Times have changed since perms were widely talked about hairstyling options, but you would probably be surprised to know just how many women still regularly perm their hair. Perms aren’t all ’80s curls and high amounts of volume anymore, either. Since then, loose perm styles have entered the scene, and they could very well be the secret to a very chic hairstyle that’s also shockingly low-maintenance.
Intrigued by a looser perm? Keep scrolling to find out all the info and inspo you need for this look.
What is a loose perm?
We’ve created a collection of loose perm styles to inspire you to try a curly style, so read on and get inspired:
A loose perm, also known as a body wave, is a chemical treatment that adds volume, texture, and soft waves to naturally straight or flat hair. Unlike traditional perms, which produce tight, uniform curls, a loose perm creates loose, natural-looking waves. It involves using larger perm rods or rollers, resulting in soft, flowing curls that enhance your hair’s movement and body. The aim is to achieve a beachy, tousled appearance reminiscent of sun-kissed waves.
If you want to achieve a loose perm, make sure to ask your stylist to use bigger rollers.
Best Loose Perm Curly Hairstyles
From short curls to highlighted styles, you can show off your permed hairstyle in many ways.
1. Short Curls
While perms can often be fun and flirty, pairing a loose perm with a bob is a recipe for a chic and grown-up style. This style is also great because it’s low maintenance and involves minimal styling effort.
2. Messy Waves
A soft and easy look like this is a prime example of how many perm options exist. This look is trendy and easy in the best way and offers a more modern, looser alternative to the classic tight perm we’re accustomed to.
3. Classic Ringlets
This is likely more in line with what you imagine when you picture perm styles. Classic ringlets are always a good idea. Remove product build-up while keeping hair hydrated by using Dove Amplified Textures Hydrating Cleanse Shampoo and Dove Amplified Textures Moisture Lock Leave-In Conditioner.
4. Go Long
A long tight style like this is a great way to fake natural-looking curls, and the longer strands will weigh the curls down for an even looser perm. The added texture will also create more volume in your strands if that’s something you’re hoping to achieve.
5. Chestnut Highlights
Highlight your perm with a subtle sheen of beautiful chestnut-colored highlights. These warm highlights will help add brightness and shine to your strands, complimenting your curls beautifully.
6. Low Curls
Perm just the bottom for a simple and chic look. Adding curls just to the ends of your hair is also a great way to achieve a minimal-effort, easy-to-style look. By leaving the top of the style straight, you can concentrate the curls just on the ends of the style.
7. Extra Volume
As with most looks, you can style a perm in several ways. Consider adding more volume to your look by spraying TRESemmé One Step Volume for Fine Hair at your roots.
8. Super Loose
Go for a super loose wave and add some subtle texture to your long strands. Adding subtle texture makes a difference and helps you create that go-to beachy look without using heat daily!
9. Silvery Waves
Work a few trends into your look by trying messy silvery waves for a mermaid-esque look that we can’t recommend enough. These super loose waves offer your hair some subtle texture without removing your natural base texture.
10. Side Bangs
If you’re considering trying out a perm because you’re in it for the texture, ask your stylist to add short layers to your haircut. Side bangs will add even more depth and dimension.
11. Keep It Long
Loose waves are often paired with longer haircuts, but this look proves that tighter (yet still loose) curls also work. Incorporating some layers into your hairstyle will make the curls even bouncier because they won’t be weighed down!
12. Extra Large Curls
Alternatively, you can opt for large beautiful curls. This curl type is perfect for those who want a little texture without dealing with super curly strands. These large curls are glamorous, chic, and classic all at the same time.
13. Honey Blonde Curls
Draw attention to your gorgeous curls by coloring them in a light and vibrant honey blonde hue. This shade is perfect for adding warmth to your hair. Plus, it’s great for summertime.
14. Turned-In Curls
A perm style that incorporates curls that turn towards your face instead of away will help you achieve more of an Old Hollywood glam vibe. A deep side part is the perfect finishing touch of this retro glam style. Keep your curl defined and styled with the perfect cream like Suave Luscious Curls Curl Defining Cream, that will give you that dream bounce effect.
15. Frizzy (In a Good Way)
I think women everywhere breathed a collective sigh of relief when frizzy hair became an on-trend and socially acceptable styling option. Wear your loose perm long and natural to achieve this look.
