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Perm rods vs Flexi rods

Perm Rods vs. Flexi Rods: Unravelling the Key Differences


When it comes to achieving the perfect curl, many people find themselves weighing the options between perm rods and flexi rods.

Both of these styling tools have their own unique benefits and drawbacks that make them suitable for different hair types, curl preferences, and styling techniques.

Understanding the key differences between these two popular tools is essential for determining which one will best meet individual needs and hair goals.

Perm rods are known for creating tight, springy curls that maintain their shape regardless of the rod size chosen. They have clasps that make them easy to secure and are generally preferred by those who want a consistent, tight curl pattern.

On the other hand, flexi rods offer a more versatile approach to curling hair, allowing for elongated curls that emulate the results of a curling iron. They are ideal for achieving a variety of curl sizes and styles, making them a popular choice for those seeking more creative and customizable curl options.

With these distinct characteristics in mind, it’s essential for users to consider their hair type, desired curl tightness, and styling preferences when deciding between perm rods and flexi rods.

By evaluating these factors, individuals can confidently choose the tool that will best help them achieve their desired look and embrace their unique, curly style.

What Are Perm Rods

Perm rods are cylindrical plastic tools designed specifically for curling hair. They come in various sizes and colours, with each size corresponding to a specific curl tightness and diameter.

The primary purpose of perm rods is to create consistent, long-lasting curls in your hair, which can be achieved with or without applying chemical treatments.

Using perm rods involves rolling your hair around the rod and securing it in place using the rod’s band or clasp. The rods are then left in the hair for a specific duration to allow the curls to form.

In some instances, a perm solution can be applied to the hair to create a more permanent curl, allowing the curls to last for a more extended period.

Perm rods offer several advantages for those looking to create curls in their hair. One of the key benefits is the variety of curl styles that can be achieved, ranging from tight ringlets to looser, wavy curls.

This is primarily due to the wide range of perm rod sizes available on the market. The choice of rod size will depend on factors such as hair texture, desired curl style and tightness, and hair length.

Using perm rods without a chemical treatment can still result in beautiful curls that can be easily maintained for several days. Those with natural or textured hair may find them particularly suitable for achieving defined curls and enhancing their hair’s natural curl pattern.

What Are Flexi Rods

Flexi rods are a popular heatless hair styling tool that can create a variety of curl patterns, from loose waves to tight ringlets. Made from flexible, soft foam material, these rods are easy to use and comfortable to sleep in, compared to traditional hard rollers or curling irons.

One of the main advantages of flexi rods is their ability to create elongated curls, especially on medium to long hair. The rods come in various diameters, allowing for a range of curl sizes and volume.

Additionally, the foam material makes them more suitable for overnight use, as they are softer and more comfortable than other curling tools.

To use flexi rods, simply wrap a section of slightly damp hair around the rod, from the tips to the roots, and secure the ends of the rod by bending them to hold the hair in place. It’s important to note that the hair needs to be thoroughly dry before removing the rods to ensure that the curls hold their shape.

In comparison, perm rods work best on short hair, producing tighter curl patterns. They have a clasp design, making them more secure and easier to install. However, they may not be as comfortable for overnight use due to their harder material.

In summary, flexi rods are an effective tool for creating a variety of curl patterns, particularly on medium to long hair. Their flexible material and ease of use make them a popular choice for those seeking heatless styling options.

Comparing Rod Sizes and Curls

Perm Rod Size Variations

Perm rods come in a variety of sizes, which ultimately affect the size and tightness of the curls produced. Generally, smaller perm rods create tighter curls, while larger perm rods produce looser curls.

According to StyleSeat, some common perm rod sizes and their curl results include:

  • 1 1/16-inch perm rods: Ideal for medium to long hair, these jumbo rods create bouncy, beachy curls, and can add body to shorter hair.
  • 1 1/4-inch perm rods: These rods work best on long hair to create true curls, while they can add body to medium-length hair.

It’s essential to choose the right perm rod size based on the individual’s hair length and desired curl tightness.

Flexi Rod Size Variations

Similar to perm rods, flexi rods come in various sizes and colors, each affecting the size and style of curls produced. When selecting a flexi rod size, consider the desired type of curl and how long you want the style to last.

  • Jumbo flexi rods (normally purple or blue): Ideal for achieving a wavy look in the hair.
  • Medium flexi rods (typically orange or grey): These offer a medium-sized curl, suitable for various hair types.

Just like with perm rods, it is crucial to select the correct flexi rod size to achieve the desired curls and maintain the style.

Both perm rods and flexi rods can provide different curl results when used appropriately, depending on individual preferences and hair types.

Application Process

Perm Rods Application

The application process for perm rods involves a few steps to ensure the curls hold properly and come out beautifully. To start, make sure your hair is clean, detangled, and damp for optimal results.

  1. Section your hair: Divide your hair into manageable sections, typically 4 to 6, depending on the thickness and length.
  2. Apply setting lotion: Setting lotion or mousse will help the curl hold and reduce frizz. Apply evenly to each section.
  3. Roll the hair: Starting at the ends, wrap your hair around the perm rod, securing the end with the rod’s clasp feature. Continue to roll your hair up to the scalp.
  4. Repeat: Continue this process for all sections of your hair, being mindful of the direction and tightness of the curls.
  5. Dry and finish: Allow your hair to air dry, or sit under a hooded dryer for faster results. Once dry, carefully remove the perm rods and style as desired.

