You got a perm done recently and you’re keen on braiding it now.
You want to get braids done but you’re worried you will damage your hair.
So, you’re wondering if you can get braids with permed hair.
The short answer is yes. You can get braids done with permed hair, but you will need to wait a while (preferably 3-6 weeks) because freshly permed hair is still healing. The cuticles are raised and this means that the hair is susceptible to breakage.
Additionally, you could end up with a weird curl pattern since the hair is more malleable now and it might just take the shape of the braids.
The reason this question gets asked a lot is that yes, curly hair is easier to braid.
Since curly has is a little bit rougher and not smooth and silky, the braids remain for longer.
But when you are perming your hair, the situation changes.
It is generally a good technique to avoid tying your hair too tightly, putting it up, or doing these hairstyles like twists or braids on freshly permed hair.
It may damage your hair and may even cause some amount of damage to the roots.
Let me explain.
When you get a perm, your hair will be very soft because the bonds are changed. Your hair will be dry, weak, brittle, and very prone to breakage.
You may even experience thinning or temporary hair loss.
When your hair is in this delicate stage, I don’t recommend braiding your hair. Because twists, locs or even braids will put a lot of pressure on the hair and the roots.
You could experience a lot of hair damage.
I highly recommend waiting for at least 3-6 weeks before braiding permed hair.
However, there are ways you can prep your permed hair so that it can heal faster and it’s healthy and strong before you braid it.
There are also things you want to avoid right after the perm.
So, let’s get into it.
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Is it okay to perm your hair before getting braids?
If your sole purpose is to get braids, then no – don’t perm your hair.
Yes, braids do sit better with curly hair.
But when you are perming your hair, you are going to mess with the structural composition of your hair.
Let me explain.
A perm, short for “permanent wave,” is a chemical treatment that is used to alter the shape and texture of hair.
The chemicals break down the bonds in your hair that gives its natural texture and reshape it and fix it into a new form.
Perms are wonderful for people who want curly hair or even to add more volume to their hair.
However, it is damaging – let’s not ignore that.
And when you get a perm – your hair is going to be very, very fragile.
This is why you need to leave your hair alone for a while after getting a perm so that it can heal.
If you do braids, you are going to damage your hair because it will break.
It’s very vulnerable, brittle, and dry and at this point even tying it in a ponytail will cause breakage and damage to the roots.
So, you can imagine what braids would do…
Braids are a protective hairstyle but they are very tight. And this will not just destroy the curl pattern, it will cause breakage.
So, if you get braids to freshly permed hair, you’re looking at:
Because the protein level in the hair is very low, your hair strands will be very weak and prone to damage.
Tying braids will break the hair strands or even cause hair fall since your hair is very dry and brittle.
Your braids are not going to look smooth and shiny.
They will have a lot of frizz since you’ve just had a perm.
Your hair cuticles are now raised right after the perm and it’s not going to sit well when braided.
Your hair will not be able to take it and the strands will look tired, frizzy, and overall unhealthy.
What hairstyles should you avoid after a perm?
Since braids are a no-go immediately after a perm, I thought I’d talk about other hairstyles that you should not get right after a perm.
Here are some hairstyles you definitely need to avoid right after a perm:
1. Tight braids or ponytails
These are going to pull on the hair and cause a lot of stress and tension to the hair strands. This means your curls might loosen or break.
So, if you have to braid your hair, opt for very loose braids and please wait at least 3 weeks before you get this done.
2. Sleek or straight hairstyles
Do not at any cost use a flat iron on your freshly permed hair. Avoid a blowdryer as well. The heat is going to damage your permed hair because it’s already brittle. Please avoid heat-styling tools for at least a week after a perm.
3. Heavy hair extensions
Heavy hair extensions can pull on the hair and may cause the curls to break. You may even cause damage to the roots directly. And you definitely don’t want this!
4. Short choppy cuts
Since your hair is curly now, you are prone to shrinkage. And as a curly girl, I can tell you from experience that it’s not easy to style.
