8 Best Home Perm Kits, As Per A Cosmetologist In 2024

Your at-home solution to transform your pretty tresses into perfectly gorgeous waves.

Reviewed by Laura Dale, Licensed Cosmetologist Laura Dale Laura DaleLicensed Cosmetologist linkedin_iconinsta_icon
Written by , Integrated MA Medha Deb Integrated MA Experience: 5 years
Edited by , MA (English Literature), Certified Skin Care Coach Shiboli Chakraborti MA (English Literature), Certified Skin Care Coach Experience: 4 years
Fact-checked by , MA (English Literature) Ramona Sinha MA (English Literature) Experience: 11 years
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Perms have made a comeback in the beauty scene, and for good reason. Also known as permanent waves, they make your delicate hair look forever wavy, giving you that salon finish you crave. While perms are traditionally done at salons, you can get the same results using the best home perm kit! The perfect perm kit will make the perm process super easy and affordable while allowing you to achieve incredible, messy waves in just a matter of hours. While we get that they are super accessible these days, don’t go for the first one you see. Take your current hair type and hair length in mind before buying any type of perm kit. With that being said, we have curated a list of top home perm kits with some guidelines for you to try at home. Scroll down to know more about these professional-quality perm kits!

Top PicksCheck Price
Best Overall:Ogilvie Salon Styles Home Perm Original For Color-Treated Hair
Price on Amazon
Best For Curly Hair:Ogilvie Salon Styles Home Perm Original For Normal Hair
Price on Amazon
Best Affordable:Soft Sheen Carson Optimum Salon HairCare Defy Breakage No-lye Relaxer
Price on Amazon
Best For Color-Treated Hair:Iso Option 2 Damage-Free WavingPrice on Amazon
Best Fragrance-Free:Zotos Professional Texture EFX Color-Treated Perm
Price on Amazon
Best For Gray Hair:One ‘n Only Shiny Silver Perm For Gray Hair
Price on Amazon
Best For Easy-To-Use:COTU (R) Hair Perm Rods
Price on Amazon
Best For Short Hair:Zotos Professional Quantum Classic Body Advanced Argan-Infused Neutralizer
Price on Amazon

What Is A Perm For Hair

Perm is a hairstyle to get curly or wavy hair. In this treatment, the perm is achieved using chemicals or thermal methods. Chemicals are applied to the hair, after which it is wrapped around different tongs to produce thin or thick waves. If you want straight hair, you can opt for the ‘straight perm’ treatment in which the chemicals are applied to straighten the hair using chemicals. Perm can be done at home as well as at salons.

How To Perm Your Hair At Home

To perm your hair at home, you’ll need a perm kit. The permanent wave kit or chemical perm kit generally comes with papers, neutralizing solution, and the basic perm-waving cream. This cream is composed of chemicals that can change the natural hair texture and curl it. The perm treatment has two processes, applying the chemical and wrapping the hair around the tongs or rods.

Here are the steps you need to follow to get a perm at home:

  • Prepare Your Hair For Perm

The first step to perm your hair is preparation. You don’t want to perm dirty or greasy hair, so the first step is to wash your hair. Using your regular shampoo, wash your hair thoroughly. Make sure you don’t use any conditioner because it will not let the chemical set in properly.

  • Put On The Gloves And Prepare The Plastic Cap

Once your hair is dry or damp and not soaking wet, cover your neck with a towel to prevent it from coming in contact with the chemicals. Put on your plastic or vinyl gloves and keep the cap nearby for use.

  • Part Your Hair

For segmenting your hair, use a rat tail comb. Create three segments, one segment on the side of your forehead and two on the sides of your head. Start working on the first segment, roll and tie the other two sections into a bun. You can also twist the front strands into two parts and tie one of the sections in a bun for easy application.

  • Roll Your Hair Using Curlers

Take a few strands of hair and start rolling them in the curlers, tucking the ends to prevent frizz. If you want loose curls, use bigger rollers, while you can use thin and small rollers for tight curls.

  • Apply Perm Solution

Once you are done with the rollers, apply the solution to each section. Apply an adequate amount of solution to each curl, enough to cover all the strands. It should not be dripping wet. Keep it on for the stipulated time mentioned on the kit. If you have been instructed about using heat, you can blow-dry the curls.

