How to Decide Which Perm is Best for You
Step 1 Decide if your hair is healthy enough for any perm. Besides asking your stylist, one way you can find out if your hair is damaged and can't withstand more chemical processing is to try floating it. Take a few strands of hair and put them in a glass of water, if they sink, this means your hair is damaged and is soaking up moisture. If the strands float, this means your hair is healthy.
Step 2 Evaluate the shape of your face. The best way to determine your face shape is by pulling your hair back into a ponytail and standing in front of the mirror. Use a lipstick to trace the shape of your face in a mirror. Although you may not see an exact oval, square, heart or circle, you will get a fairly good idea of your shape.
Step 3 Body perms are very soft, loose perms to add volume with a hint of wave and movement rather than distinct curls. A square-shaped face works well with this perm. Hair worn longer, fuller or wavier are great style options.
Step 4 Root perms add lift and volume to the root area only. They give height and fullness, and are therefore ideal for short hair that tends to go flat. This style works well for a heart-shaped face.
Step 5 Pain curl perms give soft, natural waves and curls, which are achieved by perming small sections of hair that have been pinned into pre-formed curls. Because the pieces being permed are selected, this works well with any shape.
Step 6 Stack perms give curl and volume to one-length hair cuts by means of different sized curlers. The hair on top of the head remains natural while the middle and ends have curl and movement. The main goal is to create the illusion of an oval appearance. Hair should be kept close to the sides of the face while the crown requires height. You want to "lift" the facial features.
Step 7 Spiral perms create romantic spiral curls, an effect that is produced by winding the hair around special long curlers. The mass of curls makes long hair look much thicker and works on oval-shaped faces. This is the most obvious type of perm, but also the most dramatic.
By Chelsea Goulart
eHow Community Member