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3 Reasons To Use Perm Rods on Natural Hair

• Jan 10, 2014

by Nyasha of

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When it comes to curling your natural hair at home by yourself; knowing what do and what to get can be a mine field. But since I first went natural ohhhh so many years ago, the one thing, that I have always found to be a great way to curl my natural hair are perming rods.

You might have thought perming rods were only for old ladies who want to get a perm. That is not their only use. I have found that perming rods are a great way to create various natural hair styles, especially if you are new to curling your own hair.

  1. Perming Rods On Natural Hair 101

Now if you are wondering how the heck to use perming rods don’t worry. I struggled myself on where to start when curling with perming rods.

Perming rods come in various sizes. The thicker rods provide looser curls. Conversely, the thinner perming rods make tighter curls.

If the perming rod is thin, it’s much easier to use on short natural hair. As the diagram below shows:


Not all manufacturers will have their perming rods in the colors above. When deciding which ones to buy, I would suggest that you look at the diameter thickness instead.

If you have never bought your own perming rods, I would recommend you start with the thinner ones, especially if your natural hair is in its TWA (teeny weenie afro) phrase or just a little bit longer than that.

Even if you natural hair is bra-strap length, I would still recommend the thin perming rods. The only issue is your hair will take longer to dry.

  1. Benefits of Using Perming Rods On Natural Hair

The main thing I love about using perming rods is that, you are able to curl your hair fairly easily especially if you are new to curling your own natural hair. Why is it so easy? Well, because you can roll your natural hair around perming rods and then secure these with a rubber band.

It doesn’t matter if your technique isn’t perfect right away because a certain amount of your natural hair will be curled and over time you can perfect it.

The other thing I love about perming rods is that you can use them to create so many natural hair styles, like:

  • the twist and curl (which is when you curl the bottom of your twist and unravel your twist)

  • you can use them to refresh an out twist out or braid out;

  • the curly afro; and

  • so many more.

Please note when styling, perming rods will compress your natural hair rather than elongate it.

Here are a few styles that I have created with perming rods, on my own natural hair.

Finger Coils

The Twist and Coil

Mind you these are just a few of them and I will continue to create even more styles.

Besides being able to create all of these styles, the other thing I love about perming rods is that they are fairly cheap to buy.

So when you are buying them you can get several packets to ensure that you will have enough to be able to sufficiently set your entire head..

Be sure to go and grab several bags of perming rods, as the more you have the better.

Have any of you used perming rods on your natural hair? What were the results?

Nyasha Gowora founded after having struggled with growing her own natural girl for many years and after learning what worked and what didn’t. She then decided to share her love of all things hair. As an African women, she provides a different perspective on growing natural hair, from how to use ancient remedies to help your hair, to how you can build your own hair care routine using science. And for those people that need a bit extra help, Nyasha offers one on one consultations to make their natural hair journey a bit easier.

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29 Comments on "3 Reasons To Use Perm Rods on Natural Hair"

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Stacy - Ann

I love perming rods, it gives the best curls on my natural hair. I have frizzy hair and for the most part the curls still come out great !


I’m begining to reach a length that experimenting with perm rods, curl formers, etc is something I definitely want to explore. There’s so many options for us naturals…its almost a good way.

Britt @ One&20

I use perm rods pretty often. It’s just a really easy way to keep my ends stretched and smoothed, and I love it!


Can you suggest holding products to use with perm rods? There is so many options out there-all giving variant levels of hold and softness. I want to try perm rods but not waste money trying to find something that will dry my hair out or not hold it well.


I use Jane carter wrap and roll or that motions wrapping foam. My hair sets best when wet so I usually wash deep condition then leave in conditioner seal in my moister detangle. Then the foam sort of rewets it. I sleep on over night then perfection in the morning last about a week but can go longer if I pin it back in a faux hawk and switch it up naturalneiecy and mahogany curls both have great tutorials on perm rods on YT

There are two great perm rod YouTube videos I’d like to recommend. The first is by MissKenK titled “AWESOME Perm Rod Set on Natural Hair (No Heat)”. She uses Ecostyler and Cantu, something many of us likely have on hand. The second is by Naturalhairnskincare titled “Natural Hair Curly Coily Wavy Perm Rod Set Tutorial”. She uses her own products which are essentially an ACV rinse, followed by an oil applied under a steam cap, and roller set with an herbal tea rinse. I purchased the sample kit (I’m a PJ), and wasn’t too impressed because the roller set did… Read more »

I recently purchased Camille Rose Naturals Curl Maker and it works sooo well. It was def. a splurge ($20+, not cool) but I love the ingredients and it WORKS. Been able to moisturize and seal over it for two weeks and I still get hold. I’m scared of gel (wanna try Eco-styler but just.can’…) so in hunting for alternatives this is what I came up with. Funny thing is, it’s like a gel in a pump bottle; they tricked me, lol! Hope you try it. Good luck 🙂


I have been using perm rods for the past couple of months on my tapered cut. I love the look that it creates, but the challenge for me has been finding the right combination of products that give me the hold that I need. My last set consisted of using curl enhancing smoothie over my leave-in and the eco-styler gel (blue). I can’t be too heavy handed, otherwise, my hair will not dry overnight.


