What Happens When You Wash Your Hair After A Perm?

A perm, also known as a permanent wave, is a chemical process used to make your hair curly or wavy. Your stylist uses special chemicals that alter the structure of your hair and helps you catch the perfect wave. 

Even though it’s called permanent, the results typically last three to six months. If you want your perm to last longer, you need to take good care of it. Since permed hair requires a lot of upkeep to stay fabulous, women often have a lot of questions after the treatment. 

One such question is: what happens when you wash your hair after a perm? The answer is, it depends. Generally speaking, you should be fine if you wait at least 48 hours to wash your hair after getting a perm. 

However, if you do it before 48 hours, then it can cause some problems. In this article, we’ll discuss everything you need to know about washing your hair after a perm. 

What Happens If I Wash My Hair Within 48 Hours of Getting a Perm?

Even though the chemicals have done most of their work by the time they were washed away by your stylist, it still takes 40 to 50 hours for your curls to lock completely. If you wash your hair within the first 48 hours of getting a perm, your curls may fall apart or come out uneven. 

What’s more, the chemicals used during the process can dry out your strands and damage your hair. And washing too soon can make things worse because shampoos can also strip the moisture out of your hair. 

That’s why stylists recommend you to wait at least 48 hours. If you accidentally washed your hair too soon, you should contact your stylist. They will know what’s best for you. 

What Happens If I Wash My Hair After 48 Hours of Getting a Perm?

If you wait at least 2-3 days to wash your hair after getting a perm, you’re golden. It’s enough time for the process to complete and your hair to set. Plus, your strands are also able to recover from some of the damage sustained during the process.

However, make sure to use shampoos that are suitable for permed hair. This is key to keeping your perms healthy and gorgeous. Regular shampoos are just not going to cut it for you. In addition to that, be sure to follow the advice given to you by your stylist. 

How to Maintain Your Perm?

When it comes to permed hair, maintenance is key. Here are a few tips to help you maintain your perfect perm:

how to maintain permed hair

1. Use Fingertips to Style Your Hair

For the first 2-3 days, use your fingertips to style your hair. Avoid hairbrushes or other accessories because they can cause breakage or ruin your curls. Invest in a wooden wide-tooth comb to gently comb your hair after that. 

2. Deep Condition Your Tresses

If you want your perm to look its best, it’s important to keep your hair healthy. Since perming can dry your hair, your hair now needs extra love and care. Therefore, it’s important to deep condition your hair once or twice a week. Invest in conditioners that are highly nourishing and moisturizing. Look for ingredients such as argan oil, olive oil, etc. 

Your hair also suffers protein loss when you get a perm. So, it would be helpful if you can invest in protein masks. 

3. Change Your Hair Care Products

To make the most of your perm, invest in products that are safe for permed hair. Look for sulfate-free shampoos and conditioners. They’ll help you keep your curls in place. 

4. Avoid Heat Styling Tools

Another thing to keep your curls looking sharp is to avoid using heat tools. Blow-drying your hair can cause excess dryness. You can use a diffuser as it won’t disturb the hair’s curl pattern. 

5. Avoid Chemical Treatments

Wait at least 3-4 weeks before dyeing your hair after a perm. This also holds true for other chemical treatments as well. Your hair has just been through the wringer, so it’s important that you let your hair recover to its full glory before you use more chemicals on it. 

6. Protect Your Hair When Sleeping

Sleeping with curls can be a nightmare. Tie your hair in a silk scarf before you go to sleep. This will reduce texture and keep your hair frizz-free. 


Getting a perm is sexy, and it can make your hair look better. If you got a perm, you should wait at least 48 hours before you wash your hair. This helps your curls to set in completely. If you do it too soon, you may end up ruining your curls.

How long do you wait to wash your hair after a perm? Let us know in the comments below. 

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