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5 Types of Perms for Fine Thin Hair

You may think a perm is out of the question if you have fine, thin hair. After all, who wants to damage their delicate strands with harsh chemicals, right? 

That is not the case, though. A perm can be a great way to add body and texture to your fine hair and leave it looking full and fabulous when done correctly. 

Today, we will try to explain all there is to know about perming fine hair and list the best perm options for people with thin hair. Let’s go!

What is a Perm?

What is a Perm?

A perm is a chemical treatment that changes the structure of your hair, making it curly or wavy. The process works by breaking the bonds in your hair, then reforming them into a new shape.

Curly perm usually lasts around six to eight weeks, although this can vary depending on your hair type and how you care for your perm. 

Perms today rely on various methods, including fabric and hair rollers, to create curls. Depending on the curl form of wave you want, perms may also use other equipment such as perm rods.

See also:

Types of Perm

Types of Perm

There are two types of perm – digital and cold. See below.

Digital Perm

Also called a hot perm, this permanent curling technique uses heat and chemicals to break down the bonds in your hair. Hot perms allow your stylist to re-shape your fine hair into a new style. 

With digital perm, your thin hair is wrapped around curling rods. The stiffness of the rods is determined by how tight or loose curls you want. These rods are connected to a machine that adjusts and controls temperature.

The length of the curls is also controlled via the machine’s digital display. 

The best part about digital perm is that it can be done on any type, including straight hair, wavy hair, or curly tresses. 

Cold Perms

A cold perm uses an alkaline solution to work on your hair, which is applied with a waving solution that contains ammonium thioglycolate. It has a pH of between 8.2 and 9.6 as an alkaline solution.

Another perming solution is applied to your hair after 15 minutes to neutralize the alkalinity and set the curly perm. 

Because heat is not required, the treatment time for an alkaline reconditioning procedure is longer than that of a thermal reconditioning process. Also, this technique is more cost-effective than a digital perm and works with all hair types.

Best Perms for Thin Hair

You might think of 80’s big hair when you think of perms, but today’s perms are much more subtle and can be tailored to your hair type. Let’s look at the different types of perms for fine thin hair.

Body Wave Perm

Body Wave Perm

A body wave perm is a more modern version of the classic perm. It’s created by using a larger curling roller, resulting in looser waves. People with naturally straight hair usually go for this type of perm because it creates a more natural-looking texture without using a styling tool every day. 

A body wave perm is great for adding some beachy body to your straight thin hair. You will end up with softer and looser waves, perfect for gorgeous vacation pictures.

Beach Wave Perm

A beach wave perm is a type of perm that gives your hair natural-looking waves. The chemicals used for the beach waves break down your hair’s inner structure, which reform as your hair dries and sets in a new shape.

This type of perm is ideal for those who want to add body and texture to their hair without drastic changes. 

The beach wave look with loose curls is achieved by rolling the hair with foam rollers and wrapping it loosely instead of tightly curled smaller rods. This type of perm can last anywhere from 2 to 6 months, depending on how often you wash and style your hair. 

Root Perm

Root Perm

Root perm, also called a scalp perm, is a chemical treatment used to curl straight hair at the roots. It is the type of hair volume for those who want to add volume and apparent thickness to the roots of one’s hair.

The root perming procedure can last up to two hours, resulting in bouncy and frizzy hair.

Doing root perm involves altering the hair shape into curls and waves through the involvement of chemicals and heat. Root perms usually last for a few weeks or months.

Spot Perm

Spot, perm hair type, is precisely what it sounds like – a perm applied to a few spots only rather than the whole head. This can be a great way to add some extra curl or wave to specific areas without committing to an all-over perm.

Spot perms are often used to correct problem areas, such as frizzy bangs or unruly waves.  The process of doing a spot perm is usually pretty straightforward and is comparable to that of other permanent hair perming techniques.

And because only a selected hair area is being treated, the side effects of the perm solution are only experienced by a portion of the hair. Spot perm is also less expensive and less time-consuming than other perms. 

Multi-Textured Perm 

Multi-Textured Perm 

A multi-textured perm incorporates a variety of wraps to produce a range of curl patterns within your hair, giving it a more lived-in look. This is the best option for those searching for a less uniform perm that creates a more natural curl in various shapes and sizes. 

Unlike traditional perms, which use large rollers to create uniform curls, a multi-textured perm uses smaller rollers. The size of the rollers will vary depending on the desired look, but they are typically much smaller than the rollers used in a traditional perm. 

Spiral Perm

The vertical rolling of hair around the perm rods is used to create a spiral perm. It’s a method of corkscrew-patterning your medium-length hair or long hair.

The end effect is increased volume and subtle hair texture. One of the most fascinating things about a spiral perm is that it will create curls in many different lengths and sizes.

Because of the various sizes of your locks, with spiral perm hair, you’re likely to notice a little texture in your hair and tons of volume!

Getting a Perm? Here are the Must-Knows

Getting a Perm? Here are the Must-Knows

Before heading to the hair salon, ensure you understand what you’re in for. 

The Condition of Your Hair

The condition of your hair is one of the most important factors to consider. If your hair is already damaged or you just had recent chemical treatments like coloring or bleaching, then it is not a good idea to perm your hair.

There may be new and softer perm formulations nowadays, but they can’t guarantee no further damage to your hair.

Perm your hair only if it hasn’t been exposed to harsh chemical processing recently. And even if your hair is healthy, you must prepare it before the perming procedure.  

Apply deep conditioners and moisturizers at least a couple of weeks before the procedure. Don’t add any heavy conditioning products 24 hours before the process because too much product can cause your hair to reject the treatment.

Less Exposure to Water

One of the most important things you can do to extend the life of your perm is to limit your exposure to water. Overwashing your hair can strip away its natural oils. Instead, try to wash your hair just a few times a week or use a dry shampoo.

When you get your hair wet, blot it dry with a towel instead of rubbing it vigorously. And if you’re going swimming, remember to wear a swim cap. 

Permed Hair Needs Maintenance

It takes a lot of work to maintain a perfect perm. From regular shampooing and conditioning to touch-ups and deep-conditioning treatments, perming your hair requires responsible maintenance.

Some of the products you need to get after a perm are: hair gel, anti-frizz serums, curl enhancers, and hair mousse. Avoid using any products that contain alcohol, as this can dry out your hair and cause frizz. Make sure to get regular trims as well to prevent split ends. 

See also: The 20 Best Shampoos and Conditioners for Permed Hair


A curly hair perm can add volume and body to thin fine hair. Having perm transforms locks into bouncy curls that will make you feel beautiful and confident. 

Keep in mind that there are different types of perms, and not every perm is suitable for everyone, so be sure to consult with an experienced stylist before making a decision. They will be able to help you choose the right perm for your specific hair type and needs. 



I’m Aida and this is my blog where I write mostly about beauty & make up related stuff, but I like to spice it up a bit with lifestyle and photography posts. Or with whatever that comes to my mind. Hope you will enjoy the reading enough that we will ‘see’ each other more often!