Can I Wash my Hair After Perm

How Long Should I Wait to Wash my Permed Hair?

Getting a perm can be a great way to change your hairstyle and add some volume and texture. However, it’s essential to understand the proper aftercare to ensure that your perm lasts as long as possible. One common question many people have after getting a perm is when I can wash my hair

The answer to this question is a bit more complicated than a simple “yes” or “no.” In general, it’s recommended to wait at least 24-48 hours after getting a perm before washing your hair, as washing it too soon can weaken the perm solution and cause it to loosen or unravel. 

Can I Wash my Hair After Perm

However, if your scalp feels oily or dirty, it may be necessary to wash your hair sooner, but be sure to use a gentle shampoo and avoid rubbing your hair too much. It’s also important to avoid using hot tools, such as blow dryers, curling irons, or flat irons, for at least a week after getting a perm to give the perm solution time to set.

4 Factors Affecting Waiting Time

How long after a perm can you wash your hair? It depends on 4 main elements determining the appropriate time to wait before washing hair after a perm.

1- Hair Texture and Type

Fine or thin hair may require a shorter waiting time than thick or coarse hair.

2- Health of Hair

If the hair is damaged, porous, or chemically treated before. It may require a longer waiting period.

3- Perm Solution Used

Several perm solutions are available, and each can affect the processing time, directly increasing or decreasing the waiting time to wash the hair.

Acid Perm Solution

This solution is milder and creates softer, more natural-looking curls. It typically requires a shorter waiting period before washing, usually 24-48 hours.

Alkaline Perm Solution

This more robust solution creates more defined bouncy curls. It typically requires a more extended waiting period, usually 48-72 hours, before washing the hair.

Digital Perm Solution

It is a new perm solution that uses heat to activate the solution and create curls. The waiting period for digital perms can vary, but it is usually 24-48 hours.

4- Stylist’s Recommendation

Your stylist’s advice should also be considered as they are familiar with your hair type and the type of perm performed.

It is essential to wait the recommended time to allow the perm solution to fully process and set the curls, resulting in long-lasting and defined curls.


Why Should You Wait Before Washing Hair After Perming?

Your hair just underwent a radical transformation, and you’re eager to show off your new curls to the world. But hold your horses! Before you reach for that shampoo bottle, it’s crucial to understand the importance of waiting after getting a perm. 

  • It allows the hair’s natural oils to set the perm.
  • The perm solution needs time to fully penetrate and break down the hair’s structure.
  • Waiting 24-48 hours after perming ensures that the hair is strong enough to withstand the stress of washing.
  • Waiting also helps the hair retain its shape and volume for extended periods.
  • The perm solution can cause the hair to be more delicate and prone to breakage, so waiting is important for avoiding damage.
  • By allowing the perm to be fully set, the hair will look its best and hold the perm longer.

5 Risks of Washing Hair Too Soon After Perm?

One wrong move could jeopardize all your efforts. Washing your hair too soon after perming can bring disastrous consequences, unraveling your perfectly formed curls and leaving you with limp, lifeless locks. The risks are real, and the damage can be irreparable. Here are several adverse effects:

Weakened Curls

The curls can weaken and lose their shape and definition, resulting in a limp and lifeless look.

Reduced Longevity

The perm solution needs time to process and set the curls, and washing the hair too soon can interfere with this process, causing the curls to fall out faster.

Scalp Irritation

The perm solution can be harsh on the scalp, and washing the hair too soon can increase the risk of scalp irritation or even damage.

Faded Color

If the hair has been dyed or colored, washing it too soon after a perm can cause the color to fade more quickly.

Chemical Damage

Overwashing the hair too soon after a perm can cause the hair to become dry, brittle, and prone to breakage, which can lead to further damage.

How to Take Care of Permed Hair in the Meantime?

While waiting to wash your hair after a perm, it is essential to take proper care to ensure the longevity and health of your curls. Here are some tips to follow:

Avoid Touching Your Hair.

Touching your hair too much can disrupt the curls and cause them to lose shape.

Use a Scarf or Headband.

To keep the curls intact, use a scarf or headband to hold your hair back and prevent tangles.

Avoid Sleeping on Wet Hair

Sleeping on wet hair can cause the curls to become flat and misshapen. Make sure your hair is completely dry before going to bed.

Use a Soft Pillowcase

Sleeping on a soft pillowcase can prevent tangles and minimize hair friction, helping maintain the curls.

How to Gently Wash Permed Hair?

Permed hair requires special care to maintain its shape and avoid damage. When washing permed hair, it’s important to be gentle. Here are some steps to follow:

  • Wet your hair thoroughly with lukewarm water. Avoid using hot water, as it can cause the hair to become frizzy.
  • Apply a sulfate-free shampoo to your hair and massage it into your scalp. Avoid using your nails, as they can damage the curls.
  • Rinse your hair thoroughly with lukewarm water.
  • Apply a conditioner specifically designed for permed hair, avoiding the roots and focusing on the ends. Leave it in for 2-3 minutes before rinsing.
  • After rinsing, gently squeeze the excess water from your hair with a towel. Avoid rubbing your hair, as it can cause frizz.
  • Use a wide-toothed comb or your fingers to detangle your hair. Start from the ends and work your way up to avoid breaking the curls.
  • Allow your hair to air dry, or use a diffuser attachment on your hair dryer set on a low heat setting.

Following these steps can keep your permed hair looking healthy and beautiful.

How to Gently Wash Permed Hair

3 Alternative Methods to Wash Hair After Perm 

There are several alternative methods for washing hair after a perm, including

Conditioner-Only Washing

Simply use a good quality conditioner to cleanse your hair, avoiding shampoo.

