How to Care for a Perm

Perms, like any chemical treatment, can take a toll on your hair's health. After a perm, your hair will tend to be dryer and more vulnerable to damage, so it's imperative to care for your hair well following the treatment. Here are some tips for caring for permed hair.

Things You'll Need

  • Shampoo and conditioner for chemically-treated hair
  • Deep conditioning treatment
  • Hair mask
  • Wide-toothed comb
  • Alcohol-free styling products
  • Diffuser


    • 1

      Wait 24 to 72 hours before shampooing your hair, after you get a perm. This gives the curl a chance to set before the ingredients are fully washed out of the hair. It's also wise to avoid brushing your hair excessively during this time period.

    • 2

      Use hair products designed for permed or chemically treated hair. Shampoos and conditioners that are made for permed hair contain additional moisturizers to counteract the dryness sometimes caused by a perm.

    • 3

      Apply a deep conditioning treatment or hair mask to your hair once a week. These products are intense hydrating treatments and help repair damaged hair. Put the treatment on your hair, cover with a plastic bag or shower cap, and leave it on for 20 to 30 minutes. Hair will feel noticeably softer after the treatment.

    • 4

      Comb your hair, using a wide-toothed comb. These combs are gentle on the hair, particularly when it's wet. Fine-toothed combs or hair brushes tend to pull hair more, leading to damage and breakage. Remember that hair is more vulnerable to damage when it is wet so comb carefully.

    • 5

      Get regular trims every 6 to 8 weeks. This will keep your hair healthy and shiny as dead, dry ends are routinely removed. It will also keep your curls intact, as they won't be weighed down by damaged ends.

    • 6

      Opt for alcohol-free styling products. Many gels and mousses contain alcohol which has a very drying effect on hair. Look for alcohol-free versions which will allow more moisture to remain in your hair, resulting in healthier, shinier curls.

    • 7

      Avoid blow-drying your hair. The heat from blow dryers dries hair out and can lead to damage over time. Instead, let your hair air dry after a shower. If you must blow dry, use a diffuser which distributes heat more evenly, thus offering more damage protection.

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