How Long Does A Perm Last? Tips To Make Your Perms Vibrant, Bouncy, Shiny, And Long-Lasting

Written by Anjali Sayee

Hair perming has been a popular styling technique for decades. While you may assume that this is a one-time treatment to set your hair permanently, the reality is somewhat different. The longevity of permed hair depends upon multiple factors – hair type, thickness, and length. Above all, you need to take proper care of your perms to make them long-lasting. This article throws light on how long different perm styles last and the factors responsible for it. Scroll down for more information!

What Is Hair Perming?

Hair perming is a chemical treatment that alters the structure of the hair to create waves or curls.

How Long Does A Perm Last In Your Hair?

Although the term ‘perm’ implies permanent, the longevity of the perm depends on your hair texture, length, and thickness. A perm typically lasts for 3-6 months, depending on how you maintain and nourish it.

Do not dye or bleach your hair after perming as it may damage the hair and cause breakage. Wait for at least 1-2 weeks before any further chemical treatment.

If you want to try straight, spiral, or digital perming and are wondering how long it will last, here is your answer.

How Long Does A Straight Perm Last?

A straight perm done by a professional or a salon will stay for 3-6 months, depending on the maintenance and hair thickness. Perms done with a home perming solution kit will last for 6weeks.

What Is A Spiral Perm? How Long Does It Last?

What Is A Spiral Perm How Long Does It Last


When shoulder-length or longer hair is twisted and rolled with a vertical rod, it creates a spiral shape. This gives tight curls and volume to your hair.

A spiral perm may last for 3-6 months with proper nourishment and maintenance, i.e., using the right shampoo, conditioner, and hair care products.

What Is A Digital Perm? How Long Does It Last?

What Is A Digital Perm How Long Does It Last


This perm technique uses hot rods with the temperature regulated by a digital machine. The process is similar to the traditional perming method, but the difference is the shape and texture of the waves created in the digital procedure.

A digital perm may last for a year with proper maintenance. As high heat is used in the digital perming process, the hair becomes fragile and prone to breakage. Use a natural botanical shampoo and do not tie your hair in a bun for at least a month to maintain the digital perm.

The next section explains how hair perming happens.

How Does A Perm Work?

Hair perming breaks down the hair’s disulfide bonds to restructure it, forming curls or loose waves. The chemicals or reducing agents (ammonium thioglycolate) break down the keratin protein (a protein that strengthens the hair). The hair protein and disulfide bonds are free to move around and adjust to the shape of the curls.

Then, a neutralizer (hydrogen peroxide) is applied to reverse the effect of the reducing agents and rebuild keratin. Now, new disulfide bonds are created, and keratin molecules are restored to lock the curls’ shape. Your hair is ready to bounce and dance!

The following tips will help you keep your locks free of frizz and tangles.

How To Keep Your Perms Frizz-Free

  • Use a deep conditioning mask and a natural shampoo to eliminate tangles and frizzes. Choose a product as per your hair type and texture.
  • Don’t forget to use heat protectant sprays during chemical treatments.
  • Opt for a wide-toothed comb to detangle the hair.
  • Use a leave-in conditioner to hydrate, nourish, and restore the shine of your waves and curls.

In the next section, we have listed the factors that affect your perms’ longevity. Keep scrolling for more details.

Which Factors Determine How Long Your Perms Last?

  • The Condition Of Your Hair: If you have dry, damaged hair with frizz and tangles, your perms might not stay long. This is because the chemicals in the perm solution can damage your hair further.
  • The Perm Technique: Your curls’ longevity is based on the perm technique – cold or hot. A hot perm or digital perm creates more defined curls that last longer. On the other hand, a cold perm causes less damage to the hair, but it also makes the curls less stable.
  • The Hair Growth Rate: The longevity of your perms also depends on the rate of hair growth. Typically, hair grows at a rate of half an inch per month. As the new hair sprouts, your perms and the ends end up looking unattractive and frayed, and you might need a touch-up and a trim.
  • The Concentration Of The Chemicals: Using strong perm solutions may help your perms last 5-6 months before the new hair is visible. However, the new hair will have the texture of the original hair.
  • Who Is Doing The Perm: Perms done by professionals last longer than the ones done at home with a DIY perm solution.
  • The Hair Care Routine: Using the right products and following the right aftercare routine will prolong the life of your perms.

As discussed above, care and maintenance are key to make your perms last long. Here’s how you should care for your perms.

Tips To Make Your Perms Last Long

  • Do not wash your hair for at least three days after the treatment.
  • Do not tie your hair in buns or ponytails for at least a month.
  • Use a hydrating shampoo and a deep conditioning hair mask to moisturize and rejuvenate the locks.
  • Do not comb your hair within 24 hours of chemical treatment. Use a wide-toothed comb to detangle the knots. Brush your hair properly to restore the volume.
  • Dry your hair with a microfiber towel. Do not rub it vigorously with a regular towel as it may create tangles and frizz.
  • Use a hairdryer at the lowest temperature to dry your thick locks.
  • Apply a heat protectant spray before styling your hair.


Frizz, split ends, and stress hampers the life of perms. Hence, your curls need utmost care and maintenance to last long. Follow the tips mentioned above and enhance the longevity of your permed hair. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Can a perm last forever?

No, a perm cannot last forever. With proper care, it may last for 3-6 months.

Why did my perms go flat?

If you do not take proper care and use the right products, your perms might go flat soon.

Will my perms get curlier after I wash my hair?

No. You can try finger coils or scrunch the hair after your first wash to help retain the perms.

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Anjali Sayee is a writer and an introvert. From studying Aeronautical Engineering and wanting to design her own airplane to writing articles on hairstyles, she has been on quite a journey. She believes that hair is one of the key factors that define a woman’s personality. To quote her, “What’s the first thing they do in the movies to show a personality change? Change the hair – because it has a life of its own.” She’s here to help you find the hairstyle you need. This bookworm is a self-professed Wholocker, a talented drummer, and an amateur photographer.