First of all, congratulations on getting a perm!
Whether you are a first-timer or you’re a seasoned perm veteran, it’s extremely important to take care of your hair right now so that it looks and feels good.
After a perm, the hair tends to become quite dry and brittle.
And by taking care of your hair, you can speed up healing and recovery.
So, without further ado, I’m going to get into a few don’ts to keep in mind after getting a perm.
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1. Do not shampoo your hair in the first 72 hours
Right after you’re done with your perm, the process isn’t over.
For the next 72 hours, the chemicals are still doing their work.
Perming involves using chemicals to break down and reform the natural structure of your hair making it more susceptible to damage and breakage.
This is why hair is often dry and brittle right after a perm – it’s been through a lot!
If you shampoo it too soon after a perm, you can strip your hair of its natural oils leaving it to become drier.
This is going to cause a lot of stress on your hair and you will also be washing away the chemicals that are still working on your hair.
Meaning you could be undoing the effects of your perm – and shampooing with a harsh chemical could make your curls looser.
Even if your curls are really tight and you don’t like them too much – please wait.
Your curls will loosen with time – you’ve had a fresh perm and the curls are usually very tight right after a perm.
So, try to avoid shampooing at least 3 days after the perm – this will ensure that your perm sets properly and your curls stay defined and intact for as long as possible.
2. Do not use heating tools for the next 48 hours
If you use a hairdryer or any other heating tool right after getting a perm, you might damage your newly permed hair and it might lose shape.
The high temperature of a hairdryer can cause the curls to become misshapen, frizzy, or even fall out.
Also, the heat from the hairdryer can cause the chemicals used during the perm process to break down and weaken – resulting in a less-defined and less long-lasting perm.
Please speak to your hairstylist.
If they have asked you to wait at least 48 hours before going in with any hot tools, then take their advice very seriously.
By not using any heating tools, you’ll allow the perm to set properly.
If at all you have to use a hairdryer – make sure you use it on the cold setting or on a very low heat setting. You can also use a diffuser with a very low heat setting to distribute the heat evenly and minimize damage to your perm.
3. Do not use any harsh hair products
Avoid using any harsh hair products like hair gels, hairspray, or mousse for the first few days after getting a perm.
If you apply these products too soon after a perm, it can disturb the curl pattern and cause your hair to become frizzy, limp, or even lose its shape.
Additionally, it will cause your hair to feel very heavy, and sticky and make it difficult to manage.
This can lead to tangling and breakage – remember your hair will be dry and brittle after the perm, and you don’t want to stress it further.
If you do start to use styling products on your permed hair, choose very light-weight, curl-enhancing products that are specifically formulated for permed hair.
This will help you maintain your curls’ shape and definition without weighing them down.
4. Don’t brush or comb your hair too vigorously
If you brush your hair too vigorously after a perm, it can cause your hair to become frizzy, tangled, or even break off.
This can weaken your hair and cause a lot of split ends.
Since your hair has just been through a lot of chemical processing – give it some rest so that it can heal and recover.
If you want to detangle your hair, use a wide-tooth comb or your fingers to gently detangle your hair.
The best way to do this is to start at the ends and slowly work your way up slowly to the roots. Avoid tugging or pulling at your hair as that too can cause damage and breakage.
5. Do not tie your hair up tightly
Tying your hair up very tightly can pull at your hair and cause it to break off.
Tight hairstyles will weaken your hair and cause split ends – it might even cause damage to the roots.
Additionally tying your hair up right after a perm can cause your hair to become flattened or crushed and this can make it very difficult to maintain the curl pattern and shape.
If you have to tie it up, please use a satin scrunchy (I use this every day as a curly girl) or put your hair in a satin bonnet so it doesn’t disturb you when sleeping.
Make sure it’s very loose and you should be good to go!
6. Do not swim in chlorinated water
You must avoid swimming in a pool right after a perm because chlorine and other chemicals that they use in pool water can cause damage to your newly permed hair.
This can cause breakage and frizz.
