For women with flat hair that doesn’t have much body, a service to build waves or curls transforms her look. A perm also called a permanent wave, uses heat and chemical to change your hair structure into waves and curls.
The style remains for a few months, hence the name “permanent.” With the right treatment and care for your new style, you will love your new look for months to come!
Welcome to our gallery featuring many perm hairstyles for women. Also, check out our top shampoo picks for permed hair here.
The singer attended the 2012 Teen Nickelodeon HALO Awards with this carefree and confident hairstyle filled with honey-colored thick and bouncy curls.
At the world premiere of “Love & Other Drugs” last November 4, 2010, Michelle Monaghan attended with her thick and curly dark hair, tossed a little bit for extra volume and texture to match her black satin dress.
A glamorous Hailee Steinfeld arrives at the KIIS FM’s Jingle Ball 2018 last November 30th in a V-neck sequin dress paired with black boots. She had her locks in big, defined curls that bounce all the way her shoulders.
Hayden Panettiere looked gorgeous in a white lace dress paired with a stunning sapphire necklace. It was completed with a voluminous wavy hair that she wore at the VH1 Big in ’06 Awards on December 02, 2006.
The actress attended the 2009 Spike TV Guys Choice Awards last May 30, 2009, sporting a shoulder-length hair in beach wave curls. She finishes the look with charming earrings and a sequin dress with see-through sleeves.
Malin Akerman had a short and curly hairstyle that resulted to this gorgeous golden afro look during The Art of Elysium Ninth Annual Heaven Gala last January 9, 2016.
Malin Akerman’s colorful sheer dress was complemented by her tousled curly blond hair when she attended the Rampage film premiere last April 11, 2018 at the Cineworld, Leicester Square.
Nicole Scherzinger slayed a permed hairstyle showcasing her full black hair in defined curls at the National Television Awards 2013 last January 23rd. She paired it with a gorgeous black dress and layered gold necklaces.
Freida Pinto’s dark hair was styled into this curly and loose sexy look at the ‘Miral’ Premiere last October 18, 2010, in Leicester Square London, England.
Demi Moore sported a center-parted permed hair with defined curls during the 2007/2008 Chanel Cruise Show Presented by Karl Lagerfeld last May 18, 2007. She complemented it with a classy chic outfit showcasing a white button-down topped with a plaid blazer and layered necklace.
The actress was seen at talk show appearance for The Late Show with David Letterman last March 24, 2019, wearing Tom Ford sunglasses and a gorgeous curly hairstyle that shines along her cheerful aura.
Rachel Bilson looked charming in a blue dress paired with Amrapali earrings that she wore during the 2008 TEEN CHOICE AWARDS on August 3, 2008. The look was completed with a permed hairstyle that’s center-parted.
Jessie J opted for a rocker chic look for the Q magazine Awards 2001 last October 24, 2011, at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London. She wore her black leather jacket paired with a voluminous curly shoulder-length hair parted at the side.
Jessie J’s stunning sheer red outfit is paired with this vintage curly hairstyle that exudes sophistication last February 21, 2012 for the Brit Awards 2012 at the O2 arena in London.
Nikki Reed had her brunette locks permed during the Teen Vogue’s 10th Annual Young Hollywood Party at Private Location on September 27, 2012. The look was completed with a black top and white blazer paired with a layered necklace.
Charlize Theron looked charming in a floral dress paired with a permed hairstyle that’s side-parted. This look was worn during the Focus Features Luncheon And Studio Program Celebrating 15 Years held on March 29, 2017.
Kunis had loose big curls complemented with highlights that go well with her red dress that is simply glamorous at the 17th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards last January 30, 2011.
Last November 7, 2015, Actress Salma Hayek Pinault was at the 2015 LACMA Art+Film Gala at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. She paired her thick curly hair with a bright bubble gum pink dress.
Salma Hayek was at the 2018 Palm Springs International Film Festival Gala last January 2, 2018, in Palm Springs. She channeled her quirky side with a sweet and fun green dress topped with loose and tousled curly hair.
Miranda Kerr portrays her sexy side with her sleek nightdress and bouncy curls during the photocall ‘CLEAR, NECHEGO SKRIVAT’ at the event of the Clear on June 15, 2015.
