Aftercare Recommendations and Products for Permed Hair


  • Don’ts for Fresh Perms
  • Aftercare Suggestions for Perms (with shampoo and conditioner recommendations)
  • How to Style Permed Hair 
  • Perm-Friendly Styling Products

Opting for a perm can give you a head full of long-lasting, beautiful curls that you have longed for and will add texture and volume to flat and lifeless hair. Perms come with the promise that you can wash and wear your curls without the need to use multiple styling tools on a daily basis.
However, such an intense chemical process leaves your hair fragile and more porous than normal. Perms require gentle care and specific post-perm hair care products to maintain a healthy look. Make sure to follow aftercare instructions given by your stylist and use hair care products that are made specifically for hair that has undergone the perming process.

Don’ts for Fresh Perms

Not all perms use the same product. It is important to ask your stylist what aftercare instructions should be followed after the procedure.
Make sure to treat your perm with extra care the first few days after the perming session, because perming chemicals continue to form new bonds for two or three days.
Here are some general rules and simple care techniques that will give you the long-lasting effects of a perm application and help keep your hair in good condition.
Stay away from washing and wetting your new perm for at least two days. Your curls need sufficient time to lock their shape. Washing your perm too early can deactivate the chemicals and loosen your curls.
Don’t go using a flat iron or other heat styling tools before the first shampoo following the perming service.
Wait at least three days after the perming session before swimming in chlorinated water. The chemicals used in swimming pools can be very harsh to your perm.
Refrain from combing in the first 24 hours. Use your fingers to gently style the hair and to twirl the curls around your face.
Leave your hair loose for the first two days after the procedure. Avoid putting it hair in a ponytail or a bun and avoid using hair elastics and tight clips. This helps maintain the proper shape and softness of your curls.

Aftercare Suggestions for Perms


Don’t wash your fresh perm for a full 48 hours to allow it to settle in. Washing your perm too early may cause the perm to drop before the curls have a chance to develop.

When you do wash your hair, use a shampoo formula for chemically treated hair and gently massage your scalp while washing.
Always make sure to condition your hair. A conditioner will make combing easier and infuse your chemically treated hair with moisturizing agents. Use warm instead of hot water when you rinse and gently blot with a towel to dry. Do not rub it too hard, added friction can make the hair tangled and frizzy.

Shampoo and Conditioner for Permed Hair

Always use a shampoo designed for chemically treated hair. Such shampoo formula will restore the lost moisture and clean your permed hair gently. Regular shampoos contain chemicals that may be too strong for permed hair. Make sure that there are no sulfates, parabens, alcohol, and synthetic fragrances.
Always condition your hair after you shampoo. Use conditioner which is designed for chemically treated or curly hair to increase protection, soften hair, and reduce frizz. Conditioner closes the cuticle, seals in moisture, and ensures that the hair is smooth for combing.

SuperNatural Moisturizing Daily Shampoo is a sulfate free shampoo formulated with Panthenol and botanical extracts, and plant-derived polymers to gently remove excess oil and impurities, hydrate hair, protect hair color, tame frizz, and brings definition to your curls.

NoFilter Moroccan Argan Oil Conditioner is a hydrating conditioner, infused with Moroccan Argan and rich in vitamins and antioxidants to seal in moisture and gently detangle your hair, tame frizz and static and provide UV protection.

Adding Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein to your hair conditioner will help increase hydration and reduce breakage. Make sure to follow direction and not exceed the recommended concentration (0.5 – 2 %) to prevent protein overload.


Use your fingers or a smooth-ended, wide-tooth comb to gently detangle your wet hair while it is covered in the conditioner. You can also spray a detangler on your damp hair and spread it through with fingers or a comb. Use gentle strokes to avoid breakage because your hair is very fragile after a perming service. Avoid brushing your hair, especially in the first couple weeks after the perming process.

Deep Conditioning

The perming process can strip your hair of moisture and its natural oils which need to be replaced. The deep conditioning treatment, at least twice a month, keeps the hair from getting excessively dry, strengthens weakened strands, smoothes the cuticle, and helps maintain luster.
Apply a deep conditioner after you shampoo and gently massage it into your hair, focusing on the tips. Leave it in for 10-15 minutes. 

Argan Oil Hair Mask Treatment by Nature’s Potent is made with argan oil, hydrolyzed silk, almond oil and pro-vitamin B-5 to deeply condition, strengthen, and hydrate weak, damaged, and over-processed hair. This conditioning treatment claims to be highly effective for improving the manageability of permed and naturally curly hair.

Leave-in Hair Treatments

Leave in hair treatments are especially effective for perms. Leave in conditioners moisturize your permed hair, help with detangling, control frizz, prevent split ends, and give hair elasticity and shine.

Alter Ego Nourishing Spa Quench Care Intensive Nutritive Leave in Conditioner is made to hydrate and nourish dry, frizzy or damaged hair, that has undergone chemical treatments such as perming and bleaching. It softens your chemically stressed hair and leaves your curls shiny, frizz-free, and easy to manage.

