If you’re looking to add texture, volume and waves to your hair, a body wave may be just what you’re looking for. It’s important to know what to expect and how to care for your permed hair before you get started, though, to make sure this type of perm is a good fit for your lifestyle. Bodywave Styles of Perm.

What to Expect

A body wave is a loose curl that results in a wave pattern rather than a tight roll because the sections of hair are wrapped around larger rollers than the ones used for other types of perms. Rollers are often inserted in varying and natural patterns to create a soft and natural looking wave. While the diameter of the rod may vary, most waves will be loose enough to wear a variety of looks.

Body waves change the texture of the hair in a long-lasting way. However, the waviness and amount of volume you see during the first and second weeks are far different from what you’ll have after two to three months since the waves may drastically relax over time. How much time you’ll get out of your body wave style will depend on how well you care for your hair (keep it moisturized!) as well as the length and cut. After three months, there may be little evidence that you ever had a body wave, but your hair may feel different to the touch or behave differently than it did prior to the process.

Choosing a Body Wave

There are several reasons you may want to consider a body wave. You may want to add body to a lifeless style, or hope to add some waves to your long locks. Perhaps you are tired of daily styling and feel this will offer a lower-maintenance solution.

Recommended Usage

Consult with your stylist before making the commitment to a body wave. In general, body waves are best for:

  • Men and women who have natural curls that lack definition and shape
  • Those who want to give their natural curls a boost but keep them relaxed, not tight
  • People with fine hair that want more hold and body in their hairstyles
  • Those who are willing to experiment with creams and serums to see which ones work best for their hair, as perms are low-maintenance but still require some product to look their best
  • People with straight hair who want a bit more texture and movement

Damaged Hair Considerations

If you have highlighted or color treated hair, a body wave perm may not be a wise option. Depending on the condition of your hair, a first or follow-up body wave may result in extensive damage. A more acceptable alternative to a perm may be occasionally working with hot rollers or a curling iron to create loose, yet temporary, tendrils.

Work to nurse your hair back to health by using heat styling as infrequently as possible and applying deep conditioning masks once or twice per week. You may also want to speak with a stylist about options for strengthening your hair in order to get it ready for a body wave.

Salon or At-Home

You can do a body wave at home with a kit like the Rusk CurlSilk Body Wave, but these perms are often performed by a licensed professional. A professional stylist is the only person who can truly determine whether your hair is healthy enough for this type of treatment. If you’re inexperienced with DIY body waves or if your hair has been previously treated with color, bleach or relaxants, seeing a professional first is especially important.

If your stylist decides a body wave is an acceptable option for your hair type and condition, then discuss a healthy cut and styling requirements in addition to the perming process. If you’re simply going to a stylist because you’re intimidated by the DIY kits, you may be able to watch the stylist do the body wave and then mimic the pattern and placement of the rollers at home the next time you need one.

Prepare Your Hair (and Yourself)

Make sure that your hair is in top condition and that you know what to expect before you move forward with getting this type of chemical treatment.

Prep Your Hair

Before committing to a body wave, make sure your hair is in great condition. Using a protein rich conditioner prior to perming will help reconstruct the hair shaft, promoting strength and elasticity. Too much moisture may result in a weak perm result, so focus on adding strength rather than hydration. For the best results possible, consult with your stylist at least one month prior to a scheduled perm service to prepare your hair for the chemical process.

Understand the Process

Whether this is your first perm or one of many, you’ll want to familiarize yourself with the process. Most perms require at least a couple of hours in the salon chair. For loose perms, your stylist will first wrap varied sections of your hair into larger rollers. Once the perm solution is applied, the hair begins to break down and disulfide bonds are added to the hair shaft. These bonds create the waves and curl needed to completely change the texture of the hair until it grows out. Expect the results