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Spiral Perm Vs. Regular perm: 5 Key Differences

A perm is a great way to give your hair volume and bounce. If you have naturally fine, straight hair you should consider asking your stylist for a perm.

Although there are some great methods available for temporarily curling your hair, a perm is a great way to make a permanent change.

Chemical treatments are used to alter the way that each hair strand behaves. Once you have decided that you are ready to commit to a perm, you will have to decide on a spiral perm vs regular perm.

spiral perm hairstyle for women
Spiral Perm

Difference Between Spiral Perm and Regular Perm

Here are 5 main differences between a spiral perm and a regular perm.

The Curls

One of the key differences between spiral perm and regular perm is the shape of the curls. With a spiral perm, the curls can be of different sizes and lengths. The sizes of the curls vary from small to large. On the other hand, the curl pattern in a regular perm is uniform. All of the curls will be the same size and shape.


When considering spiral perm vs. regular perm, you should consider the length of your hair. To get perfect spiral curls, your hair should be at least 8 inches long from root to tip. It is possible to do amazing-looking regular perms with hair that is much shorter.


A spiral perm normally gives a more voluminous look than a regular perm does. Although a regular perm will help to boost the volume of the style somewhat, it will not give the same depth as a spiral perm can.


One of the key differences between a spiral perm and a regular perm is the era that they evoke. A spiral perm is very reminiscent of the 1980s, whereas a regular perm can give modern glamor. If you want to create a retro style, you should choose a spiral perm over a regular perm.


Spiral perms are done using special curling rods that are set vertically in the hair. The rods are long and thin to create the spiral effect.

Once the hair is taken off of the rods, it should remain set in gorgeous uneven curls. A regular perm is done with a different size of rods that is placed flat against the head, rather than vertically.

Tell your hairstylist what type of curls you want, so that they will know which size of rod to use when they are creating your regular perm.

Some Spiral Perm Hairstyles

Some Regular Perm Styles

Spiral Perms Vs. Regular Perms

Here are five major differences again in short so that you can catch the main points.

Spiral Perm Regular Perm
    Curls are different sizes and shapes
    Curls are uniform sizes and shapes
    Better for longer hair
    Better for shorter hair
    Retro glamour
    Modern chic
Maximum volume
    Subtle boost
    Narrow thin rods
    Different rod sizes used

Spiral perms and regular perms are indeed different styles and you need to understand the key differences before choosing a hairstyle. Get a perm style and rock with it!


How long does a spiral perm last?

The effects of a spiral perm will last until your hair grows out five or six inches. Then it’s time to get another perm so your hair stays curly or consider a pixie cut.

Is a spiral perm permanent?


What does a spiral perm do to my hair?

A perm, whether it is a spiral perm or a regular perm, uses chemicals to make the rigid, straight protein bonds in the hair more malleable.

Once they are made flexible, they are wrapped around rollers where the protein reforms in a curly fashion.

Are spiral perms damaging?

Yes. Most of the damage is done to the hair cuticle, which is left open and more prone to be chipped off with regular manipulation like combing.

Is a spiral perm easy to maintain?

Yes, but styling can take some getting used to because it creates a lot of volume.

How do I maintain a spiral perm?

Use a conditioner after you shampoo so that your hair doesn’t dry out. Perms open the hair cuticle, so it will be easy for your hair to lose its natural hydration. Also deep condition weekly.

Can I do a spiral perm with regular rods?

Yes, as long as they are installed vertically.

What is the difference between perm and spiral perm?

With a spiral perm, the rods are installed vertically. With a regular perm, they are installed horizontally.

How much shorter does a spiral perm make my hair?

A spiral perm will make your hair appear three-quarters to half your original length.

How do I get spiral curls naturally?

If you have textured hair that’s type 3 or 4, you can get spiral curls naturally by styling your hair into a wash n’go. It’s a temporary process of using curl definers on wet hair to create curls instead of using rollers.

Getting a perm – at home or salon?

Perms use corrosive chemicals that have to be timed just right to avoid damaging the hair. Even if your home perm comes out okay once or twice, you will see the damage by the third time. Try to get your perms done in a salon instead.

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