15 Types of Perms Trending in 2024 for Every Hair Type - Zohna (2024)

Most of us have a mom, aunt, or other family member who rocked a perm back in the 60s. You know the kind of style we’re talking about – the iconic Cher hairstyle that gets us in the mood to sing “Turn Back Time”.

Today, the perm has evolved far past the poofy pout of curls on top of your head, however. In fact, perms can be pretty stylish!

If you’ve got straight hair and want to mix things up with a fun, curly, perm, this guide is for you. Here are 15 trending types of perms for every hair type that actually look good!

Perms Explained

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A perm or permanent wave is a chemical hair treatment done to change the hair structure and create a permanent wave or curl pattern. It involves the use of chemicals and heat to alter the hair’s natural shape and texture, allowing it to retain the desired style for an extended period of time.

A perm works by breaking the disulfide bonds in the hair, which are responsible for the hair’s natural shape. Once these bonds are broken, the hair can be reshaped and set in the desired style. After the hair has been reshaped, a neutralizer is applied to reform the disulfide bonds in the new shape, locking in the curls or waves.

While the concept of a perm may seem simple, the process itself requires skill and precision. It is typically performed by a professional hairstylist who has undergone specialized training in chemical treatments. The stylist will assess your:

  1. Hair type
  2. Hair texture
  3. Hair condition
  4. Hair length
  5. Whether you have previous color

All of these factors will help them to determine the most suitable perm solution and technique for you.

Another thing to think about is that there are various different types of rods that a stylist can use. These rods will affect what your end product looks like. Some common types of rods include:

  • Straight rods
  • Concave rods
  • Flexi rods

Stylists achieve different looks depending on which of these rods they choose to use.

Considerations Before You Get a Perm

It’s important to note that while a perm can be a great way to achieve your dream curls or waves, it does come with some potential drawbacks. The chemicals used in the process can be harsh on the hair, leading to dryness and damage if not properly cared for.

Additionally, maintaining a perm requires dedicated aftercare, including the use of specific shampoos, conditioners, and styling products designed for chemically treated hair.

Before getting a perm, it’s essential to consult with a professional stylist who can assess your hair’s health and determine if it’s suitable for the treatment. They can also provide guidance on the best type of perm for your desired outcome and offer advice on how to maintain your perm to ensure long-lasting results.

And remember – not everyone has hair that’s a good candidate for getting a perm. You probably shouldn’t get a perm if:

  • Your hair has been previously color treated
  • You have highlights or lowlights
  • Your hair is prone to breakage
  • You have dry hair

Perms contain harsh chemicals, which means that it can further damage already delicate hair. So, if your hair falls into one of these categories, it’s probably best to skip it.

Picking the Right Perm for Your Hair Type

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Choosing the best perm for your hair type isn’t a task to be rushed – your hair’s health and your satisfaction with the results are on the line. Many variables come into play when deciding which perm is suitable for you, including your natural hair texture, length, and overall health. Always trust a professional to guide you through this selection process, rather than attempting a DIY.

Remember that although perming can give you wonderfully long-lasting curls or waves, it does involve a process of chemically altering your hair, which may lead to damage if not managed properly.

When it comes to picking the right perm for your hair type, it’s important to consider not only the end result but also the maintenance required. Different hair types have different needs, and understanding these needs will help you make an informed decision.

The below table breaks down different hair types and what kind of perm you might want to consider getting.

Type of hairConsiderations
Fine HairIf you have fine hair, you may want to opt for a body wave perm. This type of perm will give your hair more volume and movement, making it appear fuller and thicker.
Thick HairIf you have thick or coarse hair, a spiral perm might be a better choice. This type of perm will create tight, bouncy curls that can add definition and texture to your hair.
Short HairShorter hair tends to hold curls better, so if you have a pixie cut or a bob, you might want to go for a tighter curl pattern.
Long HairIf you have long hair, you have more options to play with. You can choose from loose waves, beachy curls, or even a combination of both.
Hair HealthIt’s also essential to take into account the overall health of your hair. If your hair is already damaged or chemically treated, it may not be the best time to get a perm. Perming can further weaken your hair and cause breakage if it’s not in good condition. In such cases, it’s recommended to focus on restoring the health of your hair before considering a perm.
Previous ColorsIf you have previous color in your hair, getting a perm can cause damage, which means the perm can ruin your hair rather than leaving you with curls
LayersIf you’ve got layers, you may not be a good candidate for the perm as the curls will be uneven and can be harder to control.
Curly HairFor those with already curly hair, perms can make the curls even tighter or can upset the natural curl pattern, meaning this may not be the right treatment for you.

