For a perm that results in soft, flowing curls, opt for a body perm, plain curl perm, or volumizing perm. A body perm results in the addition of voluminous waves and large curls from the root of the hair to the tip. The plain curl perm is a popular option that adds soft natural waves for body and volume. Similarly, the volumizing perm produces luscious curls from root to tip and results in a thicker, lush look.
The tightness of the curl depends on the size of the rod, the wrapping technique, and how long the perm solution is in your hair. To avoid tight curls, speak with your stylist about your desired look and explain exactly what you are looking for. Request to see the rod size for an idea on the curls' tightness. Since perms use somewhat damaging chemical formulas, make sure to maintain your perm using hydrating, conditioning styling products that loosen and smooth your new curls.
If you find yourself with a perm with curls that are too tight for your liking, it is possible to get a second perm to soften the curls, although doing so exposes your hair to another harsh chemical process. However, you can apply a waving lotion that minimizes the damage. Speaking with your stylist is vitally important, as the stylist may be able to give you advice on loosening the curls. Otherwise, applying deep conditioning treatments, leave-in conditioner spray, and anti-frizz serum stretches out the curls for a softer, more natural appearance.