How to Take Care of Permed Hair

By Leah Williams •  Updated: 07/30/22

Having curly hair can be a lot of fun, but it also requires a lot of care. If you have permed hair, then you know that it needs to be treated a little differently than natural curls. Here are some tips for taking care of your perm.

How do I take care of my newly permed hair?

As with any chemical treatment, perms damage your hair to a certain extent. Your hair stylist will usually recommend products to use with your newly curly hair for you to reap the permed hair benefits for longer.

Your hair type determines how long your perm will last. Coarse, thick hair stays curly for longer. Long hair will lose its curl faster because of its weight.

You can find below our top tips for taking care of your perm.

Wait 48 to 72 hours after getting a perm before washing your hair.

This step is essential as the bonds in your hair made by the perm’s chemical process have not yet been fully set. Let your hair dry on its own after the perm, and never get hair wet!

Resist the temptation to wash your hair, or you’ll end back with flat hair.

Avoid using conditioner for the first four weeks after your perm.

Conditioner weighs down new curls, so while this might be a regular part of your hair care routine, you can choose to skip it until your perm reaches a month or so.

After a month, you can start using deep conditioning treatment once a week as the chemicals tend to dry hair. Don’t overdo it, though!

Also, don’t use heavy hair accessories such as heavy metal clips. They tug in your curls and make them lose shape faster.

When you brush your hair, start from the ends and work upward.

This step is a better way to untangle your new curls without loosening them. It also prevents unwanted frizz caused by the friction between your hair and the brush or comb.

See your stylist if your curls have fallen flat.

Hair didn’t curl? See your stylist. Either the perming chemicals were too weak, or your hair wasn’t softened enough to break its bonds. A stylish can address the situation better than you doing DIY curling methods.

This situation often happens when your hair has never been exposed to chemicals. Virgin hair can be resistant to the perming process, so it’s understandable when you wanted curls and got beachy waves instead. Sometimes it’s flat!

If your stylist can’t fix it, time to ask for a refund and see another stylist instead.

Avoid washing your hair too frequently.

Schedule wash days so as not to dry out your hair too much. Use permed hair care products like shampoo and conditioner to treat permed hair and its issues.

Finger comb your hair if possible.

If you want your curls to last longer, it’s still best to comb them using your fingers! The process helps to distribute the natural oils on your scalp.

Avoid brushing your hair least the perm unravels, and your curls will loosen up quicker than expected. A wide-toothed comb will be your best friend, especially if your perm doesn’t cover your entire head.

The curling process also roughens up your hair cuticle. This action causes frizz, so keeping hair moisturized with a lightweight leave-on is a must. Scrunch it on your hair gently after gently combing with a wide-tooth comb.

Skip heat styling.

Avoid heat styling as the heat adds to the hair damage caused by the chemical treatments used in perming your hair. As well as the damage hair gets from heat styling tools, it shortens the lifespan of your curly hair.

If you must use a blow dryer to dry hair fast, blow dry with a diffuser attachment. Always use a heat protectant. Blow drying can make curly hair frizzy and causes split ends, so it’s best to skip it.

Don’t use flat irons if you want to straighten your hair for a while; your curly hair might not come back. Otherwise, air dry your curls to keep your hair curled tightly.

Tips and Styling Techniques for Permed Hair

Here are a few more tips you can do so your perm will last up to six months:

Wrap up

Taking care of newly permed hair doesn’t have to be stressful; you must follow simple guidelines for them to last long.

As your hair grows with a perm, you’ll need products that help it stay curly and shiny. We have curated the best products for permed hair. Do take a look and enjoy your curls for longer!

Leah Williams

Leah Williams is the founder of Lucky Curl and has been in the hair care and styling industry for the last 15 years. Since then, she has developed incredible expertise and a deep understanding of how to treat and style the most difficult hair types and is passionate about sharing her knowledge with the readers of Lucky Curl.

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