Piggyback Perm vs Spiral Perm

Piggyback Perm Vs Spiral Perm 2022 | Top Differences From Regular Perms

What’s the main difference between a piggyback perm vs spiral perm or a spiral perm vs regular perm. And how do they look before and after? Check it out here!

Back in the day, perms were often considered a fashion statement because of how iconic they looked and it was literally a style that many people tried out and experimented with.

But surprisingly, the perm hairstyle never went out of fashion and is a look that many people still love to get. It not only looks pretty, but also makes the hair look very voluminous and lush.

Related: Different Types Of Perm

In the present day, there are so many types of perm hairstyles to choose from and the best part is that they cater to varied lengths, hair types and textures so that each one can get the one that suits them the best.

Piggyback and spiral perms are two of the most commonly tried out perm types because these perms can be done on medium to long hair, while also creating either loose or tight curls just by using the right rod size. So basically, the choice is all yours!

Well, if you are still debating on which out of these two perm types to get, this article will help you pick one, as it has all the information you need about piggyback and spiral perms!

Perms are an iconic 80s hairstyle that are making a comeback today!

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Piggyback Perm Vs Spiral Perm

What are piggyback perms?

what does a piggyback perm look like
Source: Instagram@curlsbyalyssa

Piggyback perms are one of the most complex and time-consuming types of perm hairstyles because each section of hair requires two rods that piggyback off each other. That’s how this perm type gets its name.

The reason two perming rods are used for each section of hair, unlike the other perming hairstyles, that use only one rod – is to create more curls and achieve more hair volume. 

So therefore, only people with medium to longer hair lengths can get this perm hairstyle because each section of hair requires a sufficient amount of hair length to wrap around each perming rod.

These piggyback curls look very natural because of the curl pattern that it forms, where the curls are formed in different directions, because of how the rods are placed (in opposite directions). This is done in order to give the hair more volume.

What are spiral perms?

loose spiral perm
Source: Instagram@kelseys_kurls

The shape of the spiral curls give this perm type its name. Spiral perms are different from the other types of curls because of the way the rods are rolled around the hair and also can be defined by the shape it forms.

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Spiral perms involve the perming rods being rolled around the hair in a vertical manner in order to be able to get the curls to form in a spiral or corkscrew pattern once the rods are removed.

Therefore, these curls will appear more consistent, as compared to the piggyback perm.

How Are Piggyback Perms Different From Spiral Perms?

   Piggyback Perm  Spiral Perm
Best suited forPreferably longer hair lengths.Any hair length (but looks best on hair that is either 8 inches or longer).
Method of rolling the hairUses two rods per section of hair in order for the rods to piggyback off each other.Rolls the hair vertically only around one rod per section in order to form the spiral/corkscrew shape of the curls.
Can it be done on colour-treated hair?Yes, if there has been a gap of two weeks once the hair has been coloured.Yes, if there has been a gap of two weeks once the hair has been coloured.
Duration that the perm will lastAround 6 months with proper maintenance.Between 3 to 6 months based on its maintenance.
Appearance of the curlsLooks natural, as the curls are in different directions.Curls look like spirals and are formed in a more consistent manner.
Recommended forThose looking for hair volume.Those looking for a formalized hair pattern.

How To Get A Triple Piggyback Perm 

piggyback perm steps
Source: Instagram@littlemiss_haircare

Step 1: Dampen your hair and section it into six or nine sections. You can hold up each section using a clip.

Step 2: This is the part where you place the perming rods and you will require to use two perming rods per section of hair.

Start off by taking one section of the hair, comb it out and then place the rod in the middle of that section.

Then, take the bottom of the hair and wrap it around the rod and roll it inwards until it reaches the scalp. Thereafter, secure the rod in place.

With the remaining hair, cover it with an endpaper and then place the rod at the bottom of the hair.

Now wrap the hair around the rod while rolling it outwards (in the opposite direction of the previous rod placement), until it reaches the other rod.

