How Much Does a Perm Cost?

perm girl

When people think about getting a perm for the first time, they want to know one thing: how much does a perm cost? Here we will explore the various perm costs, so you can get an idea of what a perm will cost you, and which factors might affect that price.

When people think about getting a perm for the first time, they want to know one thing: how much does a perm cost? Here we will explore the various perm costs, so you can get an idea of what a perm will cost you, and which factors might affect that price.

Perm Prices Vary Between $60 to $250

The cost of a perm varies depending on the type of perm, where you live, and the salon you choose. A basic perm usually costs between $60 and $250, while more advanced perms can cost anywhere from $200 to $600. Digital perms and spiral perms are especially expensive because they’re very time-consuming services that involve placing numerous rods of different sizes in the hair.

Because there are so many factors involved, it’s difficult to predict exactly how much your perm will cost without seeing your hair first. In general, you can expect to pay around:

  • $60 for a basic salon perm
  • $100 for a digital or spiral perm
  • $400 for an express keratin treatment

What is Perm? How Does A Perm Work?

A perm is a chemical hair treatment that permanently changes your regular curl pattern into a new, curly look. The process works by using a perming solution to break the natural bonds of your hair. Once those bonds are broken, they can be rearranged into the new style you desire. This process is done by wrapping the hair around curlers or rods and applying a neutralizer once the perming solution has been left on for long enough to break down the bonds in your hair. To enhance and maintain this new look, you may need to use other relaxers or curl solutions such as Jheri curls.

Some Factors Can Raise Or Lower The Price

With any service, there are a few factors that affect the final perm price:


The location of your salon can make a big impact on the cost. Salons in large metropolitan areas such as New York City or Los Angeles will charge more than salons in smaller towns. Salons in trendy neighborhoods may also be more expensive.

Higher-End Salons Charging More

The salon you choose to get your perm at will affect the price. This is mostly because higher-end salons are more expensive than lower-end salons. The same perm with the same perm solution will cost more at a higher-end salon. This is not to say that the service provided at a higher-end salon is better, but there will be more amenities and nicer surroundings, which makes it worth it for some people.

Stylist’s Experience

You’ll pay more at an upscale salon with a stylist who has extensive experience with perms and hair coloring. If you want to save money, consider asking for an apprentice or new graduate working under supervision at a reputed salon.

Type of Perm

There are different types of perms, and each type comes with its costs. For example, body waves and root perm cost less than spiral perms and pin curls do. The length of your hair will also affect the price—it’s usually cheaper to get a perm on shorter hair because it takes less time to curl it. Curly hair is typically more difficult to work with so it will cost you more than straight hair would even if the length is the same on both heads of hair.

The Type of Product

The type of product used during the perm affects the total cost. Permanent wave treatments that use natural products tend to be more expensive than those using synthetic ingredients. However, natural products are less likely to cause damage and are better for your hair and scalp. Some of these natural products include avocado oil, coconut oil, jojoba oil, olive oil, and shea butter.

Hair Length

The length and thickness of your hair could also impact the price. If you want a perm on long hair, this will cost more than shorter hair because your stylist will need to use more products and curl more strands. The same goes for if you have thicker hair — your stylist will have to use more chemical solutions and rollers to achieve curly locks. If you have both long and thick hair, your cost will likely be higher as well.

If you’re looking for ways to cut costs, consider getting a haircut or trim before going in for a perm.

Hair Condition

Damaged or colored hair requires extra care to ensure that your perm lasts long without causing further damage. This may add additional costs to your service as well as needing extra products like deep conditioning treatments or leave-in conditioners before getting your perm done which can add up over time.

Hair Color

If your hair is colored or highlighted, it’s more expensive to perm it. It’s not recommended to get a permanent wave on dyed hair because the chemicals are already harsh and further chemical treatment will damage the hair.

There are two types of perms. A cold perm (also referred to as an acid perm) uses sodium hydroxide, which is gentler than ammonium thioglycolate in an alkaline perm. Alkaline perms last longer but are harsher on your hair than acid perms.