Paris Hilton looked stunning in a floral see-through dress that she wore during the amfAR Gala Cannes 2018 at Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc on May 17, 2018. She paired it with her short blonde tresses beautifully curled and side-parted.
Cameron Diaz paired her sexy red dress with a loosely curled hairstyle that was tousled for extra volume. She wore this look last January 10, 2011, for the “Green Hornet” Premiere at Grauman’s Chinese Theater.
The talented singer Gwen Stefani was in attendance for the LAMB Fall/Winter 2010 Collection Fashion Show, MILK Studios in New York last February 11, 2010. She was edgy in her black leather outfit complemented by her highlighted curly hair.
Gwen Stefani attended ‘The Tree Of Life’ premiere during the 64th Annual Cannes Film Festival at Palais des Festivals last May 16, 2011, in Cannes, France. She paired her gorgeous black sheer dress with a vintage curly blond hair.
Jennifer Aniston showing off her permed beach waves paired with a black printed dress during the 4th Annual Patron of the Artists Awards on November 7, 2019.
Alyssa Milano arrived at the Showtime Emmy Eve Nominee Party on September 16, 2018, with soft, defined curls complemented with natural-looking makeup and a ruffle dress.
On April 23, 2011, Julia Roberts arrived for the premiere of “Jesus Henry Christ” at the 2011 Tribeca Film Festival with soft highlighted curls paired with a black coat.
Sandra Bullock wore her hair slick and center-parted at the top and curly down the ends at the Women In Film 2015 Crystal + Lucy Awards back in June 16, 2015.
Gwyneth Paltrow styled her short blonde locks with sleek, defined curls at the INSIDE-The Breast Cancer Research Foundation Annual Spring Gala Benefit The Hottest Pink Party Ever on April 8, 2008.
Blake Lively still looked chic and classy despite her pregnant belly when she was seen in New York back in 2016. She wore a sexy short dress that paired well with her long curly sandy blond hair.
Blake Lively attended the premiere of “Pokemon Detective Pikachu” in Times Square last May 2, 2019. She wore an elegant and sexy canary yellow dress that suits her long curly highlighted hair quite well.
Singer Britney Spears flaunted her sandy blonde permed hair at the 2008 MTV Video Music Awards held at Paramount Pictures Studio last September 7th.
On February 6, 2014, Gigi Hadid walked the runway during the Desigual fall 2014 fashion show at New York Mercedes – Benz Fashion Week. Her hair was a vintage half up curly hairstyle.
Gigi Hadid walked the runway at the Michael Kors fashion show during New York Fashion Week on February 13, 2019, in New York City. Hadid’s Hair was styled with a curly loose finish and fitted with a quirky headdress.
On August 1, 1999, supermodel Tyra Banks flashed her brilliant smile that complemented her long and curly side-swept hair decorated with a flower at the 1999 Teen Choice Awards in Santa Monica where she won for Teen Choice Model.
Tyra Banks’ medium-length curly hair was perfectly tousled and toned to pair with her colorful outfit at the Cosmopolitan’s Fun Fearless Phenom Awards, Hearst Tower in New York on September 15, 2008.
Kelly Osbourne flaunted her black permed hair with headband during The Queen’s Birthday Ball for Perez Hilton on March 23, 2007 at West Hollywood, Los Angeles, California.
The singer overflowed with posh and class during the TIME 100 Most Influential People in the World Annual Gala held on May 4, 2010. She wore a black tube dress paired with her long blonde curls.
On July 17, 2013, Selena Gomez attended The 2013 ESPY Awards held at the Nokia Theatre L.A. Live in Los Angeles, CA. She wore a lovely red dress that complemented her long, layered and wavy hair with highlights.
Actress Emma Watson walked the red carpet for the world premiere of “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban” on May 23, 2004, at Radio City Music Hall in New York City. She wore a lovely strapless gray dress to pair with her curly and layered side-swept hair.
Kim Kardashian exhibited a sultry aura with her brunette side-swept curls at the 2012 Clive Davis Pre-Grammy Party at the Beverly Hilton Hotel last February 11, 2012.
