Styling Permed Hair: Can You Flat-Iron, Curl, or Braid Your Permed Hair?

Perm, is that buzzword from the past that conjures images of gigantic curly hair full of frizz and pizzazz. But more recently, this buzzword has been making a comeback as a new and improved hair trend. From upgraded techniques that cause less damage to the ability to create softer, more natural-looking curls, perms are making waves across all hair platforms as the next best option for your style.

One of the most common reasons for getting permanent waves is to save the time you need to style your hair in the morning. Perms eliminate the need for using hot styling tools, making your morning routine much simpler. Since perm is a chemical treatment, there are some do’s and don’ts when styling your hair.  So, let’s get into the dos and don’ts of styling them, why you may or may not want a perm, and some common dilemmas about styling your permed hair with hairstylist Andrea Haynes @babehairxo.  

Cute young student girl with permed hair

How do You Style a Permed Hair in the First 48 Hours?

“What’s the best style post perm within the first 48 hours? Nothing. It’s best for the first 2-3 days to let your hair rest, meaning, no putting it up, tying it back, or styling it at all. In fact, you’ll even need to wait to get it wet” Andrea explains. “A perm is a chemical process that breaks down strong, natural bonds in the hair and reforms them to the shape of the rod used.”

What’s the Best Method for Styling Permed Hair in the Morning?

“Moisture. Keeping your new curls moisturized is the best way to style them day in and day out whether it’s morning or night. Invest in conditioning treatments and oils that saturate hair without leaving it greasy”, says Andrea. “If your hair is a bit wild in the morning, use a refresher spray that moisturizes better than water. Water is good too, but once it evaporates, your hair can be left frizzy. Finishes it off while it’s still damp with a mouse that does not contain alcohol” recommends Andrea.

Cute girl with permed hair outdoor

Can You Brush Your Hair After a Perm?

As counter-intuitive as it seems, brushing your perm is not the best way to encourage a soft curl pattern. “To avoid frizz and get the best from your curls, use your fingers to lightly divide pieces. You can also use a very wide-tooth comb to gently piece apart the individual curls” recommends Andrea.

“To impact the health of your curls the most though, think anti-frizz. To achieve less frizz, get a silk cap to sleep in at night. This reduces the friction between your hair and the fabric over the pillow you sleep on. It also reduces your need to brush your hair in the morning.” 

Cute girl with permed hair wearing a red dress

Can You Straighten Permed Hair with a Flat Iron?

According to Andrea, you should avoid heat straightening. “This is highly not recommended, for a few reasons. When the hair is permed, the core bonds are broken and then reformed. But it leaves your permed hair in a more sensitive state. Sometimes you’ll experience dryness, and you’ll need to increase the moisture in your hair-care routine. Flat ironing can only increase the dryness and high heat can damage the sensitive reformed bonds.

If you do decide to flat iron it, make sure to prep the hair with a cream-based, thick heat protectant. Don’t use a high heat setting, but slowly increase the temperature as needed.”

Can You Curl Your Hair after Permanent Waving?

Andrea points out that hot styling tools are not compatible with permed hair. “As with flat ironing a perm, any sort of heat can decrease its longevity and add dryness. It’s no different with curling a perm. It’s not recommended, but if you decide to do it, use low heat and a thick, cream-based heat protectant. Don’t let the iron sit long against the hair for the best results.”

“In the end, it’s better to engage with your curls like you would natural curls. Treat them liberally with moisture products, wash sparingly, and enjoy the curl pattern that takes shape” says Andrea.

Can You Braid Permed Hair?

“The real question is, when. Braids and perms go hand in hand. A braid compliments the beautiful movements of the curls, but make sure not to braid too tightly. Executing a tight braid can harm the perm and hurt your scalp. Keeping your braid loose and gentle is the best way to go” Andrea reveals.

young pretty woman with permed hair

Can You Dread Permed Hair?

The verdict is split on whether you should dread permed hair or not. Some professionals will say no, but some may have the skill set to do so. “Make sure to get the health of your hair tested before moving forward with this. Also, talk to someone who has had it done before and learn from their experience” recommends Andrea.

How To Fix Perm-Damaged Hair

Written by Evelyn Davies

So, you have damaged hair after a perm and are seeking advice on how to fix it? Luckily, I’m a hairdresser, and a writer, so you get a little professional advice.

First of all, the decision to perm your hair should not be taken lightly. This process can be destructive, and really needs a hair professional. Perming hair is a process. We put rollers in the hair and use a solution that breaks structure bonds in the hair. We then fix the hair in place with a second chemical process. (There are more steps to this but I’m simplifying the language for a non-professional.) Obviously, if we break bonds that give our hair structure, this process is invasive.

Woman with permed hair-back view

So, Do Perms Damage Hair?

Well, the answer to this is situational. As I say, it’s invasive to the structure of your hair, so factors need to be considered when perming. If your hair is damaged already, yes perms can damage hair further. If you don’t follow a stylist’s advice, yes perms can damage your hair. If the process has not been done correctly, yes perms can damage hair. If precautions are in place, you go to a professional, you have a good consultation, and your hair type and condition are considered in the perming process, the answer is no. Perms can give beautiful results, bringing the desired change in hair texture.

Damaged Hair After Perm Because it Was Washed too Soon

There could be a few factors to the ”damage” so let’s look a little further into it. Did you follow the stylist’s aftercare advice? Usually, I’ve seen stylists recommend not to wash the hair 48hrs after an in-salon perm. This is because the process is still setting in after you leave the salon, so it’s best to not wash it. Washing it can disturb the curl forming.

If it’s washed too soon and you have frizzy disturbed curls or lost your curl, you need to go back to the salon and own up. Unfortunately, there is no quick fix for this. To perm again, in my professional opinion, you should wait for at least 2 months. However, depending on the state of the hair, a stylist may not be willing to fix it. That’s because it is in a really compromised condition, we may not want to put more invasive chemicals on your hair. So, listen to your hairstylist, we don’t make this stuff up.

gorgeous woman with permed hair experiences hair breakage

Hair Breakage After Perm

Now if this is the case, I’m sorry but you may have had a perm that wasn’t suitable for your hair condition. There is no quick fix for chemically damaged hair, and if it is breaking, it’s pretty serious. I recommend not doing any chemical treatments, and working on the strength of your hair. So, hair products/treatments for proteins are made to build strength and I recommend deep conditioning treatments.

Breakage can also happen when you have been coloring your hair at home with colors that contain metallic salts. All the more reason not to use store-bought color – the metallic salts can cause a reaction with the perm lotion and cause hair to break off.

