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Washing Hair after Perm: Myths and Truths


The grass is always greener on the other side. Those blessed with curly hair are often attracted to straight, sleek hair. On the other hand, the ones gifted with straight hair many a time crave bouncy curls. If you fall in the latter category, a perm can be the ideal fix for you. 

Hair perming is a treatment that makes your hair wavy or curly. Short for permanent, a perm can give your hair a naturally curly effect that can last for months. But, as with any other chemical treatment, it is important to take good care of curly your hair after a perm to minimize the damage caused by chemicals. 

Table of Contents

  • What is hair perming?
  • Washing hair after perm: myths and truths
  • Products to use after a perm

What is hair perming?

Hair perming is a chemical treatment that changes the natural texture of your hair (typically) from straight to curly. Human hair is made up of disulfide bonds. The higher the number of disulfide bonds, the straighter the hair is. Hair perming uses ammonium thioglycolate solution to break disulfide bonds in your hair. The ammonia released from this solution loosens the hair and makes it easy to style them as you like.

In hair rebonding, beauticians iron your hair after applying a thick layer of the ammonium thioglycolate solution. In the case of hair perming, your hair is wrapped up in curlers. Since the disulfide bonds are weak, your hair adapts to the new shape.  

Washing hair after perm: myths and truths

If you are thinking of getting your hair permed, here are some myths and truths about taking care of permed hair that you should know of: 

  • Wash your hair after 48 hours: This is, in fact, true! Washing your hair within 48 hours of getting a perm can not only damage your curls, but also increase frizz. Hence, salons often advise customers to wait at least 48 hours before exposing their hair to water and shampoo. If you wash your hair before 48 hours, even if you use warm water (instead of hot), you risk losing those perfect curls. Although your hair texture will not return to its original form instantly, you will likely end up with weakly formed curls, with an uneven shape. 
  • You can use any shampoo after a perm: While hair perming is safe, it can lead to some dryness. Hair perming uses harsh chemicals on your hair and can lead to breakage, frizz, and dullness if you do not take good care of your hair. Hence, it may be advised to shift to a hydrating shampoo and conditioner after a perm. This will help undo the damage caused this chemical treatment and also add some bounce to your curls. 
  • You cannot blow dry your hair after a perm: Blow drying your hair after a perm will have the same effects on your hair as before. Heat can lead to hair breakage, dryness, and split ends. Hence, blow-drying your permed hair is not a complete no-no, but it can help to avoid or limit it nevertheless. And if you must style your hair, make sure to use a good leave-in conditioner after you wash your hair with shampoo and apply your regular conditioner. 
  • You should not oil your hair after a perm: Oiling can be very good for your hair regardless of its style and texture. Most hair experts recommend against oiling your hair for a week after getting a perm. But you can safely oil your permed hair after that. In fact, oiling your hair before each wash can keep your hair well-moisturized.  

Keep in mind that hair perming uses harsh chemicals to alter your hair’s texture permanently. Hence, it is advised to always go to a reputable salon for the treatment and not try it at home. In addition to this, it also helps to discuss any doubts that you might have about perming with your hairdresser. Your hairdresser will be able to offer you personalized advice that can help you keep your hair healthy for a long time. 

Products to use after a perm

It is important to use products that can deeply moisturize your hair after a perm. Hydration can reduce the ill effects of harsh chemicals and put an end to dryness, frizz, and dullness. Here are some products that you can add to your hair care routine after getting a perm:

Deep moisturizing shampoo and conditioner: 

Coconut Milk Shampoo & Conditioner Pack

Coconut milk and argan oil are two of the most hydrating ingredients that you can apply to your permed hair to restore its natural balance. The
Coconut Milk Shampoo & Conditioner Pack hydrates strands and seals split ends, while the Moroccan Argan Oil Shampoo & Conditioner reduces hair breakage. 

Moroccan Argan Oil Shampoo & Conditioner

Both these products can give your new curls the much-needed hydration they deserve so that you can enjoy soft and bouncy curls for an extended period of time. 

Oil treatment with different natural oils

The Onion Black Seed Hair Oil with Almond, Castor, Jojoba, Olive & Coconut Oils can keep the hair soft, bouncy, and supple. This 100% cold-pressed oil strengthens your hair and transforms lifeless hair. You can use this on permed hair at least once a week. 

Onion Black Seed Hair Oil

Leave-in conditioners: 

You can use the 10-in-1 Hair Revitalizer Spray to tame frizz and reduce split ends. 

10-in-1 Hair Revitalizer Spray

You can also use the
10-in-1 Apple Cider Vinegar Mist Tonic to lock moisture into your hair shaft and keep your hair soft and hydrated. 

10-in-1 Apple Cider Vinegar Mist Tonic

Add these to your hair care regime for longer-lasting curls that are easy to manage!
WOW Skin Science offers an extensive range of hair care products that are ideal for permed hair. Check out our products for happy, bouncy, and nourished curls!


Rahul Bhatia

Rahul is the published author of "Heads Or Tails" and Quora writer with over 1.6 million views. He is a keen observer who enjoys the simple joys of life. He strongly believes true beauty is not how beautiful your face is but how beautiful your heart is.

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