How to Do It?

  • Wet your hair thoroughly with warm water.
  • Apply a generous amount of conditioner to your hair, starting from the ends and working up to the roots.
  • Massage the conditioner into your hair and scalp using your fingers to help distribute it evenly.
  • Let the conditioner sit for 5-10 minutes to penetrate and nourish your hair.
  • Rinse your hair thoroughly with water to remove the conditioner.
  • Gently squeeze out excess water from your hair, then wrap it in a towel to remove additional moisture.
  • Style your hair as desired, using a leave-in conditioner or other styling product if needed.

Apple Cider Vinegar Rinse

Apple cider vinegar helps to balance the scalp’s pH, remove buildup, and add shine to the hair. It’s important to use a mild concentration of apple cider vinegar, as undiluted vinegar can be too harsh for some hair types. 

How to Do It?

  • Mix equal parts of apple cider vinegar and water in a container.
  • Pour the mixture over your hair, avoiding the roots and scalp.
  • Massage the mixture into your hair and let it sit for 2-3 minutes.
  • Rinse your hair thoroughly with water to remove the apple cider vinegar mixture.
  • Gently squeeze out excess water from your hair, then wrap it in a towel to remove additional moisture.

Aloe Vera Juice.

It has moisturizing and nourishing properties that can help soothe and hydrate the hair after a perm. It is gentle on the hair and scalp, making it a good option for sensitive skin. Remember that aloe vera juice can be messy, so it’s best to apply it in the shower or over a sink to minimize cleanup.

Aloe Vera Juice

How to Do It?

  • Mix aloe vera juice with water in a container, using a 1:1 ratio.
  • Wet your hair thoroughly with water.
  • Pour the aloe vera juice mixture over your hair, avoiding the roots and scalp.
  • Massage the mixture into your hair and let it sit for 2-3 minutes.
  • Rinse your hair thoroughly with water to remove the aloe vera mixture.
  • Gently squeeze out excess water from your hair, then wrap it in a towel to remove additional moisture.


Remember that these alternative methods may not be suitable for all hair types, so it’s best to consult a hair care professional to determine what is best for you.

Additional Tips on Washing After a Perm

  • Wait for the recommended time before washing:
  • Use gentle, sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner
  • Avoid hot tools
  • Handle your hair gently
  • Consult a stylist

Products to Use for Post-Perm Hair Care

If you are wondering whether should I get a perm and how I will take care of it? Then don’t worry, you can perm your hair. There are a variety of products available to help with post-perm hair care. After getting it, it’s important to properly care for your hair to keep it healthy and maintain the curls. 

Sulfate-Free Shampoo

Sulfates can strip hair of its natural oils, causing dryness and damage. Sulfate-free shampoo is gentler and helps to preserve the perm.


A good conditioner is essential for moisturizing and detangling post-perm hair. Look for one specifically formulated for chemically treated hair.

Leave-In Conditioner

A leave-in conditioner can help maintain the curls’ shape and prevent frizz.

Argan Oil

This lightweight oil can help to add shine and nourish the hair without weighing it down.

Curl-Defining Cream

A curl-defining cream can help enhance curls, giving them a more defined shape and reducing frizz.

Microfiber Towel

A microfiber towel is an excellent alternative to a traditional terry cloth towel. It’s gentle on hair and helps to prevent tangles and frizz.

Wide-Tooth Comb

A wide-tooth comb is ideal for detangling post-perm hair, as it helps to prevent breakage and damage to the curls.

Satin Pillowcase

Sleeping on a satin pillowcase can help to prevent frizz and tangles while you sleep, keeping your curls looking smooth and defined.

Sea Salt Spray

A sea salt spray can add volume and texture to your curls, giving them a more beachy, effortless look. Just spritz a light mist over your hair and scrunch with your hands.

Silicone-Free Serum

Silicones can weigh down the hair and create buildup, so it’s best to choose a silicone-free serum for post-perm hair care. This type of serum can add shine and protect against heat damage without leaving any unwanted residue.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, washing your hair after a perm is possible, but it’s recommended to wait at least 24 to 48 hours. This waiting period allows the perm solution to be set fully and helps to preserve the curl pattern. When washing your hair, be gentle and use a sulfate-free shampoo to avoid stripping the hair of its natural oils.

Avoid using hot water and instead opt for lukewarm water. Gently massage the shampoo into the scalp and prevent scrunching or rubbing the curls, which can cause them to frizz and lose shape.

Additionally, use a wide-tooth comb or your fingers to detangle your hair, and avoid using a brush. After washing, rinse thoroughly and use a leave-in conditioner to help hydrate and protect the hair. Following these tips will help ensure that your perm stays looking its best for as long as possible.


Can I get my hair wet after a perm?

Yes, you can get your hair wet after getting a perm. However, waiting at least 24-48 hours after the perm is recommended to allow the hair to set appropriately.

Does washing hair weaken perm?

Yes, washing your hair after getting a perm can potentially weaken the perm. It is because the water and shampoo can cause the hair to revert to its original texture, undoing the curling process. To maintain the perm for longer, it is recommended to wait at least 24-48 hours before washing.

What should you not do after a perm?

After getting a perm, it is recommended to avoid heat-styling tools, such as curling irons and flat irons, for at least 24-48 hours. Also, tying the hair tightly in a bun or ponytail should be avoided, as it can cause the curls to stretch and lose shape.

Will my perm get curlier after I wash it?

Your perm may become curlier after you wash it, but it’s not guaranteed. It can depend on various factors, such as the type of perm, the porosity of your hair, and the products used during the washing process. Following your hairstylist’s aftercare instructions is best to get satisfactory results.

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