How To Perm Bleached Or Color-Treated Hair At Home

Written by Anjali Sayee

Straight hair looks neat and gorgeous, but none can ignore the beauty of bountiful curls. Permanent wave or permed hair – the ‘80s most memorable hairdo – has always been in vogue and never fell out of favor. However, contrary to the tight corkscrew curls of the ‘80s, modern perms are much softer and gentler.

Perming is the best way to add volume and body to fine hair. But if you have recently bleached or colored your hair and wish to get it permed, you have to be extra cautious. In this article, we have discussed every aspect of perming colored and bleached hair, including the pre- and post-care procedures. Read on. 

What Is Hair Perming?

Hair perming is a chemical treatment to alter the structure of the hair fibers. It changes the hair texture by creating either curls or waves. It is best for those with fine and thin hair.

Compared to straightening, perming is difficult and not a one-size-fits-all process. The techniques differ according to hair texture and type. If you are perming colored or bleached hair, you have to be extra cautious.

Is It Safe To Perm Colored Or Bleached Hair?

Although perming colored and bleached hair is not dangerous, it is not recommended. It is because your hair has already gone through a chemical process. Exposing it to multiple chemical processes may alter the hair structure, causing cuticle breakage, split ends, and frizzy hair. Moreover, perming colored hair is likely to lighten the color.

However, there are perming formulas meant for colored hair. These formulas are milder than other perming solutions but are expensive. If you wish to go ahead with perming your bleached and colored hair, consult a hair expert and be aware of the damages it may cause.

You can also do it at home. Make sure to have a gap of at least 2-3 weeks between bleaching or coloring and perming. Here is how you can do it.

How To Perm Bleached Hair

You Will Need

  • Perm kit for bleached hair
  • Natural and neutral shampoo


  1. Wash your hair with a clarifying shampoo to remove any oil and dirt residue.
  2. Dry your hair and brush to detangle all the knots.
  3. Divide your hair into uniform sections.
  4. Using a rat-tail comb, take out a thin strand from one section and wrap it around the curling rod. Repeat the process with the remaining sections.
  5. Apply the perming solution on the rods and leave it for five minutes.
  6. Unwrap the hair around one curling rod. If you cannot see the waves, leave it on for another two minutes.
  7. Once you notice S-like waves, rinse the hair well with warm water without removing the curling rods.
  8. Dry the hair with a blow dryer and then apply the neutralizing liquid on the rods.
  9. Wait for 10 minutes and rinse with warm water to wash out the solution.
  10. Blow dry the hair and gently remove the rods.
  11. Do not brush your hair. Wait for three days to shampoo your hair.

Check out this video for a better understanding:

Before you start the perming process, you have to pass the chunk test to ensure hair health and prevent damage.

What To Do Before You Perm Dyed Hair?

Before starting the chemical perming process, perform a chunk test. If your hair passes the chunk test, you can continue with the perming process.

Dip a few hair strands into a glass of water. If the strands sink to the bottom of the glass, your hair absorbs water quickly and is damaged and dehydrated. It is not recommended to perm damaged hair. If your hair does not sink, you can go ahead with the perming process. Here are a few tips before you start the process.

Other Tips For Perming Dyed Or Bleached Hair

  • Always use a natural shampoo and conditioner for pre- and post-treatment wash. They help restore moisture and rejuvenate the locks.
  • Comb your hair thoroughly to detangle it before perming.
  • Take professional assistance for the perming and bleaching process.

Perming colored and bleached hair can leave it dry and dehydrated. Hence, you have to take proper care of your hair to maintain your perm.

How To Care For Your Permed And Dyed Hair

  • Hair perming after bleaching or dyeing dehydrates the hair. Use a sulfate-free, paraben-free, chemical-free shampoo to restore the hair bonds and strengthen the locks.
  • Use deep conditioners and hair masks twice a week to reduce the damage. Deep conditioners soften the chemically processed locks and keep them hydrated and nourished.
  • You can also go for hair spa sessions twice a month to add extra nourishment.
  • Use a wide-toothed comb or a gentle brush to detangle your hair. Be gentle while combing your hair.

Closing Thoughts

Perms look beautiful, but they are not meant for all hair types, especially dry and damaged hair. If you have recently colored or bleached your hair, it is best to talk to a hairstylist before perming. Make sure you follow the tips mentioned in the article.

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Anjali Sayee is a writer and an introvert. From studying Aeronautical Engineering and wanting to design her own airplane to writing articles on hairstyles, she has been on quite a journey. She believes that hair is one of the key factors that define a woman’s personality. To quote her, “What’s the first thing they do in the movies to show a personality change? Change the hair – because it has a life of its own.” She’s here to help you find the hairstyle you need. This bookworm is a self-professed Wholocker, a talented drummer, and an amateur photographer.