Friday, 7 September 2012


I used to sport straight and waist long hair in my younger day. I still remember getting my first perm when I was about twenty-four.  It was a disaster!

On hindsight, I made 2 big mistakes.  Cutting my hair short and then perming it curly.  I ended looking like I was wearing a black helmet for at least 3 months.  The hairstylist was not as skillful as I hoped and the look was unflattering to say the least.

Pic One: Short Hair Age 23
Pic Two: Horrors,  Helmet Head! Age 24
Pic Three: Tried to salvage hair with hair grips.

Well, after my hair grew out, I stayed away from curly perm for a long time.  Eight years to be exact.  

After giving birth to my youngest, I decided to give curly perm another try.  This time I kept my hair at shoulder length and instead of tight curls, I opted to get a body wave and I changed my hairstylist who knew what she was doing.  It was great as the curls were softer and looked natural.  

The downside was it lasted for about 2 months or so.  And perming too frequently caused my hair to become drier as it was dry to begin with. Getting treatments every month helped to put back the moisture and prevented split hair ends.

If you are thinking of perming your hair, here are a list of perms. Consult your hairstylist which perm is suitable for your hair texture, length and style.

Basically, there are two main components. The perming rods and chemical solutions to make your hair curl.  

The only difference on the outcome of the perm is the size of the rods, how the hair is wrapped around the rods and the type of solution that is applied.  Some perms do not even require any solution application.

Helmet head growing out phase

In 2007 I had shoulder length hair 
and a new hair stylist.

Types of Perms

Body Wave

In my experience with body waves, it give you the best of both worlds.  

A wave that's not too curly and a lift to create volume.  Since the perm is loose, it gives more movement to your hair.  

If you have straight hair, you will get large curls and if you have natural curls, the waves will be curlier.  Large rods are used for this process.


As the name suggest, large and small rods are used to create natural looking curls for straight haired women.

The ends of the hairs are rolled with the larger rods while the smaller rods are used for the crown, back and sides of your hair.

Pin Curls

Pins are used to curl sections of the hair.  This process does not require any chemical treatment.  However, gel is applied before the hair is curled with the pins.  Once the gel dries and the pins are released, you will get a natural curve.  

This process is not permanent and can last until the the next day or when you wash it out.  This is very suitable for people who are allergic to chemicals.

Root Perm

If you have thin or limp hair and with a short cut, opt for root perming as it adds lift to the roots of the hair without curls.


If your hair is of the same length, you can add volume to your hair with this type of perm.  Rollers or perm rods of different sizes are used.  It also creates a layered look.


To get spirals, your hair must first be well conditioned, very long, at least 5 to 7 inches more below your shoulders. 

Long perming rods and chemicals specifically formulated for this type of perm are used.  A certain level of skill is required.  Therefore, make sure you make a background check on the hairstylist by looking at their existing clients who have done the spiral perm so that you can evaluate their competence before getting this perm yourself.

Done right, you will have lovely cascading tight curls that have bounce.  

I always wanted to get this type of curls but my hair is too coarse for it.  My hairstylist said that the hair texture must be soft in order to achieve this look and it is more suited to caucasian hair texture rather than asian.  

Well, if I die and be reborn a caucasian woman, I will definitely go for this perm!


Only one section is permed. You can either have a tight or loose curls which again, depends on the width of the rod. Some women prefer to have only partial curls as opposed to a full head of curls.  If you want a more sophisticated and stylish look, this is the perm for you.

My current hairstylist does this neat trick.  When I had shoulder length hair, she leaves about half to one inch of the ends and begins curling my hair with the rod from that point.  She explained that this will prevent the ends from clumping up when styling and gives movement to my hair.

My next topic for discussion is, "Good News For The Single Women."


Strawberry fields forever,

Eat uphill, if you are clever,

Eat downhill, it turns sour,

Blast the humid weather.

Nectar sweet destroyer.

But if you have a cooler,

The sweet will stay longer.

Strawberry fields forever.

Thanks for looking and taking the time to read my blog.  Until my next post,

Here's To Your Health!

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  1. Thanks Philo for this informative article. I didnt know there were so many types of perms. It made me realised that I must change my stylist because all my life she has been using on me the "same size tight curls" perm. No wonder my hair looks like a broom sticks :(

  2. Hi Rena,

    We learn new things everyday, don't we?

    Yes, I know what you mean about the broomstick.:))
    Is your hair oily or dry, coarse or soft, thick or thin?


Hi I welcome your comments and sharing on the topic that I have posted.