Does a spiral perm look good with long hair? And with short hair?


spiral rods

Tell me the truth, has it ever happened to you that someone asks you for advice and in the end, they end up doing what they want?



It has to me, and it happens a lot at the salon.

Clients come with a fixed idea in their head and not even 10,000 goddesses could convince them that it isn’t the best thing for them.


  • That’s why, if you are thinking of doing a spiral perm and you have long hair, I can assure you that it is a good idea. Because it will give your hair a lot more volume and life.
  • Now, if you have short hair, a spiral perm is not the best idea. Because your short hair will look much shorter and your hair could end up looking like medusa.

Did I just destroy your dreams of having short hair with spiral curls?


A bit of disappointment before doing something is better than crying in the mirror for the next six months.

As my mother says, “Don’t kill the messenger!” The idea is that you do the best for your hair and your look.


 Because once you apply the perm solution, there is no going back. The process won’t stop, even if you wash your hair ten times in an hour. 

Once the perm solution acts, the internal pattern is modified and you’ll have to wait at least six months to get back the natural form of your hair.


Are you still not convinced?


Well, then I will tell you about two different cases. And in the end, you can make your decision.

Because I’m one of those people that defends freewill to the death, even though we don’t always use it wisely.


Por eso, hoy te contaré:

  • Paula’s Case: spiral perm for long hair
  • Monica’s Case: spiral perm for short hair



Are you prepared to make the right decision?



From long, lifeless hair to movie star curls thanks to a spiral perm

spiral waves

I still remember the day Paula came into the salon for the first time.


Her smile and her happiness showed me that from that moment we would embark on a long-term relationship. And I wasn’t wrong.


Well it has been a client of mine for 6 years. And these days that is a lot, because competition is greater each day. Not just between salons, but also if you add in all of the at home hair treatments that have flooded the market.


That day, Paula came in with one wish: to say goodbye to her long straight hair.

But, she didn’t want to cut her hair. She was looking for volume and to give it a more fun look.  



 After examining her hair for 20 minutes, I came to the conclusion that we could do a spiral perm. 

When I mentioned it to her, she said that she didn’t really know what a spiral permanent meant.


So without skipping a beat, I showed a photo of Nicole Kidman when she starred with Tom Cruise in “Days of Thunder”

Now I know what you’re thinking! “Of course with Nicole Kidman’s face any change in her look would look good.”



It’s true that Nicole has a beautiful face, but in Paula’s case, she had nothing to be envious of.

Her almond and vivacious eyes revealed pure vitality, vitality that I wanted to bring to her hair.

To my delight, Paula accepted my suggestions.


I told her that we should do a small cut to give her layers, because this would allow us to play with curls in different dimensions.

Who can resist ringlet curls that make a spiral perm look so romantic and playful?



 Unlike other perms where the hair is wrapped around different size rollers and set horizontally, a group of hair is created into a spiral by wrapping large, vertical sections of the hair around rollers that aren’t too big, but also not too small.  


So, I got to work.

And the rollers from the lower part to the upper part.

After, it came time to apply the perm solution and the neutralizer.

Three hours later …the magic was done.



  • Paula really seemed like a different person, that could end up as the perfect competition for Tom Cruse’s love, even though at this point, I don’t think Nicole Kidman would care too much.
  • Her mane was the mane of someone that was a force. Before, she was invisible, but her new, long, spiral curls gave her a unique life and movement.
  • Her hair had more volume, more movement, even though we had cut it a few centimeters.


She left the salon that day so happy as if she had won an Oscar.

Also, she called me a few days after to thank me because styling her hair took very little time.


Simply after washing her hair, she divided into small sections.


After, she wrapped the curls around her fingers and applied curling mousse, twirling each piece of hair to give it the correct shape.


Paula had followed my advice, but not all clients do. And so, they have to deal with the consequences of their bad decisions.

Do you want to hear about Monica’s horrible experience?


I warn you that the actions detailed below could hurt some people’s feelings.



The chronicle of an announced disaster: a spiral perm in short hair

old lady with white hair

When Monica came into the salon, an alarm went off inside me.

Not because of her look. She was about a seventy-year-old woman, modern, one that you could tell took care of every detail of her look.

Her hair was short, very short, I would say it was about six centimeters above the shoulders.



When she sat in the chair, the first thing she said to me was: “I want this!” while she showed me a photo of herself, which I would have calculated to be from the eighties.

She looked young, her hair full of curls.

I confess, in my head, I said: “I’m sorry, I’m a hair stylist, not a wizard like Harry Potter.”


 I tried to explain that when she had long hair, it was possible to do a spiral perm, because, the curls would fall properly. 


  • In this type of perm, the curls fall vertically. If I do this perm that she had asked for, her curls would scrunch up due to a lack of weight.
  • It wouldn’t look good. And we would put her hair through a chemical process that wouldn’t get her what she wanted.

I asked her what she wanted. More volumen? More movement at the ends?



She insisted that she wanted what was in the photo. Impossible.

I proposed doing a partial perm, at the roots to get more volume or at the ends to get more movement.


But nothing could convince this woman. She stood up, completely bewildered, saying I don’t know what things about modern perms, and how times had changed, and evolution, and a thousand other things that I didn’t understand.

Until finally, she left the salon and we were surrounded by silence.



Fifteen days later, she visited me at the salon.

She wasn’t the same Monica, proud, with a good, cared for presence.

She came in and in an almost inaudible voice apologized to me. Then, I looked at her hair.


 All I could see were ringlet curls glued to her scalp. No movement. NO LIFE.  

But also, those curls didn’t look healthy, there was a lot of frizz.


I realized that when they stretched the hair to wrap it around the curlers, they had broken it. That is synonymous for frizz.


I didn’t really know what to tell her, so she looked at the client that I was attending to and she said, “Follow her advice. You won’t regret it.”

And she simply left.


I never saw her again.


But that experienced served as a confirmation for what I said at the beginning.



  • A spiral per is not for all short hair. At least your hair should be a few centimeters passed your shoulders.
  • Because that way, you will be sure that you have the minmum length necessary for the hair to wrap around the curler to form the curl so that it can fall like a waterfall.

After this, I think that you are perfectly ready to exercise your free will.


If you have long hair, go ahead with the spiral perm.

Now, if your hair is short, will you do a spiral perm? Or will you wait for your hair to grow a bit to get the curls that you want?


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