Thursday, June 13, 2024
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How Long Does Your Hair Have to Be to Get a Perm?

You see those glorious swirling locks on your friends and on television and think, “how can I accomplish that look?” Maybe you’ve tried with endless types of curling irons and rollers but you just can’t seem to keep the curl. You have heard about perms, after all the 80s are a pretty prolific period in time, and you may know someone who has one and you might think “what the heck, let’s give it a go!” Not so fast my friend. 

Perms are tricky and while it might seem like a simple solution to fulfill your curl desire, there are many things to take into account. Let’s learn about perms before you worry if your hair is long enough for one.

First, you really need to consider your hair type and whether it will respond well to the perm chemicals. Having a beautiful body and curls galore is appealing, but the reality is – perms don’t turn out the same on everyone. And, honestly, a perm is going to do some damage to your hair, so be prepared for that.

The thermal chemical in perms is intrusive, but that’s the whole point, right? Rich waves without the daily wand? It sounds wonderful! When done correctly, and with the right hair type, it won’t be too invasive on your hair. These chemicals are uber-powerful though – headaches, nausea, redness, itching, and burning are all effects of perming solutions. So, ask yourself if the spiral you are longing for is worth it. Not to mention the smell – oh does it ever smell like burning!

You may be one to throw caution to the wind, so you are ready to take the dive and you just want to know how long your hair has to be to get a perm. We get it. The simple answer is 1.5 inches minimum. That’s if we are talking about the most basic of perms, and if your hair is that short, there is no telling the outcome. 

If you are truly serious about locking in some corkscrew curls, you may want to think out a strategy on this one. With longer hair, you definitely have more options for the look you are trying to create. There is a whole world of rods, lotions, neutralizers, and aftercare you need to consider. You might have a dreamy image in your brain or something you’ve found on Pinterest, but you also need to be realistic.

The formulas and techniques keep getting better, so any hair length (again, depending on hair type) can have a successful reaction to permanent solutions. A lot of salons will not even call it a “perm” anymore because the term is so outdated and has a negative, frizzy connotation. Many hairdressers call it a curl treatment or a curl solution.


In essence, your hair doesn’t have to be to your waist to get a perm. What is best is to consult with a hairstylist for your varied options to achieve your curly-haired dream.

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