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How Much Does A Perm Cost?

If you spend a good chunk of your morning styling your hair into a different texture, it may be time to consider a perm. Why bother with extensive straightening or laborious curls when you can chemically alter the way your hair looks?

Perms provide easy and effective alternatives to achieving the hair that you’ve always wanted, but it’s important to know how much a perm costs before you consider the investment.

What Exactly is a Perm?

permed hair

The word ‘perm‘ is a short form for ‘permanent waving,’ which describes the nature of the hairstyle. Hair is treated with chemicals to create a permanent change in the shape and texture of your hair and form a style that lasts for several months at a time.

Typically done for a curly look, perms can also create soft waves or straight hairstyles that make daily styling that much easier.

How Much Does a Perm Cost?

The price of perm will depend on your location, the expertise of your stylist, and your hair length. Some salons can offer rates as low as $30 while others can charge upwards of $200.

It is important that you do your research first. You can start by doing some price comparisons with salons in your neighborhood or reach out to your go-to stylist for the service or advice.

The price can change in order to reflect the specific perm that you desire. Beach wave perms will set you back anywhere from $50 to $200 depending on the length of your hair.

If you’re familiar with the regular perm and spiral perm, plain curl perms are typically cheaper than the spiral variety. Stylists typically charge more for medium to long hair versus short locks.

Below, you’ll find a table that details the average cost of all types of perm styles. Keep in mind that prices might vary from place to place. These are reasonable estimates to have in mind when selecting your salon and stylist.

Perm Type

Average Cost

Body Wave $50-200
Multi-Twist $70-200
Twist Spiral $45-250
Spiral $80-200
Long Hair $45-200
Straight $50-150
Stacked $70-250
Spot $30-150
Partial Root $80-250
Medium Hair $90-200
Short Hair $40-100

Is a Perm Worth It?

perm hairstyle

With a perm style, you can rest assured that your waves or curls will stay intact for a minimum of two months and potentially longer.

The price tag may be steep for some, but it could be worth it to save you hours and hours of time spent styling your hair.

Keep in mind the quality and condition of your hair currently to avoid any damage. When done right, a perm shouldn’t be a problem, but it is always better to be prepared.

Why Should You Get a Professional Perm?

professional perm

It is possible to get a DIY perm, but you’ll have to be extremely careful. Professional stylists have a lot more expertise with curl-setting and what chemicals to use on what kind of hair.

You’ll have to dedicate yourself to taking care of your perm, whether it gets done professionally or not. That means no heat styling and no styling products containing alcohol or silicone.

Which Perms Work on Which Types of Hair?

Perm hairstyles are not one-size-fits-all. Depending on your hair type, your lifestyle, and your budget, you’ll have to choose which perm will suit you best.

All perms use chemicals to break and then reform your hair into the desired shape. The most significant differences include what rod type the stylist uses and if they apply heat to reshape your hair.


Most perms work to instill curls into naturally straight hair, but a straight perm helps make curly hair straight.

It’s also one of the most high-maintenance perms. A stylist coats the hair with a strong straightening solution before coating it in plastic.

The hair is then left under a heater before the process is repeated, along with washing, drying, and one more straightening.

You cannot mess around with your hair for at least 72 hours after the perm, as this may disrupt the curls and cause them to get ruined


stacked perm

The stacked perm is the curly version of getting layers in straight hair. However, you’ll need medium to long hair for this perm to work. It should also lie at a single length on your head.

To create layers of curls, the hair is left flat on the top, while hot rollers curl the bottom and middle sections of hair in varying sizes.


As the name implies, a spot perm focuses on specific places in your hair, and they work with either tight or loose curls.

Even if you have naturally curly hair, this perm works to get you the curls in the places you want them. Stylists can choose to use heat or no heat when styling this one.

Twist Spiral

twist spiral perm

If you’re looking for a more retro perm with lots and lots of volume, the twist spiral gives you that look. You’ll need longer hair, between eight to ten inches, since the twist spiral curls it into varying lengths and tightnesses.

Stylists don’t use heat for this approach since the hair sets in thin, long rods that sit vertically on the head. Keep in mind that this particular perm requires medium to high maintenance for all the different curl lengths included.


partial perm

If a twist spiral gives you dozens of variable-length curls, the partial perm is much more manageable. Much of the time, stylists only curl the ends of medium or long hair with hot curling rods. With such little styling, this particular perm requires less maintenance than other perm types.


Most perms last anywhere from three to six months, but the root perm only lasts about a few weeks. It leaves the rest of the hair looking natural but does add slight volume to the roots.

On that note, it requires little maintenance. Since the perm works so close to the scalp, a stylist will only use a cold approach to achieve the style.


Like the twist spiral perm, the multi-textured perm uses different-sized heated rods to wrap in the hair. Except the multi-textured perm looks slightly more tamable, with bouncier natural-looking curls.

Unlike the twist spiral perm, the multi-textured perm doesn’t require as much maintenance. You might need a few moisturizing products, but not much more than that.

Body Wave

body wave perm

Some perms try to keep hair looking uniform, but the body wave places curls in a non-uniform pattern using large rollers.

Body wave curls are less bouncy and have a more loose and natural look. Softer, looser curls require less maintenance, though you might need gentle heat styling sometimes.

Now that you know roughly how much a perm will cost, it’s time to figure out if the look is worth it for you. We hope this information helps!