Get the Look: 15 Different Types of Perms

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You’d be surprised by just how diverse perm styles can be – from ultra-tight curls to soft waves, every look under the sun is achievable.

Here’s what you need to know about the different types of perms, what they look like, and who they’re best suited for!

Type of PermDescription
Spiral PermThe most common type of perm, this uses rods that are wrapped vertically to create curls that fall down vertically in a spiral shape.
Body Wave PermUses a larger curling rod to create a loose, natural-looking curl
Poodle PermTight curls that are close to the head and resemble a poodle’s fur.
Beachy Waves PermSoft waves that give the same effect as having just come out of the ocean.
Tight Curls PermTight curls that are close to your scalp.
Voluminous PermA perm that adds volume to your hair with tight, poofy curls.
Loose Waves PermThis perm creates natural-looking loose waves rather than tight curls
Curly Bob PermA short perm with tight curls that don’t usually fall below the chin.
Ringlet PermA perm consisting of soft curls that fall around the face
Long and Loose PermCreates natural-looking waves that are tighter than a loose waves perm but still not as tight as, say, a spiral perm.
Textured PermA perm made with a cold solution to create waves that are more noticeable when the hair is wet
Root PermA perm used only at the root of the hair that’s mostly designed to add volume
Spiky PermAn edgy perm that’s great for short hair and adds volume to a pixie cut or bob.
Soft PermUses larger rods to create a softer curl with a natural flow.
Combination PermUses a combination of different-sized rods to add texture and play with various perm styles.

Spiral Perm

This style involves using long perm rods resulting in tight, well-defined ringlets.

This particular look is seeing a renaissance of sorts lately, mainly because it gives a chic and elegant vintage style reminiscent of the 80s hairstyles. The spiral perm involves wrapping the hair around thin rods to create tight, spiral-shaped curls. It’s a bold and glamorous choice that is sure to turn heads wherever you go.

Ideal For: This style works best on medium to long hair and adds volume and bounce to your locks.

Body Wave Perm

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If you’re looking for a more natural and soft look, the body wave perm might be the perfect choice for you. This style creates loose waves that add texture and movement to your hair. The hair is gently processed to create large, soft waves for a more natural look. With a body wave perm, you can achieve that “just got back from the beach” look all year round.

Ideal for: The body wave perm is perfect for people who want a low-maintenance hairstyle that still looks effortlessly chic. It requires minimal styling and aids in easy maintenance, making it a popular choice among those with busy lifestyles.

Poodle Perm

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Living up to its name, this perm creates a voluminous, frizzy texture reminiscent of a poodle’s lovely curls.

Ideal for: People with shorter or medium hair who are looking for tight curls that sit close to the head. This hairstyle requires a wide-toothed comb for maintenance.

Beachy Waves

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Perfect for those who want to achieve a relaxed, effortless look, beachy waves are created by using larger perm rods and a looser wrapping technique. This style gives the hair a tousled, just-off-the-beach appearance. It’s one of the best types of perms for long hair.

Ideal for: those with heavy, straight hair who are looking to add some texture to their style.

Zohna Tip

For some added pizazz, try adding hair tinsel to your beachy waves. This adds a pop of color, and mimics the fun hair-wrapping styles you'd find on the beaches of the Caribbean!

Tight Curls Perm

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For those who crave a head full of bouncy, tight curls, this perm style is the way to go. It involves using small perm rods and tightly wrapping the hair to create defined and springy curls.

Ideal for: those with medium to long hair who want to add movement to their look.

Voluminous Perm

If you want to add some serious volume to your hair, the voluminous perm is the answer. This style uses larger perm rods and a technique that focuses on creating lift and body at the roots.

Ideal for: Those with thinner hair who want to add volume and stop their hair from looking so flat.

Loose Waves Perm

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For a more relaxed and casual look, the loose waves perm is a popular choice. It involves using medium-sized perm rods and a gentle wrapping technique to create soft, flowing waves.

Ideal for: those with long, thick hair who want to add texture to their natural hair.