Chlorine also strips the natural oils from your hair and this can cause your hair to become more dry and brittle.
If at all you need to swim, protect your hair with a swim cap that doesn’t let any water in.
You can also use a leave-in conditioner in your hair before getting into the pool to reduce the risk of damage as this will create a protective barrier between your hair and the pool water.
If your hair has gotten wet in the pool, then rinse it thoroughly with clean water and apply a moisturizing conditioner to help restore any lost moisture and maintain the health of your permed hair.
7. Do not use any clarifying shampoo
I’ve already mentioned shampooing before.
But clarifying shampoos is an even bigger no-no. In my post on how to get rid of perm, I talk about how a clarifying shampoo can be the best thing you use to reduce a perm.
While clarifying shampoos are very useful in removing product buildup and dirt, they may also remove the chemicals that are still working on your hair to help the perm set.
Look for shampoos that are gentle, moisturizing, and specifically designed for permed hair. They will usually have the terms, “sulfate-free” or “color-safe.”
Additionally, your stylist may also suggest a shampoo you can use.
8. Don’t skip hydration treatments
After a perm, your hair is going to be dry – I know I’m repeating myself but I was pretty surprised as to how my hair became so dry after getting it chemically treated.
I just bleached my hair, but the dryness was unimaginable.
It is so important to hydrate your hair and make sure your hair recovers after a perm. So do deep-conditioning treatments once in 4-5 days to keep your hair moisturized and nourished.
Your hair quality will improve.
9. Do not overwash your hair
Do not overwash your hair as this can strip your hair of its natural oils and cause it to become even drier. You may even experience frizz and loss of shape.
If it’s too greasy, ask your hairstylist for recommendations – maybe they can suggest some products that will help.
My suggestion is to use a gentle, moisturizing shampoo.
If you have doubts, always read the reviews on amazon and look for products that specifically are designed for permed hair.
10. Avoid any hair color or chemical treatments
Your hair has just been through a major chemical treatment already – perms are quite damaging because they break down the disulfide bonds.
This means your hair is going to be very weak right after the perm.
You don’t want to stress it out by adding additional chemical treatments on top of this.
It can be too harsh for your hair and may lead to dryness, breakage, and damage.
Using additional chemical treatments like hair color, relaxers or straightening treatments might not only damage the hair, but also the roots.
If you want to color your hair after a perm, please wait at least 2 weeks before doing this.
This will give your hair plenty of time to recover. And use a gentle, ammonia-free hair color that is specifically designed for permed hair.
I highly recommend seeing a hairstylist so that the color can be applied safely.
Overall, please check with your hairstylist and follow the care instructions they provide.
11. Protect your hair from the sun
The sun damages skin and hair – it can be very harsh.
When you’ve just undergone a perm, your hair is more fragile and prone to sun damage.
The sun can act like bleach on your hair. It does react with melanin in the hair and also acts on the keratin in your hair.
This will cause your hair to become more dry and frizzy – something you definitely want to avoid after a perm.
So, if you have to go out in the sun – wear a scarf around your hair or a wide-brimmed hat.
Go out very early or very late in the day to avoid the sun.
And you can also use an SPF for your hair.
12. Don’t sleep while your hair is still wet
If you sleep with wet hair, it can cause the curls to become frizzy and lose shape.
So, I usually wash my hair in the mornings – that gives my hair plenty of time to air-dry.
If your hair is wet by nighttime, use a diffuser in the cold setting to dry your hair gently.
13. Don’t skip regular trims
We all get split ends.
If you do not trim your split ends every 4-8 weeks, your split ends will ride up and cause your hair to stop growing.
It can also cause severe frizz and breakage.
It’s very important that people who apply heat or color to their hair get regular trims – this will help get rid of all the damaged hair and will help your overall hair health.
Your hair will look healthy and vibrant!
I hope this post helped you understand all the don’ts after perming your hair.
As long as you follow the care instructions and continue to care for your hair, you will have beautiful, bouncy curls for weeks to come!
I hope this helps.
Here are a few more posts you may find helpful:
- 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
- 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