How to Use Perm Rods On Natural Hair: A Step-by-Step Guide

We're obsessed with this classic hair curling technique.

Perm rods are an extremely popular tool used to curl natural hair. Made out of plastic and sometimes foam, they come in a variety of different colors and shapes that have a springy closure on one side to keep your hair in place. Wondering how to use perm rods on natural hair? It turns out it’s actually super easy to do!

From ringlets to bouncy curls, we love how you can create a variety of curls with these rods. In general, the bigger the perm rod, the bigger curl you’ll achieve. Another huge advantage is that this curling method doesn’t utilize any heat, which could mean less damage and dryness—always a plus when dealing with natural and curly textures, which tend to already be on the drier side.

Read on to discover how to use perm rods on natural hair to get some incredible bounce, definition, and volume:

Step 1

Start with your hair down.

Start with your hair down and separate your strands into several different sections (around 6 to 8), depending on the length and thickness. This will allow you to easily work through each one.

perm rods on natural hair start fresh
Step 2

Start rolling.

Grab a perm rod and start rolling small half-inch sections of hair, starting from the bottom row. Wrap your hair around the perm rod, working your way up from the ends of your hair to the roots, then secure the rod shut.

perm rods on natural hair roll
Step 3

Keep rolling.

Continue rolling each small section of hair and slowly work your way through all your hair.

perm rods on natural hair work through
Step 4

Work your way through your hair.

Work your way through all of your hair until all of your strands are rolled up in perm rods.

perm rods on natural hair finish rods
Step 5

Tie on a silk scarf.

Carefully tie a silk scarf or headwrap around your hair to keep the rods in place while you sleep. The silk scarf helps keep your strands smooth and frizz-free. Typically perm rods need 8-10 hours to set to achieve the tightest curl possible for your hair type. 

perm rods on natural hair silk scarf
Step 6

Carefully remove the rods.

Carefully remove each perm rod to reveal your curls.

perm rods on natural hair remove
Step 7

Run a serum through your curls.

Pump a dime-sized amount of Suave Professionals Define & Shine Serum Gel into your palm, warm the product up between your hands, and run your fingers through your curls to create more shine and add light hold. 

woman applying serum
Step 8

Smooth your edges.

Use a clean toothbrush to smooth out your edges.

perm rods on natural hair edges
Step 9

That's it!

Enjoy your voluminous and bouncy perm rod curls!

perm rods on natural hair finished look

With just serum and perm rods, you’ll be on your way to achieving gorgeously curly strands—and best of all, without any heat!

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