Do I Have Hair Loss from A Perm

Hair loss can be a confusing subject. If your hair loss from a perm is not from the root, in the lengths, it may be breakage. So, if you’re not seeing thinner hair at the root or bald patches, refer to the above paragraph for breakage. You may have thinner feeling hair from it breaking off after a perm.

gorgeous woman with permed hair experiences hair loss

Hair Loss at the Scalp After a Perm

The PH level of a perm varies depending on the type of perm applied. An alkaline perm may venture further away from your scalp PH level, disrupting the scalp. This can also happen with acidic perms too. If the scalp gets irritated, it can cause damage to the skin, which is where the hair grows from. Then damages the hair follicle and causes hair loss at the scalp. Perming solutions are chemicals and there will always be risks when putting this on your hair/skin. However, it’s pretty rare to experience hair loss from a perm.

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How To Fix Hair Loss After a Perm

If you are experiencing thinner hair on the scalp after a perm, I’m sorry this is happening to you. If the hair loss is from the scalp and the hairstylist took your needs into account, it is just unfortunate that your scalp has reacted this way. It can happen sadly. The issue is at the scalp, so I recommend scalp treatments for hair loss. Nioxin has a fantastic range of products for this. Also, scalp massages stimulate blood flow and air to the follicles, which helps with hair growth.

What goes into your body comes out – eat a well-balanced diet. I have seen a friend lose hair due to a lack of folic acid in her blood. Which is found in leafy greens! If you are experiencing long-term loss or are extremely worried, go to a doctor… the scalp can also react to many factors in your life, and it could even be something that was always going to happen, with, or without a perm.

gorgeous woman with dry permed hair

Dry Frizzy Hair After a Perm

How frizzy are we talking about? If it is so dense you cannot get a comb through it, or it’s stringy and stretchy like elastic that doesn’t spring back to a normal curl form or hair texture, your perm may be over-processed. If it is just frizz and not damaged maybe you could re-perm in the future to re-form the curl, but you may have to wait a few months.

If it’s doing the chewy stretchy thing, where the hair sticks together, your hair is on the brink of breakage. Work on the internal strength of the hair, protein-rich penetrating conditioning treatments, and faith is all you can do.

Perm Gone Wrong Quick Fix

The only quick fix I can think of for a really overprocessed perm is cutting it off. There’s no magic formula for this, it takes time, and it’s why you really should consider the factors of having a perm. Do your research, and go to an experienced stylist that does perms. Cutting a lot of hair off can be liberating. If you cannot bear to be short there are some really great wigs on the market these days, and you could get your stylist to cut it like your hair before if you didn’t want people to know you have a wig, or you could have fun with it too and try different colors and textures.

gorgeous woman with frizzy permed hair

I Have Frizzy Hair After a Perm

So, curls are completely different to deal with compared to smoother natural textures. I would hope your hairstylist gives you some styling tips for dealing with curls after a perm because they do need a hand to style. Wash and go is a nice idea, but sometimes I find curly hair takes more work than smooth hair types. If you’re lucky, your perm may need a hand in styling and it’s more of a knowledge issue for you.

Tips For Washing Curly Frizzy Permed hair

Every stylist will have their favorite products for dealing with curls, so mine is personal to me and my clients, but I will explain why. I love OLAPLEX SHAMPOO after perms. Also, OLAPLEX no1 can be used during perming to help with the condition of the hair. This is because the products have a patented formula to rebuild broken bonds in the hair.

After permed hair is shampooed, only use a wide-toothed comb and a normal conditioner if it’s your first wash. If it’s after your first wash and you are frizzy, deep conditioning treatments can be used. I recommend a penetrating conditioner for building strength If you get breakage. If you’re not experiencing breakage, I recommend a conditioner for Moisture. Once your treatment/conditioner has been combed through and left on for 5-10 minutes, squeeze or blot the water out with a towel, DO NOT SCRUB.

Scrubbing can disturb the work you have done smoothing the outer layer of your hair with the comb. Your hair structure has scales called ‘cuticles’ They overlap and face downwards like roof tiles and protect the inner part of your hair, which is, where the perm has reformed the bonds. So, looking after the outside will look after the inside of the hair. Also, rough unsmoothed cuticles can cause frizz so comb through your conditioner.

Beautiful sportive woman with blond curly hair

Styling Products for Frizzy Permed Hair

So, you’re trying to tame the frizzy hair after perm curls with some products. I really like a bit of control when it comes to frizzy curls, so for me, I find oils and creams soften the hair but don’t really contain it. I really like a particular mousse called Sculpting Foam by Paul Mitchell.  That’s because this product is a styling mousse but it contains a leave-in conditioner. It controls and conditions, and it’s so flexible, I use it on straight hair too. So, no 80s perm crispy hair mousse here.

For extra condition after perms I love Sebastion Potion 9 as a detangler, leave in, curl crème. I sometimes use this in conjunction with a mousse but it totally depends on how much control you need.

Style Techniques for Damaged Permed Hair

So, once you have followed the steps above for washing and styling, I like to do a twist technique to guide the curls. Take sections of hair and twist them from the root around your finger to create a coiled effect. Once all the hair is coiled, air dry or diffuse. NO SCRUNCHING WHILE WET WITH HANDS. (Wet scrunching encourages frizz) Then once it’s dry, separate the coils with your hands. Hopefully, you should have smoother curls and less frizz. If not, your hair may be chemically damaged, please refer to the paragraphs above.

gorgeous blonde woman with permed hair

Perm or Color First and How Long to Wait Between Perm and Color Service

Madonna in the 80s wore a signature look that inspired women and men in droves to get spiral perms for an overly excited amount of volume.

Things have deflated into larger ringlets and soft waves with less volume for a more natural effect here in 2022.

But the biggest questions people are asking about perms have to do with color.  Can you dye permed hair? Can you highlight your permed hair? What about getting a perm and a color service at the same time? Can you perm hair that’s already dyed or visa versa? Let’s get into some answers about perming and hair coloring.

Beautiful girl with long permed and colored hair

How Do Perms Work?

Imagine your hair made up of tiny, connected molecules that can create a shape depending on how they are attached. In its most basic form, a perm occurs when your natural hair bonds are broken and then reformed with chemicals into a different shape. This alteration is permanent and produces a lot of impact on the hair. Your hair-care routine will be vital to the health of your hair after a perm.

Beautiful model girl with long permed hair

Can You Do a Perm and Color at the Same Time?

You can’t get a perm done at the same time as a color service, and it’s not recommended at all to both a perm and highlight the hair on the same day.

With highlights, there is a chemical activator that opens the cuticle of your hair to let in the bleach. The bleach goes to work on your color pigments, altering them by breaking them down. Color services differ from highlights in that molecules are deposited into the hair or on top of it to create a new tone. Both chemical services work at deep levels in the hair, which is why they aren’t compatible with a perm on the same day.

If you do both treatments at the same time, the hair color may turn out differently than expected and is usually a bit lighter than indicated on the package. Color may also fade faster than normal. This happens because the cuticles can’t close properly to seal the color. Neither the curls nor the color would turn out the way you wanted.

