Definition of perm in English:



  • A hairstyle produced by setting the hair in waves or curls and then treating it with chemicals so that the style lasts for several months.

    ‘I had a perm on Friday’
    • ‘And, what about hair coloring and perm solutions?’
    • ‘Some girls' mothers took them to their salon, others were subjected to the dreaded home perm.’
    • ‘I got shouted at for chewing gum while handling the perm rods and I never worked there again.’
    • ‘Hair perm products use thioglycolic acid - a chemical that reacts with protein bonds in the hair.’
    • ‘The hair was wound on wooden rods with the perm solution and rinsed with rods still in place.’
    • ‘What are some good styling options for short relaxed hair as a perm grows out?’
    • ‘Sure, people still perm their hair, it's just that the style of perm has changed.’
    • ‘If you frequent pools and are already exposing your hair to chlorine, it would be a good idea to wait until autumn before getting a chemical colour or perm.’
    • ‘Sporting a bright blond perm and a rather constricted face, she's rather grating and uncomfortable to watch.’
    • ‘I got a hair cut, and a perm so I looked very cute I must admit!’
    • ‘Also popular were spiral perms and body waves.’
    • ‘Next, a neutralizing agent is applied and you have a final rinse, then a shampoo, condition and style; it's a bit like a reverse perm.’
    • ‘Whoever told me I ought to get a perm was really very wrong indeed.’
    • ‘My mother had also given me a perm, so my hair would be easier to work with.’
    • ‘Keep in mind that no amount of moisturizing will completely restore perm-damaged hair because your hair's physical structure has been rearranged by the perm solution.’
    • ‘If you do your own hair and want to try a new style or temporary perm be sure to experiment before prom.’
    • ‘It's fine to use hair colourants and perm lotions on your hair, although you may find the results are unpredictable.’
    • ‘She said this type - a rinse - leaves hair shiny while a permanent color will dull my hair because of the perm.’
    • ‘Her golden-brown hair had a new perm that framed her pretty face perfectly.’
    • ‘An intense woman with a tight perm rises to pay her bill and notices an acquaintance sitting alone.’


  • Set (the hair) in a perm.

    ‘her hair was permed and then set’
    • ‘They all have their hair nice and permed or coloured.’
    • ‘Her hair was permed and styled, tumbling down to her shoulders in perfect ringlets.’
    • ‘I told my hairdresser about it and she told me she'll try perming my hair next so that it'll curl like yours!’
    • ‘Recently her hair had been dyed crimson, permed and braided, and lay in neat disarray about her narrow shoulders.’
    • ‘Sitting alongside the soldier was a girl whose hair had recently been permed by the local hairdresser.’
    • ‘Quickly she put her dark permed hair in a ponytail.’
    • ‘If your hair has been permed or relaxed, color has to be applied carefully or it can weaken the structure of your hair.’
    • ‘Look at all the activities we do to our hair, we cut, shape, curl, perm, color, mousse, and spray it.’
    • ‘The setting and tinting, and sometimes perming, make the hair more manageable.’
    • ‘Don't bleach, color or perm your hair - this can weaken it.’
    • ‘Katy had permed dark hair that hung almost to her waist.’
    • ‘My hair salon offers eyelash tinting and perming.’
    • ‘The hairdressing departments had cubicles so that women were not seen by other customers having their hair set or permed.’
    • ‘It also became an offence for women to perm their hair or stretch it.’
    • ‘This hair is considered the best as it is most open to coloring, perming, and styling.’
    • ‘Does perming, streaking, highlighting and colouring harm the hair?’
    • ‘A woman recently won compensation of 15,000 yuan after losing more than half her hair after it was permed at a local beauty salon.’
    • ‘Chelsea had her permed brown hair pulled back into a low chignon.’
    • ‘A generation of survivors, these women had an inner strength often belied by their floral dresses, permed hair, and fresh apple pies.’
    • ‘I have never coloured my hair, I have permed it once’
    wavy, curling, curled, crimped, permed, frizzy, frizzed, kinked, kinky, crinkly, fuzzy, corkscrew
    View synonyms


1920s: abbreviation of permanent.


Definition of Perm in English:


Pronunciation /pərm//pyerm/

proper noun

  • An industrial city in Russia, in the western foothills of the Ural Mountains; population 987,200 (est. 2008)

    Former name (1940–57) Molotov