How long does your hair have to be to get a perm?

long hair

Did you think that a perm is a treatment only for people with long hair? I have good news for you!


  • If your hair is at least 1.5 inches long, you can get a perm.
  • But, the longer your hair is, the more options you’ll have as to what kind of curl you want.
  • Also, if your hair is long enough to wrap it at 2-3 times around the hair roller or flexi rod, the perm will last longer.


 As you can see, you don’t have to have hair down to your waist to get a perm. Of course, the shorter your hair is, the fewer options as to what kind of curl you have to choose from. 


And this is for a completely logical reason: There are different kinds of perms, with very tight, corkscrew curls, which are ideal for shorter hair all the way to perms with less defined curls, like beach waves, ideal for longer hair.

If you can get a perm even on short hair, then why is hair length important?


Because it is exactly what will determine which kinds of curls you can choose from. Also, if your hair can’t wrap three times around the tool that you choose, the perm probably won’t last very long and you won’t notice much of an effect by getting it.


 There are two basic tools that stylists use to do perms: hair rollers and flexi rods. And, you can also combine the two. 

You can also mix different sizes of each of these tools in order to get a perm with a more natural and mixed effect.

What kind of curl do you want for your perm? Corkscrew curls or looser, less defined curls? Are you not sure yet?


In any case, stick around, because I’m going to tell you:

  • Hair rollers or flexi rods: which one you should use depending on your hair length
  • What kind of curl to choose depending on your hair length
  • Other recommendations before choosing the kind of curl for your perm


From beach waves to the tightest little curls, today you’re going to find out which style of perm is best for you and your hair.


Hair rollers or flexi rods: Which you should use based on your hair length

Today there are two different tools used to do perms: hair rollers and flexi rods.

But, did you know that women from one of the most advanced ancient cultures were already getting perms? Can you guess which civilization I’m talking about?


I’ll give you a hint. They worshiped the god Ra. Did you guess it? I’ll give you another hint.

One of their rulers was able to conquer the hearts of two of the most important Roman generals.


That’s it! The Egyptians.

Women in ancient Egypt were already getting perms, but they used wooden curlers, covered their hair in clay and then dried it in the sun.

I don’t want to imagine how that worked out, and thankfully, you don’t have to either because these days all you have to do is choose between hair rollers and flexi rods.

  •  If your hair is very short, up to 3 inches, long, then I’d recommend using hair rollers, since with your hair length, you’ll be able to wrap it around that kind of tool the necessary three times.  


  •  On the other hand, if your hair is 12 inches or longer, then your best bet is using flexi rods. 


  • Also, keep in mind that if you like the biggest, loosest kind of curls, your hair will need to be longer than 15-16 inches.


Now, all we need to do is talk about what the different curl patterns you can get with a perm. And, that’s what I’m about to tell you about.


What kind of curl to choose based on your hair length

depending on hair length

You can get five different kinds of curl patterns with a perm, which are easily identifiable because they are differentiated with a letter and a number.


  • 2B Curls

These curls, which take on an “S” shape, start gradually around the ears and are more well defined at the end. You can get these kinds of curls with an XXL flexi rod.

I always recommend starting to roll from the ends and working your way up to your ears so that way the curls are more concentrated at the ends.

What effect does this create for your perm? Loose curls that will give natural movement to your hair.


  • 2C Curls

This kind of perm has a more defined curl than the previous one and starts at the roots.

Keep in mind that if you go for this option or any of the following ones, you’ll need to use products to style your hair to give it more weight and cut down on the frizz.

You can get this style with slightly smaller flexi rods than the ones you’d have used for 2B curls.


  • 3A Curls

For this option, your curls will have a more defined S shape, like doll’s curls.

If your hair is very long, you can do it with slightly smaller flexi rods than the ones for 2C curls, but if you have short hair, you’ll need to use hair rollers.


  • 3B Curls

This is a tighter curl that usually has more frizz. Do you remember those perms that were all the rage in the 80s?


Well, that’s the kind of curl we’re talking about here. If you end up choosing this style, I recommend regularly moisturizing your hair, since it will be more porous because of its new shape and will need extra shine and hydration,


  • 3C Curls

This is the smallest kind of curls of them all, like corkscrew curls. If your hair is very short, about 1.5-2 inches, then this is your only option.


If you’re still not sure which kind of curl is best for you depending on your hair length, don’t worry. Because very shortly, I’ll give you a little trick for helping you decide.


Tip for choosing the best kind of curl for your perm

flexi rods

In order to help you decide which kind of curl is the best for your perm, all you need is a few different sized hair rollers or flexi rods. Only this time around when you use them, you’ll do it without the perm liquid.


  • Put a few different sized hair rollers in wet hair, then use a hair dryer on high heat to dry your hair.
  • Once it’s dry, take out the hair rollers and look at the shape of the curls. Which do you like best? Which kind of curl is the best for your style?


Now you know what kind of perm is the one that’s best for you based on your hair length.



  • You can get a perm on both short and long hair, since the minimum length of hair necessary to do a perm is only about 1.5-2 inches.
  • The longer your hair is, the more options for choosing different kinds of curls you have, whether you want tighter, corkscrew curls or looser curls, like beach waves.
  • And lastly, the longer your hair is, the more times you can wrap each lock around your hair roller or flexi rod. The more times you can wrap it around them, the longer the perm will last.

How long is your hair? What kind of curl will you choose for your perm?

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