Scarlett Johansson wore her highlighted long hair in a side-swept hairstyle that has tight curls at the tips at the Los Angeles premiere of ‘Vicky Cristina Barcelona’ held at the Mann Village Theater in Westwood on August 8, 2008.
Beyonce looked gorgeous in a sheer gown that she paired with her long voluminous waves at the DREAMGIRLS New York Premiere held on December 4, 2006.
Angelina Jolie wore a black Loro Piana coat at The Broadcast Film Critics Association, BFCA, 13th Annual Critics’ Choice Awards in Santa Monica Civic Auditorium, Los Angeles on January 07, 2008. She paired this with a tousled dark hairstyle with vintage curls at the tips.
Kristen Bell paired her white floral dress with a tousled wavy hairstyle at the Los Angeles premiere of “This Is Where I Leave You” on September 15, 2014.
Director Natalie Portman attended the Eve photocall at the Piazzale del Casino during the 65th Venice Film Festival on September 2, 2008, in Venice, Italy. She wore a simple black outfit that complements her medium length loose and tousled curly hairstyle with bangs.
Kate Hudson was quite stunning in her golden sequined dress and long wavy hairstyle that has layers and subtle highlights at the LACMA Art + Film Gala at LA County Museum of Art on November 5, 2011, in Los Angeles, CA.
On March 2, 2009, Vanessa Hudgens attended the US premiere of “Watchmen” at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, Hollywood. Her colorful floral outfit paired perfectly well with her long and loose wavy raven hairstyle with layered bangs.
The young actress Demi Lovato was at the TWILIGHT Premiere held at the Mann Village and Bruin Theaters in Los Angeles, CA on November 17, 2008. She wore a simple white dress with her medium-length curly highlighted hairstyle with bangs.
Reese Witherspoon attended the Warner Brothers 2015 Presentation at Cinemacon at the Caesars Palace on April 21, 2015, in Las Vegas CA. She wore a stunning purple dress with her tousled and wavy shoulder-length blond hairstyle with layers.
Carrie Underwood styled her long curls with a half updo and side bangs during the 2007 Sony/BMG Grammy After Party on February 11, 2007.
Christina Aguilera matched her two-toned curls with smokey eyes during the 30th Annual American Music Awards on January 13, 2003.
Michelle Rodriguez complements her long, jet black waves with full bangs during the Los Angeles premiere of her new movie “Avatar” on December 16, 2009.
Keira Knightley wore a Chanel dress at the 32nd Annual Toronto International Film Festival in Elgin Theatre VISA Screening Room, Toronto on September 10, 2007. She paired her dress with a shoulder-length loose, tousled wavy dark brown hairstyle with layers.
Ariana Grande gathered her long, twisted curls into a half updo while her bangs are twisted and pinned on one side during the 2013 Wango Tango concert produced by KIIS-FM held on May 11, 2013.
Penelope Cruz with her voluminous, shoulder-length curls at the 44th New York Film Festival during the screening of Volver on October 7, 2006.
Ashley Benson was at the “Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 1” World Premiere at Nokia Theater at LA Live on November 14, 2011, in Los Angeles, CA. She wore a lovely black dress to go with her long, wavy and layered sandy blond hair with a tousled and loose finish.
On March 23, 2013, Victoria Justice attended Nickelodeon’s 26th Annual Kids’ Choice Awards at the Galen Centre, Los Angeles. She came in a colorful dress that she paired with her medium-length wavy brunette hairstyle with layers and long bangs.
Sarah Hyland was at the TV Guide Magazine’s Hot List Party at the SLS Hotel, Beverly Hills on November 10, 2009. She wore a gray jacket to pair with her long and loose tousled curly hairstyle with layers.
Chloe Grace Moretz attended the ‘Suspiria’ photocall during the 75th Venice Film Festival at Sala Casino on September 1, 2018, in Venice, Italy. She wore a black casual outfit to pair with her layered and highlighted sandy blonde hairstyle with waves.
Rose Byrne attended the G’Day USA Gala 2018 on January 27, 2018, in Los Angeles, CA. She was seen wearing a sheer dress with her shoulder-length tousled and layered brunette hairstyle with side-swept bangs.