Beautiful girl with long permed and colored hair

How Long After a Perm Can You Dye Your Hair?

You should wait at least two weeks after perming service to dye your hair.

The reason for getting your perm first has to do with the integrity of your hair. You will want to see how well your hair reacts to these chemicals and what kind of condition it’s left in. If it’s healthy, you can move forward with a color service two weeks or more down the road. It’s not, however, recommended to do color or highlight services in conjunction with a perm. This waiting is necessary because perm and permanent dyes contain strong chemicals. Coloring your hair right after permanent waving could overprocess your hair and make it susceptible to damage.

curly hair woman with long permed hair

Can You Apply Semi-Permanent Color After a Perm?

Even if you use a semi-permanent dye, it is not recommended to dye your hair immediately after the perm service.

After a perm, the hair is very porous, and it is necessary to wait at least a week for the cuticles to settle down. Overly porous hair won’t absorb semi-permanent color evenly. Semi-permanent dyes won’t damage hair because they only deposit color without involving strong chemicals. However, the outcome probably wouldn’t be what you had expected.

How Long Should You Wait After a Perm to Get Highlights?

You should wait at least two weeks after a perm to apply highlights to your hair.

Highlights involve the use of bleach, which can damage permed hair and leave it overly porous.  It is recommended that chemical treatments performed in a short time frame should be performed only by a professional cosmetologist.

But there are still ways to get both a perm and a highlighted look – highlighted hair extensions.

Use the perm to create the curl pattern you want, then if you’re happy with your perm, go get highlighted extensions! It’s the perfect solution for people who want the texture of a perm with the highlights of their dreams. But make sure to work with a trained extension expert for the best results.

Attractive young woman with highlighted and permed hair

Can You Perm Colored or Highlighted Hair?

If your hair is overly bleached or damaged from frequent color services, you are not a good candidate for perm service.

Too many chemical treatments can result in severe hair damage, split ends, and breakage. It is also possible that a perm would make hair a bit lighter looking. After dyeing, your hair needs a rest. Also, make sure to do a chunk test before perming service. It is always advisable to consult a hair professional before using any sort of chemical treatment on your hair.

Nowadays, there are mild perms formulated for colored hair. Carefully read the label to ensure that the product is meant for color-treated hair.

In recent years, with the revolution of bond restoration treatments such as Olaplex, it is possible to do permanent waving on recently dyed hair. Olaplex restorative treatment is applied by a hair professional to prepare hair for perm service. Olaplex allows hairstylists to do multiple chemical treatments with minimal damage.

Modern Perms

Modern perm formulas are gentler and ammonia-free. The curlers are larger and vary in size. This way you can get loose curls that vary in size and look more natural. You can choose between beach waves, spiral curls or just to get more volume and texture for longer-lasting hairstyles. Modern perms are less damaging to hair and last shorter than traditional perms. Your hair will grow out nicely without being too obvious.

If you haven’t heard of the viral hair trend that involves a perm on medium-length men’s hair (cheekily coined “the merm”), then you’re welcome. Now you have heard about it.

What’s incredible about this trend isn’t so much that men get perms, but that perms have always found a way to stay relevant.

a beautiful woman with highlighted permed hair

The Ultimate Guide to Keratin Treatments

Written by Andrea Haynes

When you type into google “what is a keratin treatment” a couple of things happen. Right away you’ll see an article promoting an at-home treatment like nothing you’ve seen before. Then as your eyes scroll down, you’ll see some dreaded headline suggesting things aren’t what they seem with this product. And the further down you go, the more confusing it gets.

This is the exact scenario I want to help you avoid. By gathering a bit of accurate knowledge, giving you the inside view of certain brands, and helping you understand the difference between the buzzword “keratin” and the actual treatment, your decision to get one will be crystal clear. So where do we begin?

beautiful young woman with keratin treated long hair

The Buzz Word “Keratin” Vs. The Actual Keratin Treatment

This really is the best place to start. Navigating the complex sea of all things keratin gets simpler once you understand the difference between a topical product claiming to be keratin-infused, and the actual treatments on the market.

The main takeaway is that products containing the protein keratin place the molecules onto the shaft of the hair while treatments embed the molecules into the deeper layers of the hair, like how color molecules penetrate the hair for longer-lasting, more effective results.

Products Containing Keratin

It’s such a buzzword, that there will be over-the-counter and luxury brands alike advertising keratin. You’ll find shampoos, conditioners, serums, and supplements containing this protein. 

Should you avoid or purchase products containing keratin? Some studies have found individuals taking a supplement containing keratin did experience lovely results for their hair and nails vs. individuals in the same study who took the placebo. Similarly, positive results were experienced by individuals who used some types of keratin-infused shampoos.  

Products containing keratin can be helpful, but there may be some trial and error. The real question is, do products that spread keratin protein on the outer shaft of the hair affect it as much as an official keratin treatment?

beautiful brunette woman with straight long hair

How Keratin Treatments Work Vs. Topical Keratin Products

Products with keratin in them place the molecules on the outer shaft of the hair, meaning the molecules don’t stay for long. Keratin treatments you receive in a salon contain very tiny molecules that can go deeper inside the hair shaft for semi-permanent results lasting months. Topical products don’t compare because they aren’t designed to do the same thing.

Keratin treatments heal the hair from the inside out. Products containing the protein, add shine and can seal down the cuticle for short periods before the product washes off the shaft. They affect the hair from the outside in and do not produce the same results.  

With the official keratin treatments, the results are worth it. From my own experience, I have seen even unexpected hair health changes from the brand I use, Express Keratin by Keratin Complex when it’s applied consistently and in a pattern.

Keratin Treatment Results from Personal Experience

When I was newly introduced to express keratins, they were the new and upcoming trend on the market. But they weren’t big yet, meaning no one knew if the brand lived up to the hype. Isn’t this what we always wonder about products? They were claiming to revolutionize keratins up to that point.

We were taught in training how to apply them and what to expect. The results would include de-frizzed hair, faster blow-dry time, smoother cuticles for shine, curls that would be softer and less wild, and overall manageability that would provide ease in the morning routine. No one has the time or energy to fight with their hair during their morning self-care rituals or throughout the day.

So we were taught. But what were the results?

One of my clients enjoyed her first one so much, that she came back for her second within 4 weeks. Then her third within another 4 weeks. She was a highlighted bleach blonde with frail hair and very little curl. But the woman who started 12 weeks earlier, did not have the same hair as the woman I worked with post keratin appointments. The hair that had been so fine and brittle, completely stripped of keratin due to bleaching, was now denser and stronger and laid beautifully against her head and shoulders.

