9 Easy Steps for the Perfect Perm Rod Set on Natural Hair

9 Easy Steps for the Perfect Perm Rod Set on Natural Hair

Installing perm rod sets on natural hair is by far one of my favorite styles.  For starters, the style can last up to five days, reducing how often you have to manipulate your hair.

Secondly, I haven’t met a woman who doesn’t look fabulous with a head full of curls!  So how can you achieve a perfect perm rod set on natural hair every single time? Keep reading…there are 9 easy steps you must live by.

How to do a perm rod set on natural hair

1. Always start on freshly washed and conditioned hair.

natural hair texture

Products respond well to clean hair, and removing additional buildup will allow you also to achieve bouncy, voluminous curls once you have taken the perm rods out at the end.  You can also opt to use a cleansing co-wash product if you do not need a full shampoo session.  Starting a perm rod set on natural hair soaking wet will also give you a great foundation for the curls to set.

2. Pick styling products wisely

Once your hair is clean and conditioned, next up are the styling products.  My choice is to use a setting lotion for slight hold, a cream-based product for moisture and softness, and a little bit of oil to seal the moisture.  Each product plays a different role in the process, but it’s totally up to you which products you want to use.

3. Apply products effectively

Installing perm rods on natural hair

Work your way through your hair with products section by section. Don’t try to apply the products all over at once.  Navigating your hair section by section will allow you to ensure all products are evenly distributed throughout. For this style, I’m using all the Creme of Nature for Natural Hair Argan Oil products because they have a leave in hair milk and foaming setting lotion that works well together.

I used the Creme of Nature Argan Oil Shine Foaming Mousse, the Creme of Nature Leave-In Butter Milk (I actually used this as my leave-in conditioner), and the Creme of Nature Butterlicious Hydrating Curl Creme.  You can easily find these products at your nearest Sally’s.

4. Take it slow and go small

Use small sections for each perm rod set.  Small sections will allow you to twirl your hair around the rod more effectively and help to ensure each section of hair is smooth along the rod.  My rule of thumb is about an inch wide for each section. This also will help with your drying time later.  For this installation, I twisted the hair a few times at the root then twirled the hair around the rod.

5. Focus on the ends


Use extra products on the end of each perm rod section where your hair stops. The ends are the most important part.  You want to make sure the hair doesn’t unravel so an extra pump of foaming lotion or dab of cream right here goes a long way.


perm rods natural hair

I can not stress this enough.  Be aware of your schedule before installing perm rods to ensure you have plenty of time to allow your hair to dry.  This WILL determine the success of your perm rod set. Hair that is still slightly damp will become frizzy as you unravel, and the style will not last as long.   Here are a few drying options…

  • Drying overnight: If you choose this option, I like to sit under the dryer for at least 30 minutes to set the hair, then sleep in the  perm rods overnight to ensure they are dry by the morning.
  • Hooded dryer: The typical time for my hair to become 100% dry while sitting under the dryer is 2 hours.  So cozy up with a good book and get comfortable!

7. Test the waters before you separate and unravel completely

dry perm rods on natural hair

Remove hair from each perm rod first, BEFORE separating the curls.  After you’ve removed each rod, search for areas where your hair could still be a little damp.  If your hair is still a little wet, you can continue to dry while the hair still has the form of the curl for a few more minutes.  Once you are 100% dry it’s time to separate!

Also See: Best Products for Perm Rods Here

8. Separate Strategically

perm rods

Once the hair is completely dry, separate with a light oil of your choice. If you love big hair, you might choose to separate 3 times for each section.  If you want the style to last up to 5 days, I suggest separating 1-2 times and naturally allow the curls to separate further as the days pass.

9. Fluff, style and slay!

Fluff your roots with a pick, style to your liking and slay! Below are some other video tutorials to help you depending on your hair length and texture.

Perm rod set on short natural hair

Perm rod set on 4c natural hair

Perm rod set on long natural hair

Charlene Walton
Charlene Walton

Charlene Walton McCraney is a Dallas beauty and lifestyle blogger. After years of styling her and several friends’ hair as a hobby, offering advice and tips, she decided to combine two of her favorite things…writing and talking about natural hair!

TexturedTalk.com was created to promote healthy hair care for women of all textures and has since evolved into other beauty and lifestyle topics. Charlene loves teaching other aspiring bloggers on how to take their passion and turn it into amazing content to provide value.

Charlene is a previous beauty contributor to NaturallyCurly.com, CurlyNikki.com, and 21ninety.com.

When she’s not blogging she is probably crunching numbers as a Senior Financial Analyst, dancing or figuring a way to meet Beyonce in person. :)

Find me on: Twitter/X | Instagram | Facebook


  1. Jasmine
    January 2, 2019 / 5:55 pm

    Great article ! I am doing a perm rod set this week. I’m excited and scared lol.

  2. Toni
    March 22, 2022 / 10:58 am

    I am trying this style this weekend. Thank you for the tips

  3. November 6, 2023 / 11:20 am

    Hey Does it really works on straight hair textures.

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