A loose perm is a chemical treatment that sets the hair in a permanent wave. Depending on your desired finish, your hairstylist will pick from various sized rollers and apply them to your hair, along with a perming solution to help set the wave or curl pattern. Permed hair tends to go in and out of fashion with big curly perms being hugely popular in the 1980s. However, recently, we’re now seeing people opt for a more casual loose perm that offers more versatility. If cared for, a perm can last approx 6 months and are a great option for those looking to add a distinctive curl pattern to straight or wavy hair.
So, to help inspire and showcase perms in all their glory, we’ve curated 14 fashion-focused looks that spotlight the loose-curl perm…
Poison Ivy perm
If there’s anything we’re learning from the red carpet and catwalks this season, it’s that ’90s looks are back for good. The best way to get in on the trend? With a Poison Ivy-inspired perm!
If you haven’t watched this cult classic film starring Drew Barrymore, seeing how this beauty pulls off Drew’s hairstyle from the movie, will seriously make you want the style. Credit: @iam_dytto
Big loose curls
This voluminous permed look is a great way to wear your hair down with some extra oomph, especially if your hair tends to fall on the finer side.
Editor’s tip: To really make your curls pop, try using the Bed Head Rockaholic Amped Up Volumizing Mousse. Work a generous amount of the product throughout your damp lengths, blow dry with a diffuser and watch as your volumised waves come to life.
Body wave perm
You can easily have beachy waves on and off the beach with this surf-inspired perm.
In our opinion, this cool-girl style will totally make everyone think you’ve been vacationing in St. Tropez. Credit: @mai.doan.beauty
Soft Loose Curl
Keep things simple and still give your mane a noticeable refresh, try getting a softer loose-curl perm done. Credit: @meredithmickelson
If you’re after something a little more ‘rock chick’, look no further. This loose perm puts a totally original spin on the classic shag haircut, making it stand out with lush curls.
Don’t be afraid to work curly bangs with this hairstyle for extra style points. Credit: @tashimrod
You don’t need to have Rapunzel-length locks to get in on the loose perm hair trend. And as proof, please turn your attention to this stunning picture, above.
Wet-look loose perm
Breeze through your fave festival like a sea Goddess with this wet-look, loose-curl perm hairstyle, that’s all kinds of chic. Plus, it’s perfect for short and long-haired ladies – bonus! Credit: @danidiamondphotography
Editor’s tip: Work a small amount of the TONI&GUY Curl Sculpting Spray throughout your mane for a seriously high-impact, frizz-free finish!
Short loose-curl perm
Adding voluminous curls in the right places can have a slimming effect on angular lines, which is exactly what this sexy and sophisticated hairstyle does! Credit: @beautybyrachelrenaepaz
Perms don’t always have to be done all over, don’t you know? If you’re looking for more volume in certain areas, it’s possible to only perm those sections.
As you can see, this Intagrammer has chosen to have the mid lengths of her mane loosely permed, creating a tonne of natural-looking volume. Credit: @yu_ya_hair
This short loose perm is great for the retro-devotee who wants to keep their hairstyle looking vintage and modern all at the same time. Just don’t blame us if Hollywood starts calling! Credit:@sailens_hair
Sun-kissed loose perm
Give a brightening boost to your overall appearance by pairing your loose perm with some sun-kissed blonde highlights. This will keep your ‘do feeling intentionally stylish and bring a playful vibe to your look, making it the perfect style for year-round wear. Credit: @nathaliebarros
Editor’s tip: If you’re tempted to work some highlights in your perm just remember to use a wash and care system specifically formulated for dyed hair. We love the Dove Colour Care Shampoo and Conditioner, which will help maintain your hue’s vibrancy and keep your tresses in tip-top shape!
If you’re worried about your perm looking a bit too uniform and unnatural on your long hair, a multi-textured perm (AKA a perm with varying curl sizes) could be perfect for you.
The best thing about this sort of perm? You can get it done all over or just on your ends, for a cool-girl ‘do that’s full of laid-back allure. Credit: @thedays_dean
Has stalking Vanessa Hudgens mane left you feeling envious? You can make your hair look as good as hers by getting a boho perm hairstyle, like this.
The mix of layers, loose waves and curls will make feel like a true boho queen. Credit: @fran_says
Loosely permed graduated bob
Think you’re too ‘old’ to get a loose curl perm hairstyle? Well, this gorgeous, graduated bob hairstyle will make you think again.