So, opt for longer layers or blunt cuts so that you can show off those curls.
5. Harsh chemical treatments:
Amy chemical treatments like relaxers or color treatments can damage your permed hair and believe me when I say that it’s very difficult to recover from the damage.
As a person who’s colored her hair, I can tell you that it needs to be done on healthy hair.
Avoid color treatments for at least 2 weeks after a perm.
What should you not do after a perm?
A few things you should not do right after a perm is:
- Do not wash your hair for at least 72 hours – You have to wait for a minimum of 48 hours before washing your hair because this will allow the new curl pattern to set in.
- Do not comb your hair or touch your hair too much – brushing or combing can cause the curls to loosen. It will also cause breakage and damage to the roots. If you do need to detangle, please be gentle and use your fingers.
- Don’t use any styling tools – Any styling tools like flat irons or curling rods will damage your hair and cause the curls to loosen. It’s best to avoid heat-styling tools for at least a week.
- Don’t tie your hair or put it up – Hair ties will cause breakage and permanently alter your curls since your hair is still extremely malleable after the perm. You definitely don’t want to mess with the curl pattern right after a perm.
- Do not use any hair products with alcohol – Your hair is going to be very dry and brittle right after the perm. So any hair products with alcohol are going to further dry out your hair and will cause damage to the curl pattern. Look for specific products that are specially created for permed hair. Read the reviews before going all in and purchasing them.
- Don’t swim in chlorinated water – Chlorine is very damaging to bleached hair or permed hair. Your curls will loosen. Please wear a waterproof swim cap and make sure that your hair does not get wet.
- Do not color your hair or braid it immediately – Again, your hair is freshly permed and needs to heal – so avoid any procedures that will add additional stress to your hair.
How to prep hair for braiding?
Okay, so you understand now what not to do with freshly permed hair and what hairstyles to avoid right after perming.
But let’s say you are still keen on getting braids.
What can we do then?
We can heal the hair and help it become healthy so that we can do braids after – here are a few ways you can heal your hair quickly.
1. Use a sulfate-free shampoo
After waiting for at least 3 days after perming, you can now wash your hair.
But I highly recommend using a sulfate-free shampoo when you do so. This is because sulfates can strip your hair of its natural oils which can cause even more dryness to your permed hair.
Let’s not forget that permed hair is already dry and brittle. You don’t want to add to that.
So, use a gentle shampoo that is specifically designed for permed hair – preferably a shampoo that will not strip your hair of its oils and will merely clean the hair from product build-up.
2. Condition regularly
Conditioning is required to help your hair restore moisture. This will also repair damage and reduce frizz.
Look for a conditioner that is formulated for permed hair and use it every time you wash your hair.
You can also do a deep-conditioning treatment once a week to give your hair that nice boost of moisture.
3. Protect your hair from the sun
Yes, sun exposure can cause your hair to become drier and more brittle.
Please wear a hat and if possible some hair sunscreen to protect your hair from the sun’s harsh rays.
4. Moisturize your hair
Curls require a lot of moisture.
Now that you’re conditioning often, you can also use leave-in serums, moisturizing mists, and curl creams.
This will help add a lot of hydration to your hair and heal it quickly so that you can get your hair back to its healthy state.
5. Trim your hair regularly
Regular trims will help to prevent split ends (that will ride up your hair and cause more breakage) and keep your hair looking healthy.
Try to get a trim every 6-8 weeks.
I know how difficult it can be to be patient.
Especially when you’re really eager to get braids right after your perm – I know it’s not easy.
But please understand that your hair health is very important and you want your hair to be very healthy before getting it braided.
So, make sure you let your hair rest right after your perm and wait for your beautiful curls to form.
Take care of your hair and don’t stress it too much so that your hair has enough time to heal and repair itself.
I recommend waiting for at least 3-6 weeks.
I hope this article helped answer all your questions and you are now able to care for your perm before you get your braids done.
Here are a few more posts that you may find helpful:
- Can you get braids with relaxed hair? How to prep for braids
- 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