Body Wave Perm | Perm for Short Hair, Long Hair and Thin Hair

Are you tired of your straight hair and yearn for voluminous, bouncy locks? Enter the world of body wave perms, a revolutionary technique that uses chemicals to give your hair natural-looking curls.

This comprehensive guide uncovers everything about this trendy hairstyle from its process to post-perm care tips – ensuring you make an informed decision. Dive in to transform those flat strands into cascading waves today!

What is Body Wave Perm?

body wave perm

A body wave perm is a chemical treatment designed to give your hair a wavy texture. Unlike other types of perms that create tight, defined curls, the body wave perm creates softer waves for a more natural look.

This process is achieved by using larger curling rollers or rods during the perming process.

The science behind this procedure involves chemically altering the structure of straight hair to form loose waves. Your stylist will begin by applying a perm solution, which works on breaking down structural protein bonds in your hair strands.

After these proteins have been sufficiently broken down, your hairstylist then wraps sections of your mane around large-sized perm rods or rollers according to the desired wave pattern.

A neutralizer is later applied that restructures these protein bonds in alignment with the shape and size of the rollers used. The end result? Softly waved locks ready for some styling action at home or on the go!

Pros and Cons of Getting a Body Wave Perm

Getting a body wave perm can significantly change your look and enhance your hair styling process. However, like any other beauty treatment, it comes with its perks and pitfalls. Let’s dive into the pros and cons of getting a body wave perm in detail.

A body wave perm can add volume to limp and lifeless hair, offering a more defined and luscious look.Chemicals used for the body wave perm process can potentially damage the hair if not properly cared for.
This perm type makes styling easier by giving more movement to even the straightest hair.The body wave perm needs specific aftercare to maintain the wave and prevent hair damage, which could be time-consuming.
The body wave perm is versatile and suitable for all hair types, making it a go-to option for many.Not all hair dyes are compatible with perms, limiting your color choices after getting a perm.
Once done, a body wave perm can last for a considerable duration, depending on individual hair and maintenance.Overdoing perms can cause hair damage, so there’s a recommended relaxation period after every treatment.
With a body wave perm, hair can achieve a natural-looking wave and body, thanks to the multi-textured perm technique.The initial cost of getting a body wave perm can be high, depending on the salon and professional expertise.

Things to Know Before Getting a Body Wave Perm

getting a body wave perm - cost of body wave perm

Before getting a body wave perm, it’s important to consider factors such as hair dye compatibility, suitability for different hair types and styles, and the necessary relaxation period after the perm.

Curious to learn more? Keep reading!

Hair dye and perm compatibility

Consider this: Mixing two chemical treatments on the same day, such as dye and perm, can cause significant damage to your hair. The harsh chemicals found in permanent hair dyes are harmful to perms and may lead to breakage or frizziness.

Both processes work deep within your hair follicles and combining them could weaken the texture of your strands. For best results, separate these procedures by a few weeks to allow your locks ample time for recovery before exposing them to another round of chemical processing.

So if you just dyed your hair dark black or any color, it’s safer to wait a bit before getting a body wave perm treatment at the salon.

Perm suitability for straight hair

Straight hair is perfectly suitable for a body wave perm. This type of perm helps to create natural-looking waves and curls, adding movement and volume to straight hair. The perm solution used during the process chemically alters the structure of the hair, breaking down its natural bonds and creating new disulfide bonds that give it a curly texture.

So, if you have straight hair and are looking to add some gentle waves or loose curls to your hairstyle, a body wave perm can be a great option for you.

Perm suitability for highlighted hair

Highlighted hair can be more delicate and prone to damage due to the chemical processes involved in adding highlights. For this reason, it is generally not recommended to get a body wave perm if you have highlighted hair.

The combination of perming chemicals and previously processed hair can lead to further damage and breakage. It’s important to prioritize the health of your hair and consult with a professional hairstylist before making any decisions about getting a perm on highlighted strands.

Perm suitability for human hair weave

Human hair weaves are a popular choice for adding length, volume, and versatility to hairstyles. When it comes to getting a body wave perm with a human hair weave, there are some important factors to consider.

First and foremost, it is essential to consult with a professional stylist who has experience working with both perms and extensions. They will be able to assess the condition of the human hair weave and determine if it is suitable for perming.

One important thing to keep in mind is that the perm solution used during the process can affect the color or texture of the human hair weave. It’s crucial to choose a perm solution that is compatible with both natural hair and any processed or dyed extensions.