  • Rinse The Hair And Apply The Neutralizing Solution

Remove the rolls and rinse your hair with warm water. Make sure that you do not move the curlers from its place. Now apply the neutralizing solution, making sure that it’s not dripping wet.

  • Remove The Curlers And Rinse The Hair

Remove the curlers carefully without stretching the hair strands. Massage the neutralizing solution and gently rinse using lukewarm water. You could also apply a leave-in conditioner and let your hair air-dry.

8 Best Home Perm Kits Of 2024, As Per Cosmetologist

1.Best Overall:Ogilvie Salon Styles Home Perm Original For Color-Treated Hair

star-ratingstar-ratingstar-ratingstar-ratingstar-rating
4.2

If you need a salon-style perm, this kit is a great option. This salon-worthy perm kit is suitable for all hair types and comes with latex gloves. It also includes before and after conditioners along with a drip guard. It comes with a pre-perm conditioner and a post-conditioner that easily detangle and nourish the hair for overall restorative care. This heat-activated perm kit offers professional conditioning and lasting curls, but make sure to do a patch test before using it.

Hair Type: Color treated | Item Weight: 0.5 Pounds | Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 3.7 x 5.85 inches | Weight: 8 Ounces

Hair Type: Thin and color-treated | Longevity: 4 to 6 months | Accessories: None

Pros

  • Easy-to-use
  • Offers salon-quality finish
  • Comes with safeguarding accessories and conditioners
  • Its conditioning formula prevents frizz and dryness

Cons

  • Not recommended for hair highlighted or beached
  • Doesn’t last long on extremely frizzy hair

Our Tester's Experience

"This perming formula is effective for use on various hair types and styles. It gave soft, silky curls and also helped in straightening the unwanted perming effects. Make sure to follow the instructions to the ‘T’ to avoid any problems. I found the smell to be slightly uncomfortable, but it gave a salon-fresh look."


worth-buy-icon

Why We Think It's Worth Buying

The product has more than 4,622 reviews and is a top choice all around the world.

2.Best For Curly Hair:Ogilvie Salon Styles Home Perm Original For Normal Hair

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4.2

The Ogilvie salon-style perm works excellent, and it also prevents the hair from getting frizzy or dried out. This is a one-time use mess-free perm kit that lasts long. It comes with a B4 pre-perm conditioner that prepares your hair for glossy and pretty perms, while the after perm conditioner maintains moisture levels, making your curls smoother and bouncier. This curl-enhancing perm kit comes with latex gloves for easy application. Make sure that you are not allergic to any ingredients or gloves before using it.

Hair Type: Curly | Item Weight: 0.67 Pounds | Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 3.7 x 5.85 inches | Weight: 10.72 Ounces

Hair Type: Curly | Longevity: 4 to 6 months | Accessories: None

Pros

  • Lasting and quality perm solution
  • Great for one-time use
  • Perfect for normal hair
  • Prevents dryness, frizz, and dullness

Cons

  • Has an unpleasant smell

Our Tester's Experience

"I have used several perming products in my lifetime and this one to be one of the best. It provides salon-like results on a budget. It gives soft and lasting curls even on fine hair types. Even though it is easy to use, you might need a helping hand if you are a beginner."


protip_icon Pro Tip
Wash and cleanse your hair before applying the perming formula because sebum and product buildup can affect how the perm solution works. Use a clarifying shampoo for the best results.

worth-buy-icon

Why We Think It's Worth Buying

With over 4,125 Amazon acclaimed reviews, this product is sure to find a place in everyone’s shopping bag.

3.Best Affordable:Soft Sheen Carson Optimum Salon HairCare Defy Breakage No-lye Relaxer

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4.4
Soft Sheen Carson Optimum Salon HairCare Defy Breakage No-lye Relaxer Image: Softsheen-carson

Are you looking forward to getting manageable hair? This affordable perm kit is one of the best products you can lay your hands on. Simply follow all the instructions on the curly hair perm kit and apply the relaxer in 6 easy steps for the best results. It contains a conditioner infused with coconut oil and ceramide for preventing breakage and damage. This moisturizing perm kit comes with a pre-treatment, relaxer cream + activator, neutralizing shampoo, reconstructor treatment, leave-in strengthener, and moisturizer for nourishing the hair.