I like styling my kinky, Afro-textured hair with perm rods. I do braid-n-curls (12 braids w/ grey perm rods on the ends) and curly ‘fros (24 twists on grey perm rods). I style on freshly washed/conditioned hair and air-dry for a day under a hat. The styles come out defined, voluminous and bouncy. Both styles also easily convert into super cute puffs and updos. I really enjoy being able to mimic shorter hair and/or layers by using the perm rods.


cute pics…love the headband


I have not gotten perm rods since I was in the transition phase. I can’t wait to get some for my now natural hair!


Great post and i love the first picture,its so cute!


I could never sleep with those things. Thankfully twist out give the exact same look and takes less time (imo) and 100% easier to sleep on. I also suspect that the hair will take longer to dry as it is wrapped around itself. Just wondering?? But kudos to those who prefer this. For me the days of using that ended with relaxers


Perm rods actually curl the hair. Twistouts elongate


I own some perm rods and flexi rods that I would love to use in my natural hair. My problem is I have high porosity hair that needs to be moisturized every day and in doing so I feel I would mess up the rod set as soon as I set it free. Its been 2 years and I have yet to find a product or routine that allows me to skip a day of adding moisture to my hair. Does anyone else have this problem? Any suggestions? Thanks in advance.


Glycerin oil and spring water


I use my purple perm rods to set my curly Twistout ‘fro or puffs weekly. I don’t even have to retwist- I just pineapple my bangs and puff the rest. They are very gentle on my ends- I just love them and plan on experimenting with different sizes, too:)


UGH! So, I purchase the perm rod rollers (in every size). Last night, for the first time, I tried using them and it was very unsuccessful. I braided my hair and attempted to roll the ends. However, the rollers would not stay in. I kept switching to different sizes but still no luck. What am I doing wrong???

If your hair is less than 5′ you may want to just curl the entire braid around the roller. This will give you less elongation but the braid and curl will be lovely when you take out the braids. If your hair is longer than 5′ you may just need to wrap your braid around the perm rod better, or use a more narrow rod. My hair is about 9′ and I use the white rods for curling my ends with my hair in twists. Roll your twist around the rod to cover the end, then spiral up the rod,… Read more »

My hair is over 18 inches long and very thick. I have a hard time with perm rods because I cant get my hair to “fit” on the rollers. Any suggestions?


Here’s a tip I git from my sister-in-law who it’s a professional stylist. Lotta Body (hold) and Motions styling mousse (smoothing).

After shampoo and conditioning, apply your leave-in conditioner then for each section apply the mousse, then spray on the lotta body. I use this for my rod sets and my hair look like it’s relaxed. You can still apply your moisturizer (oil or spray) each day.

Best wishes!


Does Lottabody hold your set in the summer humidity too? I have super fizzy hair.


Janet it does but only for a few days.Now that my hair is longer I’m dealing wow the curls elongating looking like a straw set. Haven’t found a solution yet.


Sorry didn’t mean to upload photo of grandson. I uploaded from my phone and didn’t have an option to delete.


I’m just beginning my transition phase. I have a short tapered haircut & trying my best not to get another perm. I love the perm rod curls & want this style to get me thru. My question is, how do you tighten the rods to your scalp once rolled? I’m also new at using perm rods. Love your hair


Watch my video on perm rods sets to help style your hair !!!!!

I think I may be the only one here who actually does not mind if a little bit of my natural curl shows through in the artificial perm rod set. I usually try to encourage it! I think it looks especially nice on the ends. I have yet to find a product that gives me the right amount of hold. Even though my curls are fine and coily rather than kinky, I still have a hard time finding products that will give my hair enough hold to help the curls last throughout day 5. I used to use Kinky Curly… Read more »

So which curlers would you recommend? I have a super super short curly perm and looking to buy curlers to maintain it. Which models would you recommend?


[…]  tells you all about curl rods and how they can help your hair. […]

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