Additionally, since human hair weaves are often attached using various methods such as sewing or bonding, it’s important to ensure that these attachments are not damaged during the perming process.

Relaxation period after the perm

After getting a perm, it is important to allow for a relaxation period. This allows the hair to adjust and settle into the new style. During this time, it is recommended to avoid washing or styling the hair for at least 48 hours.

This gives the curls time to set and helps maintain their shape. It’s also important to use gentle hair care products that are specifically formulated for permed hair during this period.

Taking proper care of your permed hair during the relaxation period will help ensure long-lasting and beautiful results.

Frequency of perming the hair

The frequency of perming your hair can vary depending on factors such as the type and condition of your hair, personal preference, and the desired outcome. Typically, a perm lasts for three to six months before it starts to loosen and fade.

However, it is important to note that frequent perming can cause damage to the hair due to the chemicals used in the process. It is recommended to give your hair a break between perms to allow it time to recover and minimize potential damage.

Additionally, proper care and maintenance can help extend the lifespan of a perm, so using suitable hair products and practicing good hair care habits are essential.

Step-by-Step Guide to Doing a Body Wave Perm at Home

Creating a body wave perm at home is a straightforward process that can help you achieve beautiful, long-lasting curls. Here’s a step-by-step guide to doing a body wave perm at home:

  1. Start by washing your hair with a clarifying shampoo to remove any product buildup or oils from your scalp and hair.
  2. Once your hair is clean, towel dry it until it is damp, but not dripping wet. It’s important to note that the hair should not be completely dry before starting the perming process.
  3. Section your hair into small, manageable sections using clips or hair ties. This will make it easier to apply the perm solution evenly throughout your hair.
  4. Put on gloves to protect your hands from the chemicals in the perm solution.
  5. Mix the perm solution according to the instructions provided with the kit. Make sure to follow the instructions carefully and use the correct proportions of the solution and activator.
  6. Using an applicator brush or comb, start applying the perm solution evenly to each section of your hair, working from root to tip. Be careful not to oversaturate your hair with the solution as it can lead to damage.
  7. Once you have applied the solution, wrap each section of hair around a perm rod or curler of your choice, starting from the ends and rolling them up towards your scalp. Make sure each rod is securely fastened and tightly wound for optimal results.
  8. After all of your hair has been wrapped in rods, cover your head with a plastic cap or cling wrap to create heat and help activate the perm solution.
  9. Allow the solution to process for the recommended amount of time specified in the instructions provided with the kit. This typically ranges from 15 minutes to an hour, depending on your desired level of curliness and hair type.
  10. Once the processing time is complete, rinse out the perm solution thoroughly with lukewarm water until the water runs clear. Avoid using hot water, as it can damage the newly-permed hair.
  11. Apply a neutralizer or conditioner to your hair to help set the curls and restore pH balance. Leave the neutralizer on for the specified amount of time recommended in the instructions before rinsing it out with cool water.
  12. Gently remove the perm rods from your hair, being careful not to pull or tug on your curls.
  13. Use a wide-tooth comb or your fingers to gently separate and style your newly permed curls. Avoid brushing your hair when it is wet, as it can cause breakage and frizz.
  14. Allow your hair to air dry or use a diffuser attachment on a low heat setting if you prefer to blow dry.
  15. Once your hair is completely dry, apply a leave-in conditioner or styling product specifically designed for curly hair to enhance and maintain your body wave perm.

How to Care for a Body Wave Perm

To care for a body wave perm, follow these steps:

  • Use a clarifying shampoo once a month to cleanse the hair and scalp thoroughly.
  • Avoid touching or washing the hair for 48 hours after getting a perm to allow the curls to set.
  • Use¬†sulfate-free shampoo¬†for the aftercare of body wave permed hair.
  • Nourish and moisturize the hair regularly to maintain its health and prevent dryness.
  • Find the right hair products specifically formulated for permed hair.

Average Cost of a Body Wave Perm

The cost of a body wave perm can vary depending on factors such as the length of your hair and the salon you choose. On average, a body wave perm can range from $40 to over $150.

However, it’s important to note that this is just for the perm itself and does not include additional services or treatments. The total cost of a body wave perm typically ranges from $100 to $300. Keep in mind that prices may also be higher for longer hair lengths.

It’s worth mentioning that there are other types of perms available as well, such as spiral perms or multi-textured perms, which may have different price points. For example, spiral perms that create tight corkscrew-shaped curls can range from $80 to over $250+.

Additionally, certain salons may charge more for their specialized techniques and expertise.