There was this healthy “weighted” quality to it that kept it from looking “see-through.” She could style it without worrying about flyways. She even finally felt confident to grow it out. So that’s what we did. She was hooked and so was I.

young woman with keratin straightening hair

Who is Keratin Treatments Good for?

After experiencing these results, skip forward a year and almost every one of my clients was now using the Express Keratin Treatments by Keratin Complex. It lived up to the hype and then went beyond what was expected.

It worked across the board for anyone experiencing damaged hair or uncontrollable frizz. Clients with bleached hair that was fine, or thick, wavy frizzy hair that was down to their waists. Some had mid-range curly hair that was so dry topical products couldn’t do the trick. Everyone got on Keratins, and everyone got results that gave them ease and manageability in their lives. They got the results products couldn’t provide.

Related Article

There are So Many Types, Which One is Right for You?

The 3 most popular ones are Keratin by Keratin Complex, Express Keratin by Keratin Complex, and the Brazilian Blowout.

But now there are a variety of types. Like the vegan at-home kit by Gussi. The larger brands have come out with types that vary in the degree they “affect the curl” based on the temperature of the flat iron or how long you let the product sit on the hair.

I’m going to discuss the first three and why you might want to work with one of these.

young woman with straight shiny hair

The Difference Between the Full Keratin and the Express Keratin by Keratin Complex

Determining which keratin to get really comes down to budget, effects of damage, and longevity. For highlighted, damaged blondes the Express would be best as it can build in the protein over time. If you choose Keratin Complex, schedule your first three appointments four weeks apart. This allows the protein to build on itself and makes your hair strong and healthy. After the first 3, do them as needed or seasonally.

You might be wondering why someone would choose the Brazilian blowout. I haven’t worked with this brand but do want to say I’ve heard it affects the texture of the hair more than Keratin Complex. This could be because of the ingredients in the formula. Some people love the results while others do not.  

If you’re looking for smoothness over health, you could try the Brazilian blowout. There’s also no waiting period after your service is complete. With The Express Keratin by Keratin Complex, you’ll need to wait 8 hours before tying it back, pinning it, or wearing it up.  

I work exclusively with Keratin Complex due to the incredible experience I’ve had with it. When I recommend a Keratin, I recommend this one. I trust it. I trust the results and it makes me happy to see people give that sigh of relief because they control their hair, not the other way around.

woman with beautiful straightened hair

Is a Keratin Treatment a Straightening Treatment? 

Chemical services that straighten or curl (as with a perm) hair must break chemical bonds first, then rebuild them in the desired shape. Japanese Thermal Straightening is an example of straightening treatment. Keratins ARE NOT straightening treatments, they only smooth and add shine and health.

With the terms Keratin, Brazillian blowout, express keratin, and in-home keratin plus products containing keratin, things can get confusing.

Here’s the takeaway with the terms: Keratin is a generic word for treatments that smooth the cuticle and provides shine and health for your hair. Brazillian blowout is a TYPE of keratin treatment. The Express Keratin by Keratin complex is also a type of keratin treatment. Products that contain the protein keratin, are NOT keratin treatments.

For individuals looking to address thick curls and frizz but have generally healthy hair, choose the original Keratin Treatment. It takes 3+ hours to apply and there is a 72-hour wait period after the application is complete, but it lasts 6+ months.

Watch out for blogs that use these terms interchangeably. Unfortunately, the information can be misleading and won’t help you make an informed decision.

beautiful model with smooth hair

AfterCare for Your Keratin Treatment

This part is easy. To care for your keratin and extend the results, purchase shampoos that are sulfate and sodium-chloride-free. Chlorides are mostly salts that are highly reactive and can strip hair easily.

You’ll also want to follow the guidelines for the keratins that have a waiting period post-service. This means if they recommend not putting your hair up, putting in clips, wearing a ponytail, or shampooing for a certain amount of time, it’s best to follow this.

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Here are some trusted brands to preserve the life of your keratin:

  1. Oribe Gold Lust shampoo and conditioner.
  2. Kerastase Bain Fluidealiste shampoo and conditioner.
  3. Olaplex Signature shampoo and conditioner

How are you feeling now? There is a lot to understand about keratins but remember to enjoy the process. Making an informed decision doesn’t have to be so bad. You can get the knowledge you deserve, take the time you need to decide, then treat yourself to a wonderful service designed to create health, strength, and beauty for your hair.

beautiful brunette with straight long hair

What is Body Wave Perm?

Writen by Anuji Gunasekara, Cosmetic Chemist/Formulation Chemist

When you hear “perm,” it’s anything but difficult to think about the creased, pleated bushy perm of the 80s. Fortunately, innovation has far outperformed that. The perms are making a loosen up- comeback. Today, perms can be adjusted to give you precisely the sort of wave you need, whether you need effortless beach waves, S-pattern curls, or bohemian wave hair.

How does Body Wave Perm Differ from Regular Perm?

It’s all in the technique. A perm is generally known as a process where your hairstylist treats your hair with a chemical to alter the structure and permanently wave or curl your hair. Tiny perm rods are to use for hair with a tighter, more uniform curl in regular perms. However, in body wave perm, small sections of hair are wrapped around larger rollers of different thicknesses that don’t create a consistent wave pattern, as classic perm rods do. Body wave perm not only brings about the lustrous lock but also, it’s about enhancing hair texture and adding volume.

Beautiful brunette girl with body wave perm

Science Behind the Perming Process

On the other hand, the perm is not merely an art. Instead, it depends on the fundamental chemical composition of hair. About 95% of hair contains a single protein, keratin, which has a long, helical shape. Keratin molecules are abundant in the amino acid called cysteine, which contains reactive sulfur atoms. Therefore, two cysteine residues on two units of keratin can create a disulfide bond (S-S bond), which is a strong association that links the keratin molecules, preventing them from splitting. During the perming process, chemicals are used to fracture and re-configure the protein bonds in the strand. The most widely recognized chemicals in perms are ammonium thioglycolate-the perm salt for breaking down the “disulfide” bonds in the hair protein and hydrogen peroxide, which reconstitutes the disulfide bonds in a new curly configuration.

The Ideal Candidate

The ideal candidate for a body wave perm is somebody who has virgin hair, implying that their hair has never been colored or chemically- treated. This shouldn’t suggest that you can’t get a perm on the off chance that you have somewhat wavy, color-treated hair. With advances in the science behind developing the solutions used for perms, there has been a positive evolution in maintaining the integrity of the hair through less damaging and soft curl formulas.

If your hair has already experienced a chemical process, such as bleaching or relaxing, you probably want to avoid a perm because doubling up on the chemicals can lead to dryness and breakage. Similarly, if your hair is currently very dry or brittle due to frequent heat-styling, it may not be the best time for a perm. 

confident young  blonde with body wave perm

Body Wave Perm Procedure

First and foremost, you ought to discuss this with your stylist. The stylist will be able to examine the structure and state of your hair, after having a conversation about your objectives for a body wave perm service.

