Perms & Thinning Hair

by Kathy Mayse ; Updated September 28, 2017

Perms make thin hair appear thicker.

Image by Flickr.com, 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

Photo Credits

  • Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of Saquan Stimpson

About the Author

Kathy Mayse began her writing career as a reporter for "The Jackson-County Times Journal" in 2001. She was promoted to assistant editor shortly after. Since 2005, she has been busy as a successful freelancer specializing in Web content. Mayse is a licensed cosmetologist with more than 17 years of salon experience; most of her writing projects reflect this experience.