Spiral Perms vs Regular Perms: What’s The Difference?

Spiral Perms vs Regular Perms

Having straight hair does not have to mean having boring hair and being stuck repeating the same straight hairstyles day in and out, perming your hair is an amazing way to switch up your hairstyle game if you have straight hair or you straighten hair often.

Perming gives you beautiful, full, and bouncy curls that could last as long as six months with the right care tips being followed.

The main difference between spiral perms and regular perms is simply the curls themselves. Spiral perms give your hair a greater volume thereby giving you a loose and natural curl appearance while regular curls will also increase the volume of your hair, but you get uniform curls and creates waves that are the same size and shape.

Perms which are also known as permanent waves have been a hairstyle that has been adored for decades. Perms are a reliable way to get long-lasting curls, these curls are activated with the use of chemical hair products that hold your hair in place while the styling irons are put in and taken out of your hair.

Perms can be done in different styles and using different techniques, two of which are regular perms and spiral perms.

These perming styles are amongst the most popularly done styles and it is only natural that questions about their differences arise from time to time, here we’ll be answering those questions satisfactorily.

What is a spiral perm?

Spiral perm / Pinterest.
Spiral perm / Pinterest.

A spiral perm is a perming style that is done by using long styling rods placed vertically in the hair to achieve right or lose curls depending on a person’s preference.

This type of perm is best suited for shoulder length or longer hair as it would look fuller and it would be easier for the stylist to curl it as opposed to shorter hair lengths.

What is a regular perm?

Regular perms are the original style of perming that we all know or think of when we hear perms.

Regular / Wavy Perm. Inscape Beauty Saloon.
Regular / Wavy Perm. Inscape Beauty Salon.

Regular perms have more loose and natural-looking curls than spiral perms, they are done by using styling rods of different sizes positioned horizontally to achieve curls.

A regular perm would look great on any hair length and sometimes more appealing on shorter hair because of how the curls gather and look absolutely adorable.

What are the differences between spiral perm and regular perm?

If you’re having a quiet inner struggle or voicing out your confusion on whether to get a regular or spiral perm, knowing the difference and which amongst them would be best suited for your hair length or hair type is the best way to go about making a final decision.

Below are the differences between spiral perms and regular perms to help you make an informed decision ;

1. Spiral perms and regular perms have different curl patterns

Spiral perms and regular perms are both hairstyles that are known for making the hair appear curlier than usual.

However, the curl patterns that a spiral perm and a regular perm give off are completely different, it is these difference in curls that is the major determinant when comparing spiral and regular perms.

With regular perms, all the curls appear to be identical in length, shape, and size while spiral perms have curls that are not identical, they are different in length, shape, and size. For spiral perms, you can decide what type of curls you would like for your hair since it can be done to achieve different types of curls.

2. Spiral perms and regular perms have different hair length requirements

For your hair to be suitable for a regular perm, the length doesn’t matter as much as it would for a spiral perm. With just two to three inches of long hair, you can get a regular perm easily and you would love the results. However, for spiral curls, you need reasonably long hair for the best results.

You would need more than 2-3 inches long hair for a good spiral perm, the least required length for a good spiral perm is 8 inches. If you have long hair and you want to try out a spiral perm you’re in luck because they look even better on longer hair.

Lily Collins Perm Hairstyle

3. Spiral perms and regular perms improve your hair volume differently

Curly hairstyles always give the hair more volume when done especially if you have naturally straight hair. The volume increase in your hair when you get a regular perm or a spiral perm also varies considerably.

Regular perms give you curls that make your hair feel and appear fuller and though it increases the volume of your hair, spiral curls give your hair way more volume.

If your reason for getting a perm is for your hair to be fuller than usual, you should go for spiral perms because they give voluminous curls and your hair appears long, full, healthy, and bouncy.

4. Spiral perms and regular perms are done using different techniques and styling tools

A major difference between spiral perms and regular perms is the techniques and styling tools that are used to achieve them.

A spiral perm is made using long rods that are wrapped around the hair strands in a vertical way then a chemical solution is applied to the hair so that the curls being formed stay in place even after the rods are taken out, your curls will look uneven and full when the process is completed.

A regular perm on the other hand is done by putting the hair in rods in a horizontal way instead and the rods are made to lay flat against your head, hair products are also added to make sure the curls form and stay in place after the rods are removed.

Image: AllThingsHair. Spiral Perm

5. Spiral perms and regular perms vary in terms of price

Spiral perms and regular perms have different procedures which means they would not cost the same to get done in a saloon. Spiral perms are more complicated than regular perms and they also take a longer time to get done.

Your stylist will have to wrap your hair in small parts onto the long rods to make sure the curls form correctly and sometimes it may require more than one stylist, this process is long and is the reason for the coat difference in regular and spiral perms.

Spiral perms cost between $80 to $200 to get done while regular perms can cost as low as $30 in some saloons.


Perming your hair is a beautiful way to get curls on your straight hit but several persons are recently being discouraged from trying it because of the chemicals being used to hold your curls in place during the perming process.

With proper care before and after a perm, and making sure that you do not perm your hair often or leave a perm on for too long, your hair’s health can be preserved and you can have them in curls once in a while.

Spiral perms and regular perms are two of the most common styles when it comes to peeling, they differ in curl patterns, length requirements, volume, styling techniques, and price but for a more informed decision you can seek advice from a professional hairstylist.

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