Some stylists won’t perform a perm on dyed or bleached hair because of the risk of damaging the cuticle and causing breakage. If you do find one who will, this service will be significantly more expensive because of the extra time required for processing and adding treatments afterward. For example, if you have shoulder-length red hair that costs $100 to dye at a supercuts salon, they may charge around $250 for an acid perm instead of the normal rate of around $150.

perm on brown hair

Perm Cost by Type

A perm is a service that can be used on many different parts of the body, but I’ll be talking about the most common one: your hair. When you have a perm, a stylist will apply an unprocessed chemical to your hair and then wash and dry it. The result is that your hair appears to have grown longer. Instead of having more hair, your scalp has shed and locked in what it had previously so you end up with fewer hairs on your head, but they look longer.

The type of perms you choose depends on how much damage the chemicals could potentially do to your hair. Below are some of the different kinds of perms.

Body wave perm

Resting somewhere between a traditional perm and a beachy wave, body wave perms cost $60 to $250. This modern twist on the classic perm improves upon its predecessor by using less damage to give hair loose, natural waves. The softer look of a body wave is achieved thanks to the larger curling rods used during the chemical process, which curl more strands at once with less force. That said, if your hair is fine or thin, you may need additional styling products and tools to maximize your new curls’ longevity.

Spiral perm

A spiral perm is most common for long hair, but it can also be done on short hair. It results in a tighter curl than a regular perm (which typically has the look of small ocean waves).

Spiral perms can either be done with a curling iron or using a perm rod. If you’re doing it yourself, the latter method may be more cost-effective, but there’s no guarantee that your curls will come out looking professional if you don’t have experience.

Depending on what kind of chemicals you use and how much your stylist charges, getting a spiral perm at the salon costs between $80 and $150 on average. The price varies depending on whether or not you want to use the neutralizer included in many ready-to-use kits: when choosing to purchase your own chemical products separately, the total cost including services (but not tips) may be closer to $200.

Stack or multi-textured perm

A multi-textured, or “stack,” perm is a type of combination perm. This technique combines the loose curls of a body wave perm with the tighter curls of a spiral perm to achieve multiple curl patterns and more volume and texture. The stack perm typically costs between $60 and $150.

Volumizing perm

A volumizing perm gives hair volume and thickness. It’s good for fine, long, or thick hair. The average cost is $100 to $200, depending on the length and type of hair.

Root perm

You can save a little money by only perming the roots of your hair. Root perms cost between $60 and $100 on average, so you should expect to pay about 20% less than you would for a full head perm. A root perm is also a good option if you have short hair or newly-grown-out highlights. This type of perm is less damaging to your hair because it uses smaller curlers, and creates more natural-looking results.

Spot or partial perm

Second, a spot or partial perm usually costs between $30 and $60. This type of perm is great for women who prefer to wear their hair in an updo because it offers a lift to a specific section of hair without making the whole head curly. It’s also great for people with thin hair or naturally curly hair who want to enhance curls, as well as anyone looking to add dimension and body to their style without losing length. The spot perm can also be used to create a side part, which may be all you need if you have fine hair that tends to lie flat.

Straight perm

A straight perm is not the same thing as a keratin treatment, which is a semi-permanent hair smoothing treatment. A straight perm is a permanent chemical treatment that lasts six to eight months and can be used to permanently straighten curly hair or create a wavy look. The average cost of this chemical treatment ranges from $60-$200 depending on the amount of your hair.

Digital perm

A digital perm is a modern take on perms that creates uniform curls, even in hard-to-curl hair. Digital perms are different from regular perms both in technique and cost: they’re more precise, require more attention to detail, and therefore can be more expensive.

The stylist will start by washing your hair and then applying a neutralizer. Once your hair has been thoroughly dried with a blow dryer (so it protects the scalp from heat), the curling rods are attached using clips and wires to ensure that the rods stay in place while they heat up. Each rod is heated for about eight seconds—enough time to make sure every strand of hair gets heated—and then removed after roughly 10 seconds. You might smell the ammonia as the stylists work; this is normal because it’s one of the chemicals used to trigger curls in straight hair. When all the rods have been removed, your stylist will wash out your hair and apply styling products for protection against heat damage before blow-drying it again.

