Easy Perm Rod Set: Step by Step Instructions

Hey ladies! Do you rock your natural hair, curly cues and all? Well, welcome to my world. When I was younger I was all about the perm life, but for the last 8 years, my hair has been chemical free. I’m not a hair expert but I have had my fair share of failures and successes with my own mane. From my experiences I’ve learned what works for my hair, how to manage breakage, how to tame my edges and how to keep it growing in a healthy fashion. I try to keep heat to a minimum and rock protective styles as much as possible. One of my favorite protective hairstyles is perm rod curls.

Perm rod set curls are pretty easy to do, require minimum maintenance and can last for about a week. The pic above shows the results of my set. I prefer using the purple or orange perm rods because it helps me achieve the look I want. Different size rods will ultimately determine the tightness and size of your curls. For instance, if you like large loose curls then I’d recommend picking bigger perm rods.

Want to try a perm rod set in your hair or want to learn a different method from your own? Check out step by step instructions on how I apply my perm rod set below.

Step by Step Instructions

  1. Wash and deep condition your hair.
  2. Apply leave-in conditioner generously on your hair while it is still wet (I use SheaMoisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen & Restore Leave-In Conditioner)
  3. With a wide tooth comb, comb through your hair to remove tangles and then separate it into four sections. Use a clip or ponytail holder to maintain each section.
  4. Starting with one section at a time, part a small piece of hair out that you will apply your perm rod.
  5. Apply setting moose and gel to the piece of hair and comb through to make sure it’s tangle free. Tip: You may need to spray water in your hair if it begins to dry out while applying your rods.
  6. Starting with the ends of your hair, roll that piece of hair on your perm rod. Once you get to the root of your hair, twist the rod twice to ensure your edges are tight then clasp the perm rod shut at the end.
  7. Repeat steps 5 and 6 until you have a head full of rods.
  8. Sit under a head dryer for about an hour and a half (if your hair is thicker you may need to stay under the head dryer a little longer).
  9. Once you’re sure that your hair is completely dry, you can begin to remove one rod at a time. Be sure to unravel the rods in the direction your curls are going.
  10. Once your rod is removed use your finger and a dab (aka a small amount) of light hair oil to finger through your curl. This will help your hair look fuller and bouncer.
  11. Repeat this step with all of your rods and Voilà!


Let me know how your fabulous curls turn out in the comments below.

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