Hair Type: Kinky-Curly-Wavy | Item Weight: 1.1 Pounds | Product Dimensions: 3.75 x 6.5 x 4.44 inches | Weight: 1.1 Pounds

Hair Type: Curly | Longevity: 3 months | Accessories: None

Pros

  • Offers salon-quality styling
  • Ceramide and coconut oil-infused formula for preventing frizz and breakage
  • Comes with strengthener to reduce breakage

Cons

  • Doesn’t work for extremely coarse hair

protip_icon Pro Tip
Avoid coloring your hair immediately before or after you get a perm. This will add to the stress on your hair and make it dry and lifeless.

worth-buy-icon

Why We Think It's Worth Buying

With 621 positive reviews on Amazon, this product has become a bestseller.

4.Best For Color-Treated Hair:Iso Option 2 Damage-Free Waving

ISO professional perm offers various perm kits for different types of hair. Also, if you have permed your hair previously or have color-treated hair, this popular perm kit has great results to offer. It is a reliable kit and leaves you with well-defined and pretty curls. This straight hair perm kit is the perfect choice if you want to perm your hair at home and achieve beautiful curls.

Hair Type: Curly | Number of Items: 1

Hair Type: Straight | Longevity: 1 week | Accessories: Applicator brush

Pros

  • The perm lasts long
  • One-time application gives lasting results
  • Various options for color-treated, bleached, or previously perm hair

Cons

  • May cause split ends

Our Tester's Experience

"I liked this product for its gentle action on my sensitive hair. It gave quick results with a good volume of curls and body. It was effective in curling even the tough grey strands and created soft, lively curls. I love this product for its efficiency and tenderness."


5.Best Fragrance-Free: Zotos Professional Texture EFX Color-Treated Perm

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4.2

If your hair is color-treated and you are highly skeptical about buying a perm kit, this kit is a highly recommended option. The lotion is fragrance-free and reduces frizz and breakage, while leaving you with healthy curls. It is a great frizz-control perm kit for those looking for a gentle formula that lasts long and works on most hair types. For soft, defined waves, this is the kit that is formulated in a unique way to add a gentle shine and nourishment to your color-treated hair. So if you are looking for a safe-to-use and long-lasting perm kit, this will make for a great purchase!

Hair Type: All | Item Weight: 11 Ounces | Product Dimensions: 1 x 1 x 1 inches | Weight: 11 Ounces

Hair Type: All | Longevity: 2 months | Accessories: None

Pros

  • Provides salon-quality results
  • Works on most hair types
  • Doesn’t produce frizz and controls hair breakage
  • Comes at a very reasonable price

Cons

  • Inconvenient packaging
  • Inconsistent results

Our Tester's Experience

"I liked this product for its performance on my color-treated hair. It moisturized the hair, creating soft curls and defined waves. I was happy that it did not cause dryness or damage my locks. However, consider your hair health and follow the instructions accordingly."


6.Best For Gray Hair:One ‘n Only Shiny Silver Perm For Gray Hair

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4.2
One ‘n Only Shiny Silver Perm Image: One 'n Only

If you have got gray hair, give it a refreshing and brand new look with this dermatologically-tested rich gray hair highly-rated perm kit. It is composed of argan oil, and its gentle self-heating formula assures restorative care, deep conditioning, and beautiful curls. The thick hair perm kit also comes with an after-perm conditioner that provides nourishment and adds shine to your hair. Apart from this, its anti-aging and anti-yellowing formula revives the natural texture of the hair.

Hair Type: All | Product Dimensions: 2 x 6 x 4 inches | Weight: 11.99 Ounces

Hair Type: All | Longevity: 3 months | Accessories: None

Pros

  • Anti-aging perm kit for smooth curls
  • Composed of argan oil for better nourishment
  • Self-heating formula that works on thick and coarse hair
  • Comes with after-perm conditioner for best results

Cons

  • Rods and papers are not included in the kit

Our Tester's Experience

"I've used this kit twice and found that it delivers long-lasting curls, even outperforming salon experiences. I love how it nourishes my hair and retains its natural luster. I have also noticed a slight hair growth and significant frizz reduction after using this product."


protip_icon Pro Tip
Wait for 48 to 72 hours before you wash your permed hair. Washing it immediately can cause frizz and damage the curls.

