Do you have permed that has lost its oomph?
Or you’re kinda bored and you now want to bring your hair to life with a brand new color.
Either way, in this post, I’ll talk about if you can bleach permed hair.
Bleaching permed hair may sound like a crazy idea, but it can work wonders.
By stripping away some of the color pigments in your hair, you can create a blank canvas and color it any color you want!
You can also achieve a lighter, brighter look that’s perfect for summer or any time you want to stand out.
However, I must warn you – there are risks involved.
Bleaching can damage your hair and if it’s permed, then there is a chance of further damage.
So, it’s very important to do your research and take precautions.
But don’t let that scare you off.
In this post, I’m going to talk about how you can bleach your permed hair safely.
So grab a seat, put some gloves on, and get ready to embark on a hair adventure like no other! Let’s do this!
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What exactly is a perm?
Before you consider bleaching your permed hair, I want you to understand what you’re dealing with.
So, what exactly is a perm?
A perm is a chemical treatment that adds bouncy curls or waves to straight hair. It’s like a magic potion that transforms your hair into a whole new world of texture and volume.
How does a perming solution work?
Perming solutions work by breaking down the protein bonds in your hair, which can be damaging if overdone or done on already damaged hair.
Overprocessing can also lead to dryness, breakage, and split ends.
So, it’s important to give your hair some tender loving care (TLC for short) after a perm. This means using a sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner and avoiding heat styling tools, along with getting regular trims to prevent split ends.
Think of it like a new relationship – you’ve got to nurture it and treat it well if you expect it to last.
Now, there are different kinds of perms – each with its own pros and cons.
Acid perms are extremely gentle and perfect for damaged hair while Alkaline perms are stronger and better for coarse hair.
Now, you don’t need to worry about this.
Just trust your stylist to recommend the best type of perm for your type of hair.
Don’t get one that doesn’t suit your hair because you could damage your hair if you’re not carefully picking the best type of perming solution.
How long after a perm can I bleach my hair?
If you want to bleach your hair after a perm, please wait at least 2-3 weeks after the perm to let your hair recover and gain back its strength.
It is also crucial that you choose a gentle bleaching product and follow the instructions closely.
You do not want to overprocess your hair and end up looking like a burnt potato chip.
If you do not wait till your hair is recovered, you may end up with hair that becomes very stretchy and break as you touch them – this is quite scary and this happened to me once when I straightened my hair right after bleaching.
So, please don’t make the same mistake I did.
I’ll talk about how you can bleach your permed hair safely.
But here are some things to keep in mind.
1. Perm first, then bleach
You always want to perm your hair first and then bleach it and dye it whatever color you want. I’ve talked about this in my post on will hair dye ruin a perm.
This order is extremely important.
If you color your hair and then perm, your hair color will change! Perming solutions alter the hair color and it will look very different, especially for lighter hair colors like blonde.
So, always perm first. Wait for 2-3 weeks(minimum) before going in with bleach.
2. Do proper research
Before bleaching your perming your hair, find out what your hair texture and type are.
Then do research and figure out what products and techniques work best for your hair type and texture.
3. Do a patch test
After years of experimenting with my hair, this is a golden rule I never break!
Always, always do a patch test before applying any chemicals to your hair.
This will help you avoid any allergic reaction or irritation. You will also be able to see what the process will do to your hair.
4. Choose a perm that suits your hair type
If you have fine or damaged hair, consider an acid perm.
Like I said before, these work best on fragile hair as they use a lower pH to break down the protein bands. Acid perms will give you very soft, natural-looking curls without the risk of damaging your hair further.
Now, if you have thick or coarse hair, an alkaline perm might be more your jam. These are stronger and use a higher pH level to break down the protein bonds. Alkaline perms give you bouncy, defined curls that can last for several months!
You want to go with hot perms instead of cold perms.
Cold perms are more damaging than hot perms.
A hot perm, also known as a heat perm, is a type of perm that uses heat to activate the chemicals that reshape the hair. The hair is wrapped around rods, and then a machine that emits heat is used to help set the new shape. Hot perms are generally used on coarse or resistant hair types and can give a more dramatic curl.
Yes, it won’t last as long – but it’s less damaging.
Since you want to bleach your hair afterward, consider the less damaging perm.
5. Keep moisturizing your hair
After the perm and bleaching, your hair is going to need a lot of care.
Your hair might become brittle, dry, and extremely weak.
So, you will need to do a lot of deep conditioning treatments, hair masks, and hot oil treatments.
Additionally, please get frequent trims to avoid split ends.
This will help your hair soak up the moisture and regain some of its strength.
6. Do not bleach before perming
I’ve said this before.
But please do not bleach and then perm.
Always perm first and then bleach.
Perming solutions are strong enough to change the hair color. Additionally, bleaching is more damaging than a perm.