When considering getting a body wave perm, it’s always best to consult with your stylist and discuss pricing options based on your specific hair type and desired outcome. It’s also important to keep in mind that additional costs may apply for maintenance products or follow-up appointments after getting the perm done.

Body Wave Perm Vs Other Popular Perms

When comparing a body wave perm to other popular perms, a few key differences emerge. Here’s a table that breaks down the unique features of each perm type:

Perm TypeCurl PatternEffectSuitable Hair Type
Body Wave PermNatural looking wavesAdds volume and texture, creates longer-lasting blowoutsStraight, fine or limp hair
Spiral PermTight, spiral curlsAdds volume and enhances curl definitionMedium to long hair
Beach Wave PermLoose, tousled wavesCreates a relaxed, beachy lookMost hair types, except very short or very long hair
Digital PermSoft, loose curlsGives a modern, digitalized curl patternAny hair type, best on medium to long hair
Pin Curl PermTight, bouncy curlsAdds significant volume, curl definitionShort to medium hair

As the table shows, each type of perm offers different curl patterns and effects. The body wave perm, known for its natural waves and added volume, is particularly beneficial for those with straight, fine, or limp hair. It’s always important to consult with a hairstylist to determine which type of perm is best suited for your individual hair type and desired results.

Body Wave Perm for Different Types of Hair

As mentioned before, Body Wave Perm is such a versatile option and looks great on every hair type and length- be it short, medium, or long. Here are some body wave perm ideas depending on your hair type.

Body Wave Perm for Short Hair

Short hair by itself is irresistible and synonymous with cute yet hot. This look can be spiced up with a body wave perm. Some ways in which you can style your short, body wave permed hair are given below:

1. Mohawk Perm

This is a great option if you like the idea of catching two birds using a single stone. Of course, you need to be daring to give this style a go.

This involves having straight hair at the sides while adding some soft body wave curls at the top. This will seem like a culmination of two contrasting styles and will definitely increase your uniqueness quotient.

2. Burgundy Short Perm

If you love coloring your hair in vibrant colors, then this one is definitely for you. Add some burgundy to your hair and turn the simple permed bob into an instant eye-turner.

3. Short Wavy Perm

The fact is to get a perm, you really don’t need a long tress. Even with your short hair, body wave perms can look amazing. See your cuteness increase when your wavy fringes frame your face-line.

4. Multi-Textured Perm Bob

You can combine body wave perm with a few other curls like tight perms and watch the curls work with a mind of their own. These look so adorable on bob and make people marvel at the versatility of these perms.

5. Bleached Blonde Perm Bob

Not just with vibrant colors, but body wave perms can look marvelous even on blondes. This style gives you an exotic and sun-kissed appearance. This probably is the best look for summer.

6. Wet Hot Perm Lob

Lob has been ruling the fashion world recently. Combined with a wet hot perm, you can increase your game a notch as wet curls look way more defined and will give your lob a relaxed look when allowed to dry naturally and do not require too much styling.

7. Swooped Bangs Perm

Have you got short hair and bangs? Use this couple to your advantage and do yourself a fashion favor by giving the bangs a body wave perm. This will be a decision that you will never regret.

Body Wave Perm For Medium Hair

Sometimes you may feel angry about having medium-length hair which can neither be classified as short or long. But worry not! This is a bane, for you can try out the styles of both lengths and also have your own styles.

Medium-length hair is so versatile and if you feel anything about it, it should be Happy. Here are some looks to try with body wave perm:

1. Olaplex Partial Body Perm

This is a style that has redefined the process of perming. As the name suggests, the hair is partially given a body wave perm at the lower half in big rings whereas your roots remain untouched. Add some straight bangs at the front and fall in love with your new and amazing look.

2. Huge Body Wave Perm

Who is not a fan of Julianne Hough’s amazingly huge permed hair? It is medium-length hair that has been given some large body wave perms to fake the look of a bob. If you love experimenting with your hair, then this style must definitely top your to-do hairstyles list.

3. Partial Perm Hair

This is similar to the Olaplex Partial Body Perm. Your hair is permed only at the lower half to create a natural and wavy look. This look gives you a rock star-like look and is damn sexy.

4. Mixed Digital And Cold Partial Perm

This look gives you an aura of effortlessness but in reality, this is a pretty difficult look to create. First, the lower end of your hair is given big, body wave perms using digital perms.

These waves turn into beautiful rings when let dry. Later,  cold perms are given to your bangs to give loose waves. This style gives you an adorable, girl-next-door look.