Milla Jovovich attended the Spike Tv’s ‘Scream 2008’ held at the Greek Theatre in Hollywood, CA on October 18, 2008. She came wearing a black strapless dress with her long and curly brunette hairstyle incorporated with a ribbon and side-swept bangs.
Christina Ricci attended Sneak Peek of The Smurfs 2 at the 2013 Tribeca Film festival at BMCC on April 27, 2013, in New York. She was stunning in a black and white dress that she paired with a medium-length brunette hairstyle with big curls.
Shailene Woodley was at the 8th Teen Vogue Young Hollywood Party – Red Carpet at Paramount Studios on October 1, 2010 in Los Angeles, CA. She paired her lovely pink dress with a long and wavy brunette hairstyle with layers.
Aubrey Plaza was at the 2018 MTV Movie And TV Awards at the Barker Hangar on June 16, 2018, in Santa Monica, CA. She was charming in a gold-detailed dress that she paired with her medium-length brunette hairstyle with spiral curls and layers.
Brittany Snow was at The Trevor Project’s “Cracked Xmas 9” Benefit at The Wiltern LG in Los Angeles, California on December 3, 2006. She wore a floral black dress with her shoulder-length tousled and curly blonde hairstyle that has subtle highlights.
Actress Emily Browning was at the December 12, 2004 world premiere, in Hollywood, of her new movie Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events. She wore a charming beige dress with her long and curly brunette hairstyle that has layers and long side-swept bangs.
Jennifer Hudson attended the 2009 Angel Ball on October 20, 2009 in New York City. She came wearing a black dress with her long and curly raven hairstyle with long side-swept bangs.
Emma Roberts attended the 2007 Kids’ Choice Awards at UCLA in Los Angeles, California on March 31, 2007. She wore a sequined dress with her long and layered curly brunette hairstyle that has long side-swept bangs.
Zooey Deschanel was at the 2014 Vanity Fair Oscar Party on March 2, 2014, in West Hollywood, California. She paired her stunning floral strapless dress with a tousled curly brunette hairstyle with blunt bangs.
Amy Adams attended the premiere of ‘Nocturnal Animals’ during the 73rd Venice Film Festival on September 2, 2016, in Venice, Italy. She wore an elegant gown with her long and layered red hair side-swept with waves on her shoulder.
Maggie Gyllenhaal attended the International Jury press conference during the 67th Berlinale International Film Festival Berlin at Grand Hyatt Hotel on February 9, 2017 in Berlin, Germany. She wore a black floral dress with her medium-length curly and highlighted hairstyle that is loose and tousled.
Mitchell looks stunning with her long and loose, flirty tousled waves at the Made Here exhibit preview on June 14, 2017.
Jennifer Garner at the 10th Chrysalis Butterfly Ball on June 11, 2011, with her thick and bouncy curls paired with a black tube dress.
The actress had her curls swept to the side during the LACMA 2013 Art and Film Gala. She looked so fine and feminine with this hairstyle and her shimmering night dress.
A. 11 Types of Perms
When you look at women with natural curls, it is easy to see there are all kinds of curls. Hairdressers can mimic particular looks especially if you bring in a photo of the look you want to recreate for yourself.
Below are examples of different types of curls and waves that can be created with various types of perms. Not all photos below necessarily are of permed hair – but instead, serve as examples of what perms may achieve.
See our dedicated article explaining the different types of perms here.
1. Natural-Looking Perm
The natural-looking perm is exactly what it sounds like. It is supposed to be a perm that looks as though your hair were naturally wavy. Katherine Langford achieves a simplistic elegance here with her voluptuous yet regal dark brown waves. A black lace bodice that is half see-through compliments her sultry look.
2. Body Wave Perm
Vanessa Hudgens stuns on the red carpet by showing off her body wave perm full of volume, texture, and luscious raven waves. She finishes the look with a pink low V-neck dress and ocean-inspired accessories.
3. Spiral Perm
Susie Castillio has a spiral perm, which has tight brown curls of different sizes and lengths. From root to tip, hair should be 8 inches long to pull off this look. She stuns in a simple black dress with thick silvery straps.