  1. Hair is washed with clarifying shampoo to remove product build-up. It is recommended not to apply conditioner. Use a towel to remove excess moisture from the hair and section it off.
  2. Each hair section is wrapped around the rollers. For loose curls, use larger rollers. For tight curls, use smaller rollers.
  3. The scalp protection is applied along the hairline, working your way behind each ear and around the nape of the neck.
  4. The perm solution is applied to each curl and allowed the perm solution to remain on the hair for the time specified.
  5. Once the perm lotion is applied, the perm lotion swells the hair cuticle layers and enters the cortex — the perm lotion deposits hydrogen, which attaches itself to the hair structure’s disulfide bonds. The bonds are broken and become sulfide bonds. Once this step is completed, the hair is in a state to alter to the new shape of the perming rollers.
  6. Hair is rinsed using lukewarm water, leaving the curlers in place.
  7. The neutralizing solution is applied and allows the remaining recommended time. During this process. The neutralizer removes the hydrogen created during the softening and molding stage and adds oxygen. The broken disulfide bonds reform and the hair imitate the new shape.
  8. Rollers are removed from hair carefully after washing off neutralizing solution.
  9. Hair is again rinsed off to wash away any chemicals.
  10. Allow it to air dry.

Note: The procedure of perming takes about 2-3 hours, depending upon the length of the hair. Also, it takes 24 to 36 hours to settle down permed hair and look great. Wait at least two to three days before washing your hair using shampoo. The body wave perm lasts around 3-5 months, depending on your hair type and how often you are washing your hair.

Benefits of Having a Body Wave Perm

It’s an incredible way to get an air-dried finish and a great method to give straight hair a delicate twist and movement without extra heat and styling time. Moreover, a body wave perm will support any type of hairstyle and is ideal if your hair tends to go limp and lifeless. The body wave perm turns hair into a soft and natural-looking texture.

Post-Salon Hair Care

To keep your perm looking great as long as possible, appropriate upkeeping is essential. Post-perm hair care products and routines are keys to defining curls. It is recommended to use sulfate-free hydrating shampoos and conditioners formulated for permed hair and apply sunscreen to protect hair from harsh temperatures, and harmful UV exposure. Wear a swim cap to protect your locks and stay away from chlorinated water if you can. As the perming can leave hair dry and natural tendency of breaking permed hair, moisturizing is of vital importance. The lesser the heat better. Therefore, it has been suggested to avoid blow drying or straightening your hair with an iron. Also, avoid styling products that contain alcohol, which can cause frizz.

a beautiful brunette with body wave perm in winter clothing

Aftercare Recommendations and Best Products for Permed Hair

Have you recently opted for a perm to give you a head full of long-lasting, beautiful curls that you’ve longed for to add texture and volume to your flat and lifeless hair? Well, perms deliver the promise that you can wash and wear your curls effortlessly, without the need to use multiple styling tools on a daily basis.

However, such intense chemical processing leaves your hair fragile and more porous than normal. That’s why 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 permanent waving procedure.

Guidelines for Fresh Perms

smiling girl with permed hair wearing a glasses

Make sure to treat your perm with extra care during 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 to prolong the life of your treatment and keep your hair in good condition.

  • Refrain from washing and wetting your freshly-treated curls for at least two days. Washing your hair too early may cause the perm to drop before the curls lock in their shape.
  • Don’t use a flat iron or other heat styling tools before the first shampoo following the perming service, as this may affect the bond re-forming process. Just chillax as you adjust to your new curls!
  • Wait for at least a week after the perming session before swimming in chlorinated water. Keep in mind that chemicals in swimming pools can be very harsh to your perm. Take a swim raincheck!
  • Refrain from combing your hair in the first 24 hours. Use your fingers to gently style the hair and twirl the curls around your face.
  • Avoid putting your hair in a ponytail or a bun and avoid using hair elastics and tight clips. Leave your hair loose for the first two days after the perm service to help maintain the proper shape of your curls.
Pretty girl with permed hair

Washing Your Hair after Permanent Waving

Once the 48 hours waiting period is over it is safe to wash your hair. Make sure to use a shampoo formulated for chemically treated hair and gently massage your scalp while shampooing.

Always make sure to follow with a good conditioner. A conditioner will make combing easier and infuse your thirsty hair with moisture. Use lukewarm water to rinse the hair and gently blot with a towel to dry.

If your hair suffers from excessive dryness and breakage, incorporate a pre-shampoo treatment into your hair care regimen. This way you’ll prevent tangles and dryness and restore hair elasticity.

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Shampoo and Conditioner for Permed Hair

Related products:

Ouidad Curl Quencher Moisturizing Shampoo replenishes essential moisture to rehydrate dry curly hair. It works great for hair that has undergone a perm or coloring service.

Ouidad’s Curl Quencher Moisturizing Conditioner hydrates dry curls, leaving them softer, and more manageable.

beatiful brunette with permed hair


Use your fingers or a smooth-ended, wide-tooth comb to gently detangle your wet hair while it’s covered with the conditioner. Use gentle strokes to avoid breakage because your hair is very fragile after a perming service.

Deep Conditioners for Permed Locks

The perming process can strip your hair of moisture and its natural oils that need to be replenished constantly. A deep conditioning treatment at least twice a month, keeps permed hair from getting excessively dry, strengthens weakened strands, and helps maintain luster.

Argan Oil Hair Mask Treatment by Nature’s Potent (also available at Walmart) uses argan oil, hydrolyzed silk, almond oil, and pro-vitamin B-5 to strengthen and hydrate weak and over-processed hair. This conditioning treatment is highly effective for improving the manageability of permed and naturally curly hair.

Quidad’s Ultra-Nourishing Intense Hydrating Mask is formulated to replenish moisture and nourish hair that needs a little TLC. This treatment uses a blend of natural oils to restore softness, elasticity, and shine to fragile permed locks. It will make your curls bouncy and less prone to frizz.

Leave-in Treatments after Permanent Waving

Alter Ego Nourishing Spa Quench Care Intensive Nutritive Leave-in Conditioner is made to hydrate and protect thirsty chemically stressed hair. It softens your curls and leaves them shiny, frizz-free, and easy to comb.

ORIBE Curl Control Silkening Crème is designed to 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 that lingers in your hair.

Protection from Harsh Weather

Overexposure to sunlight, wind, and chlorine in the swimming pool can dry out permed hair. Rain and snow can flatten the curls 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 when braving the elements of rain, sleet, wind, or snow. Wear a hat when you go out in the sun and use sun protection for hair when sunbathing or swimming.