7.Best For Easy-To-Use:COTU (R) Hair Perm Rods

Turn your straight and smooth hair curly or wavy with these 36-piece hair perm rods from COTU. The easy-to-use professional-grade perm kit comes with perm rods of a short size that offer full coverage. The cold wave rods with rubber bands are professional-grade and non-slip. They will help you roll and perm your hair easily. It also has extra-wide slots for even fluid distribution to offer great results. Simply make sections and roll your hair in the rods with proper pressure. You can also use a dryer to dry and set the rolls and get natural looking curls.

Hair Type: Dry | Color: Gray | Number of Items: 36 | Product Dimensions: 13 x 5 x 0.7 inches | Weight: 3.21 Ounces

Hair Type: Dry | Longevity: 2 months | Accessories: Comb

Pros

  • The rods aren’t too tight
  • Prevents hair breakage
  • Offers lasting and promising results
  • Works well for color-treated hair
  • Safeguards hair from frizz and breakage

Cons

  • No permanent results
  • Isn’t a complete perm kit

Our Tester's Experience

"I have been using perming rods since a young age, and I like this set for its quality. Initially, I feared that the rods might be too tight and damaging, but they were rather comfortable. The set is also quite durable for traditional perm rods."


8.Best For Short Hair:Zotos Professional Quantum Classic Body Advanced Argan-Infused Neutralizer

star-ratingstar-ratingstar-ratingstar-ratingstar-rating
4.3

This color-safe perm kit has the ability to change your look completely! This body acid perm kit offers the flexibility to wrap the curls with water or lotion for smooth and glossy curls. An acid perm like this one is a milder option for achieving long-lasting, natural-looking curls. The perms are also formulated with conditioners for better penetration and best results. Apart from this, the perm waving lotion is infused with argan oil that prevents frizz, hair damage, and breakage while perming the hair. You won’t need to use heat to dry the hair. This fine hair perm kit is ideal for people with graying, normal, or tinted hair.

Hair Type: All | Item Weight: 295.1 Grams | Product Dimensions: 2 x 4.5 x 5.7 inches | Weight: 10.41 Ounces

Hair Type: All | Longevity: 3 to 6 months | Accessories: None

Pros

  • Offers damage-free perming
  • Long-lasting smooth curls and waves
  • Gentle on skin and scalp
  • Comes with a nourishing conditioner
  • Infused with argan oil for added hydration and smoothness

Cons

  • Overuse may cause frizz

Our Tester's Experience

"This Zotos perming lotion has been a savior for my hair. I used it on my highlighted and treated hair to get well-defined curls at home at an affordable price point. Be mindful while using it on fine hair, as over-processing may give tighter curls. Even though it has the typical smell of home perms, it is not powering."


*The prices provided in this article are based on the latest available information. However, they may vary due to changes in pricing by the seller and/or promotional offers.

Perm kits are great styling tools to get your desired curls without much hassle. One must however be careful in selecting the right kit that enhances your hair’ appearance and suits your follicles. Here are a few important things to consider before you go out to buy a home perm kit.

Things To Consider Before Buying The Best Home Perm Kits

  • Hair Length And Type: The choice of your perm kit depends on your hair length. Shorter hair needs lesser accessories like wraps, rods, and lotion quantity. If you have longer hair, get natural perm kits with more wraps, bigger rods, and a larger volume of both hair lotion and neutralizer solution. Also, curly or wavy hair that have tight curls may need a different effective perm kit compared to the ones with straight and plain hair types.
  • Quality And Functionality: Invest in high-quality perm kits that prevent frizz or drying of the strands. Look for durable kits that offer long-lasting curls with no split ends and the desired curl type. The healthy perm kit must also have good functionality and work on almost all hair types such as coarse, straight, wavy, or curly. You can check online reviews to gain insights into people’s experience of using the product.
  • Accompanying Accessories: A high-quality home perm kit comes with a set of accessories to ensure great curls. Conditioners, relaxing creams, activators, leave-in strengtheners, and neutralizing shampoos. Ensure that your trendy kit has all these add-ons to make the perm process complete and fruitful. Many perm conditioners are too harsh on the hair follicles. They can thus leave the strands dull and lifeless. Choose a gentle perm kit that is easy on your follicles. This will ensure that your delicate hair is not damaged and appears full of life with tons of volume. Additionally, ensure that it is a low-odor perm kit that leaves no scent on the hair strands.
  • Price: One must not blindly go for expensive home perm kits. The best thing is to ensure value for money by analyzing its functionality, quality, additional features, and cost-effectiveness. The user-friendly perm kit must create long-lasting curls, prevent hair breakage or damage, and must be easy to use.

