How Long Does a Perm Last? Here’s Your Answer

Getting a perm involves using chemicals to change your hair texture and get it curly or wavy. Before you sign up for this, you should know what you’re getting into. There are different types of perms and they are done differently. After choosing your type of perm, you need to find out how long it lasts.

What you know about your perm will help you create the right aftercare routine for your hair. Generally, a perm will last for about three to six months. This duration depends on your hair type, the length of your hair, and how well you care for your perm.

Continue reading to see how long the different perms can last and how to care for permed hair.

How Long Does a Perm Last on Short Hair?

A perm will last for up to four months on short hair. However, if you’ll enjoy your perm for this period, you must have frequent trims (maybe two to three times).

If you want to retain permed hair after this period, you should get your hair permed again. But before you go ahead to do so, speak with your hairstylist to check the condition of your hair before the next perm appointment.

How Long Does a Straight Perm Last?

How long straight perms last depends on how it was done. If you had a straight perm done by a professional, expect it to last between four to six months. On the other hand, if you had it done at home by yourself, you can enjoy permed hair for up to six weeks.

Straight perms involve straightening naturally curly hair just like the perming process makes straight or wavy hair curly. When new hairs begin to grow in, you either have to get a new treatment or wait until the perm grows out completely.

How Long Does a Spiral Perm Last?

A spiral perm lasts anywhere around three to six months. Spiral perm treatment helps to give you bouncy curls with vertical rods. To keep the curls from unraveling early, you should avoid washing your hair too frequently and heat styling as well.

However, if you must use a blow dryer, attach a diffuser to it and use it in a cool setting. Also, use heat protectants before you use a curling iron.

SEE: How to Make Your Hair Curly Naturally Without Heat

How Long Does a Digital Perm Last?

You can enjoy the results of digital perms for up to six months to a year. Digital perm is quite expensive and this is probably one of the reasons why the process is structured in a way to give you the result of your money. It is the perm that lasts the longest.

Digital perms last this long because the process doesn’t involve the roots of your hair (where new growth starts from). Therefore, you can enjoy the waves until the growth gets to the tips of your hair.

Although they promise to last for months, you should be committed to controlling frizz and keeping your waves moisturized.

How Long Does a Beach Wave Perm Last?

The results of a beach wave perm treatment will last for three to six months depending on how well you care for your hair. Beach waves are not permanent, so they are easily unraveled with too frequent washing and brushing.

In addition, you should avoid heat styling but if you must use heat tools, apply a heat protectant before heat styling. When new hairs begin to grow in, get a touch-up appointment to retain your waves.

How Long Does a Root Perm Last?

Root perms do not last as long as other perm treatments do. You’ll need a touch-up appointment after one to three months. Because the treatment is done close to the roots, the perm quickly grows out when new hairs begin to grow.

To avoid a bad perm, be sure you get your root perm with an expert. Otherwise, you risk getting limp and brittle roots which will eventually thin out or break.

How Long Does a Stack Perm Last?

A stack perm lasts up to six months, and it is the perm treatment with the lowest maintenance. However, you should ensure to follow the care routine guide given to you by your hairstylist.

Stack perm gives more volume and a layered appearance to your hair. Additionally, the curls need moisture to look their best and last long too. Most importantly, use recommended products from your hairstylist.

SEE: How to Straighten Curly Hair Without Frizz + Guide

How Long Does a Perm Last for Men?

Perm for guys can last up to ten months, depending on how long or short their hair is. Short permed hair for men will naturally last for three to four months. Long permed hair, on the other hand, can last up to eight months.

The rate at which your hair grows, how often you cut and wash it, and how frequently you heat style your hair are factors that determine how long the perm would last.

How Often Should You Condition Permed Hair?

Condition your permed hair regularly to restore moisture and repair any damage caused by the chemicals used during the perming process. Use a regular conditioner every time you shampoo your permed hair.

Additionally, invest in deep conditioners and leave-in conditioners. Use a hair mask once every week to restore moisture and shine and prevent damage. You can apply a leave-in conditioner whenever your hair feels dry and brittle.

