How To Take Care of Your Perm

Feb 11 2020

A perm is a chemical treatment that can make your hair permanently curly or wavy for a period of time. They can last up to six months, depending on how fast your hair grows and how you treat it. Permed hair needs to be treated and cared for differently than non-permed hair. If you want to make a perm last, here are a number of things you can do:

  • Wait to wash your hair until your perm has set in for at least two days.
  • Don’t comb your hair for the first 24 hours.
  • Don’t dye your hair for two weeks before and after you get a perm.
  • Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize.
  • Avoid putting your hair in a ponytail before washing your hair.

Young woman with permed hair and black shirt smiling

How Does a Perm Work?

You might be wondering how a perm works.

When you go in for a perm, your hair stylist will put your hair into curlers and apply a chemical that breaks down the keratin in your hair. Keratin is a protein that gives your hair the strength and shape it had before.

Once it’s gone, your stylist now has complete control of the shape of your hair. A neutralizer, such as hydrogen peroxide, is applied to help the keratin in your hair rebuild around the curlers. This leaves your hair curled.

Once the stylist removes the curlers, your hair will now be “permanently” curled (which is where the term “perm” comes from). Unlike hair dyes, perms can’t wash out. It will stay curly even after you’ve washed and dried your hair!

Even though your hair is curly, it doesn’t mean it’s impossible to do any of the hairstyles you used to do before the treatment. You can still straighten, curl, and style permed hair just like you would normally. Here are some ways you can style your curly hair.

Keep in mind that going in for a perm is not an “in and out” service. If you go in for a perm, you can expect to be in the salon for a few hours, depending on the length of your hair. When going to the stylist, bring pictures of what you want because you can decide how tight you want your curls to be. Make sure your stylist knows exactly what you want so you can leave the salon excited for your new do.
Young women with brown curly hair laughing

How to Keep Your Perm Frizz-Free

As with any curls, it’s important to maintain your new look to avoid frizz and tangles. Here’s what you can do to make sure your new curls stay frizz-free.

1. Treat Your Hair Like It’s Naturally Curly

A perm makes your hair act as if it was naturally curly, which means that it needs to be treated like curly hair, too. Choose shampoos and conditioners made for treated hair. Not only will this prevent and reverse damage, but it will also help your perm last longer too.

2. Condition and Moisturize

Just like any chemical hair treatment, your hair will most likely be a little damaged after the perm. Make sure to use a conditioner every time you shampoo. If your hair seems a little frizzy, you can get a deep-conditioning treatment to add extra moisture to your locks. Moroccan oil is great to use as a leave-in conditioner.

3. Stay Away From Heat

Straightening and blow drying your hair can not only create frizz and damage, but it can also loosen your curls. Make sure to use plenty of heat protectant so you don’t damage your gorgeous curls. If you need to blow dry your hair, try to wait until it’s mostly dry and use a diffuser to keep the curl without the frizz.
Woman with curly perm looking away

Get a Perm!

Are you looking to get a perm? Check out our student spa and salon! Our students can give you the curls you want under the supervision of licensed professionals.

If you are interested in learning how to perm hair, find out how you can become a cosmetologist here at Hair Professionals Career College!