How Long Does Your Hair Have to be to Get a Perm?

Last Updated on February 12, 2024

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There are so many different hairstyles that you can choose from; however, if you are at all like me and have perfectly straight hair, you find that you are somewhat limited. But you can always go and get a perm, which will make your hair curly. But how much hair are you going to need to get a perm?

When getting a perm, only 2 to 3 inches of hair is needed, as it can be done with very small rods, creating very tight curls. The process of getting a perm will typically take 2 to 3 hours and is going to cost from $40 to $200, with the average cost being $80.

So, you have gotten a bit of information on how much hair you need in order to get a perm, but you may still have some other questions about getting one. Throughout the rest of this article, I will give you these details and go over the minimum amount of hair you have to have, how long the process takes, and the cost. To finish, I will also give some tips to help you care for your permed hair.

What is the Minimum Length Required to get a Perm?

When it comes to the length your hair needs to be in order to get a perm, nearly every single salon is going to tell you that you need to have at least 2 inches of hair. This is just enough hair to get around the smallest perm curler and is going to give your hair very tight curls. However, the longer your hair is, the more curler options you will have available. If you want to get some slightly looser curls, the required length is at least 5 inches of hair.

How Long Does a Perm Take on Average?

So, you have enough hair to go in and get a perm, but how long are you going to have to be sitting down in a salon getting the process done? This is going to depend on a variety of factors, including the length of your hair, the type of perm rods that you choose to use, and the expertise of the stylist you choose to give you a perm. It can take much longer if you are with a new stylist who has never done a perm than if you go with someone who has done this process many times throughout their career. Just like with all other things, practice makes perfect, and in this case, the ability to do it faster comes with practice.

When you go to get a perm, this is the process, and if you come prepared, it can be quicker, but I will be giving the time estimates for someone who isn’t prepared and for a stylist who has never done a perm before.

Selecting the Curlers – 1 Hour

It may seem to many that taking an hour to determine which size curler you want is crazy. However, most salons have a wide variety of different sizes to choose from. If you have shorter hair, you will be limited to the smallest curlers, but the longer your hair is, the more options you can choose from. If you already know what size you want, you can cut a lot of time off from your visit.

Selecting Perm Solution – 5 Minutes

Most likely, your stylist will determine this for you so you get the best solution that is healthy for your hair. This is because there are a variety of solutions for just about any head, ranging from solutions for greying hair to healthier hair.

Evaluating Your Hair & Scalp – 30 Minutes

Your stylist will likely then go and make sure that your hair can handle getting a perm. To do this, they will make sure your hair will handle the chemicals used in the process and will do something called the strand test.

Selecting the Perming Technique – 1 Minute

At this point, you will just let your stylist know how you want your hair wound around the rollers. This should be quick as you just decide between horizontal or vertical orientation.

Washing Hair – 10 Minutes

The stylist will now wash and get your hair ready for the process.

Placement of Curlers – 2 Hours

At this point, the stylist will place all of the curlers into your hair and begin to apply the solution that you have selected as well. The time for this depends on the number of curlers and the thickness of the hair. After everything is all setup, then, you are going to let it sit for 20 minutes.

Neutralization – 20 Minutes

Now, the stylist will take out the curlers and make sure the solution works correctly. Next, a neutralizing agent will be applied, and then you get to wait another 10 minutes. After this, your perm is all set and ready to go.

How Much Does it Cost to Get a Perm?

Perms are one of the most expensive hair treatments that you can get. The price is going to vary, as the factors that are going to affect the price are the same factors that take time. The first factor is going to be the salon and stylist you choose. The more perm expertise the person has, the more expensive it is going to be.

Another factor is the state you live in, as things like haircuts vary in price across the nation. However, you can expect prices ranging from $40 all the way up to $200. Most people pay about $80 per perm treatment.

Magicuts Prices

First Choice Haircutters Prices

Allure Salon Prices

Tips About How to Care for Permed Hair

  • Avoid washing your hair for two days to allow it to set fully.
  • Don’t comb your hair for the first 24 hours.
  • If you plan to dye your hair, wait for two weeks after getting your perm.
  • Make sure to use a hair moisturizer.
  • Don’t put your hair into a ponytail until after you wash it for the first time.

Overall, it takes a long time to get a perm, but your hair doesn’t have to be very long for you to get one.

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