Night Care

Porous hair is more prone to frizz and tangles. Before going to bed, wrap your hair up in a satin cloth to protect it from friction when tossing and turning in bed. Consider purchasing a silk or satin pillow to reduce friction and keep your curls intact.

Perms and Coloring

Don’t plan to color your hair before permanent waving. The neutralizing step of the perming procedure can degrade hair color. Also, make sure not to have both treatments all in the same sitting. Two rounds of chemical treatment can be too stressful for your hair and scalp when the treatments are performed in a short period.

Temporary dyes, semi-permanent hair dyes, and color glazes can be applied immediately after the perming service. The cuticle layers of your hair are raised after the perming process, so those coloring and shine-boosting products can penetrate the hair shaft easily.

Many stylists recommend waiting at least two weeks before permanent coloring service to ensure that the perm has fully set in. Also, wait at least 2 weeks after the coloring service to apply the perm solution to your hair. Freshly colored hair needs a few weeks to recover to be able to withstand the permanent waving treatment.

How to Style Permed Hair

It is not advisable to tease permed hair with a brush. Brushing can break up the curls and make them look frizzy and messy. Make sure to style your hair gently to keep your curls attractive for longer.

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. Blow drying can mess up hair and cause split ends.

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

Perm-Friendly Styling Products

Use styling products designed for curly hair to help repel humidity and keep the curls in place. Check the ingredient list to ensure that alcohol is not listed. Alcohol can cause hair to become excessively dry. Also, avoid styling products with silicone as they can weigh your curls down.

Mousses for curly hair will moisturize and protect fragile permed hair, keeping the curls in good shape. These products also help control static and frizz and make curls soft and bouncy.

Hair gels contain moisturizing ingredients that help smooth and define curls. They should be applied to clean towel-dried hair.

Anti-frizz serums help tame frizz and make permed hair appear shinier. Most serums can be applied either on towel-dried or dry hair.

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

long hair woman with permed hair

Damage Repair Treatments

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


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 to get a haircut. Regular trimming (every 4-6 weeks) will prevent split ends and keep your hair more manageable and healthier looking.


Perms give you beautiful, wavy hair for up to 6 months, depending on the product and your aftercare regimen. The tighter curls will generally last longer than bigger ones. When your perm grows out you may want to get it touched up.

Your stylist will suggest the best time to get a touch-up, leaving your hair time to rest between chemical services. If you re-apply perm too soon, you run a risk of damaging your hair.

a beautiful model after getting a permanent waving service

How to Care for Your Relaxed Hair

The hair relaxing process involves the use of strong chemicals designed to break down the protein bonds in the hair. To do the job, the chemical straightener needs to remove the invisible hair’s protective layer. This can leave hair dry, porous, and prone to breakage. To ensure that your relaxed hair stays bouncy, smooth, and frizz-free, proper care is essential.

Black hair requires very gentle handling because relaxing makes this type of hair very fragile and prone to damage from heat and chemicals. Hair that has already undergone some type of chemical processing can be seriously damaged by chemical relaxers.

How to Nourish Relaxed Hair

Beautiful African-American girl with relaxed hair

The relaxer is a rather strong chemical that, if left too long on the skin or scalp, will cause severe chemical burns. It is important to thoroughly rinse hair with water to get the chemicals out of your hair. Any trace of a relaxer that is left on your hair will continue to process and may cause your strands to break.

After rinsing out the relaxer proceed with the neutralizing shampoo to eliminate traces of relaxer that may remain in your hair. Active ingredients in the neutralizer will penetrate the hair shaft and stop the relaxer from working. Leaving the neutralizing shampoo in the hair for a few minutes helps restore chemically-treated hair to the natural pH balance.

Relaxers leave your hair very, very vulnerable. After rinsing out the neutralizing shampoo, apply a protein conditioning treatment to fill in the cracks in the hair shaft. The relaxing process leaves the cuticle lifted, so your hair will be ready to absorb and replenish the lost protein.

Some stylists prefer doing the protein treatment immediately after rinsing out the relaxer and before the neutralizing shampoo.

Some hair professionals suggest doing Olaplex Stand-Alone Treatment instead of a protein treatment, to reconnect broken bonds in your hair and prevent shedding.

How to Wash Relaxed Hair

Shampoo your hair twice a week and use conditioner after each shampoo. Use a moisturizing, sulfate-free shampoo and moisturizing conditioner formulated for chemically treated hair.

After applying shampoo, gently massage the scalp with your fingertips. Make sure not to use your nails. Using your nails can create tangles and cause breakage.

Apply conditioner and let it work for five to ten minutes. Untangle the hair using a wide-toothed comb. Work from the ends to the roots, with the conditioner still in your hair.

When you have finished combing rinse your hair with lukewarm water. Use cool water for mid-lengths and the ends of your hair to seal the cuticles and prevent frizz.

Wrap a soft towel around your head to remove water from the hair. Don’t squeeze or wring out your hair, just let the towel gently soak up the excess water. Follow with a cotton shirt and leave it on for 10-15 minutes.

Always use a leave-in conditioner after washing and conditioning relaxed hair. Make sure to detangle your hair thoroughly at this stage.

Take a small amount of coconut oil between your fingers and coat the ends of your hair. Coconut oil penetrates the hair shaft to help retain moisture inside the hair.

African-American girl with chemically straightened hair listening to music

Co-Washing Relaxed Hair

Shampooing too often can dry out chemically treated hair due to harsh detergents in traditional shampoo formulas. If you want to wash your relaxed hair more often than twice a week, “co-washing“, or “conditioner-only washing” is a gentler alternative to shampooing. This no-shampoo method can be done with a lightweight moisturizing conditioner, that cleanses and refreshes your hair without stripping the scalp of its natural oils. Washing with a cleansing conditioner adds moisture to your hair instead of taking it away, and can even be done daily.

Air Drying

Air drying is the healthiest option to dry your relaxed hair. To help your hair stay straight, wrap it into a cross wrap and tie it with a satin or silk hair scarf. Another way to get straight hair without heat is to smooth all the hair back into a loose bun.

For a nice, wavy look, the roller set is the best way to keep hair smooth without using too much heat. You can also put your hair in a braid and leave it that way until it is dry.

If you do blow-dry, let your hair air-dry partially before using the hairdryer. Put your blow-dryer on the lowest heat setting and hold it at least ten inches away from your hair. Also, make sure to constantly keep the device in motion.

Deep Conditioning

happy dark-skinned woman with nourished relaxed hair

Deep condition your relaxed hair at least every fortnight. Relaxers strip the hair of its natural oils. Deep conditioning helps rehydrate chemically treated hair and makes it strong enough to withstand styling. Coat your hair in the conditioner, starting from the ends. For best results, use a plastic cap and go under a hooded dryer. Let the conditioner sit for up to 30-45 minutes using a low heat setting. You can also put on a plastic cap and leave the treatment overnight.

