Skip to Content
HomePopular & TrendsPerm

How Long Does It Take to Perm Your Hair?

A perm is a chemical treatment to relax curly hair or a chemical treatment to make straight hair curly. How long does it take to get a perm done? It depends on a few factors.

How Long Does It Take To Get a Perm Done?

If you are going in to get your naturally straight hair curled into a permanent curly style, that process can take anywhere from one hour to five hours.

Again, this depends on the thickness and length of your hair—the chemical treatment needs sufficient time for application and permeation throughout your hair.

What Affects the Length of Perm Application?

What Affects the Length of Perm Application?

Several factors affect the amount of time a perm takes in the salon. One is simply how much hair you’re trying to treat.

The more hair, the longer everything will take simply because it takes the hairdresser more time to apply the necessary chemicals to treat the hair, whether it’s for relaxing curly or coarse hair or whether it’s for making straight hair curly.

The smallest rod that is used for perms can curl hair that is only two inches long. If you want looser or more voluptuous curls, it’s advisable to wait at least until your hair is past your ears.

Even if it is past your ears, if you opt for a perm, those curls will necessarily be tight ringlets rather than loose, bouncy curls because your hair is so short.

Why Do Perms Take So Long?

Why Do Perms Take So Long?

When you get a permanent treatment, your hair follicles are chemically changed to rotate and twist rather than continue to be straight. The treatment is not instant, and even when it is being performed to maintain your current hairstyle, it takes no less than an hour.

The thickness or density of your hair affects how long your perm will take at the salon. If you’ve had a perm before and you’re simply looking to maintain that curly style, it won’t take as long for your hairdresser to perform maintenance on your current perm hairstyle.

If your hairdresser is working with virgin hair that has never been permed, it will take longer because your hairdresser has to apply the chemicals to the full length of your hair rather than only your roots.

Different Types of Perms and How Long Each Perm Type Takes

There are various types of perms, and each takes a different amount of time. Here is a quick look at how long it takes to get each type of perm done.

Perm TypeDescriptionTime Required
Spiral PermCreates tight, corkscrew curls.3-5 hours
Spot PermFocuses on specific areas.2-3 hours, depends on the number of spots
Pin Curl PermCreates soft, natural curls.2-4 hours, based on your hair length
Body Wave PermCreates loose waves, adds volume.2-3 hours
Stack PermProvides volume to a specific hair layer.About 3 hours
Root PermLifts the root to add volume.Typically 2 hours
The above times are estimates and can vary based on factors like hair length, type, and condition.

Spiral Perm

This type of perm creates tight, corkscrew-like curls that add a significant amount of volume and texture to your hair. The process usually involves rolling the hair in rods vertically, which leads to the distinctive spiraled effect.

This perm type can take anywhere from 3-5 hours, depending on the length and thickness of your hair. It’s worth noting that spiral perms require extra care to maintain the curl structure and keep the hair healthy.

Spot Perm

Spot perms are designed to curl specific areas or “spots” of your hair. They are perfect for adding curls to straight hair or enhancing natural curls. The stylist targets sections of the hair, applying the perm solution to those areas only.

The type of perm takes about 2-3 hours, but this can vary depending on the number of spots you’re having permed.

Pin Curl Perm

Pin curl perms create soft and natural-looking curls. This process involves winding individual sections of hair around a finger and then securing them with a clip or pin. The perm solution is then applied.

The pin curl perm process typically lasts 2-4 hours, depending on the length of your hair. Pin curl perms can give your hair a classic, vintage look.

Body Wave Perm

A body wave perm gives your hair loose, gentle waves, and it’s an excellent option if you’re seeking to add volume and bounce. The stylist uses larger rollers to achieve this effect, and the procedure usually takes about 2-3 hours. Body wave perms offer a more casual and natural look compared to other types of perms.

Stack Perm

Stack perms are great for hairstyles that have layers. The stylist will apply the perm to the middle and bottom layers of your hair, leaving the top layer straight. This creates a “stacked” effect and provides volume to a specific layer of your hair. The process typically takes around 3 hours.

Root Perm

Root perms lift the root of your hair, adding volume and making your hair look fuller. It’s an ideal solution for flat and lifeless hair. The perm solution is applied only to the roots of the hair. The process is quicker than most other perms, typically taking about 2 hours.

So, How Long Does It Take To Get a Perm Done?

Getting a perm takes about 1-5 hours, depending on the composition of your hair. Even with the maximum processing time, a perm is a fast and easy way to achieve a long-lasting style. Before you head to the salon, keep in mind that a perm will look different on each hair type.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long after I receive a perm should I wash my hair?

Because perming hair is a chemical treatment, wait at least 48 hours before washing your hair or exposing it to water at all.

How much should I wash my hair once it is permed?

If you perm your hair you should only be washing your hair one to two times each week. The more you wash curly hair, the more you risk breakage and drying out the hair.

How can I take care of my permed curly hair?

Try a leave-in hair mask at least once every two weeks, and use a curly-friendly conditioner. Also, limit straightening and blow drying as this will damage permed hair when performed excessively.