Flexi Rods Application

Applying flexi rods follows a similar process to perm rods, but with some variations due to the flexibility and design of the rods.

  1. Prepare your hair: Start with clean, detangled, and damp hair for best results.
  2. Section your hair: Divide your hair into 4 to 6 sections, depending on your hair’s thickness and length.
  3. Apply setting product: Using a setting lotion, mousse, or gel, apply the product evenly throughout each section of hair.
  4. Roll the hair: Start at the ends of your hair, wrapping it around the flexi rod. Flexi rods can be rolled from the top down, or for a spiral effect, try a twist-and-wrap method.
  5. Bend and secure: Unlike perm rods, flexi rods can bend to secure the hair in place without clips or clasps. Bend the ends of the flexi rod to hold the hair in place.
  6. Dry and style: Allow your hair to air dry or use a hooded dryer. Once the hair is dry, remove the flexi rods gently and style as desired.

Both perm rods and flexi rods enable the creation of beautiful curls, with subtle differences in application and the final texture of the curls achieved.

Pros and Cons of Each

Benefits of Perm Rods

Perm rods are a popular choice for creating tight, springy curls in various sizes. Here are some of their advantages:

  • Works especially well on short hair: The design of perm rods makes them ideal for achieving a tighter curl pattern in shorter hair lengths.
  • Array of rod sizes: Perm rods are available in various sizes, allowing users to create different curl patterns depending on their preference.
  • Long-lasting curls: Perm rods often produce curls that hold up well over time, providing a longer-lasting outcome.

Drawbacks of Perm Rods

Despite their benefits, perm rods also come with a few cons:

  • Not as comfortable: Due to their hard material, perm rods can be uncomfortable to sleep in, especially for those with sensitive scalps.
  • Better suited for short hair: As mentioned earlier, perm rods work best for short hair, so those with medium to long hair may find them less effective.

Benefits of Flexi Rods

Flexi rods are another great option for achieving a variety of curls, and they come with their own benefits:

  • Suitable for medium to long hair: Flexi rods are designed with a vertical shape, making them more effective for wrapping medium-length or long hair strands.
  • Soft and flexible material: The material used in flexi rods allows for more comfort when worn, even during sleep.
  • Mix and match sizes: Flexi rods come in different sizes, so users can achieve various curl patterns and volume by using a combination of sizes.

Drawbacks of Flexi Rods

Although flexi rods offer several advantages, there are a few drawbacks to consider:

  • Looser curl pattern: Flexi rods generally result in looser, more elongated curls, so they may not be ideal for those seeking tight, springy curls.
  • Possible learning curve: Flexi rods can be slightly trickier to use for those new to hairstyling techniques due to their flexible design.

Maintenance and Care

Caring for Perm Rod Curls

Caring for perm rod curls is essential to maintain the curls’ shape and longevity. Here are a few tips on proper maintenance for perm rod curls:

  • Gently remove the perm rods from your hair after they have fully dried. Avoid pulling or tugging on the curls to prevent damage.
  • Use a light, water-based product that provides moisture without weighing down the curls. Avoid heavy creams or oils as they can cause the curls to lose their shape.
  • Finger comb or use a wide-tooth comb to detangle your hair gently. Limit the use of brushes, as it may cause frizz and damage.
  • To maintain the curls overnight, use a satin bonnet or pillowcase to minimise friction and protect the curls while you sleep.
  • If needed, refresh the curls with a water and leave-in conditioner mix in a spray bottle. Lightly spritz the hair and gently reshape the curls with your fingers.

Caring for Flexi Rod Curls

Proper maintenance for flexi rod curls also plays a vital role in keeping them looking their best. Here are a few tips for caring for flexi rod curls:

  • Remove the flexi rods carefully after your hair is completely dry. Use gentle motions and avoid pulling on the curls to prevent damage.
  • Apply a lightweight, water-based moisturiser to your hair, focusing on the ends. Avoid using heavy products that can weigh down and ultimately, loosen the curls.
  • Use your fingers to gently separate and detangle the curls. Avoid using a brush as this can cause frizz and breakage.
  • Sleep with a satin bonnet or use a satin pillowcase to help maintain the curls’ shape and reduce friction overnight.
  • Refresh your curls as needed with a mixture of water and a leave-in conditioner in a spray bottle. Spritz the hair lightly and gently reshaping the curls with your fingers.

Final Thoughts

Perm rods and flexi rods are both popular tools for creating curly hairstyles. Each type of rod caters to specific preferences and hair types, providing a unique set of benefits.

Perm rods provide tighter, uniform curls and are often more suitable for those with short hair. They are easy to secure and can create an iconic, springy curl. Weighing the pros and cons, perm rods might be ideal for those seeking a more retro, structured look in their curls.

On the other hand, flexi rods offer looser, more elongated curls and excel with medium to long hair lengths. Their flexible design allows for the creation of unique volume by mixing different rod sizes. They are also more comfortable for overnight use, thanks to the soft material used in their construction. This makes them a desirable choice for individuals who aim for a softer, more natural curl appearance.

Incorporating various diameters of flexi rods can create an array of different curl types, from loose waves to tight ringlets. The possibilities for styling and individual expression are expansive with this versatile tool.

In summary, both perm rods and flexi rods present distinct advantages for achieving desired curl results. Short hair enthusiasts might find solace in the classic, uniform curls procured by perm rods.

Simultaneously, flexi rods cater to those who seek more comfortable, varied, and looser curl options, particularly in medium to long hair lengths.

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