Perm Rods for Curly Perms

I love Sandi's new hairstyle. This curly "perm" hides her haircut (she had been trimmed a little around the ears.) But, I think this hairdo is much more becoming than the original one. I don't think the photo really shows off how charming she looks in her curly do. She reminds me a little bit of Miss Piggy with those abundant blonde curls.

To create this hairstyle, I set her wet hair with perm rods. I buy the small rods that come in a flat packet of blue or yellow rods. The end cap is attached with a piece of elastic cord. These are small and work well for doll hair.

When dry, I aimed the hair dryer at each roller for just a little bit (not too long) in order to heat set the curls, and then unrolled the hair when it was completely cool. I have also used a steamer to steam set the curls and this might be a little safer than the hair dryer.

You can also pour boiling water on each perm rod to heat set a curly perm. (Just be careful not to get the hot water on Baby Face eyelashes.) This method does work very well. I tried it on an Angel Face doll with bad hair, and she has tight curly bangs now. The My Little Pony collectors use this method. Sometimes boiling water can take the frizzies out of some kinds of doll hair.

Boiling water is not recommended for vintage dolls older than the 80's. It can ruin older hair.


Becca was one of my favorite projects. I had a difficult time with her hair especially, which had the polyester equivalent of split ends. So, I decided that a curly perm was the best solution here as well. Even though Becca's hair is short, the perm worked very well and I think she is CUTE. By the way, the perm relaxed a little by the next day and the curls got even prettier. They were still rather tight when I took this picture.

Copyright (c) 2002, 2012 Cynthia Stevens All Rights Reserved