Everything To Know Before Getting A Body Wave Perm

You look in the mirror and are tired of seeing your straight, dull hair, having no idea what to do with it on a daily basis. You've grown weary using a curling iron to give it some body and life and are ready to do something permanent so you can let your hair dry and just go. An old-fashioned body wave perm comes to mind for a change of pace.

According to Elle, perms began making a comeback in 2021, a hairstyle not seen frequently since the 1980s and '90s. That's when perms made it easier to achieve that "big hair" look, along with assuaging the jealousy straight-haired girls had of their curly counterparts.

Whether you get a tight perm or a looser body wave, the versatility the perm offers can make styling your hair a breeze on a daily basis. "Perms can be so versatile," Dana Monkman of Tony & Guy hair salon told Elle. Even adding some slight movement to super straight hair can make styling easier, so I think we will see them sticking around."

What makes a body wave different from a traditional perm?

Choose a body wave when you just want to add some texture to your hair, but avoid tight curls. "Body waves offer a softer, more natural-looking wave," stylist Briana Dunning told Byrdie. "It can also provide added texture and longer-lasting blowouts."

Creating permanent waves rather than permanent curls uses the same basic process as traditional perms. The difference comes with the rods your stylist uses. Typically, larger rods are used and they're placed more unevenly to give your hair a more wild and natural look, reports Healthline. After that, the chemical process is the same as with a traditional perm.

"To begin the process, we set perming solution and our perming rods," Dana Monkman told Elle. "The time for this to set varies, and will depend on the curl and texture of the hair. We then rinse the hair and apply a second solution which sets the hair in shape. To finish, the rods are removed and the hair rinsed thoroughly."

How to care for a body wave perm

You definitely don't want to mix chemical processes on your hair to avoid damage and breakage. That means, do not dye your hair for about a month before getting a perm and refrain from color treatments for another month afterwards (via Healthline). That means if you want to color those greys and get a perm, you need to make a choice.

Healthline also points out that getting a perm on fully dyed hair is better for your hair's health than performing this chemical process on highlighted hair, as it can cause the waves to become frizzy.

Make sure to deep condition your hair before getting your body wave to make sure your locks are soft and healthy before applying harsh chemicals. Finally, be careful using heat while styling your hair. Use a blow dry spray before drying your hair and invest in a diffuser to keep your waves from becoming a frizzy mess (via Healthline).