How to Give Yourself a Straight Perm at Home

4 Expert Tips on How to Give Yourself a Straight Perm at Home?

You envisioned voluminous, bouncy, and simple-to-style curls that would make your mornings easier, but you ended up with a perm you can’t stand. Don’t worry! Our step-by-step guide will demonstrate how to reverse a perm safely. 

Even though perms are referred to literally as “perms,” an abbreviation for “permanent wave,” there are a few reversing options available. All you need is a color-protecting shampoo, a straightening solution kit, gloves, vaseline, and a good flat iron.

In this guide, we’ll talk about how to get rid of a perm without causing permanent damage to your hair. We’ll cover everything you need about straightening permed hair, including reverse and straight perms, how to perm your hair, and post-perm care safely. Let’s get going!

Can You Straighten Your Permed Hair?

Yes, you can always straighten your permed hair, but you cannot just use a hot iron on your beautiful permed hair randomly. Although you can straighten your permed hair, there will also be some damage. And you cannot avoid that in any way. Firstly, perming is itself harmful.

Straight Perm

Although it is not nearly as harmful as bleaching, the cumulative method does have the potential to result in dry and brittle strands. Use an authentic and dependable heat protectant every time you use a flat iron to straighten your perm to reduce heat damage to your hair. In addition, there is a “cool down” period following a perm, during which you should not use hot tools or make it wet. 

Always follow your cosmetologist’s aftercare instructions for the best results after a perming procedure to prevent damage. After all, you are doing your hair a huge favor by maintaining your perm in top condition. 

How to Get Rid of a Perm?

Recent years have seen a revival in the popularity of perms. We are moving toward wild, voluminous, textured, and bouncy hairstyles as the trends move away from blunt and sleek styles. If you don’t have waves, curls, or coils naturally, a perm is a perfect solution. 

But sometimes, for several reasons, a perm turns out differently than we expected. You might not like how big or tight the curls are. You may need help with how to style your curly hair.

How to Get Rid of a Perm

It’s also possible that your perm was rolled improperly, resulting in wavy ends or bend marks in your curls. No matter the reason, you don’t have to endure a bad perm for the rest of your life. 

Hair is aggressively broken down and softened during perming, after which it is reset and locked into a new, curly structure. That is why it’s hard to undo or eliminate a perm. 

However, it is possible. With a straightening treatment, you can relax, loosen, or completely undo a perm. Next, we’ll discuss those methods.

Steps to Straighten Permed Hair

There are a few different methods for straightening permed hair. Although they won’t completely ruin your hair, most of the options below will cause some damage. The effectiveness of these treatments can range from moderately effective to highly effective but potentially damaging to your hair.

If the gentle options don’t work, we recommend starting with the least damaging ones and working your way up to the harsher ones later.

1- Wash With Clarifying Shampoo

It would be best if you first loosen up and relax your perm using ingredients and products that are easy to find. Try these techniques as soon as possible, within 72 hours of getting your perm.

The perm solution is very basic—not acidic at all. After rinsing the perm solution, an acidic neutralizing solution is added to bring the pH of your hair back to normal. The neutralizing solution is then washed out of your hair, but it stays active and neutralizes it for about 28 hours.

You risk ruining your perm if you damp, shampoo, or condition your hair within that crucial time frame. But that’s precisely what you want to do if you don’t like your perm and desire to dispose of it!

Wash With Clarifying Shampoo

So wash your hair immediately if your perm didn’t turn out how you would have preferred it to. This method is particularly useful If your curls end up being too tight and all you want to do is loosen them. Select a clarifying shampoo and a deeply moisturizing conditioner for maximum perm-reversal power.

Clarifying shampoo will assist in the removal of any remaining neutralizer and any other product buildup from your hair, eliminate the pungent odor of the perm solutions, and prematurely stop the neutralizing process from weakening the curls.

Following up with a heavy, deeply moisturizing conditioner is also helpful. The greater its thickness and weight, the more it will physically constrain the hair, helping to loosen the curls. 


  • Wash your hair with clarifying shampoo within 72 hours of your perm. The more quickly you shampoo, the more the perm will come loose.
  • Follow up with a thick conditioner to further relax the curls and add weight to the hair.
  • Wash the conditioner out of your hair, but leave some in for added volume.
  • Wash your hair several times over the next few days with shampoo and conditioner for the best results.

2- Use of Deep Conditioning Treatment

After washing your newly permed hair with clarifying shampoo and heavy conditioner, you can even loosen your curls with a deep conditioning treatment. Hair with a lot of moisture is heavier. The added weight will make your curls or waves more uniform and smooth.