Apply a protein-based deep conditioner once a month to strengthen your hair and replenish the lost protein. Make sure not to do protein treatments frequently, as too much protein can cause your hair to become weak and brittle.

Hydrolyzed Proteins

Adding hydrolyzed proteins to your shampoo or conditioner can be very beneficial for relaxed hair. Chemical relaxers can leave hair extremely dry, brittle, and prone to tangling and breakage. Hydrolyzed proteins added to your hair care products can fill in damaged areas in the cuticle layer. This strengthens your hair from within and reduces the risk of breakage.

Hot-Oil Treatment

Do a hot-oil treatment every week to add extra moisture and give body to your hair. Gently warm olive, coconut, or jojoba oil, and massage it into your freshly washed hair. Wrap your head in a plastic shower cap and leave the oil on for half an hour before rinsing.

Night Time Care 

Relaxed hair requires special care for bedtime. Conventional cotton pillowcases tend to rob the hair of moisture, and can cause friction and tangles. Sleeping on a satin pillow keeps your hair from getting tangled and prevents dryness. If you don’t have a silk or a satin pillowcase, tie your hair in a bun or wrap it in a silk cap. Apply a leave-in serum to the ends to keep them moisturized while sleeping.


Heat Styling

Avoid using heat when styling your hair, as the high heat can cause relaxed hair to become very dry and prone to breakage. You can style your hair occasionally, using a high-quality, ceramic flat iron with adjustable heat controls. Be careful, because repeated usage of flat iron can burn relaxed hair.

When you are using a curling iron, hold the barrel cover slightly open – so the hair simply passes over the barrel without being tagged or pulled by pressure from the barrel cover.


Use a wide-tooth comb or your fingers to gently detangle your hair. Never use a brush while your hair is still wet because brushing vet hair can cause breakage. Gently brush with a boar bristle brush and avoid pulling and tugging on your hair. Overbrushing relaxed hair can cause split ends and hair breakage.

Protective Styles

Wearing relaxed hair down daily is not advisable. Protective styling is one of the best ways to minimize hair breakage. Wearing the hair in a protective style helps hide the ends from harsh elements and from rubbing on your shoulders and clothes. Popular protective styles include buns, chignons, braids, twists, and weaves. Create protective styles that will last at least for a few days with minimal touch-ups and give your hair a rest from styling.

protective hairstyle for relaxed hair

Dying Relaxed Hair

You should wait at least two weeks after a relaxer service before applying permanent hair color. If the hair is brittle and prone to breakage, permanent hair color is not recommended.

Because chemical relaxers are so harsh on hair, consider picking a dye that doesn’t require bleach or ammonia. Restore color vibrancy and shine with a tinted conditioner, or use temporary and semi-permanent colors as well as ammonia-free hair colors. These colors can be used immediately following a chemical relaxer. Apply hair gloss or hair glaze to revive color and add glossy shine.

To cover gray hair, use demi-permanent hair color. To hide your gray roots between color services use temporary root touch-up products – like root touch-up sprays, color wands, and color touch-up powders.


Keep your hair trimmed to remove dry split ends and uneven growth. Regular trims will prevent further damage to your hair. Get a trim every 2-3 months.

Healthy Diet

To increase your hair’s protein content, eat healthy meals, and incorporate a lot of protein-rich food into your diet. Drink plenty of water to keep your hair hydrated from the inside. Your hair will be healthier and resistant to breakage.

How to Avoid Over-Processing

Before the next relaxer service, make sure it’s been at least 10 weeks since your last touch-up. Applying relaxing treatments more frequently could lead to breakage and thinning. When retouching, only relax your new growth. Don’t use strong formulas every time you get your hair relaxed.

Beautiful black woman with  long relaxed hair

How to Maintain your Hair after Japanese Hair Straightening

What is Thermal Reconditioning?

Japanese Hair Straightening, also known as Thermal Reconditioning, is a permanent hair straightening treatment developed for those who want to spend less time styling their hair. The treatment works by using a combination of heat and chemicals.

Once you’ve got a Japanese straightening treatment, your hair requires little or no effort to get it looking completely straight. However, that doesn’t automatically mean your straightened hair doesn’t still require appropriate care. Your treated hair must be properly maintained to overcome the effects of chemicals and to prevent it from getting dry and brittle.

What Aftercare Is Required Within the First 72 Hours?

Woman brushes thermally reconditioned hair

The first 72 hours after receiving a Japanese hair straightening treatment is critically important. During this time the hair must not get wet in any way, whether it be due to shampooing, rain, swimming, or sweat. Skipping exercise during these 72 hours is highly recommended. This waiting period gives the treatment time to set in your hair.

Also, avoid putting any type of product in the hair, which means no hairspray, mousse, gels, wax, shampoo, or dry shampoo. Keep your locks as straight as possible and avoid tucking the hair behind your ears or pulling it into a ponytail. The use of hair accessories must be avoided as well as wearing hats, glasses, etc.

If your hair gets wet or bent, you should blow-dry and flat-iron the affected area immediately with a flat iron at a low temperature.

Long Japanese straightened hair

How to Take Care of Japanese Straightened Hair?

It is important to follow the instructions provided by your stylist and carefully protect and treat your newly straightened hair until the next touch-up. Swimming should be avoided for the first couple of weeks, as the hair mustn’t come into contact with chlorinated pool water during this time. Excessive exposure to the sun must also be avoided, in the first days after the treatment, which means wearing a hat when you are out in the sun.

Thermally reconditioned hair absorbs less moisture and dries more quickly. You don’t need to blow dry your Japanese straightened hair to maintain a straight look. You can blow dry it if you want to get the moisture out quickly. The blow-drying will take less than half the time it previously did. It would be best to use a dryer with a ceramic heating unit and tourmaline-infused inner components. Keep the hair dryer at the right distance and use a diffuser attachment to disperse the airflow.

Use only gentle hair accessories to avoid breakage. Avoid using hair elastics and look for more hair-friendly hair ties.

Some shampoos and conditioners (like sulfur-based anti-dandruff shampoos) have adverse effects on chemically straightened hair. It is important to use shampoos and conditioners that are specifically formulated for Japanese straightened hair to help maintain the quality of the treatment and keep your hair healthy.

Comb the hair with a wide-tooth comb to gently remove the tangles. Use a thermal heat protector when blow-drying to prevent heat damage. Use only a natural bristle brush and blow-dry in a downward drying motion to close the cuticle and prevent stripping moisture from the hair.

To revitalize your thermally treated hair, make sure to give it a protein-rich deep conditioning treatment once a week.

Thermal Reconditioning and Hair Coloring

Those who want thermal reconditioning but also want to color their hair shouldn’t do the coloring before they get their hair straightened. Hair that has been bleached and color-treated hair that’s damaged should not receive thermal reconditioning. For highlighted hair, the hair should only be highlighted up to 50 percent. Those who have hair that’s already color-treated, but not bleached or damaged, may get their hair thermal reconditioned, but the results they get may vary.

