How Long Do Perms Take

How Long Do Perms Take

Perms, which is considered a short form for ‘permanents’ and also called ‘permanent wave’ or ‘permanent hairstyle’ have been a go-to method for adding waves to straight hair or a way for transforming into bouncy curls for decades.

It is a chemical process that is used to change the structure of your hair giving them the curls of your choice for an extended period of time. If you are wondering how long do perms take, or how long does it take for per to sit, that depends pretty much on the place you have chosen to perm your hair, like a salon or do-it-yourself at home, and the perm solutions you use.

This article includes all about how to perm your hair, how long do perms take, how to extend or shorten the perm process followed by its risks, what factors affect the perms duration an how long do perms last.

Significance to Know the Process of Perming

how long do perms take image

Whether you aim to make your hair full of spirals or want a subtle wave, it is important for you to understand the process to achieve the results you are looking for without compromising on the health of your hair. This process of curling also comes up with some dos and don’ts to be followed before and after you get the perms, and you are better supposed to consider them.

As the perming is in trending; the people used to as the questions' How much do perms cost, how long does a perm last on straight hair, how long does your hair have to be to get a perm. In the more obvious manner; it is also queried should I get a perm male, perm hair, what is the perm process, how long do perms last, wavy perm men.

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How Long Do Perms Take - Factors That Affect Duration

Do you wonder how long it can take to get a perm? Normally, a perm takes around 2 or 3 hours or even more to get completed. However, it may depend on several factors, e.g. on the type of perm, on the thickness and length of hair and on the technique and experience of the stylist. It may take even longer if you are doing it yourself at your home.

The Condition of Your Hair

damaged hair

If your hair is in poor condition or damaged, the perm may not effectively or evenly penetrate, which may result in a longer processing time. Additionally, if your hair is previously has been treated with the chemical process, such as straightening or coloring, it may take more time to perm owing to the added stress to your hair.

The Type of Perm Solution You are Using

some perm solutions

There are various kinds of perm solutions available and each of them may take different length of time in processing. Some of them may require longer processing time, while others may take shorter time to process. It’s important for you to talk to your stylist regarding the perm solution that best suits your hair and, then, adhere to those instructions to ensure the desired results.

The Length and Thickness of Your Hair

length and thickness of your hair

If your hair is long and thick , it may take more processing time. However, if you have short and fine hair, it require lesser processing time. The stylist would need to make it sure that each section of your hair is evenly and properly saturated with the perm solution you have chosen, and that your hair is rolled evenly on the rollers or perm rods.

Who is Doing Your Perm?

If you are getting your perms done by a professional stylist and your stylist has more experience and masterly expertise in using perm techniques, he/she would make your perm completed in a shorter time. However, a stylist with lesser experience and expertise may take longer time. Additionally, if you are doing it at your home, it will, obviously, take even more time to perm your hair.

The Size of Curls

You can choose from a wide variety of curl sizes while getting your perms. If you intend to get large curls in your perm, it will get done quicker and won’t take enough time. Hon the other hand, if you are aiming to get tighter curls, it may take longer to rod wrap your hair.

Things to Consider Before Getting a Perm

Before we move on to the steps involved in the process of how to perm your hair and how long each step would take, it’s crucial for you to consider a couple of things before you begin to get a perm.

Your Hair’s Health

Before you get a perm, make it sure that your hair is healthy. If you get perm on unhealthy hair, the chances are that your hair may end up in bad condition. Some think mistakenly that the neutralizer would rebuild the hair’s protein bonds when the perm process ends and the hair will get back to normal. But, unfortunately, that’s not the case. Perms, most of the times, do a permanent damage to hair to some extent.

Perms Aftercare

After you get a perm, your hair will act in a different way, and you’ll have to be prepared to make some changes in your hair care routine so that you may keep healthy and long lasting. Your new curls may need some extra protein or moisture soon after you perm your hair, followed by an intense aftercare, and you will need to avoid the ingredients that can potentially harm your new curls.

