Perm 101: What You Need To Know Before Getting For The First Time

Perm is short for “Permanent Hairstyle”, but today’s perms are more semi-permanent. It is a hair treatment that utilizes a chemical solution that alters or breaks your hair's natural texture and bond. 

This hair trend gives you that 80s big beach waves, spiral curls, or a fresh-from-a-salon blowout look effortlessly.  


A satisfactory perm experience may require a good 2 to 4 hours of salon stay, depending on your hair condition.

There are things that you must consider because the following may affect the procedure:

  • Hair type. 
  • Hair length.
  • The hairstylist's skills. 
  • The kind of perm rods or rollers selected. 

Though some may argue that the length of the hair is not a significant factor, professional hairstylists suggest your hair must be long enough to wrap around a rod two to two and a half times to get a decent curl. 

Because the longer your hair, the longer it will take to wrap around the perm rod. 

Also, the size of the rods selected may vary depending on the accommodation you need to give the varying lengths.



There are two kinds of perm treatment. 

1. Hot perm (Digital Setting Perm)

A hot perm produces looser, softer curls. This is a top perm choice for Asian and European clients with resistant, mild, normal, highlighted, or color-treated hair types.

In digital hair perming, the hairstylist applies an acidic solution to the client's hair.  

Though this treatment requires an acidic formula, the pH level of this is roughly between 4.5 to 7, making it a mild solution. Plus, it resembles hair in its natural form, so it is safe for use. 

This perm lotion is effective on hair that has undergone previous chemical treatments or suffered damage from environmental elements.

2. Cold perm (Traditional Perm)

Cold perms create tight and defined curls. 

This traditional method of perming requires applying an alkaline solution to dried hair that has been curled around plastic rollers to dissolve the bonds holding it together and cause it to curl.

Typically, they use ammonium thioglycolate for their perm solution, which has pH levels ranging from 8.2 to 9.6. This is stronger compared to that of an acidic-based solution. Which means it can cause more damage if used on the wrong hair texture. 

This type of formula suits well for customers with normal and resistant hair types. 

( adding magic setting perm video GIF file ) 


The perm can last up to three to six months at the most. 

However, you must consider some factors involved in this process: the length of your hair and the type of perm you get. 

Pro tip: It is best to avail of regular haircuts to maintain the style and not lose the look.  

Also, be mindful of the hair products you use after getting a perm. 

Remember Elle Wood's winning argument in one of the most iconic scenes from the movie Legally Blonde?

She said: “The first cardinal rule of perm maintenance is that you're forbidden to wet your hair for at least 24 hours after getting a perm at the risk of deactivating the ammonium thygocolate.”  

So to ensure your curls remain intact, pick hair products for your particular hair type. 


Yes and No.  

A perm can work on every type of hair.  But it doesn't mean that you can do it right away. 

Keep in mind that everyone has a unique hair type. It is best to seek professional guidance when deciding whether or not to get a perm.

It matters that you do your research first and look for a salon you can trust. 



Men and women with colored hair can enjoy a perm because of the continuous development in the process of this type of hair treatment. 

You may achieve your dream curls and waves perfectly now because of the modern styling and texturizing methods available in every salon. 

So, don't think that having dyed hair disqualifies you from sporting that gorgeous beach wave! but also It is best to seek professional guidance!


There is a perm look for you whether you prefer something light and carefree or more traditional and wavy.

Here are some styles you may want to try:

Spiral perm
Sporting a spiral perm may give you fine hair volume and makes it look thicker. As one of the most popular hairdos in the 80s, this style will give a vintage vibe. 

Long hair perm
Long hair looks great in tight curls, loose waves, or a combination of the two. However, consider that the perming procedure will take longer the longer your tresses are.

Short hair perm
For people with short hair, perming may add more movement and texture. Having this style may give you a tighter pattern. 

Fine hair perm
For clients with fine hair, beachy waves are always their go-to style. Beach waves look more carefree and effortless. It gives limp strands a significant textural boost, too.

Medium length perm
The best thing about having medium-length hair is you are free to choose whether you want tight or loose curl patterns.

Plus, it's not too heavy around your face because it is medium in length. 



We understand that one major concern you have is if getting a perm will damage your hair. 

Perming doesn't harm our hair.

Since the 1980s, there has been development on how salons do perm. New formulas have been introduced that are safer for hair.

However, a study published by the National Library of Medicine revealed that the procedure our hair undergoes during perming sessions could weaken or dry hair strands leading it to become brittle or subject to breakage.  

Just a friendly reminder when perming your hair, there are still a few things to consider.


Getting our hair permed is one way of updating our appearance.  It can also be a great form of expressing ourselves - being true, bold, and fearless.

After you have read this article, we hope you find the information valuable if you are contemplating trying this hair treatment. 

We understand that because of the wide range of salons and skilled hairstylists, making a decision is not easy. Even researching this procedure can be too much to handle. 

Plus, there's the worry that altering your locks can do more harm than good.

Thus, it makes sense to seek expert advice before doing it. Not to mention, if you have delicate and finer state hair.  

Consulting a professional hairdresser first can protect your cuticles from damage and yet gets the desired curling effects you dreamed of. 

They have the skills and knowledge to assess your hair type and suggest an ideal wave that suits perfectly to your face. 

In addition, this hair treatment involves a chemical solution, which means you must trust someone who knows handling hair-curling formulas.