Aftercare Recommendations and Products for Permed Hair

woman with permed hair
Beauty girl with blonde permed hair. Backside


  • Don’ts for Fresh Perms
  • Suggested Products for Permed Hair
  • 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.

Refrain 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.

Washing Hair after Permanent Waving

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.

If your hair suffers from excessive dryness and breakage, incorporate a pre-shampoo treatment in your hair care regimen. This way you will prevent tangles and lock in moisture to increase hair elasticity and reduce breakage.

Shampoo and Conditioner for Permed Hair

Always use a shampoo designed for chemically treated hair. Such a 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. 

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.

Mixed Chicks Sulfate-Free Shampoo for Colored & Chemically Treated Hair effectively cleanses chemically treated hair without stripping away its natural oils. It works great for dry and curly hair that gets frizzy easily.

Avocado oil, Sweet Almonds, and Aloe Vera nourish your scalp and rehydrate your curls, keeping them from being frizzy.

This mild shampoo tames damaged and frizzy strands, leaving your hair silky soft and shiny.

Pantene Color and Perm Daily Intensive Conditioner is formulated to keep your color vibrant and make your perm last longer. Pantene Color and Perm system creates a protective layer around each strand to prevent color pigments from washing away and to prevent loosening of your curls.

Apply to damp hair after each shampoo. Leave in your hair for 3 minutes. Rinse off thoroughly.


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 of weeks after the perming process.

Deep Conditioning

The perming process can strip your hair of moisture and its natural oils that 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.

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.

Quidad Ultra-Nourishing Intense Hydrating Mask is a deep conditioning treatment formulated to hydrate and nourish dry, damaged, or over-processed curly hair. This treatment uses a blend of natural oils to infuse dry hair with moisture while restoring softness, elasticity, and shine. It leaves your curls more defined, bouncy, and less prone to frizz.

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 it with a satin nightcap or wrap it 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 hairdryer 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.

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.

Hair 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.


5 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 brings credibility into question. Just a thought…

  2. Amazon carries more products in the hair care niche than other stores. Another reason is that Amazon is the 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.

  3. I was looking for at least the top 3 best shampoos and conditioners for permed hair. Like one on Amazon, one you can if at salons and a general drug store brand maybe.

  4. “ is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to”

    This is at the bottom of every page of this site. So the site is fully disclosing it is advertising for Amazon.

    That aside, I will say that some of the products listed are probably pretty valuable for those of us who have fried their hair. (!) Just do your own research, and run the Amazon reviews for any product you are interested in through Fakespot (Google it). HTH!

  5. Hey thanks for this amazing blog, I took this service about a year ago. A few advantages I noticed are that it reduced the need for styling my hair. It will make my hair look better. The stylists typically involve heat treatment in order to shape the hair into a permanent curl. They will apply further chemicals to lock the shape into form. It is possible to choose a salon that uses high-quality chemicals and certified heat treatment to give you the best possible look. The simplest and most important reason why people perm their hair is that they like the way it looks and doesn’t want to wear straight hair anymore. I will highly recommend perming your hair at least once.

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