Your Hair’s Length

The length of your hair has much to do with the result your perm will end up in. If you have a long hair, your perm will turn out better. On the other hand, if your hair is short, your perm may end up looking puffy and shapeless. Additionally, if you want large curls and your hair is short, the curls may not turn out much noticeable.

Different Types of Perms - How Long Each Type of Perm Takes

types of perms

As far as the types of perms are concerned, they vary, each of them taking time in various amounts. Here, we have mentioned some of the perm types, along with the time each of them takes.

How Long Do Spiral Perms Take

Spiral Perms end up in tight, corkscrew-like curls. The hair is rolled in rods vertically, leading to distinctive spiral impact. This process may take around 3 to 5 hours, which depends, as already mentioned, on the thickness and length of the hair. It is important to note here that spiral curls may need more care comparatively for their maintenance and for hair to remain healthy.

How Long Do Spot Perms Take

Spot perms are intended to have curls on some specific spots or areas of the hair. The stylists target some sections of the hair and apply perm solution to the targeted areas. This type of perm needs 2 to 3 hours to get completed, which can vary also depending on the number of sections of the hair getting a perm.

How Long Do Pin Curl Perms Take

This type of perm is aimed to make curls having natural and soft look. In this process, individual sections of hair are winded around a finger which are secured afterwards with a pin or clip. This perm process may take 2-4 hours, which, again, depends on the length of the hair.

How Long Do Body Wave Perms Take

This type of perm gives the hair a gentle and loose waves. The process involves larger rolls to get this effect, and it may take 2-3 hours to get completed.

How Long Do Stack Perms Take

In the process of stack perms, a stylist applies the perms to the bottom and middle layers of the hair, and leaves the top layer straight. This process also takes 2-3 hours. Stack perms considers great for a hairstyle having layers.

Steps in Perm Process and the Time Each Step Takes


There are various steps in the process of getting a perm and all the process takes a pretty good amount of time l, depending on various factors, already detailed, such as the condition of your hair, the expertise and experience of your stylist, the type of the perm and solution you are using. However, to make it a bit simple, we have given below all the steps in the perm process and an estimated time the whole process would take from time you walk into a salon, till you leave.

Selecting the Curler Size (half an hour)

Once you enter a salon, your stylist will ask you to choose a perm rod of a specific size, as the curlers and rollers are in v variety of sizes and you have to choose one that would suit the length of the curls you want. If you want tiny, dense curls, you would need to select small-size rods, and medium size rollers for comparatively larger curls. This step may take half an hour. Once you have selected the size of the curls and rollers, you may move on to the next step.

Selecting Your Perm Solution (5 minutes)

Selection of the Perm Solutions depends, normally, keeping in front the health of the hair. So, the stylist will choose a solution that best suits the health of your hair, as there are various products available suited to the damaged, natural or strong and healthy hair. It will take nearly five minutes for the stylist to select a solution for your hair.

Evaluation of the Condition of Your Hair and Scalp (30 minutes)

Before beginning the perm process, it’s crucial to make sure that your hair are able to tackle the chemicals used in the perm process. Doing a strand twstia recommended for this. It’s just simple to do. A small amount of perm solution is needed to be applied to a strand of your hair to check whether it splits or not. If it doesn’t, it means that your hair is ready to for going through the transformation process without any concern or problem. The next step is hir perming technique.

Selecting the Hair Perming Technique

After selecting the solution and evaluating the condition of your hair and scalp, your stylist would select a technique to perm your hair to get the desired results. For example, you want your hair to be straighter towards the roots, having freer and looser curls throughout the length of your hair, the stylist will recommend technique, means using rollers horizontally throughout your hair’s length. Now, the next thing to be done is the application of perm.

Application of the Perm Solution (2-3 hours)

After stranding all the hair around the rods in the selected technique, the perm solution is applied close to the rods, each rod followed by another one, in circular motions. The solution penetrates downwards into the bottom of the rod. It may take 2-3 hours to apply solution to all the rods.

