How to Perm Red Hair

The size of the perm rods determines the size of your curls. The bigger the rod, the looser the curl.

Photo: Amos Morgan/Photodisc/Getty Images

Curls are all over today's fashion runways, magazines and billboards. Big, beautiful hair is back and if you weren't blessed with natural curls, perms are the ticket to transforming your hair. If your hair is naturally red, perming it is no different from perming any other hair color. On the other hand, if your fiery hair is dyed, you'll need to be a little gentler on your rosy tresses since color-treated hair is more susceptible to damage.


Treat your red locks to a deep conditioning hair mask twice a week one month prior to perming. This will prep your hair by strengthening it and replenishing lost moisture.


Brush out your tangles, then smear some petroleum jelly around your hairline. It feels a bit icky but the jelly protects your skin from harsh perm chemicals.


Open the perm kit. Kits include perm solution, neutralizer, papers, conditioner and plastic gloves. Read through the directions and get ready for some serious perming action.


Divide your hair into four sections with two in the front and two in the back. Clip each section up so you stay organized and tidy.


Use the tip of the rat-tail comb to slice out a 1-inch piece of hair from the front of your first section.


Fold a paper around the tip then mist it with water.


Place a perm rod horizontally across the papered tip. Roll the rod back away from your face, pulling on your hair as roll. When you get to your scalp, fasten the rod.


Continue rolling 1-inch sections of your hair back until all of your hair is tightly wound. Your arms will be exhausted by the end of this process but the results will be worth it.


Pull on the plastic gloves and soak each curler in perm solution. Saturate those strawberry locks completely, then let the perm solution process for the designated amount of time (about 20 minutes).


Rinse the perm solution from your hair, then squirt on the neutralizer. Soak each curler, then leave the neutralizer on for the instructed time (usually 6 to 8 minutes).


Unroll all of your perm rods, toss the papers and rinse out your cherry hair.


Smooth conditioner through your curls, leave it in for five minutes then rinse. Check out those gorgeous, auburn curls.

Things You'll Need



3.Hair perm kit for color-treated hair


7.Perm rods

2.Petroleum jelly

4.Hair clips

6.Water bottle

8.Plastic gloves


Tips & Tricks


Perms zap moisture out of your hair so restore shine to your tresses by applying a rich hair treatment once a week.


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