Can Naturally Curly Hair Be Permed?

Can naturally curly hair be permed?

Most of my waking hours I spent daydreaming about the beauty and fashion world. Nothing wild, just me walking down the catwalk and having all the eyes in the room staring at me! See, nothing spectacular! Just about what lots of girls my age dream about. In my mind, I see other models too and what they all have in common is the fact that they have great hair! I don’t know there is something about the hair that I find fascinating.

So, when I saw all the models in my mind walking down the catwalk with amazing hair, my mind starts wandering automatically into blog topics for me to write about (maybe this is weird, but it is what it is). So out of the blue, I thought: “Can naturally curly hair be permed?” 

Now I didn’t know the answer then, but that didn’t stop me from finding out… So, as soon as I stopped daydreaming I started searching on the web, and below is everything I found out. Let me take you with me in the wonderful world of naturally curly hair and perms… Because it’s a strange world and you will be amazed!

So, can naturally curly hair be permed? This depends on what you’re looking to do with your hair. Do you want to give your hair more definition and shape? Then go for it. Do you want a perm to make your curls less frizzy and more healthy? No, you can’t do that.

Can you get a perm if you have naturally curly hair?

Let me dive in a little deeper than the straight-up answer you just got from me. When you have naturally curly hair and you find that you lack definition, I think you have already thought of perming it. 

Now it is possible to perm your hair but this is not recommended or the magic solution to everything. If you want to give your hair some more shape and definition, you can go into your salon and ask for a permanent wave. This will work for you and make your curls stand out more.

Now, if you have thought about a perm to do something with your hair that is along the lines of “making it more manageable, less frizzy, and or even healthier, you’re one step away from ruining your hair.

This is because you’ll expose your hair to unnecessary chemicals. Something you can read more about here.

What curl types can be permed?

Have you ever walked in the city and see women with beautiful curls but the curls are all different? That is because there are many different types of curly hair. You can have wavy hair, curly hair, and kinky hair (also known as kinky curls. On top of that, you can also have different curl patterns and this is also a factor that you have to think about when deciding if a perm is right for you.

How to determine which is which?

Wavy hair: This is hair that is somewhere between straight and curls. This is the hair that is prone frizz and it shines a little bit more than curly hair.

Curly hair: These are the curls that I personally love the most! these curls have an S-shaped curl. Depending on the shape they can range from uppercase S to sometimes a Z type of shape.

Kinky curls: These are the type of curls that are the most fragile. But they are also very tight and look beautiful if you ask me.

But which curl types can be permed?

Now the question is, which one of the above an benefit from a perm. The curls that can benefit from a perm are the curly hair and the wavy hair. Both of these can benefit from it but the kinky curls do not.. And why? Because they are so fragile that the chemicals used in a perm can affect the kinky curls in such a way that you can damage the hair, weaken the strands, devoid it of moisture, and that all makes the hair prone to breakage. And if there’s one thing you don’t want it is breakage!

How much is a curly perm

Now that you know all this, you might be more interested than ever to try this (or if you have kinky curls you probably aren’t).

So, you might ask yourself what it costs to get this done in a salon.

Now of course the answer varies depending on the salon and the stylist you go to. Also, the amount of time that the hairstylists need to give you a curly perm is something that you have to take into consideration. However, I think that it is reasonable to say that you can expect it to cost anywhere from $30 to over $150. Again, this all depends on the salon, the stylist, the amount of time, and even where you live! I can only imagine that the price in New York City is a lot higher than the prices in an urban area (please correct me if I’m wrong!)

In general, you can say that those who pay more for their perms tend to have longer hair, which simply means that it is more work for the stylist.

Will a perm bring back curls?

The short answer to this is: yes. a perm would bring back the curls. But the longer answer to this starts with a question: do you want to do it this way? It is no secret that a perm will chemically alter your hair (you could read that in the section above). A perm will give you your curls back that is for sure, but it will also cause damage to your hair. This then means that your curls won’t act the way they did before. Also, perms require the same upkeep as hair color or maybe even more because they do more damage to the hair. So please, think about that also.

So why aren’t my curls the way they used to be?

There are a couple of reasons for this to happen. The first and foremost is that the hair can change as it grows longer. Coloring your hair may also be a reason why your curls aren’t as vibrant as they used to be. 

The other factors that you might include are physical health, medications, and illnesses. These are also things that can make your hair not as curly as it can be.

But what if the above does not apply to you? Then it might simply be time to consider a hair cut. Layering and texturing the hair removes the weight that might be holding you back from having the curly hair your want.

Does a perm make curly hair straight?

Now, what if you do not like the naturally curly hair you have… Can you make it straight again? The best possible way to give you the answer is with a story.

A friend of mine has curly hair and hated it when she grew up. She never knows what to do with it or how to take care of it properly. So, when she was in high school, she tried every trick there is in the book for getting your hair straight. She bought a hair relaxer but that didn’t work other than that I had half curly, half straight hair for the foreseeable future. Then she was so mad at it that I think a year later she would walk into a salon to ask if they could relax her hair but the refused because it would cost too much time and money. Besides the fact that I had to cut off almost half of my hair to make the process fruitful.

Years later she went for the permanent straightening method and this seemed to work for her! she finally went from curly hair to the straight hair she wanted so badly. For her, this means that she has to treat the hair carefully because the chemical process cause alteration to the hair strands, but for her, it is worth it. 

So yes a perm makes curly hair straight!

Is it recommended? I do not think so in the long term… I think it is better to try and love yourself as you are and embrace the curls you have! You might be jealous of people with straight hair, but don’t forget that there are people why are just as jealous when they look at you and they see beautiful curls.

If that isn’t a worthy life lesson I don’t know what it!


Today you learned a lot about if naturally, curly hair can be permed. You also learned that there are different kinds of curls and why sometimes the curls fade away and how to bring them back! I think the most important thing to remember from reading this is not all the information you just put in your head, but it is that you learn to love yourself! There’s always someone why wants to have something that you have and vice versa. Embrace your curls, take good care of them, and let everybody see how marvelous you are!

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