Types of Perms for thin hair: spiral vs beach waves

permanent waves

I was overdue for a new look, and after much consideration, I decided to get a perm.

Yeah, I know, some people think the perm is out of style, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. The perm is hotter than ever.

Don’t believe me?


Look around you.

Most of the women I see have wavy or curly hair.

And that used to make me go crazy with envy!

It didn’t matter to me if their curls were natural or they got a perm, I wanted the same!


YOU MAY ALSO BE INTERESTED IN: How long does your hair have to be to get a perm?


But I had a problem: my hair is fine, thin, almost even loose.

Is your hair like that too?


In that case, you’ll understand me very well. Because you know what it’s like to fight every day trying different styles that might give your locks of fine, straight hair more body and volume.

Even the best outfit and makeup just look washed up because of my “flat” hair.

But I have good news, my fine-haired sister!


 The spiral perm and beach waves are the best perm styles to add body and volume to fine hair and to say goodbye to those accursed curling irons. And it won’t damage your hair. 

Having fine hair was no longer an obstacle to getting a perm.

However, I still had some doubts. Which of those two perm styles would be best for my hair and the shape of my face?


Want to know which one I chose? Want to know how my hair turned out?

Let me tell you.


But I also want to help you choose the best perm style for your hair.

That’s why I’m going to explain:

  • All of the differences between a spiral and wave perm
  • What things you need to keep in mind before perming fine hair
  • What kind of perm I decided on for my fine hair


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The differences between a spiral and (beach) wave perm

dyed blond hair

Before anything else, I’d like to clear something up.

Whether your hair is fine or thick, it should be healthy before getting a perm. But, in our case, having very fine hair, this is SUPER, SUPER IMPORTANT.


Because in this process, chemical products are used, and if your hair is weak, it could make it more fragile and brittle.

With every kind of perm, different perm solutions and rollers are used to give a unique final result.

And the result was very important to me.


What would be better in my hair? A perm with spirals or a style with waves like a mermaid?


  • The spiral perm produces more volume and gives the hair a subtle texture, and you’ll get curls of different lengths and sizes that will have a fun bounce.

Just like the curls’ size can be small or large, you will be able to see greater depth in your hair.

What kind of face do you have?

short hair

Because that’s also very important when it comes time to decide on the kind of perm you want.

If your face is more square or diamond-shaped, the spiral is the ideal perm for you.

Now, what about the beach wave perm?


  • This kind of perm adds volume but not depth.

¿Have you ever seen ocean waves on a day with a slight breeze?


That will be the effect on your hair.

The soft waves give shape and body to your hair without creating crisp curls. This perm is made with large rods so as not to make a strong curl pattern.

How long is your fine hair? Is it mid-length?


If so, it’s ideal for you because it adds volume to your hair without getting rid of length.

Think about this: the tighter and crisper your curls, the shorter your hair will look.


Besides, waves are excellent for those who have more square-shaped or rectangular faces because the soft aspect of the waves helps to balance the more angular lines of the face.


  • If you want flexible curls that look defined and distinct, then opt for a spiral perm. Remember the style from the ’80s? If you have very long hair and wish it were more manageable, this hairstyle is the way to go.
  • If you just want to add volume to your hair, but you like a wild girl, summer style, then the beach wave perm is for you.

Want to find out what style I chose?


Don’t be impatient; everything comes in time.

First, I want to tell you what you should know before getting your perm because even though you may have fine hair, we want it to stay on your head where it’s at.


 What things to keep in mind before getting a perm

  • My first recommendation is to choose an experienced stylist, not some neighborhood salon that appears lost in time.

Take your time, talk to your friends and family, look up reviews online. Because the success and health of the perm you get will depend on it.


  • Before the actual day of getting your perm, set up an appointment with a stylist.
 Be sure she knows what she’s doing, bring photos that show examples of how you want your perm to turn out, and if possible, ask for before-and-after photos of previous clients who’ve gotten perms. 

If you feel even a hint of doubt, run! Your fine hair will only have one chance.


  • Request to see the size of the perm rods or curlers used because this way, you can get an idea of how your curls or waves will look.

Generally, the perm rods can be differentiated by color, and the smaller the rod, the tighter the curl.

 You should communicate openly with your stylist because if not, you could end up with a perm that’s very different than what you had in mind. 

Want me to tell you what happened to me?


I’d gotten recommendations for two different salons. Both had good reviews, and both were recommended to me by family members.

I went to each hair salon. Both inspired confidence and looked modern and sleek; basically, everything one desires when entering a hair salon to undertake a process as delicate as getting a perm.

But the attention I received at each place in the first appointment, the consultation, was totally different.


In one, the stylist didn’t even invite me to sit down. Take a look at my hair? Not even that. The only thing she did was guzzle down a cookie, while barely glancing over the photos, I showed her examples of how I’d like my hair to turn out.

When I asked her if she could show me photos of past clients, who had gotten perms, she told me she didn’t have any and had to wrap up our appointment.

I left there feeling so hopeless that I was about to say to hell with a new look.

But destiny had a surprise in store for me.


Because in the second salon, I received a shot of hope.

After asking me to take a seat, she checked out and analyzed my hair for 15 minutes. She pulled out the perm rods she would use to obtain the kind of curls I was looking for,
and based on her opinion, she shared what would make me look the best and most compliment me.

She even took the time to analyze the photos I showed her one by one and to explain why she would disregard some and not others.

I don’t think I need to tell you where I ended up going for my perm.


 Furthermore, she advised me to do an intensive treatment rich with proteins a few days before going to the salon to get my perm help rebuild the hair shaft and promote strength and elasticity. 

Careful! I didn’t say anything about a hydrating treatment, but a protein treatment! Because too much moisture can actually affect the results of your perm.


Now has come the time to reveal my secret.

What perm did I get for my hair? Spiral curls or beach waves like a surfer chick?


The perm I chose for my fine hair

If I told you: summer… beach… sun… beach bodies… ocean breeze… surfboards… paraffin wax… crashing waves… What comes to mind?


Exactly! I decided on a beach wave perm.

  • First off, I didn’t want the perm to affect the length of my hair.
  • Secondly, my face has more of a square shape, so this style helps to soften my cheekbones’ angles.
  • And thirdly, I wanted a look that was a little wilder. A look that resounds with adventure and freedom from hair to toes.

And the results were impressive.


My fine hair, which before seemed withered and lifeless, now had volume and grace without the need to spend hours in front of the mirror brushing it.

Also, my hair didn’t get damaged in the process.


Switching up your look is possible, even with fine hair.

So what will you decide? A spiral perm or the beach waves of a surfer girl?

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