Is It Ideal To Wash Your Hair Right After A Perm?

Everything you need to know about taking care of your tresses after perming

Reviewed by Tiffany Young, Certified Trichology Practitioner Tiffany Young Tiffany YoungCertified Trichology Practitioner facebook_iconlinkedin_iconinsta_icon
Written by , BA (Literature & Psychology), PG Diploma Arshiya Syeda BA (Literature & Psychology), PG Diploma Experience: 7 years
Edited by , MA (English Literature) Ramona Sinha MA (English Literature) Experience: 11 years
Fact-checked by , Integrated MA Medha Deb Integrated MA Experience: 5 years

Perms liven up your hair and add a zing to it. While it restructures your locks into gorgeous ringlets, make sure not to wash your hair right after a perm. These curls take a little while to set, and an early wash can undo all your efforts of getting the perfect perm. It is crucial to know how long you must wait before washing your hair after a perm. Otherwise, your curls will not last. This article explores what is good for your curls after permingi  XA hairstyling treatment that uses heat and chemicals to provide long-lasting waves and curls to your hair. and what you must avoid. Take a look.

What Is A Hair Perm?

A hair perm refers to a chemical treatment that creates curly or wavy textures in your hair regardless of your natural hair type. In the past, perms often resulted in very coiled and potentially damaging textures. However, they are now safe and are no longer damaging, thanks to modern techniques and improved practices.

One common concern those getting a perm have is how long they need to wait to wash their hair. Scroll to the next section for more details.

How Soon Can You Wash Your Hair After A Perm?

Woman undergoing hair perming
Image: Shutterstock

If you are wondering how long you should wait to wash your hair after a perm, it should be at least 48 hours. Some stylists suggest a gap of 36 or 72 hours before washing your hair after a perm. But this depends mostly on your hair type.

Your hair achieves a permed look due to the action of ammonium thioglycolate and disulfide bondsi  XStrong chemical bonds that form between sulfur atoms to maintain the integrity and strength of the hair. . The waving lotion might get deactivated if acted upon by water. Hence, it is best to let your hair rest and wash it 2-3 days after the procedure to be on the safer side.

Lena, a YouTuber who vlogs with her dog, shared that she washed her hair three days after getting a hair perm. However, she adds, “It’s best to go as long as you can without washing it. If I didn’t have class, I would wash it probably four to five days later (i).” She also mentioned that she tried a hair dryer with a diffuser but it made her hair puffy and frizzy.

Does this mean you can wash your hair with any shampoo? Find out in the next section.

Can You Wash Your Hair After A Perm With Any Shampoo?

No. The perming process might dry out your hair and increase the need for natural moisture. Therefore, it is important to use shampoos, conditioners, and serums meant specifically for wavy and curly hair. Use a dry shampoo instead of rinsing your hair for a couple of days beyond this time.

protip_icon Quick Tip
It is recommended to avoid dyeing your hair for two weeks after getting a perm.

Do You Need To Moisturize The Hair After Washing?

Woman hydrating her permed hair
Image: Shutterstock

Yes. Your permed hair needs moisture eternally, no matter how less or frequently you wash it. Your hair goes through a lot of protein damage during the process. This might leave your strands prone to dryness and damage. Add some hydrating products to your hair care routine and apply nourishing hair masks to keep your permed hair moisturized.

Let now find out what happens if you wash your hair right after a perm within 36 hours.

protip_icon Quick Tip
Opt for natural hair care treatments such as eggs, avocados, yogurt, coconut milk, and honey to nourish and repair your tresses.

Can You Wash Your Hair 36 Hours After A Perm? What Will Happen?

Perming uses certain chemicals that change the keratin structure of your hair. It takes 2-3 days for your hair to lock the shape of the curls. During this time, if you apply water and shampoo to your hair, it may degrade the keratini  XA fibrous protein that regulates cell growth and forms the structure of the hair and the outermost layers of the skin. and loosen your curls.

Hence, as stated earlier, it is important to wait for at least 48 hours before giving your hair the first wash. This gives the perming chemicals sufficient time to work on your hair and make it evenly curled.

