Q: I was thinking about getting a perm. My hair is to the middle of my back and itís straight and kind of thick. I was just
wondering if it would be better to get a perm or a body wave. I donít want something that wonít hold because my hair might weigh it
down. And I donít want something extremely curly.
A: Well, as Iíve explained before, the only real difference between a body wave and a perm is the size of the tools used in wrapping
the hair. It sounds as though what you want is actually more of a body wave than an actual perm, but the length of your hair is going
to make avoiding a ďcurlyĒ look difficult.
What you will need is a specialty wave, where the stylist who performs the service will wrap your
hair on non-standard perming tools. He/she might use plastic magnetic rollers (the kind used for wet roller sets) or some other type of
instrument. (I know a stylist who used washed-out frozen-orange-juice cans to wrap her clientís ultra-long hair for a body wave.)
There are different strengths of permanent wave formulas so Iím sure that your stylist can find one
that will work for your hair type. Given the length, and therefore the weight of your hair, the stylist may recommend the addition of
some layering to the hair to give a better resultant look.
The biggest benefit of getting the body wave in your long hair isnít so much the curl you get from
the body wave, but the improved ďbodyĒ of the hair Ė allowing it to better hold a style when you style it. Any curls you put into the
hair with curling irons or roller sets will last longer, and the hair will hold better in up-styles than before the body wave.