Piggyback Perm vs Spiral Perm

In the world of hairstyling, there’s a plethora of options to choose from, and two popular choices for achieving beautiful curls are the Piggyback Perm and the Spiral Perm.

Both these techniques offer unique ways to transform your hair into cascading waves or tight, defined curls. But what sets them apart, and which one is right for you?

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the differences, pros, and cons of Piggyback Perm vs Spiral Perm, helping you make an informed decision for your next hairstyle transformation.

Introduction to Perm Styles

Before we dive into the specifics, let’s start by understanding what perms are and why people love them. Perms, short for permanent waves, are a hairstyle treatment that chemically alters the structure of your hair to create curls or waves that last for an extended period.

They offer a low-maintenance solution for those who want to add some texture to their hair.

What is a Piggyback Perm?

A Piggyback Perm is a technique where two separate perms are performed on the same hair.

The first perm creates a foundation of larger, looser curls, and then a second perm is done on top to create smaller, more defined curls. This two-step process can add depth and dimension to your hairstyle.

What is a Spiral Perm?

On the other hand, a Spiral Perm focuses on creating long, uniform, corkscrew-like curls that start at the roots and extend to the ends of the hair. The technique is popular for its ability to add drama and elegance to your hair.

Piggyback Perm vs Spiral Perm: The Showdown

Let’s get into the nitty-gritty of the Piggyback Perm vs Spiral Perm battle.

Curl Type

Piggyback Perm: Offers a combination of curls with the first layer having loose, wavy curls and the second layer having tighter, smaller curls.

Spiral Perm: Creates uniform, tight corkscrew curls throughout the hair.

Volume and Body

Piggyback Perm: Provides more volume and body due to the contrasting curl sizes.

Spiral Perm: Offers moderate volume and body, with the focus on defined curls.


Piggyback Perm: Versatile as it combines different curl sizes, suitable for various styles.

Spiral Perm: Less versatile, as it primarily creates uniform, tightly wound curls.


Piggyback Perm: Requires slightly more maintenance due to the two different curl types.

Spiral Perm: Relatively low maintenance as it involves a single curl type.

Curl Tightness

Piggyback Perm: Allows for a range of curl tightness, from loose to tight, depending on your preference.

Spiral Perm: Produces consistently tight curls.

Styling Options

Piggyback Perm: Offers flexibility in styling with options for both casual and formal looks.

Spiral Perm: Best suited for creating bold, glamorous styles.

Length Compatibility

Piggyback Perm: Suitable for various hair lengths, but ideal for medium to long hair.

Spiral Perm: Works best on long hair to showcase the full effect of spiral curls.

Natural Look

Piggyback Perm: Provides a more natural look with the variation in curl sizes.

Spiral Perm: Offers a striking, attention-grabbing appearance.

Time and Cost

Piggyback Perm: Takes more time and can be costlier due to the double perming process.

Spiral Perm: Relatively quicker and budget-friendly.

Heat and Chemical Exposure

Piggyback Perm: Involves exposure to chemicals twice during the process.

Spiral Perm: Requires chemical treatment once, reducing exposure.


Piggyback Perm: Lasts a similar duration as a traditional perm, usually 2-6 months.

Spiral Perm: Can last slightly longer due to the tight curl structure.

Heat Styling Compatibility

Piggyback Perm: Allows heat styling but may loosen the curls over time.

Spiral Perm: Holds up well to heat styling.

Curl Maintenance

Piggyback Perm: Requires more effort to maintain the integrity of different curl sizes.

Spiral Perm: Easier to maintain, as curls are consistent.

Celebrities’ Choice

Piggyback Perm: Loved by celebrities like Blake Lively for its versatility.

Spiral Perm: Celebrities like Shakira have embraced spiral curls for their distinctive look.

Trend Factor

Piggyback Perm: A timeless style that’s always in trend.

Spiral Perm: Has periods of popularity, depending on the overall fashion trends.


Piggyback Perm: Offers customization options with varying curl sizes and patterns.

Spiral Perm: Limited in terms of customization due to the uniform curls.

Impact on Hair Health

Piggyback Perm: Can cause slightly more stress on the hair due to the dual perming process.

Spiral Perm: Generally gentler on the hair.


Piggyback Perm: Offers more comfort for everyday wear.

Spiral Perm: May feel heavier due to the uniform, tight curls.

Natural Hair Compatibility

Piggyback Perm: Suitable for a wide range of natural hair types.

Spiral Perm: Works best on naturally straight or wavy hair.

Seasonal Considerations

Piggyback Perm: Appropriate for all seasons, adaptable to different weather conditions.

Spiral Perm: More popular during warm seasons when tight curls shine.

Styling Products

Piggyback Perm: Requires fewer styling products due to its natural look.

Spiral Perm: May require more products to maintain the spiral shape.

Transitioning Styles

Piggyback Perm: Easy to transition into other styles due to the variation in curl sizes.

Spiral Perm: A bold style that may require more effort to switch to a different look.

Face Shape Consideration

Piggyback Perm: Adaptable to various face shapes, offering a harmonious look.

Spiral Perm: Suits specific face shapes, such as oval or heart-shaped faces.

Occasion Suitability

Piggyback Perm: Suitable for a wide range of occasions, from casual to formal events.

Spiral Perm: Best for special occasions where a statement look is desired.

Post-Perm Care

Piggyback Perm: Involves tailored care for different curl types.

Spiral Perm: Simplified care routine due to uniform curls.

FAQs on Piggyback Perm vs Spiral Perm

Q: How long does a Piggyback Perm vs Spiral Perm last?

A: Both styles typically last 2-6 months, but a Spiral Perm can sometimes have a longer lifespan.

Q: Are Piggyback Perms more damaging to the hair?

A: Not necessarily more damaging, but the two-step process can put slightly more stress on the hair.

Q: Can I transition from a Piggyback Perm to a Spiral Perm?

A: It’s possible, but you may need some time and styling to achieve the transition smoothly.

Q: Do Piggyback Perms require more maintenance than Spiral Perms?

A: Yes, Piggyback Perms need slightly more maintenance due to the two different curl types.

Q: Which style is better for thin hair, Piggyback Perm or Spiral Perm?

A: Both styles can work for thin hair, but a Piggyback Perm can provide more volume.


In the Piggyback Perm vs Spiral Perm showdown, the winner depends on your personal style preferences, hair type, and maintenance commitment.

Piggyback Perms offer versatility and natural looks, making them a timeless choice, while Spiral Perms make a bold statement with their uniform corkscrew curls. Ultimately, the decision is yours, and you can confidently choose the style that aligns with your unique personality and taste.

Whether you opt for the intriguing combination of Piggyback or the striking allure of Spiral, you’re sure to turn heads with your fabulous new curls.