Here are some useful tips for caring for your fresh perms.

Excellent Tips To Maintain Beautiful Permed Hair

Woman checking hair care product for permed hair
Image: Shutterstock
  1. Always choose hair care products meant for permed hair. Use them as directed.
  1. Do not shampoo your hair more than once a week. Using shampoos frequently may strip your natural hair moisture.
  1. Sometimes, you can wash out your hair with a conditioner and skip the shampoo.
  1. Avoid brushing your wet hair as it may lead to breakage.
  1. Do not wring your hair with a towel to dry it. Pat dry and use microfiber towelsi  XSuper absorbent towels made of tiny synthetic fibers that help protect curls against damage caused by friction. to absorb the moisture.
  1. Use a wide-toothed comb to detangle your hair.
  1. Do not swim in chlorinated water within three days of perming your hair.
  1. Tie your hair with a silk scarf while sleeping to prevent friction and frizz.
  2. Indulge in a luxurious hair spa treatment every month to keep your curls moisturized.

While it does require maintenance, who does not want to have gorgeous permed hair for a long time? That said, how long does it last?

How Long Does A Hair Perm Last?

A hair perm, on an average, can last anywhere between 3 and 6 months.The longevity of a hair perm depends on your hair’s natural texture, the size of the perm rods used, and how well you care for your permed hair.

Infographic: Dos And Don’ts Of Caring For Permed Hair

Perms give your hair the perfect curls, which they take a while to set in. After perming, the hair tends to become dry and needs natural moisture. However, it is best not to wash your hair immediately after perming as it will undo the curls, and all your efforts will go in vain. The following infographic gives you brief pointers on what to do and avoid after getting your hair permed. Scroll down and take a look.

dos and don’ts of caring for permed hair (infographic)

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

If you wash your hair right after a perm, you may not achieve the desired results. Wait for at least 48 hours to wash your hair after perming. Using shampoos specific for curl and wavy hair helps in giving the best look. You also need to moisturize the hair after perming as it loses most of its protein in the perming process. In addition, the following tips like washing permed hair once a week, using a wide-toothed comb, and tying the hair with a silk scarf to minimize frizz helps maintain the look of permed hair. You can follow these instructions and suggestions to flaunt the beauty of your locks. Follow the tips for the ideal maintenance of your permed hair without going out to a salon or even taking any help from a hairstylist.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does a hair perm lead to damage?

Yes, a perm treatment may result in damaged hair.

Can you shampoo your hair before a perm?

Yes, perming begins with the application of shampoo as a pre-treatment.

Are any shampoos good to use on permed hair?

Yes. You can use sulfate-free shampoos and conditioners in your curly hair routine.

What should you not do after a perm?

Avoid getting your hair wet (under a shower or at the beach/pools), brushing them, or using heat styling tools within 48 hrs of getting a perm. Also, do not dye your hair within a week of getting a perm.

Can I comb my hair after a perm?

Avoid combing hair just after getting a perm. Instead, use your fingers to detangle gently.

What would happen if I washed my hair 24 hours after perm?

It is not recommended to wash your hair 24 hours after perm because it may lead to less defined curls and increase the risk of damage and frizz.

Key Takeaways

  • Washing your hair soon after perming may deactivate the ammonium thioglycolatei  XA chemical that breaks disulfide bonds in the hair to help reshape them into curls or waves. Also known as perm salt. Also known as perm salt, it is a mild chemical that modifies the hair fibers and helps reshape the hair without damaging it. and disulfide bonds that give a permed look in the first place.
  • Post perming, your hair can take around 3-4 days to get locked in the shape of curls. Hence, do not wash your hair during this time.
  • Avoid brushing your wet hair, do not shampoo more than once a week, and choose hair care products specifically meant for permed hair.
Wash Your Hair Right After A Perm

Image: Stable Diffusion/StyleCraze Design Team

Learn how to protect your perm from getting wet with these styling secrets! Check out this video and discover the best tips and tricks to keep your hair looking fabulous.

Personal Experience: Source

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