Friends with beach wave perms

14 Easy Beach Wave Perm Hairstyles

Want to switch up your straight strands? Introducing the wavy perm (a permanent wave), the ultimate way to sport beautiful, bouncy waves every day.

A modern day perm involves a stylist using different techniques to create waves in your hair, so if you’ve always wished for luscious curls but don’t want to use the curling tongs 24/7, this is calling your name.

Making a comeback from the ’80s, 2023’s answer to perming is in the form of soft, beachy waves that look oh-so-natural, with some extra volume for good measure.

And it seems the beach wave perm is the hottest A-lister hair style right now, with celebrities like Emily Ratajkowski and Katie Holmes jumping on the bandwagon. Our verdict? It’s fun, flirty and floaty, the perfect combination.

Ready to sport that beachy blow out look every day? Here’s the lowdown on wavy perms and our top hairstyles to show your hair stylist.

What’s the Difference Between a Regular Perm and a Wave Perm?

Traditional perms produce defined spiral curls by wrapping the hair around smaller individual rods for tight, uniform curls. With a wave perm, the hair is wrapped around larger rods to produce looser waves for a more relaxed result.

How Long do Beach Wave Perms Last?

A beach wave perm usually lasts between 3 and 6 months, but this can vary depending on how well you care for it and what your natural hair pattern is like.

Can I Get a Wavy Perm?

One of the pros of wavy perms is that they can work well on hair of different lengths and textures. While coarse, thick hair is generally seen as best suited for perming, that’s not to say that those with fine hair can’t also try them – we recommend having a consultation with your hair stylist before booking your perm to discuss your hair’s suitability.

However, it’s important to note that getting a perm is quite an intensive chemical process, so it’s not recommended for those with dyed, bleached or chemically straightened hair. A salon may refuse to carry out the treatment on processed hair because of the risk of damage, so it’s best to do it on virgin (aka untreated) hair.

14 Easy Beach Wave Perm Hairstyles

Get all the wavy perm inspiration you need here.

Tousled Perm

Even the straightest of strands can be transformed with a wavy perm. Credit:

Stars like Alexa Chung and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley are big fans of the tousled hair trend, working their natural waves to the max. But don’t fret, you can still get the look with a wave perm, thanks to this loose, barely-there look.

Spiral Perm

Wave goodbye to boring hair with these stunning spiral waves. Credit: Diogo Brandao from Unsplash

Do your curls drop out too quickly when you tong your hair? We’ve found your solution. A semi-permanent spiral perm will ensure that your curls go the distance and always look bouncy and full of life. It’s a glamorous everyday look – perfect if you’ve got some glitzy, black-tie events in the calendar. For perfect curls for days, try SheaMoisture Coconut & Hibiscus Curl Enhancer Smoothie, that leaves your strand smooth and bouncy.

A front view of a SheaMoisture Coconut Hibiscus Curl Enhancer Smoothie container

Amped-Up Bob

Brunette woman with a curly permed bob
Plump up shorter cuts with voluminous waves. Credit:

These full-bodied waves should be at the top of your wish list and are just the style to sport every day. Even after you’ve washed your hair, the curls will spring right back into place, so your hair will look great from AM to PM.

The ’80s Perm

Madonna hair: Madonna on the red carpet in 2016 with long blonde wavy hair swept over one shoulder.
Lately she’s traded in her wild ’80s curls for more natural-looking kinky waves. Credit: Rex by Shutterstock

Do like Madonna and channel your inner ’80s wild child with a beach wave perm. The overall look is chic, loose and carefree – just the style to put a spring in your step as you go about your day.

A 200ml bottle of TRESemme Curl Mousse Front of Pack

Editor’s tip: To ensure your curls stay full and defined (but not frizzy), we recommend investing in a hair mousse, like the TRESemmé Curl Definition Mousse and scrunching it through your lengths after washing.

Kinky Perm

Kinky perm beach waves
Crimped hair is back, people. Credit:

If you’ve ever worn your hair in braids overnight, you’ll know that it leaves your hair with a gorgeously crimped effect. Now you can wake up with kinky strands every day, courtesy of the kinky perm. It gives you that just-braided look, which is perfect for your first perm experience.

Natural Movement

Natural movement wave perm
Like your curls to look natural? Ask your stylist to incorporate different curl shapes and sizes. Credit:

Who needs a curling wand when you can opt for bespoke waves that mimic a natural curl pattern? Trust us, nobody will have an clue they’re not real. That’s a thumbs up from us.

Coloured Perm

Back view of a woman with long silver grey permed curly hair
Going grey never looked so chic. Credit:

Fan of colouring your hair? Having permed locks doesn’t mean that you can’t colour your hair too. In fact, as long as you leave enough time between the colouring and perming processes (to limit damage), a perm can help to add definition and dimension to your hue, making it look vibrant and fresh.

We’re loving this Instagrammer’s chic silver-tinted tones – would you go grey?

Beachy Bangs

Woman with lob length wavy permed blonde hair with a fringe, wearing a patterned blazer, white t-shirt and jeans
Complete your look with a fresh set of bangs! Credit:

Bangs are in. And they’re the perfect style for your beach wave perm. If you’ve got (or want to get) a fringe cut in, it gives your look a cute, bed head vibe. We’re loving it for every season.

Shaggy Bob

Brunette with a short shaggy wavy perm bob with a fringe, standing in front of a blue backdrop
The bob of the season is shaggy, soft and curly. Credit:

Ever wondered how those curly bobs you see on Instagram look so perfect? The secret is, they’ve most likely had a perm. We can’t stop swooning over this beauty’s chic shag cut – a beachy hairstyle for the summer and a super manageable pick for winter.

Beach Wave Perm

Brunette woman in a salon chair with long wavy permed hair
Ride the wave this summer with a beach wave perm. Credit:

As opposed to separate, individual curls, a beach wave perm gives you flowing, mermaid-like waves. Imagine sporting this hairstyle all day long – well, it’s possible with a beach wave perm. Lush.

Bed Head Waves

Woman with shoulder length dark brown wavy permed hair
We don’t know about you, but we’d never have guessed this was a perm. Credit:

If polished hair isn’t your vibe, go for a more lived-in, bed head look. This will help give off the impression that you don’t even have to bother with your hair, it just looks this good as soon you roll out of bed.

Blow-Dry Effect

Selfie of a woman with dark brown hair with a digital perm
Now it’s actually possible to get that salon-fresh blowout look every day. Yay! Credit:

A blow-dry perm is officially the answer to your prayers. You know that fresh-out-the-salon feeling you get after a blow dry? Now you can have it every day – no stylist needed – with a modern digital perm. Rejoice!

Subtle Perm

Loose perm waves
You don’t have to go crazy with the curls to rock a perm. Credit: Jon Ly from Unsplash

If the get-up-and-go convenience of a wavy perm appeals to you, but you’re not sure that super curly curls will suit you, try a subtle perm.

A loose, undone wave perm (like the one above) will give flat locks heaps of texture, without having to commit to full-on curls. But be warned, it’s addictive!

Wavy Perm with Side-Swept Bangs

Woman with a copper wavy permed graduated bob
Cut down your morning styling time with permanent waves. Credit:

Draw attention to a side-sweeping fringe with a face-flattering, softly curled wave perm. It’s a versatile option and elevates any look, giving your fringe some extra pizzazz.

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