Washing the Hair (10 minutes)

After the application of the solution, you are supposed to rinse your hair by leaning over a sink or stepping into a showers for a couple of minutes, or wash your hair with a neutral shampoo. But make it sure that you don’t rub the scalp excessively to avoid irritating it. Afterwards, make it sure that you are letting your hair air dry with the rods in place. You may use a hair dryer if in hurry.

Neutralization (20 minutes)

One or two curlers are taken out from various sections in order to know whether the perm solution worked perfectly. If the results are favorable, then, the neutralization is continued. The neutralizing solutions are applied in the process of neutralization to get the hair cuticles closed.

The solution may be applied with the curlers still on. This is one of the most important steps because this is the step when the hair is definitively left curly. When all the curlers are removed, the result is fabulously curly hair. Give it a couple of minutes, and your perm get completed.

The hair is rinsed with a plenty amount of water so that no solution remains there. Thus, it can be estimated that a perm takes normally 4-5 five hours, subject to some factors, if you get it from a professional stylist.

How to Shorten the Process of Perming

Can the perm process be shortened? If you are short on time, you would love it if you get your perm in comparatively short time. But, make it sure that the quality of your perm and the health of your hair is not compromised. You can consider the following things to get perm in a shorter time:-

  • There are some perm solutions that work faster than others, that sometimes may be harsher on hair. So use a fast-working perm solution without compromising the health of your hair.
  • You can use digital perm that uses air pressure and heat which takes shorter to get a perm.
  • As long and thick hair take longer to perm than short and fine hair, you may consider getting a haircut before a perm.
  • A stylist who is professional, experienced and has expertise may do your perm quicker. So, consult such a stylist than making any change in the perm process.
  • Avoid applying hair products such as gels or oils before your appointment with your stylist.
  • Make it sure that you have brushed your hair thoroughly so that your stylist may work easily with your hair.

How to Extend the Perm Process

To get your hair thoroughly processed and get wavy and long lasting curls, it is beneficial for you to extend the perm process. You may consider following suggestions:-

  • You may use mild perm solution so that it may process for Langer time without harming your hair.
  • Go for a traditional perming that takes longer to process rather than for the digital perm.
  • You may consider choosing larger rods while getting a perm.

Done With Perming? Take Care of Your Perm for the First Few Days

Once you have got a perm and want to make it work and last longer, you are required to follow some instructions:

perms aftercare


Perming the hair is a hair styling choice, which varies from person to person. As the conduct, behaviour and opinion of the people differ, likewise the styling models are also of different outlook. In the same way, a chemical process to change the structure of the hair giving curl look, most of the times has become in trending.

However, in the article, an effort has been made to apprise the readers about the curling styles, time provided for curling, the steps process needed and why some particular styles become familiar. Likewise, how long do perms take, or how long does it take for per to sit, that depends pretty much on the nature of perms one has selected.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does a perm take at a salon?

Perm duration depends on various factors, such as the length and thickness of your hair, the type of solution you use, the condition of your hair and the experience and expertise of your stylist. Normally, getting perm at a salon may take 3-5 hours or even more.

How long do perms take for guys?

It depends on the length and thickness of the hair. Additionally, stylist’s expertise and experience also matters a lot. However, a male perm takes lesser time than a female perm.

How long does it take for a perm to sit?

A perm may take at least 24 to sit and relax. However, it is better for you to at least wait for two or three days to shampoo your hair after getting a perm so that your curls turn out properly without getting spoiled.

How long does the average hair perm process take?

No exact time can be given because it depends on the length of hair. It further varies on the basis of texture and curling of the desire, and also the placement of the rods. However after two days one can wash the hair to find the results.

How long does 1 perm last?

Depending upon the nature of perm, the care you have advanced to that; the period of lasting perm varies from 3 months to 6 months’ time.

Louisa Jane

Passionate beauty blogger exploring skincare, haircare rituals, and beauty secrets, guiding readers toward radiant skin and confidence.

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