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What Is A Water Perm (+ How Long Does It Last)

a girl with big curls

A water perm converts naturally straight hair to curly using water and hair rollers. Despite having the word “perm” in it, it’s not a permanent process. A water perm is temporary. It lasts as long as the wearer refrains from washing their hair. This could be for a day or a week.

Some choose a water perm if they are avoiding chemicals. For example, during pregnancy a straight-haired person may choose a water perm to switch up their look.

Benefits of Water Perms

  • Temporary

  • No chemicals

  • Less (or no) heat

  • Switch up look

Quick tips for your next water perm…

  • Install rollers on damp freshly washed hair

  • Use smaller rods or rollers for tighter curls, and bigger rods or rollers for bigger curls

  • Use flexible rods or curlers with clips to avoid unwanted creases in hair

  • Fully dry hair for a clean frizz-free look

  • Use hair bonnet to preserve curls longer than a day

How is A Water Perm Different From A Roller Set?

A roller set is super similar to a water perm, because the wearer starts with wet hair and uses rollers/rods. The difference is that roller sets are used for people with naturally curly hair who want to change the shape, tightness, or uniformity of their curl. Curly-haired people naturally can have different curl patterns throughout their hair. But if they want to achieve spiral curls all over, they can use spiral rods or rollers (as an example). Similar to the water perm, they must use the rods/rollers when the hair is wet and wait until the hair is completely dry before removing them.

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