A permanent wave, commonly called a perm, is the chemical and/or thermal treatment of hair to produce waves or curls. The use of the word 'permanent' is justified insofar as when the wave is permed, it remains so; however, as the hair grows, the new hair that grows has not been waved, while cutting the hair from the end removes that which is waved, giving the impression that the permanent wave gradually disappears. In cosmetology, it is termed a type of curl reformation.
"Historically, caucasian women have wished to have wavy or curly hair which seemed more attractive than the more common straight hair. Attempts to curl it by wetting and winding or tying with paper produces only superficial effects. "