Treatments with hot oil or deep conditioning will work. Saturating your hair for 20 minutes to an entire night in a deeply moisturizing product is essential. 

You can make your own damaged hair mask using just two ingredients: Protein hydrolyzed and your preferred conditioner.

You can use 100% virgin coconut oil as a hair mask if you’re more of a purist. Coconut oil is one of the few products that can penetrate the hair shaft rather than sit on top.


  • Most deep conditioning treatments and hair masks, if left on for a long time, have effects that can reverse perms. 
  • Apply the treatment or mask of your choice and cover your hair with a plastic cap.
  • Let it sit on the hair for at least twenty minutes, ideally overnight.
  • Rinse the product completely off after you’re done to see relaxed curls. Your permed curls might start to loosen up into waves that are easier to manage.

3- Get Yourself a Straight Perm

Shampooing and deep conditioning processes will no longer be effective if you remove your perm more than 72 hours after it was applied. In this case, you’ll have to go all out with another harsh chemical treatment.

A straight perm can be achieved without using perm rods using the exact solutions and chemicals as a regular perm. As a result, you won’t be locking your hair into curls but instead into a brushed-out, straight shape. 


Try this option after at least six months since your last perm.

Hair that has recently been permed or damaged by bleach, permanent color, or highlights should not be given a straight perm. A straight perm on hair that chemical treatments have already damaged can cause breakage, mushy or gummy hair, or noticeable hair loss.  

Here’s what you need to know before doing a straight perm: 

  • Perform a straight perm at least six months after your previous perm. It will ensure that your hair is healthier and repair the damage.
  • When ready to try a straight perm, use a gentler acid perm that uses glyceryl mono thioglycolate instead of the harsher ammonium thioglycolate in traditional perms.
  • Before attempting harsh chemical treatments like this at home, consult your stylist if possible. A straight perm performed by a trained professional is safer.

4- Consult a Professional Stylist

Consulting a professional when you want to get rid of a perm is the smartest thing to do. A professional stylist has all the access to more effective chemicals than you do as an unlicensed customer.

In addition, they have years of experience and training that can assist them in selecting a method for perm reversing without causing hair loss or breakage. If you think it would be scary to try a straight perm on yourself, or if shampooing right after a bad perm was not enough to undo the results, you will need to make your way to a good salon. 

A professional stylist can remove, relax or reverse your perm in various ways. Chemical relaxers (permanent) or Keratin smoothing treatments last anywhere from three to six months; Brazilian blowout lasts about 6-7 months; Japanese Straightening treatments or rebounding techniques. They can all be used to straighten an undesirable perm.

The perm damages your hair to such an extent that it is brittle and fragile, and using bond-breaking chemicals before six months will almost certainly cause damage and failure. Therefore, don’t anticipate going to a salon two weeks after your perm to get a relaxer or straightening treatment.

When it has been six months since your perm, any reputable and knowledgeable stylist will send you home with steps to take to fix your damaged hair. 

How to do a straight perm at home?

Pharmacies and beauty supply stores sell chemical relaxant kits. These procedures claim to produce the same results as a salon-provided perm.

Using these kits effectively will be easy if you have formal cosmetology training. Consider these guidelines before attempting an acid perm to flatten your hair at home if you are confident in your abilities. 

Check That You Have Enough Time

The instructions give the impression that you will finish it quickly. Don’t expect it. Make sure that you have enough uninterrupted time. Also, do the solution sparingly, as it will ruin your hair. 

Do You Already Have Treated Hair?

Before using the straightening product, consult a professional if you have recently colored or processed your hair. To avoid damage, carefully follow the instructions on the perming kit.

Gently Treat Your Hair Afterward

Avoid combing, pulling, and ponytail styling during the first two days following the straightening.

Having talked about important tips to keep in mind before performing reverse perm, let us now move forward toward the complete process!

What You’ll Need

  • Perm kit
  • Conditioner
  • Shower cap
  • Wide-tooth comb
  • Hairdryer
  • Vented brush
  • Towel
How to do a straight perm at home


Apply conditioner or your preferred moisturizing mask to your hair the night before you do your straight perm, and then cover it with a shower cap. Let it stay on the hair all night. By doing this, your hair will be more protected from damaging perm chemicals. 