So, if you bleach and then perm, your hair could become stringy or break off entirely. You don’t want your hair to fall out – so please be careful!
7. Don’t use any heating tools
Do not use a straightener or blow-dryer or curling iron.
Heat styling tools can damage hair extensively especially if you’ve already chemically processed your hair like getting a perm.
So, please consider air-drying or using low-heat settings instead.
8. Follow all the after-care perm instructions
After your perm, please do not:
- Wet your hair for 72 hours.
- Tie it in a poly tail or do any tight hairstyles (this will damage the curls)
Please follow all the instructions as this will prep your hair for bleaching.
What are the risks of bleaching permed hair?
Now, let me brief you on the risks.
Both of these processes are harsh and damaging to hair.
Bleach breaks down hair proteins to lift or remove color while perming breaks down proteins to reshape hair.
If you do not wait at least 2 weeks before bleaching your permed hair, it can lead to damaged hair that probably breaks or even falls off.
What are the precautions to take when bleaching permed hair?
My honest suggestion is to wait at least 2 weeks before you bleach permed hair.
Do not bleach and perm your hair on the same day. This is the worst idea. You will end up with severely damaged hair and it might break or even fall right off.
There’s nothing like it if you can wait a month – honestly, this will give your hair time to recover and strengthen before undergoing another harsh treatment.
Also, please use a gentle bleach formula designed for use on color-treated hair.
This will minimize damage and prevent breakage.
How light can I go when bleaching permed hair?
The amount of lightness you can achieve when bleaching permed hair depends on several factors like the strength and condition of your hair, the type of bleach you will be using, and the technique applied.
Usually, you can lighten it by up to a few shades.
I suggest going for a medium blonde or darker blonde as opposed to platinum blonde or white blonde.
Remember, to go to lighter shades, you need to let the bleach sit for longer in your hair – you don’t want to overprocess your already permed hair because this will cause more damage!.
So, darker blonde colors will be less damaging and you can still color it any other color over that if you’re using semi-permanent dye.
Please note that bleaching can further weaken hair – so to minimize damage please wait 2-3 weeks after perming before you bleach your hair and use a very gentle bleach formula.
If you are still not sure, please consult with a professional stylist who can assess your hair and actually recommend the best way to move forward.
They will help you understand what level of lightness you can achieve while minimizing damage. And they’ll coach you on post-bleaching hair care so that you can maintain your hair health!
Should I perm or color first?
Always perm your hair before you color it! And do not do both on the same day because it will lead to severely damaged hair that takes months if not years to repair.
The reason I suggest perming before coloring is that perming makes your hair very porous and causes the hair cuticles to be raised – this will cause the color to be absorbed better.
Perming can change the color of your hair because the solution is strong, so it’s not advisable to color before perming.
Additionally, perming your hair first will also allow you to see the final texture of your hair which will affect how the color appears.
For instance, if you color it red, it is going to look different straight and curly.
I highly suggest consulting a professional hair stylist who can assess your hair and recommend the best way to go about it.
I bleached my hair a year ago, can I perm it now?
If you’ve bleached your hair a year ago, it’s safe to perm your hair now.
As long as your hair is in good condition and has fully recovered from the bleaching process – go ahead!
However, please note that perming can be damaging to your hair. If your hair is already weakened from the previous bleaching process, it may be more prone to damage and breakage.
So, I suggest assessing your hair’s current condition first.
If you feel it’s healthy enough to withstand the perming process, then by all means, go ahead.
If you are still not sure, I highly recommend consulting with a professional hair stylist who will evaluate your hair and tell you how to go about it.
Lastly, please wait at least 2 months after bleaching your hair before perming it, as the chemicals used in bleach really weaken the hair. You don’t want to go in with a perm right after that – it could lead to severe damage or worse, your hair falling out.
I hope I answered all your questions, I’m going to link to more helpful posts below:
- Will hair dye ruin a perm? Read this before coloring your permed hair
- 13 big no-nos after a perm! Everything you need to know
- 5 ways to get rid of a perm you hate without cutting your hair
- Can I get braids after a perm? How long should I wait?
- Can you get braids with relaxed hair? How to prep for braids
- How to tell if someone has a perm vs real curls
- 9 Easy Ways to Keep Twists from Unraveling
- 5 Steps to Revive Second-Day Curls (Quickly and Easily)
- 9 Surefire Ways to Tell if Someone has a Perm (vs Real Curls)
- Thin Hair After Hair Extensions? How to Recover and Grow It Back
- Bored with Your Hair? 11 Impulsive Things to Do to Your Hair
- 21 Bold and Funky Hair Colors for Short Hair (+Photos)
- 9 Reasons Why Your Curly Hair is Becoming Wavy (+How to Fix it)
- 7 Real Reasons Why Your Hair is Getting Shorter Without Cutting It
- Why Your Hair is Stiff After Flat Ironing – 9 Mistakes to Avoid