SEE: Best Conditioner Products to Boost Your Hair Growth

How to Make a Perm Last Long

1. Keep your hair moisturized

Keep your hair moisturized with conditioners, not with frequent washing. Washing your hair will rather cause it to dry out instead of hydrating it. Invest in conditioners, regular conditioners, leave-in conditioners, and deep conditioners.

Use them regularly to keep curls hydrated and protected from frizz. Moisture helps to retain the bounce of your curls and gives them more body and movement.

2. Get frequent trims

Regular trims, especially for short permed hair, will help keep split ends at bay. This helps curls retain their form and pattern. Moreover, extra growth can weigh down your hair and make the curls lose their form.

When you keep your hair short, the curls remain bouncy and they continue to look healthy with lively ends.

3. Avoid chemical treatments

Stay away from chemical treatments at least for the first month after getting a perm. Avoid products that contain silicone, alcohol, and sulfates. These ingredients can weigh down your hair, dry it out and reduce sebum production.

In addition, stay away from color treatment. Perms alter your hair texture and structure with chemicals that can be damaging to your hair. Using color treatment can cause worse damage. If you must color treat your hair, speak with your stylist before you do.

4. Protect your hair

Permed hair is fragile due to the chemical and heat processes it goes through. Therefore, you should protect your hair to keep the curls from unraveling early and to protect hair from damage. Avoid tieing your hair up during the first weeks of getting a perm.

Furthermore, replace your combs and brushes if necessary. Use a wide-tooth comb to detangle your when it is wet and a soft paddle brush when it is dry. Also, wrap your hair in silk before going to bed to control frizz.

5. Go for protective hairstyles

Opt for protective hairstyles that will keep your curls in form. The best way to go about this is to keep your hair loose. Avoid tieing it up in ponytails or any tight hairdo. Invest in curl enhancing products to help you style your hair easily without any pressure.

SEE: Alluring Protective Hairstyles You Should Try

6. Use protein treatments

Use protein treatments on your hair to make up for the protein lost during the perm process. You can try out egg hair masks and other ingredients that are rich in protein. You can also invest in protein-based products.

7. Follow your stylist’s instructions

After getting a perm, follow the instructions your stylist gives you. They will help your perm last long. Do not wash your hair within the first 72 hours of getting a perm. Also, avoid brushing or combing your hair for the first 24 hours.

In addition, avoid being in the sun during the first days of getting a perm. If you must be in the sun, wear a hat to cover your hair.


Can perms become permanent?

Perms are not permanent; they only make your hair curly or wavy for months. When new hairs begin to grow, your original hair texture will resurface. Over time, the perm will be less visible and your original hair texture will be back.

If you want to keep your permed hair permanently, you’ll need to schedule perm appointments to restyle your hair.

Do perms cause permanent damage?

A perm will damage your hair if it is done the wrong way, especially by a non-professional. The perming process requires chemicals and heat which can naturally damage your hair. When applied incorrectly or too frequently, they can make your strands too dry, brittle, and eventually break.

However, the hair loss caused by a wrong perm is not permanent. After a while, with the right treatments, the hair will grow again.

Can you undo a perm?

Yes, you can. To undo perms, wash your hair immediately to help loosen and relax tight curls. You can also use a deep conditioner or hot oil treatment overnight to help relax the curls.

If you want to undo old curls, you can either trim the ends or patiently wait for them to grow out.

Why is your perm flat?

Perms could be flat for many reasons. It could be because the rods weren’t wrapped tightly or the perm solution wasn’t left on your hair for the expected time. It could also be because the neutralizer wasn’t left in your hair long enough or it wasn’t rinsed out completely.


While perms sound like they are permanent, they are not. Even with proper care- products and time- a perm will go away after some months. Perms add curls or waves to your hair, and these hair textures are prone to frizz, dryness, and split ends.

Therefore, they require utmost care if you will keep the curls or waves in for a long period. Create a good aftercare routine for your permed hair and follow it religiously. If you have any concerns, see an expert.

Thanks for reading.

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