Infographic: Checklist For A Comfortable At-Home Perming Session

With the right perm kits and accessories in place, home perming has become a cakewalk. However, you must consider certain factors, such as hair health, the right hair care products, and desired results, before going for it. To make your work easier, we have provided a quick guide that includes a checklist of what you may need, aftercare tips, and how to prepare yourself. Check out the below infographic!

Checklist For A Comfortable At-Home Perming Session (infographic)

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

The Bottom Line

Most of us do not have the time for regular salon visits to style our hair. Well, home perm kits are perfect choices if you want perms at the comfort of your home. Perms make your hair look forever wavy and have an old-school charm. Some kits are perfect for color-treated and damaged hair, while some are great for normal hair. The Soft Sheen Carson Optimum Salon HairCare Defy Breakage No-lye Relaxer helps strengthen damaged hair, while the Iso Option 2 Damage-Free Waving gives you well-defined curls after just one application. The COTU (R) Hair Perm Rods come with non-slip rubber bands that help you perm your hair easily and safely. These are affordable and super easy to use. Before purchasing any recommended perm kit, measure your hair length, determine your hair type, analyze your requirements, and choose the one that serves all your styling needs. Laura Dale, a licensed cosmetologist and hair expert, says, “With so many options it is easy to perm your hair at home. Make sure to pay careful attention to the directions, the processing time for your hair type, and be sure to rinse really well after each step.”

Why Trust Stylecraze?

Medha Deb, the author of this article, loves to try out different hair care products that can cater to the unique requirements of her readers. For this article, she went on a hunt for the most effective home perm kits and made a list of the best ones. Her recommendation is based on her in-depth research of user reviews and product specifications. These products are super easy to use, affordable, and allow you to achieve incredible, messy waves in just a matter of hours.

Frequently Asked Questions

What do I need for an at-home perm kit?

An at-home perm kit must contain papers, neutralizing solutions, and a basic perm waving cream. In addition, you will need a tail comb, plastic sectioning clips or pins, gloves, and a spray bottle full of water.

Is Ogilvie a good perm?

Yes. Ogilvie is a good perm as it deeply nourishes your curls and detangles your tight knots effortlessly. The conditioning formula of this best-selling perm kit prevents frizzy and dry hair and imparts a salon-like finish to your tresses.

Do home perm kits work?

Yes, home perm kits do a satisfactory job at providing you attractive perms. The improved chemicals and tools are efficient and can be handled easily. However, if you want the benefits of the latest perm techniques, a salon perm is the best choice.

Does getting a perm hurt your hair?

Yes, getting a perm may slightly hurt your hair, but it is not as bad as bleaching. Perming can weaken your dry and damaged strands if low-quality perm kits are used. So, be mindful and purchase a top-rated perm kit that is suitable for your hair type.

Does hair length matter for a perm?

No. While your hair length does not play a critical role in getting a perm, the hair needs to be long enough to be wrapped around the rod for at least two and a half times. This will aid curling your tresses better.

Can you get a perm if you have dyed hair?

Yes, you can get a perm on your colored hair without worrying about damage. However, it is recommended to invest in perm kits with gentle solutions and suitable rods to handle your dyed hair with care.

Can you use heat tools after you get a perm?

No. Heat tools like straighteners should be avoided after getting perms as permed hair tends to frizz out more than natural hair. Styling your permed hair with heat tools can lead to split ends and hair breakage.

That’s all, folks! Do you have any suggestions or queries regarding this post? Do let us know in the comments below.


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Laura Dale

Laura DaleLicensed Cosmetologist

Laura Dale is a Hair Expert and licensed Cosmetologist with over 20 years of experience. Laura has worked as a Global Education Director for Beauty Brands specializing in haircare and as a Beauty Editor she is passionate about sharing her love of beauty products and hair tools.read full bio

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