Find a reputable salon and consult a specialist to make sure that this straightening procedure is right for you. You will receive a pre-treatment to tell if it works for your hair type and condition. The outcome depends on what type of chemicals was used and how many coloring or highlighting treatments your hair has been through.

When coloring hair that has been straightened using the Japanese method, it’s important to wait at least four to six weeks after receiving the treatment to apply the color. Consider gentle, ammonia-free hair color. It’s a good idea to skip the at-home hair coloring kits and have the color done professionally. You must inform your hair color technician that your hair has been chemically straightened before receiving color service. You also want to make sure that the technician understands the effects of color on Japanese straightened hair.

Your colorist may suggest upgrading your hair color service with Olaplex or other bond-protecting products to preserve the integrity of your hair.

To keep the rebonded hair looking sleek and shiny, consider the cellophane hair treatment. This treatment uses hydrolyzed proteins and silicone polymers to seal the cuticle layer and keep your hair smooth and beautiful. You can do this treatment every 3 months to exchange hair color and maintain a high gloss shine.

Shampoos and Conditioners for Thermally Reconditioned Hair

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Chemical treatments and dyes tend to weaken hair, making it fragile and more vulnerable to damage. Chemically processed hair needs gentle handling. It is important to follow a strict routine when it comes to your hair care products.

Milbon Nigelle Er Shampooir?t=softerhair 20&l=am2&o=1&a=B002ALQOJ8 and Milbon Frizz Controlling Conditioner have been specially formulated to repair damage and maintain the softness and health of the hair after Japanese Hair Straightening. The duo also works to smooth out new growth, which helps extend the longevity of your treatment.

The products are pricey, but you can keep the original jar and order refill bags to get a larger amount of the product for your money.

The shampoo is very thick and although it doesn’t create a huge amount of suds your hair will be clean without feeling stripped.

The duo also helps keep hair conditioned and healthy between color treatments.

Leave in Treatment for Rebonded Hair

Milbon Deesse’s Aprou Moisture Milk Leave-In Treatmentir?t=softerhair 20&l=am2&o=1&a=B000SE7VSW repairs the cuticle layers of damaged hair, keeping it shiny, sleek, and soft. This leave-in treatment also blocks humidity and makes hair manageable. Apply a few pumps to your damp hair, before blow-drying. If your hair is permanently straightened, this product will help keep your regrown hair smoother, and more manageable.

Beautiful Asian woman with Japanese straightened hair

Caring for Your Hair after Brazilian Keratin Treatment

Once you’ve had a Brazilian Keratin treatment done, you need to take special care of your hair to make sure that the treatment will last as long as possible. Keratin treatments wash away gradually over time, but with proper care, the results will last about 12 weeks or more.

Brazilian Keratin Treatment and Hair Coloring

If you color your hair, you can do so immediately before a Brazilian Keratin Treatment without damaging your hair or reducing the efficiency of your color or straightening treatment. However, you should wait at least three weeks after the treatment before dying hair with permanent color again. This is because the keratin treatment coats the hair shaft and reduces the porosity of your strands making them less receptive to oxidative dyes.

gorgeous young woman with keratin treated hair

Post Treatment Period

Avoid getting your hair wet for three days after receiving a keratin treatment. This means no washing, swimming, or sweating—and staying out of the rain. Make sure to give your treatment time to adhere completely to your strands.

Leave your hair down and unstyled for the first few days after receiving a Brazilian keratin treatment. The keratin is still malleable, so if you put your hair in a tail, or use a hair clip, this can leave dents in your hair. If you want to tie your hair up, wait until the keratin has been in the hair for at least three days, and then you can use a soft hair tie for short intervals of time.

You are not supposed to use any hair products during the 3-day waiting period, and if your hair does become twisted you need to use a flat iron to smooth it out.


young woman with long keratin-straightened hair

Blow-dry your hair after washing, but avoid using hair products after the first shampoo. You don’t need root lifting sprays, mousse, hairspray, or gels to style your hair after a Brazilian keratin treatment. Freshly applied treatment will keep your hair silky-smooth without the need for many styling products. Overuse of styling products could make your hair look dull and dirty.

Instead, just use a blow-dryer to dry your locks and use a flat iron to create a sleek finish. Most time you won’t need a hair straightener, but it is ok to use it if you need to obtain a perfectly sleek finish.

Beautiful model with keratin-treated hair

After Treatment Precautions

To maintain a sleek shiny look longer, it is also a good idea to wash hair less often because the effects wash out gradually. Avoid exposing your hair to chlorine or salt water and high levels of UV radiation, as these factors may reduce the longevity of your treatment.

Wear a cap when swimming because the salt from the ocean, as well as chlorine in swimming pools, can wash out your keratin treatment. If you don’t like wearing a cap, take a shower before you go swimming, and saturate your hair with a pre-swim conditioner. The fresh water soaks your strands and reduces the absorption of chemicals from pool water, while the conditioner provides an additional level of protection.

Keratin Aftercare Shampoos

In the months following the treatment, use a shampoo and conditioner free of sodium and sulfates. For maximum longevity, purchase a shampoo that is specially developed for keratin aftercare. This shampoo will complement the keratin straightening treatment making the results last longer.

Woman with blue eyes and dark straight hair

Deep Conditioning

Use a sulfate-free deep conditioning masque enriched with hydrolyzed keratin at least once a month. Deep conditioning works to nurture hair and helps extend the duration of keratin treatments. Once the treatment began wearing off a deep conditioning mask helps prevent the effects of humidity, keeping the hair less frizzy, smoother, and easier to style.

Nighttime Care for Keratin Straightened Hair

Sleep on a silk pillowcase at night. Traditional cotton pillowcases can create friction and disrupt hair cuticles as you move, making your hair frizzy and the treatment short-lived. By sleeping on a silk pillowcase, you’ll avoid roughing the hair strands when you toss and turn at night. Silk creates very little friction, which means a longer-lasting keratin straightening treatment.

Don’t wear your hair and avoid using hair accessories when going to bed. Instead, leave your hair down and try to keep it straight during sleep hours. Ensure your room isn’t too warm to prevent sweating and tossing which may cause friction.

When to Redo Your Keratin Treatment

On average, a Brazilian keratin treatment should last about three months. After that, your hair will return to its normal state, but it should be healthier-looking and softer because of the conditioning impact of the keratin.

Once the effects of the Brazilian keratin treatment wear off, you can apply treatment again. Repeating keratin treatment will enhance the appearance of your hair over time. The reapplication will be done on the entire length of your hair and in the same way as the initial treatment.

Beautiful model after receiving keratin service

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