Body Wave Perm For Long Hair

If you have been blessed with long and luscious locks, why not flaunt them with body wave perms and make the world swoon over you?

1. Voluminous Body Perm

Having waterfall-like hair that cascades down her back is what we have read in fairy tales, but this look can be achieved by giving your magnificent mane a nice voluminous body wave perm which will last up to six months.

This look is easy to maintain and you need not waste hours styling your hair after embracing this look.

2. Relaxed Waves

Having long hair and committing to a single hairstyle sounds like a waste of imagination, right? Give yourself a relaxed body wave perm which will be prominent only when your hair is dry. While they are wet, feel free to try some other styles.

3. Partial Digital Perm

If it is your fantasy to have a look that always looks like you just blow-dried your hair, then this is the look for you. And the best part is that this is the ideal perm style for long hair.

This can be done only in salons by a professional hairstylist as certain equipment is required for this style. Your roots remain untouched while the ends would be permed digitally. The midsection will also not be styled, giving you a sophisticated look.

4. Big Body Perm

Go for the big body wave perm if you love large and bouncy curls. This look is elegant and looks very natural. This look has a wow factor that will definitely make you the life of the party.

5. Tousled Waves Partial Perm

If you want to keep the fact that you have permed your hair and want a natural look, then opt for this style. In this, only the ends are given a nice body wave perm. When these waves are tousled together, they give you a natural look that looks so effortless and graceful.

Body Wave Perm For Thin Hair

If you have thin hair which appears boring and lifeless, worry not, for a body wave perm is your savior. Give your hair a voluminous body wave perm at a good salon after treating your hair with some nourishing serums.

Retouch the perms once in 4-6 months and see how amazing and wavy hair will become your second nature and people will forget you once even had thin hair.

Perm Rods for Body Wave Perm

There are different types of perms and hence you will find a variety of perm rods at the market. Do not get confused by looking at the options. To help you pick out the perfect rod for the perm style you desire, here is the color code guide for perm rods.

SizeColorsPerm Pattern
SmallBlue Grey Pink YellowVery Tight Curls
MediumBeige White  Slightly Loose Curls
LargeBlack Green Orange PurpleSoft Body Waves

So from the above table, it is clear that if you want to get a body wave perm, then pick the large rods which have a bigger diameter because the smaller the diameter of the rod is, the tighter your curls will be. Remember this fact while picking out your perm rods.

Body Wave Perm Products

Perming is a style that requires patience as well as a good investment of your time, care and quality products. The products can be classified into two.

  1. Pre-Perm Products
  2. Post-Perm Products

1. Pre-Perm Products

Before undergoing perm you will have to ensure your hair is deeply nourished in order to minimize the damage which is likely to be caused by the chemicals in perming solution and neutralizer and also by heat.

So, you will need a rich protein-clarifying shampoo. Next, you will need the products required for the process of perming (these are usually included in the perm kit). Other than these, you will need gloves and capes to make sure your skin does not get affected by the chemicals.

2. Post-Perm Products

Body wave perm is relatively low on maintenance perm but it too does need some products so that the waves will be luscious and last long. Some of the products you can use to maintain your hair after getting a body wave perm are:


In conclusion, a body wave perm can be a great option for those looking to add natural-looking curls and volume to their straight hair. It is important to consider factors such as hair type, compatibility with other treatments or colors, and the maintenance required before getting a body wave perm.

Whether you choose to visit a salon or try it at home, make sure to follow proper care instructions and consult with a professional if needed. With the right knowledge and maintenance, you can achieve beautiful, bouncy curls that will enhance your overall look.


1. What is a body wave perm?

A body wave perm is a hair treatment that adds loose, natural-looking waves to straight or limp hair. It involves using chemicals and heat to temporarily alter the structure of the hair.

2. How long does a body wave perm last?

The duration of a body wave perm can vary depending on individual factors such as hair type and maintenance routine. On average, it can last anywhere from 2 to 6 months before gradually fading.

3. Can I get a body wave perm if my hair is already damaged or colored?

It’s important to consult with a professional hairstylist before getting a body wave perm if your hair is damaged or colored. They will assess the condition of your hair and determine if it can withstand the chemical process without further damage.

4. How do I maintain my hair after getting a body wave perm?

To maintain your hair after getting a body wave perm, you should avoid washing it for at least 48 hours after the treatment, use sulfate-free shampoos and conditioners specifically formulated for permed hair, avoid excessive heat styling, and regularly moisturize your strands with leave-in conditioners or oils. Additionally, regular trims every few months will help keep your ends healthy and prevent split ends from forming.