Curly Bob Perm

If you have a bob haircut and want to add some curls to it, the curly bob perm is the perfect option. This style uses perm rods specifically designed for shorter hair and creates cute, bouncy curls that complement the bob shape.

Ideal for: Those with medium to short hair who want a playful look.

Ringlet Perm

For those who desire well-defined, uniform curls, the ringlet perm is a great choice. It involves using small perm rods and tightly wrapping the hair to create consistent ringlets throughout. This style works well for those who want a wolf cut curly hair look.

Ideal for: those with shorter, thinner hair who want a consistently curly look.

Long and Loose Perm

If you have long hair and want to add some subtle waves and movement to it, the long and loose perm is an excellent choice. This style uses large perm rods and a gentle wrapping technique to create loose, natural-looking waves.

Ideal for: people with long and thick hair who want natural-looking beachy style waves.

Textured Perm

If you’re looking for a perm style that adds texture and dimension to your hair, the textured perm is the way to go. This style involves using a combination of different-sized perm rods and a variety of wrapping techniques to create a multi-dimensional and textured look.

Ideal for: giving style and texture to your hair without opting for a fully curly look.

Root Perm

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For those who want to add lift and volume specifically at the roots, the root perm is the perfect solution. This style focuses on perming only the roots of the hair, creating added height and fullness.

Ideal for: adding volume to your hair without actually changing your hair texture.

Spiky Perm

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If you’re feeling bold and adventurous, the spiky perm is a unique choice. This style involves using small perm rods and a technique that creates tight, spiky curls throughout the hair, resulting in a dramatic and edgy look.

Ideal for: those with short hair looking for an edgy, adventurous look rather than a beachy style.

Soft Perm

For a more subtle and natural-looking perm, the soft perm is a popular option. This style uses larger perm rods and a gentle wrapping technique to create soft and loose waves that enhance the hair’s natural texture.

Ideal for: those who want natural curls that play to their natural hair texture.

Combination Perm

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If you can’t decide on just one perm style, the combination perm allows you to have the best of both worlds. This style involves using different-sized perm rods and a combination of wrapping techniques to create a customized look that combines multiple perm styles.

A few different size perm rods that you can use include:

  1. Mini perm rods
  2. Medium perm rods
  3. Large perm rods
  4. Jumbo perm rods

Blending these sizes can create a mixed hair texture that adds volume and looks natural.

Ideal for: those who want to add natural-looking volume to their hair without having to commit to a single look.


  • Is Perming Damaging to the Hair?

    Perms can lead to some damage as they involve the process of chemically altering your hair. However, when done and maintained correctly, this damage can be minimized.

    When you get a perm, the chemicals used break down the structural bonds of your hair, allowing it to be reshaped. This process can weaken the hair strands, making them more susceptible to damage. However, by following proper aftercare routines, such as using moisturizing products and avoiding excessive heat styling, you can help minimize the damage caused by perming.

    It’s also important to note that the level of damage can vary depending on the individual’s hair type and the expertise of the stylist performing the perm. Consulting with a professional stylist who specializes in perms can help ensure that the process is done safely and with minimal damage to your hair.

  • How Long Do Perms Last?

    On average, perms last around six months, with the curls gradually loosening over time. Your individual hair growth rate and care routine can affect this timeline.

    Perms are not a permanent solution for curly hair. Over time, as your hair grows, the newly grown hair will be straight, while the permed hair will maintain its curls. This can lead to a gradual loosening of the curls, resulting in a more relaxed look. The exact duration of the perm depends on various factors, including your hair growth rate and the type of perm you choose.

  • How to Maintain a Perm?

    To maintain the longevity of your perm, it’s essential to follow a proper hair care routine. This includes using sulfate-free shampoos and conditioners specifically formulated for curly hair, avoiding excessive heat styling, and regularly moisturizing your hair with leave-in conditioners or oils.

Mix Up Your Style With a Perm

The world of perms is vast and exciting. With the knowledge you now have, choosing the right perm type for your hair should be much easier. Remember, the best choice is one that makes you feel confident, beautiful, and uniquely you.

Whichever kind of perm you choose, we’re confident you’ll find a style you love. Just keep our tips in mind and get ready to rock a new look this summer!

15 Types of Perms Trending in 2024 for Every Hair Type - Zohna (2024)
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