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:


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.


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.


Keep rolling.

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


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.


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. 


Carefully remove the rods.

Carefully remove each perm rod to reveal your curls.


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. 


Smooth your edges.

Use a clean toothbrush to smooth out your edges.


That's it!

Enjoy your voluminous and bouncy perm rod curls!

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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