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

Published Categorized as Beauty Tips

Perms allow you to transform your hair by adding waves and curls. While many people picture the ‘big hair’ perms of the 1970s and 1980s, they’re regaining popularity with some modern twists. If you have shorter hair, you may be thinking about getting a perm, but worried that your hair is too short for it to work properly. So, how long does your hair have to be to get a perm? If you’d like to find out the answer to this question, continue reading!

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

One of the keys to getting a perfect perm is having hair that is long enough.  Don’t fret, though, because your hair doesn’t have to be super long.  You just need to confirm that your hair is long enough that it can be wrapped around the rod at least two times.

Keep in mind that there are different rod sizes, so if you have shorter hair, you can opt to use a smaller rod to ensure that you can wrap it around at least two times.  However, if your hair is too short to wrap it around the rod two times, then you should let your hair grow out a bit more before trying to get a perm.

On Men

Men looking to get a perm will also need to make sure that their hair is long enough to wrap around the perm rod two times.  As long as your hair can do this, then it isn’t too short to get a perm.  Now, if it is too short to go around the rod two times, then you won’t want to get a perm until it grows out a bit.

On Women

The answer for length of hair to get a perm is the same for women.  Women will need their hair to be long enough to wrap around the perm rod at least two times.  If you are going for a wavier look with loose curls, keep in mind that you will need to use a larger perm rod.  If your hair is only long enough to wrap around a small rod, you’ll end up with tighter curls.

One other consideration when deciding whether to get a perm as a woman is how much shorter it will make your hair.  Regardless of whether you currently have long or short hair, a perm will make it shorter, probably by about 25%.  If your hair is already on the shorter side, you’ll need to decide whether you are OK with it becoming even shorter after being permed.

Can You Perm It?

Can You Perm Short Hair?

Many people ask if you can perm short hair or even wonder, can you perm 2 inch hair?”  The answer for both questions is yes!  You can perm your hair as long as it is just long enough to wrap around the perm rod.

Now just because hair may be long enough to wrap around the rod, doesn’t mean you’ll be happy with the finished result.  If you have very short hair and are aiming for a wavy perm, be sure to keep your expectations realistic.  Wavy perms require wider perm rods, and if your hair is very short it may not be long enough to wrap around the perm rod the required two times.

However, if you’re looking for tighter curls, then even individuals with very short hair should be able to achieve this by getting a perm.

Can You Perm Long Hair?

Yes, you can perm long hair. Loose and wavy perms with long hair are a popular hairstyle right now, and many individuals, including celebrities, are choosing to try this modern-day twist on a perm.

What Length of Hair Is Too Short for a Perm?

If your hair is too short to wrap around the smallest perm rod once (ideally twice), then your hair is too short to get a perm.

Another thing to consider is the style of perm that you are interested in. The smallest perm rod will result in tight curls, which may or may not be what you’re envisioning when thinking about getting a perm.

Perming short hair will also decrease the overall length of the hair, since the tight curls will pull the hair up. Take this into consideration as well when deciding whether you think your hair is too short for a perm.

How Short Will a Perm Make My Hair?

If you’re thinking about getting a perm, you want to make sure that you get a perm that you won’t hate.  One thing to consider is how short the perm will make your hair.  All perms will shorten the length of your hair, but the change in the length can vary based on the size of the perm rod that is used and how tight the curl is.

Longer hair is heavier than shorter hair.  Because of this, it stretches the curls from a perm out more.  This reduces the amount of length that is taken off of your hair (but it will still be shorter).

If you have shorter hair, on the other hand, it doesn’t weigh as much as longer hair and won’t stretch out the curls as much.  This means that when you get a perm with shorter hair, it can make hair proportionally shorter than it would with longer hair.

Getting tight curls will shorten your hair more than looser curls too.  This is something else to think about before you get a perm.

While there is no set formula to determine exactly how much shorter your hair will be after getting a perm, visualize losing between 25 and 30% of your current hair length.


What is a perm?

A perm is a chemical treatment done to hair.  The chemicals used to perm hair change hair’s texture and structure by breaking the hair’s bonds.  This allows the hair to stay curled or wavy for an extended period of time.  Since the hair will remain curlier or wavier (depending on the perm rod and style you choose), you don’t have to put as much effort into styling your hair every day and don’t need to rely on heated styling tools to obtain the curly or wavy look you desire.
Perm stands for permanent, which should tell you something about how long a perm will last.  Most perms last for about three to six months, or until the hair grows out enough to return to its original texture and structure.
Perms were very popular in the 1980s (think BIG hair), but today they have evolved.  Individuals choosing to get a modern perm tend to favor the beach wave look over tighter and bigger curls.

How long do perms last?

The length of time a perm will last can vary based on different factors.  Most perms should last at least three months, but some can last up to six months.  Your hair type and whether you follow instructions to care for your perm can all impact how long it will actually last.
In addition to considering how long the perm itself will last, keep in mind that your appointment at the hair salon when getting your hair permed will take quite some time as well.  Most appointments will take at least two hours, and some may be even longer than that.

What length of hair is too short for a perm?

If your hair is too short to wrap around the smallest perm rod once (ideally twice), then your hair is too short to get a perm.

Can you perm short hair?

You can perm your hair as long as it is just long enough to wrap around the perm rod.

Short Haired Perms are Possible!

Perms can allow you to change your hairstyle by adding some curls, waves, and volume to it.  If you’re looking to refresh your look, scheduling an appointment to get a perm may be just what the doctor ordered.  Modern perms offer a classy and chic alternative to the outdated styles of the 1980s.

Even with short hair, it is still possible to get a perm as long as your hair is long enough to wrap around the perm rod once or twice.  You’ll just need to think about how much shorter your hair will look after getting the perm and how tight the curls will be if you need to use a really small perm rod.

So, what do you think?  Are you ready to try a perm on your short hair, or do you think you’re going to wait awhile and let your hair grow out a bit?  We’d love to hear your thoughts and have you come back and share your experiences if you do decide to try a perm!

Take a few minutes to read through these posts on our blog to learn more about transforming your hair:

By Ellis James

We design luxuriously glamorous bags, organizers and life essentials for you. At Ellis James Designs, it’s all about YOU. Your bag, Your way. Our exclusive designs are timeless, indulgent and most importantly inspired by you. What will be your first Ellis James Design?