A perm is a chemical treatment that uses heat to permanently alter your hair, leaving it curly. Before you switch off at the very mention of perm hairstyles, hear us out because ’80s-inspired hair has seen a huge revival as of late.
First of all, rest assured that this hair trend has nothing to do with the frizzy perms of yesteryear. In fact, this look has taken the best aspects of the retro perms and given them a modern-day shake-up! From Karlie Kloss’s retro spirals to Chrissy Teigen’s big throwback curls, the evolution of perms has been given the A-list seal of approval – and we can see why.
Check out our gallery for the best modern takes on perm hair, and prepare for a bucket load of #hairspiration.
Pink Permed Hair
There is a misconception that the ombre hair trend is limited to straight tresses, but this Instagram pic proves that you can show off any ombre style just as brilliantly on curly locks! Come on, pink and a perm, what’s not to love? Credit: @hairbypaulahouston
Tight Permed Hairstyle
Stuck on which curls are for you? Well, why not get them all? Create a series of tight coils throughout your mane, and pepper in some medium and large-sized curls for good measure.
This will add plenty of height and incredible bounce to your mane, as well as keeping things looking natural! Credit: @hairbypaulahouston
Perms for Thick Hair
At your wits end with your unmanageable thick mane? Then try getting a perm with loose curls, like the picture above, and rest easy with your new stunning style. Credit: @hairbypaulahouston
Perms for Short Hair
Despite common belief, short hair is suitable for curling; and getting a perm is the ideal solution to all your hair styling woes! Michelle Pfieffer, is that you? Credit: @damiansantiago
Permed Bob Hairstyle
Not only is this perm, bob and bangs combo totally on-trend, but the addition of a deep red hue also works to add even more depth, too. Credit: @alyssaweinzap
Perms for Limp Hair
Tightly permed curls add great fullness to all hair types and can still look effortlessly natural. It’s a win-win situation all around really! Credit: @hey_cabeleireiro
Bronde Perm Hairstyle
Super Curly Perm Style
Feel it’s time to let loose? Then have your curls created in different directions, and ensure you have small curls underneath and large curls on top. See? Creating a wild ‘n’ ready look has never been easier! Credit: @jasakane
’80s Permed Hairstyle
Earn yourself some extra style points this season and ooze some ’80s sex appeal with a mid-length perm. Credit: @styledbyevelina
Loose Perm Hairstyle
Don’t want a blast from the past? Then keep your perm ultra-modern by working loose, undone curls that provide texture and lift in equal measure. Credit: @damiansantiago
Soft Wavy Perm Style
Tired of creating waves in your hair each and every morning? Then it’s time to get a perm. These retro-inspired hairstyles aren’t all about tight coils, as the technique can also be used to create soft waves, too! Credit: @damiansantiago
Half-Up Perm Hairstyle on Short Hair
Now, just because you’ve had a perm that doesn’t mean you’re restricted with styling. Just take a leaf out of this Instagrammer’s book and work a half-up, half-down look. Credit: @kkcmst
Perms With Long Hair
This long permed hairstyle is giving us all major mane envy – come on, just look at how shiny it is! Credit: @eddie.eidd
Subtle Short Perm Hairstyle
To elevate your cropped ‘do, we suggest opting for a perm that curls the under-layers of hair more tightly than the ones on top. As you can see from the image above, it keeps the look neat, while proving plenty of room for experimentation. Credit: @hairandmakeupheidi
Wet Look Perm Hairstyle
We’ve come over all nostalgic looking at this ‘do. Not only does it draw from the iconic ’80s perm, but also the throwback ’90s wet-look. Kim Kardashian West, eat your heart out! Credit: @tiffygotsthishair
Editor’s tip: Recreate the look by scrunching some of the VO5 Mega Hold Gel Spray through your waves. With no stickiness or flaking, this product helps prevent fluff for up to 24 hours.
Pixie Permed Hair
Glitter Perm Hairstyle
Get creative with your perm hairstyle and make anything and everything your accessory. Be it glitter, hair stickers or even a headscarf, there’s no end to the possibilities. Credit: @tiffygotsthishair
Shaggy Perm Hairstyle
Let’s be honest, fringes can be a bit problematic regardless of the look your going for. But the great thing is, with perms, bangs look stunning in any style.
Choose to keep your fringe straight, go wavy, or even get tight coils; whatever you choose, you’ll look bangin’! Credit: @jasakane
Editor’s tip: To create big, bodylicious hair, like the one above, we recommend investing in a mousse. Try the VO5 Smoothly Does It Curl Defining Mousse, to build volume and make every coil pop.