Where Can I Get a Perm: From Salons to DIY

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Where Can I Get a Perm

Are you contemplating a hairstyle change and wondering, “Where can I get a perm?” You’re not alone; perms are making a significant comeback in today’s fashion world. From voluminous curls to subtle waves, the modern perm has evolved, offering various styles to suit different tastes and hair types. This article is your comprehensive guide to exploring where to get a perm, the types available, key factors to consider, and maintenance tips. Read on to embark on your journey to that perfect curly or wavy look.

Where Can I Get a Perm?

Indeed, you can get a perm at various places depending on your budget and specific hair needs. Professional salons are the most reliable option, as they often have experienced stylists specializing in perms. Some specialized hair studios focus solely on perms and curly hairstyles. If you’re on a budget, consider hairdressing schools where students, supervised by professionals, perform the service at a reduced rate. DIY perm kits are also available, but they come with the risk of damaging your hair if not done correctly. Before choosing a location, research and consult a hairstylist to find the best option for your hair type.

The Locations to Get a Perm

When it comes to getting a perm, you have several location options, each with its own set of advantages and considerations:

Professional Salons: The most common and reliable place to get a perm is at a professional salon. Salons usually have experienced hairstylists trained in various techniques, including perm styles. They also offer a range of products tailored to different hair types. At a salon, you can expect a consultation before the treatment to discuss your hair goals and assess the condition of your hair.

Specialized Hair Studios: Some studios specialize exclusively in perms and curly hairstyles. Visiting one of these could be beneficial if you’re looking for experts who deal exclusively with perms. They might also offer a more extensive range of perm styles.

Hairdressing Schools: If you’re looking for a more budget-friendly option, many hairdressing or cosmetology schools offer perms at a discounted rate. The procedure is typically carried out by students but supervised by experienced instructors. However, remember that the results might not be as polished as what you’d get from an experienced stylist.

DIY at Home: Home perm kits are available for those who prefer a DIY approach. These kits generally include all the necessary chemicals and instructions to guide you. While this is the most budget-friendly option, it comes with the highest risk. Without professional training, you may damage your hair or achieve uneven results.

Online Booking Platforms: Online platforms like StyleSeat, Treatwell, or local salon booking websites often allow you to browse through various salons and stylists specialized in perms. You can read reviews, compare prices, and even book your appointment online.

Mobile Stylists: Some stylists offer mobile services, coming to your home to perform the perm. This option provides convenience but ensures that the stylist is qualified and experienced in perm techniques.

Factors to Consider Before Getting a Perm

Before you take the plunge and get a perm, there are several crucial factors to consider to ensure you’re making the right choice for your hair and lifestyle. Here are some key aspects to keep in mind:


Perms can vary widely in price depending on the salon, the expertise of the stylist, and the specific type of perm you choose. Generally, you can expect to pay anywhere from $50 to over $200. High-end salons or specialized studios may charge even more. Consider your budget and compare prices from different locations before deciding.


The expertise of your hairstylist plays a significant role in how well your perm turns out. Always check reviews, ask for recommendations, or consult with the stylist beforehand to gauge their experience and proficiency in giving perms.

Hair Condition

Your hair’s health is a pivotal factor that can affect the outcome of a perm. Damaged, overly processed, or weak hair might not hold the perm well, and further chemical treatments could exacerbate the damage. A pre-treatment consultation is crucial to assess whether your hair is in the proper condition for a perm.

Time Commitment

Getting a perm takes a lot of work. Depending on the type of perm and the length of your hair, it could take several hours to complete. After that, perms require proper aftercare and maintenance to keep your curls looking their best. Make sure you’re prepared for the time commitment both during and after the treatment.

Hair Length and Type

Different perms suit different lengths and types of hair. Some curls look better on longer hair, while others are more suited for shorter lengths. Also, certain types of perms may work better on specific hair textures. Discuss these factors with your stylist to determine the best perm style.


Perms require a different kind of maintenance than straight hair. You’ll need special shampoos, conditioners, and potentially other products like curl-enhancing creams or serums. Make sure you’re prepared for the ongoing maintenance before getting a perm.

Lifestyle Considerations

Your lifestyle can also affect the type of perm that is best for you. If you’re active and spend a lot of time swimming or working out, this could affect the longevity of your perm. Discuss your daily routines with your stylist to find a perm that fits your lifestyle.

