What Happens When You Wash Hair After A Perm?

A permanent wave – or perm for short – is a chemical procedure that makes your hair curly. Waves and curls that are set into the hair can last for months – as long as your home care routine meets the recommendations! See what happens when you wash your hair after a perm here…

Perm Types

There are basically two types of perm – digital or hot perms that use an initial preparatory relaxing treatment – or cold perms where your hair is soaked with an alkaline compound.

How does a perm work? When you opt for the digital perm heated curling rods are used to make loose waves and curves with the hair put into several rollers, and hooked to a temperature-regulated electronic device. This can take up to four hours depending on the volume and length of the hair.

Cold perms involve hair being tightly wound into smaller curls set by rollers – making a tighter pattern that loosens over time. This method takes about two and a half hours to process.

Get Professional Care

Stylists from the Frankie Cochrane salon have years of experience with all types of hair. And will know what perm options suit your hair and your lifestyle. Perms need precise timing and each style calls for a different perm treatment. Medium loose curls, curls that suit a bob cut, and other hair trends such as balayage after your perm can be discussed.

You’ll also be given useful advice as to whether to perm if you have highlights and what to do immediately after your perm.

After Leaving the Salon

It’s highly recommended that you wait three days before washing your hair. And try not to get caught in the rain! Not washing your hair will keep water from deactivating the perm and making the curls fall apart. Remember if you go swimming to always wear a cap.

  • For a week don’t style other than scrunching your hair with your fingertips. Hair accessories can cause breakage – or result in unnatural shaping.
  • When you wash your hair for the first-time use shampoos designed specifically for curls – and conditioners that contain minerals and protein.
  • Avoid blow drying as much as possible – using a diffuser will spread out the airflow and prevent excess drying.
  • Wide-toothed combs are essential to avoid damage as you remove any tangles.
  • For tighter curls keeping your hair in a braid will minimise frizz – and when loose simply use your fingers to divide the hair.
  • Wrapping your hair in a silk scarf for sleeping will protect your perm.

Ongoing Perm Maintenance

Quality care is required to maintain your permanent curly hair. Deep conditioning treatments and deep cleansing shampoos prevent dry scalps and any build-up of product.

Moisturising curl-enhancing formulas provide extra nourishment and protection against the elements. Don’t use products that contain parabens, sulphates, or alcohol as these can ruin your perm.

For at least two weeks following your perm don’t be tempted to colour or highlight your hair – additional chemical treatment may stress and break hair strands.

Treat your permed hair gently – washing just once a week with warm water is perfectly adequate. And use dry shampoo between washes if your roots get dirty – formulas are available for chemically treated hair that can add volume and moisture.

Get your hair trimmed regularly – this will keep your curls bouncy and your hair healthy. You may decide you want to grow your perm out – simple to do with products that keep hair looking good during the in-between stages. Or once your curls start to fall apart you can have another perm.