16. Winter Ready
If it’s wintertime when you get your perm, consider pairing it with a dark gloss for a bold, warm hue. Keep your color fresh between touch-ups by using TRESemmé Gloss Dark Brunette Color Depositing Conditioner after shampooing. All you have to do is replace your regular conditioner with this product when your color needs a little bit of a re-fresh.
17. Curling Iron Curls
If you usually spend a significant part of your mornings with your curling iron then you’ll be thrilled when you get this perm. It’s an easy alternative to curling iron curls that give the exact same results.
This technique works on any hair length and will change up the look of your perm in an instant. Simply brush through your curls for an alternate texture. The results will be these 3-dimensional waves that have tons of dimension.
19. Subtle Highlights
Give your perm a slight upgrade by adding small glimmering highlights. Highlights will help add dimension and interest to your color and overall look! Talk to your stylist about choosing the right color to offer flattering dimension.
20. ‘S’ Curls
Ask your stylist for an ‘S’ curl perm and rock this jaw-dropping look for days. This curl pattern has gained so much popularity and can normally be achieved with a flat iron. Thanks to your loose perm, you won’t need to use heat to achieve the trendy ‘S’ curl.
21. Very Loose Perm Waves
A super-soft perm like this will add some texture and a hint of the wave to even the straightest hair. This type of perm truly works for any occasion! Wear the style in a deep side part to add instant volume at the roots and show off your new texture.
22. The Blonde Bob
A blonde bob is a chic way to add instant interest and style to any look. This classic look isn’t going anywhere for a very long time. These small-to-midsized curls will give your hair that “naturally curly” look.
23. The Perfect Curl
These medium-sized curls will make thick hair look even thicker and give your hair the perfect doll-like impression. Use a teasing comb to add volume, texture and dimension to your beautifully curly style.
24. Messy Blonde Bob
If you’re getting tired of a short style and are desperately waiting for it to grow out, then consider getting a loose perm to add some texture. This can help bring new life and interest into your hair while growing it out.
25. Flat-Brimmed Hat
Now that you’ve got the fab loose perm–why not give it a fun hair accessory? Flat-brimmed hats are a total vibe, they add a level of style but are still super casual. Trendy hats are a perfect way to accessorize your outfit and draw attention to your new texture.
26. Deep Side-Part
Add volume without any product by creating a deep side part. This is a great way to change how you frame your face, and looks stunning with some loose waves. These curls are loose enough to mimic soft waves in a more subtle style.
27. Caramel Infused
The rich, caramel color of your dreams paired with the curled style of your dreams. What more could you want in a look? These caramel hues are flattering on a range of skin tones and offer easy dimension to your look.
28. Copper-Orange Medium Perm
Go the extra mile with a copper-orange color that can’t be missed. This combo is wild and will make you look extra fierce! There’s nothing better than a fresh hair color paired with a new texture.
29. Scarf Headband
Show your loose perm off with a delicate scarf headband style. Soft curls go beautifully with hair accessories–you have an instantly put-together look with this combo! Like a hat, a headband is an easy way to accessorize.
30. Faded Pink Curls
If you’re also itching to add a wearable yet fun pop of color to your loose perm, why not go for a pink look? If you aren’t ready to take the plunge into a full head of pink hair, consider this dip-dyed ombré effect.
A micro bob is an intimidating cut to go for in the first place, but we promise you won’t regret adding a loose perm. These curls will ensure that you always have a good hair day and lots of volume.
32. Platinum Blonde Perm
When your loose perm has moved down to about halfway, give it some life by creating an ombré effect. This color placement renews the curl and will also make the ombré look fiery, all day, every day.
34. Almost Faded
As a loose perm’s fade is inevitable, there’s no need to be bummed. The last phase of your perm is a beautiful wavy texture. It’s very relaxed and gives you a beachy texture that can be hard to create on your own.
35. Loose Curl Perm for Long Hair
Adds a touch of romance and elegance to your strands with a loose curl perm. The gentle waves will enhance your lengths, creating a fabulous cascading effect. With the added volume and texture, try to experiment with a variety of hairstyles, from flowing loose waves to intricate updos.
36. Shoulder Length Loose Perm
A shoulder-length loose perm is a fantastic choice for those looking to add texture, body, and a touch of playfulness to their hair. This style creates soft, natural-looking waves that beautifully frame the face and accentuate your figure. The loose perm on shoulder-length hair offers a carefree and effortlessly chic aesthetic, allowing for easy styling and maintenance.
Whether you’re showing off a loose long curl or opt for a permed bob style, there are so many ways you can sport your loose curly strands.