Permed Hair FAQs
Our colorists take on your top perm questions...
Q: I got a perm yesterday, and after it dried throughout the day, it got poofy. IDK if it was because I ran my fingers through my hair, but will it go back to being curly after I wash it after 48 hours? - Haley
A: That sounds normal to us, Haley! Give your hair the full 48 hours without a wash to fully “lock” in your curls. Also, resist the urge to wet your hair or pull it back in a ponytail for the first two days. After you wash your hair, a leave-in conditioner can help coax your curls back into shape. This will also help reduce frizz and eliminate the poofiness you described.
Q: My hair is naturally curly, but after years of using a flat iron consistently, my texture has changed. I miss my curls, so I asked for a perm, hoping as my hair grows back it will be curly again. The problem? The perm is way too tight...think poodle curls. I want to keep the curls, but I don’t want them to be so tight. Help! - Sara
A: We got you, Sara! You can help loosen your curls with a good deep conditioner. Apply conditioner to your hair, comb it out straight, then wrap it in a cellophane bag. Leave the conditioner on your hair and keep your hair wrapped for up to 30 minutes. After rinsing, your curls will look much more relaxed...plus your hair will feel wonderful.
Q: I got a perm 2 weeks ago, but now I want to get rid of it and wear my hair straight again. Is there any way to make this happen? - Heather
A: Heather, unfortunately the best way to “get rid of'' a perm is to wait for it to grow out. Frequent micro trims will speed up this process, in addition to using a deep conditioning mask once a week to weigh down curls. If you want a more immediate solution, go back to your salon and ask for a creme perm to be applied over the permed outgrowth (to help “reverse” your perm). Bear in mind that this is an additional chemical process that might be stressful for your hair and could lead to breakage. Good luck!
Do you perm your hair regularly? Is it something you want to try? Do you have suggestions for getting and keeping gorgeous permed or relaxed hair? We want to hear from you in the comments.
Originally published: January 27, 2015
Updated: May 19, 2021