How to Prepare for Your Perm?

Preparing for a perm is an essential step that should be considered, as the readiness of your hair and scalp can significantly influence the result. Here are some key pointers on how to get ready for your perm appointment:

Before making any decisions, schedule a consultation with a hairstylist specializing in perms. During this meeting, discuss what you hope to achieve, and let the stylist assess the condition and type of your hair. They can recommend the best type of perm for you and give you an idea of the expected results.

During or after the consultation, a responsible stylist will perform strand and patch tests. A strand test helps determine how your hair will respond to the chemicals used in the perm process, while a patch test checks for allergic reactions to the perm solution. These tests ensure that it’s safe for you to get a perm and help the stylist fine-tune the process for your specific hair type.

In the weeks leading up to your perm appointment, focus on improving your hair’s condition. Avoid other chemical treatments like coloring or bleaching, as these can weaken your hair and make it less receptive to the perm.

Deep-condition your hair about a week before your perm appointment to ensure it’s as healthy as possible. However, avoid washing your hair for at least 24-48 hours before the perm; the natural oils can help protect your scalp during the chemical process.

Discuss with your stylist any hair products you’re currently using. Certain products may contain ingredients that can interfere with the perm solution. Your stylist might recommend specific shampoos or conditioners to use—or avoid—before your appointment.

On the day of your perm appointment, wear an old shirt you don’t mind getting stained. Also, avoid wearing hair accessories or anything around your neck, like turtlenecks or high collars, as they can get in the way during the treatment.

Lastly, be prepared for a change. Perms alter your look significantly, and even though they eventually grow out, they do require a commitment to a new styling routine. Make sure you are mentally ready for this change and the maintenance that comes with it.

Aftercare for Your Perm

Proper aftercare is crucial for maintaining the longevity and quality of your perm. The first few days after the treatment are vital for setting the curl pattern and minimizing frizz or damage. Here are some essential aftercare guidelines to follow:

Immediate Aftercare

  • Resist the urge to wash your hair for at least 48-72 hours after getting a perm. This allows the hair to set and the curls to form.
  • Keep your hair dry and moisture-free, as water can disrupt the setting process. This includes avoiding steamy environments like saunas and hot showers.
  • Avoid using heated styling tools like hair dryers or curling irons immediately after your perm. Excessive heat can damage your newly permed hair.
  • Try not to brush or comb your hair for the first few days. If you must, use your fingers or a wide-tooth comb to gently detangle your hair, starting at the ends and working your way up.

Long-term Maintenance

  • Use shampoos and conditioners specifically formulated for curly or chemically treated hair. These products are usually sulfate-free and provide the extra moisture that permed hair needs.
  • Incorporate a deep conditioning treatment into your weekly hair care routine to keep your curls soft and hydrated.
  • Occasionally, you may need protein treatments to rebuild hair strength, especially if you notice your curls becoming limp or less defined.
  • Avoid chemical treatments like coloring or bleaching for at least a month or as your stylist recommends.
  • If you do use heat styling tools, always apply a heat-protectant spray to minimize damage.


Getting a perm is not just a simple salon appointment but a commitment to a new look and a different hair care regimen. From the initial consultation and preparation to the procedure and subsequent aftercare, each step is vital in determining how successful the perm will be. Whether you opt for a salon, specialized studio, or even a more budget-friendly option like a hairdressing school, it’s crucial to consider factors like cost, expertise, and the condition of your hair. Once you’ve taken the plunge, remember that your new curls will require specialized care, including the right products and potentially a new routine. With careful planning, expert help, and meticulous aftercare, you can enjoy beautiful, lasting curls that elevate your style and complement your personality.


Q: Is there damage to the hair?

A: While chemical treatment comes with some risk, a professionally done perm on healthy hair is generally considered safe. However, it’s crucial to follow aftercare guidelines to minimize damage.

Q: What types of perms are there?

A: There are several types of perms available, including spiral perms, body wave perms, and digital or hot perms, among others. The best type for you will depend on your hair type and desired outcome.

Q: How should I prepare for a perm?

A: Preparing for a perm involves consulting with a stylist, avoiding other chemical treatments, and potentially deep-conditioning your hair. It’s also advised not to wash your hair for 24-48 hours before the perm.

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