Finally, you’ll be able to get a trim so that any dead ends can be cut off to help preserve your new style; if you’d rather not have your ends trimmed, let your stylist know at least two weeks beforehand so they can adjust their pricing accordingly!

The price varies depending on where you go but generally ranges between $300-$500 at salons across America (and can even go as high as $1000). It’s important that when getting this type of service done by someone other than yourself or someone close enough not only trust them completely with creating such permanent changes but also pay close attention during each step so nothing goes wrong.

long hair perm

Perm Cost by Hair Length

There are a few factors that determine the cost of a perm. The first is the length of your hair. Short hair (shoulder length or shorter) costs $60-$120, while medium-length hair (shoulder to mid-back) costs $75-$125. Longer hair (mid-back to waist) costs $100-$150 and up.

If you’re interested in getting a perm, make sure you research reputable salons and stylists in your area so you can get an idea of what they charge for perms and other services.

Things to Consider Before Getting a Perm

There are a few things to consider before getting a perm that can affect the final cost of your treatment. If you have fine or damaged hair, then you may want to skip the perm because it won’t give you good results and could cause further damage. On the other hand, if you have naturally curly hair already, then you may also not want to get a perm so that it doesn’t look unnatural. Both of these cases would save you money and time on treatments that don’t work for your hair’s condition. There are also different types of perms available in general, so depending on your budget and goals, that could affect how much money you end up spending as well.

Perm Maintenance

In the most basic sense, hair is an extension of your face. And if you have long hair, that means you’ll need to take care of it regularly. It’s important to keep up with your routine upkeep, and at a salon, trimming can cost anywhere from $25-$100 depending on your stylist’s skill level and time spent on you (the more she spends on brushing out your cut ends, the more she’ll charge). But while cash is something we always have to think about when it comes to maintaining our personal appearance, there are other ways we can save by keeping our hair healthy—and in turn, save money. Here are some of the best tips for keeping long hair healthy:

  • Avoid heat styling tools. Heat styling tools can damage the health of your hair and give it a frizzy appearance in no time flat. The best way to style wavy or curly hair is with “3-strand air drying,” which allows your strands to dry naturally and straighten themselves out over time, rather than using heat styling tools that flatten them out and make them look like they’ve been rolled through a sausage grinder.
  • Do not use products with alcohol in them. Alcohol-based products strip moisture from your strands, which causes split ends and weak spots in the natural structure of your strands. Your stylist will often recommend using products without alcohol so that you do not end up with dry ends or split ends.
  • If you swim or go into pools frequently, avoid using any kind of sulfate shampoo-based products that contain ammonium sulfate because these chemicals inhibit natural protein production in natural oils found throughout the body (including serum proteins), causing protein loss which leads to breakage within 6 weeks as demonstrated by studies conducted at academic institutions.
blonde perm

How long does a perm last?

If you are taking proper care of your permed hair, a perm can last up to 6 months. The better the quality of your original hair, the longer your perm will last. If you have dry or damaged hair going into the perm process, likely, your perm will not last as long. Hair that has been exposed to regular heat styling will break down the curl pattern faster than healthy, well-conditioned hair.

It is recommended that you wait at least two months before getting a second perm.

Perm Alternatives

A major factor in your decision to get a perm should be whether you are willing to commit to the maintenance required. If you’re not ready for this commitment, some alternatives can give you the look of a perm without the long-term effects.

  • Consider getting a hair straightening treatment instead of a perm. The results of this treatment last longer than a perm and won’t damage your hair.
  • Try a keratin treatment. This is another alternative that will help smooth your hair, giving it more body than it had before.
  • Use a flat iron or a curling iron on occasion for further styling options.
  • Consider other hairstyles that may suit you better than permed hair and consult your stylist if needed.

Final Words

If you are thinking about getting a perm, it is important to know that several variables can raise or lower the price of your perm. The cost of any service typically depends on how long your hair is and how much hair you need to curl. Typically, the longer your hair is, the more expensive a permanent will be. As far as other factors that can raise or lower the cost of perming your hair, consider whether or not you want chemicals added to the curling process – they will often add a few dollars to the final bill. Also, some perms use rollers while others use rods; understand that using more time-consuming methods can bring up the price you pay for your perm.

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