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Then secure it there horizontally. This process will be used for all the remaining sections.

Step 3: Apply the perming solution evenly over each rod and let it sit for 10 minutes, before rinsing it off thoroughly under running warm water.

Step 4: Apply the neutralizer and let it sit for 10 minutes before washing it off thoroughly under running warm water.

Step 5: Gently remove the perming rods and then you can let your hair be air dried or blow dried.  

How To Roll Long Hair For A Spiral Perm


how to roll long hair for a spiral perm
Source: Instagram@m.hairsalon

Step 1: Dampen your hair, comb it out and tie it up at the top of your head. This type of perm doesn’t require sectioning, as you will let down little hair at a time and directly work on it.

Step 2: Begin with letting down little sections of your hair at a time, starting at the nape of your neck.

Step 3: Use only little hair at a time and then wrap the ends of the hair with endpaper because you are going to place the rod at the bottom of the hair.

Next, roll it inwards (tilting it vertically) until it reaches the scalp and secure it there, vertically. This process will be used for all the remaining sections.

Step 4: Apply the perming solution evenly over each rod and let it sit for 10 minutes, before rinsing it off thoroughly under running warm water.

Step 5: Apply the neutralizer and let it sit for 10 minutes before washing it off thoroughly under running warm water.

Step 6: Gently remove the perming rods and then you can let your hair be air dried or blow dried. 

How To Maintain Your Perms At Home

After-perm hair care is very important in order to keep your perms intact and get them to last a longer time.

These are some tips you could use to maintain your permed hair:

  •   Remember not to wash your hair for at least two days after perming it in order for the curls to set properly.
  •   Do not brush your hair immediately after it has been permed; leave it uncombed for a day or two.
  •   Do not use a cotton pillow cover to sleep on; instead use a silk or satin one in order to prevent the friction that could damage your curls.
  •   You can also tie your head with a silk or satin bandana, if you do not have a silk or satin pillow cover.
  •   Do not color your permed hair for at least 2 weeks after your hair has been permed.
  •   Keep your permed hair well-moisturized, do not brush it very frequently and avoid using tools to style your hair.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Spiral, Digital, and Piggback Perms

1. Are getting perms safe for the hair?

Perms are permanent hair types that last for at least 4 to 6 months until they slowly begin to wear off. Therefore, in order for the curls to form, perming rods and chemicals (perm solution) are used on the hair. This could result in a certain amount of hair damage, especially in cases where the perming solution has touched the scalp. Therefore, to prevent excessive hair fall, maintaining a good after-perm care hair routine is advisable. If you still have doubts there are several alternatives to hair perms you can try.

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2. Which perm will last longer between piggyback and spiral perms?

Piggyback perms are known to last longer than spiral perms, but in my opinion, the duration that your perm will actually last is based on how efficiently you maintain it.

3. Is it hard to maintain permed hair?

You’d definitely require a certain amount of additional hair care once you have your hair permed because hair perming involves perming rods tugging on the hair, while perming solution is used to hold the curls. So after-care and moisturizing is very essential for the hair. It is also essential to use the right shampoo for permed hair so you don’t damage hair further.

4. Can I perm my hair if it has been recently coloured?

Yes, perms can definitely be done on hair that has recently been coloured, provided it is done after a gap of two to three weeks of the hair being coloured.
Perms can cause a certain amount of discolouration and color lightening, so that is important to note if you are getting your recently coloured permed.

The Final Takeaway On Piggyback Perms Vs Spiral Perms

I do hope that this article has given you a clear picture about both the types of perms – piggyback and spiral perms and has also helped you decide on which one you’d like to get.

This once iconic 80s style is now coming back in fashion and you can see your favorite celebs sporting it too!

Remember to keep in mind all aspects like your hair length, your hair health and type of perm pattern you want.

Also know what you are looking for in the perm you want to get before deciding on your final pick.

Also Read:

How Long Does A Perm Last For Men