4. Pin Curl Perm
Lily Collins sports a pin curl perm here in her chocolate brown hair, which can be easily replicated by using plastic clips and endpaper. You may also be able to achieve root lift with this type of perm. Lily executes this look by wearing a Roaring 20s-style dress with black lace, partially see-through bodice and shiny silver hemming.
5. Spot Perm
Anne Hathaway exudes gracefulness with this auburn spot perm, which is meant to add bounce, curls, and body–not to mention increase fullness and give her a more predictable, even curl. Anne looks absolutely stunning in this off-white dress with sleeves and an off-white lace bodice.
6. Partial Perm
Daveigh Chase looks elegant in this black-hemmed, brown bohemian hobo-style shirt, sporting a light brown, partial perm–which curls only the ends of her hair.
7. Root Perm
Selena Gomez has a dark brown root perm, which is meant to lift the hair at the root only. She is wearing a black dress with a stylish yet simple gold chain and accompanying charm.
8. Volumizing Perm
Jessica Alba looks stunning with this light brown-cum-auburn perm that makes her hair look luscious and larger in size. She finishes the look with a white bandeau top, a light green skirt, and neon orange nails.
9. Multi-Textured Perm
Ashlee Simpson wears this multi-layered look well with a sleeveless black dress, the curls in her bleach blonde perm different sizes.
10. Stack Perm
Blake Lively looks simply ravishing in this sleeveless black dress with a golden blonde and auburn stack perm–which displays soft, layered curls for a natural look.
11. Beach Wave Perm
Aly Michalka looks absolutely stunning in this black and beige dress, framing her medium blonde beach wave perm–which allows soft, loose waves at the mid-lengths and at the ends of her hair.
B. Best Haircuts for Permed Hair
1. Voluminous Waves with Side-Swept Bangs
Stana Katic has a lovely light brown, mid-length cut here that not only has huge waves but has her bangs combed off to the side. This look frames her face, while she stuns in a white, low V-neck patterned dress.
2. Carefree Curls
Tori Kelly has a bit of a root lift here with her shoulder-length, blonde flyaway curls, here–wearing a gray tee with a black, teal-sequined jacket–accessorizing with a black-and-gold necklace which says, “Love.”
Amanda Stenberg sports an effortlessly classic, raven, shoulder-length afro–while wearing a blue shirt with a red collar which is accompanied by a suede jacket of beige, light brown, auburn, and dark brown tones.
4. High Ponytail
Zendaya exudes beauty in this multi-colored jumpsuit, wearing dangling hoop earrings and a high ponytail that shows off her dark brown, wavy, waist-length hair.
5. Retro Look
Amber Heard wows in this bleached blonde, wavy, longer ‘do that is accentuated by her fire engine red lipstick and blue eyes. Wearing a white, sleeveless, collared top with a pocket on the left breast, Amber looks like she is having a throwback to the 1950s with this classic retro look. She also wears golden earrings.
6. Dyed Curls
Amanda Stenberg looks absolutely ravishing in this simply cut, sleeveless black dress with a golden decolletage accented by a flower made of one darker green stone surrounded by several light green stones. She sports a ‘do with long, dyed grayish curls.
Benefits of Getting a Permanent Wave
Getting this chemical application on your hair is a serious change you should consider seriously. This is because your style holds for months and in some cases, texturizes your hair for a longer period.
If you are thinking about this look, the benefits include:
- Giving you a boost of confidence and making your hair look better
- Adding volume to your hair
- Decreasing the amount of styling you need to do on a daily basis
- Enhancing the natural texture of your hair
- Letting your hair air dry rather than having to blow drying
Can Your Hair Be Permed?
Unfortunately, you cannot perm all hair. The chemicals do not work when your hair has been recently colored or chemically treated.
Damaged hair does not do well with this treatment because your hair needs to be in good condition to come out well. Simply ask the stylist at your salon if this is a viable styling option for your specific hair texture, style, and condition.
Perms Are Making a Comeback
When you think of a perm, it isn’t like the style that was popular in the 80s. Thanks to better chemical processes and innovations in rollers, perms aren’t the Oliva Newton-John look you may have in your head.
Your hair does not require tight curls but may incorporate a wave, bend, or texture. The size of the rod used directly correlates with the curling result you get. Even the ‘beachy’ look can be obtained with this type of treatment.