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


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?

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 »

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


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


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


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!
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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.


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?


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 »

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:)


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 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


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


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!


cute pics…love the head­band


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.


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.


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 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 :-)

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 not… Read more »

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

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!


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.

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 !