Protection from Harsh Weather Conditions

Overexposure to sunlight, wind, and chlorine in the swimming pool can dry out permed hair. Rain and snow can flatten the hair and cause your perm to go away faster. Apply gel or styling mousse and pull your hair back in windy weather to prevent your locks from knotting. Don’t forget to take your umbrella with you when going out in the rain or snow. Wear a hat when you go out in the sun and use sun protection products when sunbathing or swimming.
If you go swimming, wear a swim cap to protect your locks from chemicals that can relax the perm. Soak your dry hair with regular water so your wet strands will absorb less chlorinated water. Apply a light coating of conditioner to create a barrier between your hair and chemicals in the swimming pool. Rinse hair immediately when you get home.

Night Care

Porous hair is more prone to frizz or tangling. You should protect the hair from friction when tossing and turning in bed. Before going to bed, wrap your hair up in a satin cloth to avoid tangles. Twist your hair into two buns on the side of your head and cover with a satin night cap or wrap up in a satin cloth, so your hair won’t be flat in the morning.
If you wash your hair make sure that it is completely dry before bed.
Consider purchasing a silk or satin pillow to sleep on. This will help you avoid frizz and keep your curls intact.


Always have your hair permed first before you decide to color. The neutralizing step of the perming procedure can degrade the color. But don’t color and perm all in the same sitting. Those two chemical treatments may be too much stress for your hair and scalp in a short span of time.
Temporary dyes, semi-permanent hair dyes, and color glazes can be applied immediately after the perming service. The cuticle layers of your hair are more open from the perming process, so those colors will penetrate deeper into the hair shaft and also will last longer.
Most stylists will recommend waiting at least two weeks after a perm service before coloring or highlighting to ensure that the perm has really set into the hair.
Also, wait at least 2 weeks to perm your hair after coloring it. Freshly colored hair needs a few weeks to recover to be able to withstand the perming process.

How to Style Permed Hair:

Make sure to style your hair gently. This will keep your curls healthy, bouncy, and attractive for long.

It is not advisable to tease your hair with a brush. Brushing can break up the curls and make hair look frizzy and messy.

Avoid using hair dryers as they can mess up your hair and cause split ends. Let your hair dry naturally whenever possible. If you need to use a hair dryer only blow-dry your hair 85 to 90 percent dry and use a diffuser on low heat.

Avoid straightening your hair with a flat iron. Permed curls can become frizzy and lose their shape gradually when exposed to heat.

If there are special occasions when you want to use heated tools, be sure to apply a heat protectant to avoid damage from heat and to prevent frizz and split ends.

Perm-Friendly Styling Products

Use specific styling products designed for permed or curly hair to help repel humidity and define the curls. Check the ingredient list to ensure that alcohol is not listed as an ingredient or at least that it is listed at the end of the list. Alcohol may cause your hair to become excessively dry. Avoid styling products with silicone as they can weigh your curls down.

Mousses for curly hair moisturize and protect fragile permed hair and define curls. These products help control static and frizz, leaving permed or natural curls soft and bouncy.

Hair gels contain moisturizing ingredients to help smooth and define curls and should be applied to towel-dried hair after washing.

Anti-frizz serums help tame frizz and make permed hair appear shinier. Most serums can be applied on wet or damp hair after washing your hair, as well as after drying it.

Products known as curl enhancers are used to moisturize hair, tame frizz and to keep your curls in good shape. 

ORIBE Curl Control Silkening Crème is designed to nourish and moisturize the hair with coconut, avocado, apricot, and argan oils, and give definition and softness to your curls while fighting frizz and adding shine. It is formulated with ORIBE Signature Complex, which protects hair from dryness and environmental stress and prevents color fading.

This creme has a clean, pleasant smell, which lingers in your hair.

Hair sprays help you get and retain the desired style and nourish your curls. These products can be used on wet as well as dry hair.

Get a Trim

A haircut is recommended after the hair “settles in” to add bounce and to get more defined curls. Don’t wait more than a month after the perm service before getting a haircut. Have your hair trimmed every 4-6 weeks. Regular trimming will prevent split ends and keep your hair healthy and much more manageable.

Repair Treatment

If your hair suffers from severe damage from the perming process, look for a salon that does Keraplast Hair Rescue Treatment or carries products that contain Replicine Functional Keratin. This intensive protein treatment is highly effective in repairing perm-damaged hair.


Perms give you beautiful, wavy hair for up to 6 months, depending on the product used and your aftercare routines. The tight curls will generally last longer than big curls. When your perm grows out you need to get a touch up done on your root tips.
Only get a touch up done where necessary and concentrate on the roots. It is recommended to do this, instead of getting a complete perm each time. Wait at least three months between perms to give your hair a rest between perm services. If you apply another perm too soon you run a high risk of hair damage from the chemicals.


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4 thoughts on “Aftercare Recommendations and Products for Permed Hair

  1. This reads as more of a sales pitch for Amazon. Pushing purchases from a single store brinfs credibility into question. Just a thought…

  2. Amazon carries more products in hair care niche than other stores. Another reason is that Amazon is preferred store by the majority of customers, and not without a reason.
    However, your comment is worth consideration. I have learned something from it. Thanks for posting.

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