How Much Does a Body Wave Perm Cost?


Written by:  Howmuchisit.org Staff
Last Updated:  August 10, 2018

A body wave perm is a process that’s known to offer your hair lots of loose and wavy curls.

The hair, during the process, is rolled on larger perm rods to create a big, bouncy and wavy curl look, essentially creating a natural and wavy look, making your hair appear gorgeous and well-styled. The perm also creates thick-looking hair as it adds more volume, especially when you have thin and fine tresses.

This process can be done on straight hair, long, and short hair, regardless of volume.

How much does a body wave perm cost?

On average, the prices depend on location, salon, length and type of hair and experienced stylist.  From our research, the average cost for the body wave perm on its own could cost anywhere from as low as $40 to more than $150.

According to HairFinder.com, the average price ranges anywhere from $40 to more than $125.

The Sweet Salon, a salon based in North Carolina, states they charge anywhere from $105 to $135+ depending on the hair length, texture, density and style.

Body wave perm overview

The procedure, as with any perm, starts with washing hair with a clarifying shampoo to wash off any residue build-up from other hair products. The shampoo is simply washed thoroughly with water and the hair is then sectioned to begin the perming process. Every section of hair is wrapped around a perm rod, and a wavy solution or perm solution is applied and spread around the hair to raise cuticles and break the chemical bonds. The results allow the hair to become flexible and easily take the shape of the rods.

After a few minutes, the chemical solution is washed off with water and the hair is towel dried. Thereafter, a neutralizer is used on hair, letting it set in for a few minutes. The hair is then, again, washed with water and the perm rods are removed one by one from the hair. Lastly, the chemical residue will be rinsed from the hair, and the stylist will allow you to have your hair fashioned in any style you want.  In some cases, your hair may need to be cut to create the look you’re envisioning.

This method could take about an hour or two, based on the hair length, and the perm, on average settles in about 24 to 36 hours.

Today’s perm at most salons uses the keratin perm technology, which brings back the lost keratin on the hair taken away by chemicals. This perming has a gentle formula that strengthens hair, nourishes it and keeps it soft. It is also good for colored hair.

What are the extra costs?

While optional, you may consider a 48-hour pre-perm treatment service to prepare the hair.  This can cost an additional $20 to $40 based on the hair length and thickness.

Maintenance is essential to maintain the perm.  This can include a leave-in moisturizing cream, mousse or anti-frizz serum, for example.  A good moisturizing shampoo and deep conditioner are all recommended as well to keep the hair from drying.  A good product can cost $15 to $25+ each, depending on the brand and product chosen.  In most cases, you will have to wait up to 48 hours before you can use any product.

Tips to know:

The perm can last for about three to five months depending on your hair texture and how well you take care of it.  Generally, the tighter the perm is, the longer it can last and relax over time.

There are a few important things to remember before having a perm. Before considering the perm, make sure that your hair is in good and healthy condition. Keep in mind that chemicals are applied directly to your hair, so it is best that your hair can withstand these applications. If you have colored hair, you need to consult with a professional hairstylist first as some may avoid the procedure until your natural hair color comes back. If your hair was straightened using chemicals within an eight-month period, for example, most will recommend avoiding a perm.  In most cases, a good stylist will test a strand of your hair to see if it is healthy enough for the process.

It is a practical idea to bring in a picture so your hair stylist can know exactly the kind of perm you want.  Pinterest, for example, has hundreds of looks to choose from if you need ideas.

The style works on practical any hair length or texture, including thin styles, as long as your hair is healthy enough.

How can I save money?

Take advantage of special offers, promotions and/or discounts at local salons.  Being a competitive industry, you can almost find a good local deal on Groupon.com.

This perm can also be done at home via at-home kits.   Highly rated kits on Amazon.com, for example, can cost as little as $10 to $20.  However, if choosing an at-home kit, make sure your hair is healthy enough as it can cause more damage than expected.


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