Perms & Thinning Hair

Perms make thin hair appear thicker.
Perms make thin hair appear thicker. (Image: Image by, courtesy of Saquan Stimpson)

Thinning hair poses a particular set of problems. It is easy to damage, and the desire to hold onto what is left is often very strong. Perms help thinning hair appear thicker, but they often result in breakage. Special care is needed to perm this type of hair.


Perms add curl and body to thinning, lifeless hair. The curl helps the hair appear thicker and aids in styling.


Thinning hair is extremely resistant, meaning that it does not take or hold perms very well. A gentle perm solution is recommended, but it should be selected based on its strength as well.


Hair that is thinning is not just getting sparser. Most of the time, it is also getting finer in diameter. Fine hair breaks easily.

Perm Rods

Large perm rods are used on thinning hair to reduce the likelihood of breakage. Large rods equal less tension and less breakage.

Perm Solution

Alkaline perms are recommended for thinning, fine hair. The solution is strong enough to perm stubborn hair, yet it's safe.

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  • "Milady's Standard Textbook of Cosmetology;" Milady, Diane Carol Bailey, Margrit Attenburg; 2008
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