perm for thick hair: Tips for Getting a Perfect Perm

By Jack Mash

Do you have thick hair and want to get a perm? Perming thick hair can be a bit of a challenge, but with the right tips it can be done easily and without any damage.

In this blog post, we will discuss how to get the perfect perm with thick hair. We will cover everything from choosing the right perm rods to using the correct amount of product. Stay tuned!

Why get a perm?

A perm is a chemical treatment that uses ammonium thioglycolate and hydrogen peroxide to break the disulfide bonds in hair, causing it to swell. This makes the hair more pliable so that it can be curled or styled using a curling iron or hot rollers.

Most people get perms to achieve bouncy, curly hair without having to use heat styling tools every day. Perms can also help give hair more volume and make it look thicker. They last for 4-6 weeks, but over time the natural curl pattern will usually start to reassert itself and the perm will slowly wear off.

Different types of perms:

There are many types of perms, but the 3 most popular ones are the traditional permanent wave, the Japanese thermal reconditioning, and the Brazilian Blowout.

The traditional permanent wave is a chemical process that uses ammonium thioglycolate or glyceryl monothioglycolate to break the disulfide bonds in the hair. This permanently straightens hair by changing its curvature.

The Japanese thermal reconditioning is a heat-based process that uses a ceramic plate to apply heat directly to the hair shaft. This causes the natural proteins in the hair to change alignment, which then permanently changes the shape of the hair strand.

The Brazilian Blowout is an acai-based smoothing treatment that coats the hair shaft to temporarily smooth and straighten it. It typically lasts for 12 weeks before needing to be redone.

Preparing Your Hair for a Perm

Before getting your perm, it’s crucial to ensure your hair is in good condition. Here’s what you should do:

  1. Wash your hair 24-48 hours before the perm, but not immediately before. This will allow your scalp to produce natural oils that will help protect your hair during the process.
  1. Avoid heat styling tools for at least one week before the perm. This will prevent your hair from becoming overly damaged during the perm process.
  1. Trim your hair before the perm, especially if you have split ends. This will allow for healthier curls and longer-lasting results.

Steps of the Perm Process

  1. Consultation: It’s essential to discuss your desired results with your hairstylist. They can recommend the best perm technique for your hair and provide guidance on how to maintain your new curls.
  1. Sectioning: Your hairstylist will divide your hair into sections to ensure even curl patterns and better control over the perm process.
  1. Application: The hairstylist will apply a pre-treatment to protect your hair, followed by the perm solution. This process can take around 15-30 minutes, depending on the thickness of your hair.
  1. Processing: This is the stage where your hair will take on its new curly shape. Following recommended times on the perm solution, your hairstylist will either attach heated rods (digital perm) or use traditional rods (traditional perm) to create the desired curl pattern.
  1. Neutralization: After the appropriate processing time, your hairstylist will remove the rods and apply a neutralizing solution to seal the new curl pattern in place.
  1. Rinsing: Finally, your hairstylist will rinse your hair thoroughly to remove any residue, and apply a conditioning treatment to help combat any dryness.

Factors to consider before getting a perm:

Before getting a perm, it’s important to consider the following factors:

  • The health of your hair. If your hair is damaged, you shouldn’t get a perm.
  • Your scalp’s sensitivity. If you have a sensitive scalp, you should avoid getting a perm.
  • Your natural hair type. Perms can be especially damaging to curly and kinky hair types.
  • The chemicals in the perm solution. Some people are allergic to the chemicals in perms solutions, so it’s important to do a patch test before getting a perm.
  • The stylist’s experience with perming thick hair. It’s important to choose a stylist who has experience and success in perming thick hair.

The best products for permed hair:

The best products for permed hair are products that will help to define your curls, and also lock in moisture. A few of our favorite curl definers are the DevaCurl Defining Cream and the SheaMoisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie. For a product that will help to lock in moisture, we love the Carol’s Daughter Monoi Repairing Hair Mask.


If you have thick hair and are considering getting a perm, know that it is possible to get the perfect perm. With the right stylist and products, your thick hair can look fabulous with a perm. Be sure to communicate your desired results with your stylist and photograph inspiration styles ahead of time.

Also, be prepared to commit to regular treatments and at-home care. With these tips in mind, you can achieve gorgeous, bouncy curls that will turn heads everywhere you go.

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