections of your hair. It is perfect for those who want to add texture and volume without committing to a full perm.

Unlike traditional hair perms that take several hours, a spot perm is much faster. Depending on the length and thickness of your hair, a spot perm can take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour.

Body Wave Perm

For a low-maintenance option, you can try a body wave perm to add subtle waves to your hair. A body wave perm is a great way to achieve a natural-looking, effortless style without daily styling tools.

This type of perm typically takes about 2 to 3 hours to complete, depending on the length and thickness of your hair. During the process, your stylist will apply a waving solution to your hair and wrap it around perm rods to create the desired wave pattern. After a short processing time, the solution is rinsed out and a neutralizer is applied to set the waves.

Stack Perm

Now let’s talk about another type of perm called a stack perm. If you want to add volume and texture to your hair, a stack perm might be the perfect choice. This perm involves creating tight curls at the roots that gradually loosen towards the ends, giving your hair a stacked effect.

The time it takes to get a stack perm will depend on several factors, such as the length and thickness of your hair. On average, the process can take anywhere from two to three hours. It’s important to note that you’ll need to sit still during this time and let the perm solution work its magic.

Root Perm

To achieve a root perm, you’ll need to consult a professional hairstylist who can assess your hair type and determine the best perm solution.

A root perm is a type of perm that focuses on adding volume, lift, and texture to the roots of your hair. It is perfect for those who desire more volume at the roots or want to achieve a more natural-looking perm.

During the consultation, your hairstylist will discuss your desired look and guide you. The perm solution is applied to the roots of your hair, and then the hair is wrapped around rods.

The processing time may vary depending on your hair type and desired outcome, but root perms generally take 1–2 hours to complete.

Things to Consider Before Getting a Perm

Before getting a perm, there are a few essential factors to consider. First, you need to assess the health of your hair, as perms can damage already compromised strands.

Additionally, the length of your hair will determine the type of perm you can get and the overall result. It’s also crucial to consider the level of expertise of the stylist performing the perm and ensure they have the necessary skills and experience.

Lastly, understanding the aftercare required for maintaining the perm is essential for keeping your hair healthy and ensuring long-lasting results.

Hair’s Health

If you want to maintain the health of your hair, you should be aware of how long perms take. Perms can be a great way to add volume and texture to your hair, but they can also be damaging if not done correctly.

Getting a perm usually takes around two to three hours, depending on the length and thickness of your hair. During this time, chemicals are applied to your hair to break down the bonds and reshape them into curls or waves.

It is essential to choose a reputable salon and an experienced stylist who knows how to properly handle the chemicals and monitor the processing time. Taking care of your hair after getting a perm is also crucial for maintaining its health.

Using sulfate-free shampoos, deep conditioning treatments, and avoiding excessive heat styling can help minimize damage and keep your hair looking its best.

Hair’s Length

Now that you have learned about the importance of maintaining your hair’s health, let’s talk about how your hair’s length can affect the time it takes for a perm.

When it comes to perms, hair length plays a significant role in the process. Generally, the longer your hair is, the more time it will take to complete the perm. This is because the stylist has to apply the perm solution to each section of your hair, ensuring that every strand receives the treatment.

Additionally, longer hair may require more time for the solution to fully penetrate and set the curls. So, if you have long hair, be prepared for a longer appointment at the salon when getting a perm. However, the end result will be worth it, as you will have beautiful, bouncy curls that will leave others in awe.

Level of Expertise With the Perm Process

The stylist’s expertise can significantly impact the success of your perm. Regarding perms, you want someone who knows what they’re doing. A skilled stylist with experience in the perm process understands the intricacies of working with different hair types and textures. They can assess your hair and determine the best technique to achieve the desired result.

Their expertise ensures the perm is done correctly, minimizing the risk of damage or uneven curls. Additionally, an experienced stylist can provide valuable advice on aftercare and maintenance to help prolong the life of your perm.

Perm Aftercare

Make sure to follow your stylist’s aftercare recommendations to maintain your perm’s health and longevity. After the perm process, your hair will be more delicate and prone to damage, so it’s essential to take extra care.

First, avoid washing your hair for at least 48 hours after getting a perm. This allows the curls to be set correctly. When you do wash your hair, use a sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner specifically designed for hair perms. These products will help to preserve the shape and texture of your curls.

Avoiding heat styling tools is essential, as they can cause the curls to loosen or even straighten out. Instead, let your hair air dry or use a diffuser in a low heat setting.

Lastly, be gentle when combing or brushing your hair to avoid breaking the curls. Following these aftercare tips ensures that your perm lasts longer and your hair stays healthy and beautiful.

How to Perm Your Hair

Step 1 – Wash your hair

First, wash your hair thoroughly to remove any dirt or product build-up.

Step 2 – Divide into sections

Next, divide your hair into sections using clips or hair ties. This will make it easier to apply the perm solution evenly.

Step 2 – Apply the solution

Then, apply the perm solution to each section and saturate the hair from root to tip. Leave the solution on for the recommended time, usually around 10–15 minutes. After that, rinse your hair thoroughly with warm water to remove the perm solution.


Will getting a perm damage my hair?

Getting a perm won’t damage your hair if done correctly. It’s essential to find a skilled stylist who uses quality products. Regular maintenance and deep conditioning treatments can help keep your perm looking healthy.

Can I still style my hair after getting a perm?

Yes, you can still style your hair after getting a perm. Perms provide lasting curls or waves, allowing you to experiment with different hairstyles. Just be sure to use products that are safe for permed hair.

How often do I need to touch up my perm?

You must touch up your perm every few months to maintain the desired look. Keeping up with the touch-ups is essential to ensure your perm stays fresh and your hair maintains its texture.

Are there any specific hair products I should use after getting a perm?

After getting a perm, using hair products specifically designed for chemically treated hair is essential. These products will help maintain the health and longevity of your perm, keeping it looking its best.

Can I swim or shower immediately after getting a perm?

After getting a perm, you should avoid swimming or showering immediately. It’s important to let your hair settle and avoid moisture for at least 48 hours to maintain the shape and longevity of the perm.

Michele Antunes

About the author: Michele Antunes

Michele Meesh Antunes is the lady of the Beardoholic writers team and a genius when it comes to hair and beard styles that suit any face shape. She’s been a barber for years now and, no matter your personal style, she knows exactly what beard, hairstyle and length suit you. She brings the women’s perspective on beards, beard care, haircuts and hairstyles and male grooming.

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