  1. Wash your hair with water and remove the conditioner. Towel dry your hair after that. Use a wide-tooth comb and evenly distribute the acid perm solution on your hair. Doing this with your head turned upside down helps. Make sure the solution completely covers your hair.
  2. Comb your hair continuously for ten minutes. Set a timer; it would help you. When the timer goes off, your curls should look relaxed, limp, or straight.
  3. Leave the solution for an additional five minutes if it looks curly after the 10-minute timer goes off. Keep combing through your hair, and continuous combing contributes to the straight shape you want your hair to take.
  4. Use warm water to rinse your hair with the acid perm solution. To get ready for the next step, rinse for at least three minutes to ensure that all perm solutions are removed.
  5. Dry your hair gently with a towel—no rubbing! Use a neutralizer in the second solution, typically sodium bromate in acid perms. Set a five-minute timer. Comb through your hair in a circular motion until the timer goes off.
  6. Use warm water to rinse the neutralizer for 3-5 minutes. Warm water ensures that nothing is left behind. Rinse your hair with cool water next to help close the hair’s outermost cuticle layer.
  7. Apply a small conditioner to facilitate the next detangling and combing process. 
  8. Towel dry your hair without rubbing. Use a low-setting hair dryer and a vented brush to blow dry your hair straight.  
  9. Do not wash or dry your hair for 48 to 72 hours. This will guarantee that your hair will maintain its shape and fully neutralize following the straight perm. 

After attempting this method, you may experience significant frizz because a straight perm is not a smoothing treatment. To help alleviate the issue, apply a hair serum that helps reduce frizz.

How to Reverse a Perm Without Damaging Your Hair?

If you want to reverse a perm without damaging your hair, the only way is to let it grow out and then cut off the parts that were permed a few months later. In six months, you should have about three inches of new growth at the roots of your hair, which grows about half an inch per month.

Even though you won’t reduce the length of your hair to just 3 inches, you can always curl or flat iron it to get a more uniform texture. You can gradually restore your hair to its original texture and shape by cutting off the permed sections as your unpermed roots grow.

It’s important to remember that after six months, your permed curls will naturally loosen up a lot. Therefore, in just a few short months, you might find that you no longer despise it; indeed, you might even enjoy your perm. If it means preventing irreversible damage to your hair, waiting it out is worth it. 

How to Maintain Your Straightened Permed Hair?

Use Hair Conditioner

Using a conditioner is one of the most crucial steps to keep your hair as healthy as possible. Once a week, nourish your hair with a deep conditioner to replenish the lost moisture.

Do Not Use Hair Ties

After using a flat iron or perming solution on your hair:

  1. Do not tie it up with hair ties for at least 48 hours.
  2. Choose silk scrunchies if you must wear a hair tie, as they are much gentler.
  3. Don’t tie your hair in a bun or ponytail for a few days to prevent small waves or kinks.

Final Thoughts

You can relax your perm by deep conditioning and using shampoos on your hair immediately. Maintain it for the first 72 hours to loosen the perm. If you do a straight perm about six months after your first one, you can reverse it. However, a trained professional should perform these chemical treatments in a salon to avoid irreparable harm to your hair.

Keep your head up if you must wait a few more months before trying a chemical service to undo your perm. You can always flat iron your hair but use a heat protectant first. Try protective hairstyles like braids and twists, or use updos to style your curls.

After all, it’s better to deal with a perm you don’t like than to shave your head when a second chemical treatment makes your hair look like mush.


How long does a straight perm last?

The texture, length, and thickness of your hair affect how long the perm lasts. Depending on how well maintained and how thick the hair is, a straight perm done by a professional or in a salon will last from three to six months. On the other hand, a home perming solution kit’s results will last for six weeks.

Is it necessary to cut your permed hair out to go natural?

You must gradually remove your treated hair to transition completely to natural hair, even if you’re not performing the major chop. To maintain your length while gradually getting rid of your treated hair, 0.64cm to 1.27 cm at each trim should be sufficient.

How much does straight perm cost?

The cost of permanently straightening hair varies from salon to salon. The average cost of the treatment as a whole is around $200 to $1,000. At-home perming options typically start around $15. The length of the hair and the salon largely determine the cost. 

How long does straightening your hair take after a perm?

Before straightening your hair, you must wait at least 2 weeks after getting a perm. Waiting at least two weeks between getting your hair permed and treating it using the proper products will give it time to recover from the damaging chemicals used during the perming procedure.

How does olive oil help in relaxing perms?

A perm makes hair lighter by dissolving the bonds holding it together. Olive oil can hydrate the hair while easing the perm’s wavy texture. It is filled with more nutrients and antioxidants, including vitamins A and E, and fewer compounds that can work against what you are trying to achieve.

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