You may or may not have heard of a modern perm. If not, it is essentially a modern take of the ’80s perms of the past.

Usually, modern perms are referred to as permanent waves as they tend to be softer, more natural-looking, and easier to manage than their ancestors.

As always, a perm changes your hair’s texture. It is a chemical treatment that leaves you with a new texture, usually straight to curly. The thing that makes the modern perm so different is that it is versatile. A modern perm can be wavy, rolled tighter, or it can mimic a beach wave.

This is not the perm your mom or even grandma had. It is customizable to your preferences. Your stylist will roll the curlers for your desired look.

But, if you plan on getting a modern perm, be prepared for what’s to come.

First off, you will be in the salon for 3 hours, give or take, depending on the thickness and length of your hair. And the look you leave the salon with will not be what you have every day after.

Curlers and chemicals create a permanent wave. These chemicals have to continue working for the next 48-72 hours. This is why you shouldn’t wash your hair right after a perm. It will neutralize the chemicals and essentially wash them out. What a waste!

But, even so, you can get your hair wet. Spraying a bit of water on it is encouraging to re-activate the curls. Once you sleep on your new curls, they will look flat and lifeless. A spritz of water and some scrunching will bring your curls back to life.

You should also know that after your first wash, your curls will fall a bit from what they were when you left the salon. Your hair will create its natural curl pattern.

But, if you want to maintain this look and get the most for your money, there are some things you have to do.

You’ll want to reduce how often you wash your hair. Curly hair needs hydration to remain defined. Every time you wash your hair, it gets dried out. So, don’t wash your hair more than three times a week. And when you do, make sure you are using a sulfate-free and hydrating shampoo and conditioner.

You really want to ensure you are conditioning the hair to reduce frizz and maintain your hair’s health. You will also want a wide-tooth comb to detangle your hair while wet and soaking up all the goodness from the conditioner.

From there, you will want to dry your hair with a t-shirt or microfiber towel. Do not rub it, or it will get frizzy. You’ll want to plop it gently on your head, let it air dry, or diffuse it on low heat.

A lightweight oil, leave-in conditioner, curl cream, and heat protectant are also vital steps of your routine.

This sounds like a lot, and that’s because it is. Don’t be fooled into thinking a modern perm is a low-maintenance style. You won’t wake up with Julia Roberts’s hair every morning. There is a lot of adjustment and maneuvering required to make a perm work for you.