How Soon After A Perm Can I Color My Hair? Expert Advice.

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You’ve just gotten a perm and you’re feeling your best self.

You love the new curl pattern and you can’t wait to show it off to the world. But then you start thinking…can I color my hair now? Or do I have to wait?

If you’re wondering how soon after a perm you can color or dye your hair, we have some answers for you.

Keep reading to find out everything you need to know about how best to do it safely, and when!

How soon after a perm can I color my hair?

It’s best to wait at least 2 weeks before coloring permed hair. The chemicals in the perm solution can make your hair more vulnerable to damage.

What is a perm?

A perm is a type of hairstyle that uses chemical treatments to permanently curl straight hair.

It’s a popular choice for people who want to add some extra body and volume to their hair.

Perms can be done with either hot or cold waves, and the finished look can range from tight curls to loose, beachy waves.

The process usually takes about two hours, and the results typically last for several months.

When it’s time for a new perm, simply wash your hair and let it air dry to refresh the style.

With so many different perm options available, it’s easy to find one that suits your personal style.

Check out the latest looks over on our permed hair Pinterest board for ideas and inspiration.

How soon after a perm can I color my hair pinterest board

Can I color my hair after a perm?

No, it’s not recommended that you color your hair immediately after getting a perm.

The chemicals in the perm solution can make your hair more vulnerable to damage, so it’s best to wait at least 2 weeks before coloring your hair. 

If you absolutely cannot wait 2 weeks, then you can try coloring your hair 1 week after getting a perm. However, keep in mind that this may put your hair at risk for further damage.

The chemicals in hair color can dry out your hair, which is already in a fragile state after being permed.

If you do color your hair shortly after getting a perm, use a very gentle, ammonia-free formula. And don’t forget to use a deep conditioner afterwards! 

We recommend that you speak with your stylist before coloring your hair if you’ve recently gotten a perm. 

Watch and learn: Can you color your hair and perm it in one sitting?

Here’s a great video that shows you how you the professionals can color and perm it in one sitting and all the top tips and precautions they take to prevent any damage.

What happens if you dye your hair after a perm?

If you absolutely can’t wait to dye your curly hair, we understand!

Just know that coloring your hair too soon after a perm can cause the color to fade faster and may even cause damage to your hair.

If you do decide to color your hair ASAP, we recommend using a semi-permanent or demi-permanent color rather than permanent color.

These types of color won’t penetrate the hair shaft as deeply, so they’re less likely to cause damage. 

If you’re dead set on coloring your hair after a perm, give yourself at least two weeks before reaching for the dye. This will give your hair time to recover from the perm and will help ensure that the color takes evenly. Trust us – your hair will thank you! 

What is a volume perm?

A volume perm is similar to a tight curl perm, but the chemicals used are not as strong. This means that the resulting curls will be looser and more natural-looking.

Volume perms are perfect for people who want to add some body and texture to their hair, but don’t want to commit to super tight curls.

Can you put color on permed hair?

The answer is yes, you can definitely color permed hair.

However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you should!

If your perm is still fresh, giving it some time to settle before adding color is always a good idea. That way, you can avoid damaging your newly-permed locks. 

Of course, if you’re dying to add some color to your hair, there’s no reason why you can’t go ahead and do it. Just use a demi-permanent or direct dye to avoid more damage.

Should I color my hair before or after a perm?

Dying your hair before getting a perm might seem like a no-brainer, but it’s actually not the best idea.

The chemicals in the dye can weaken the bonds in your hair, making it more likely to break during the perming process.

And even if your hair doesn’t break, the perm might not take as well.

If you’re set on dyeing your hair before your perm, wait at least two weeks to give your hair time to recover from the chemical treatment.

Or, better yet, dye your hair two weeks after you get a perm. That way, you’ll be sure that your color is fresh and vibrant – and that your perm looks its best.

Can you get highlights on permed hair?

The answer, unfortunately, is not a simple yes or no.

It depends on a number of factors, including the type of perm you have, the condition of your hair, and the level of bleach used in the highlights.

That said, most experts would advise against highlights on permed hair, as over-processing from the bleach can cause damage and breakage. 

It will break the bonds in your hair and make it more difficult to style.

If you do decide to get highlights, be sure to talk to your stylist about the best way to protect your hair. With a little extra care, you can enjoy beautiful, healthy hair – highlighted or not.

How long do perms last for?

Typically, perms will last for 3-6 months. Of course, this can vary depending on your hair type, how well you take care of your hair, and the type of perm you get.

For example, if you have very fine hair, you might find that your perm doesn’t last as long as someone with thicker hair.

Similarly, if you use a lot of heat styling or harsh chemicals on your hair, this can also affect the lifespan of your perm.

But the bottom line is that perms are a great way to add some texture and body to your hair – just be prepared to touch up your perm every few months.

How can I dye my relaxed hair without damaging it?

Relaxed hair is especially vulnerable to damage from bleach and other harsh chemicals, so it’s important to take extra care when dying your locks.

One way to minimize damage is to use a semi-permanent dye or demi-permanent hair color instead of a permanent one.

This will help to prevent your hair from becoming dry and brittle, and it will also allow you to change up your look more easily if you decide you want something different.

Another tip is to avoid using hot water when rinsing out your dye. Instead, opt for cool or lukewarm water, which will help to seal in moisture and prevent your hair from becoming dried out.

By following these simple tips, you can dye your relaxed hair without damaging it.

Parting words

Adding color to your hair can be a great way to change up your look, but it’s important to be careful.

If you’re planning on getting a perm, it’s best to wait a few weeks before adding color. This will help to prevent damage and over-processing.

And if you’re dying your hair, be sure to use a semi-permanent dye and avoid hot water to help keep your hair healthy and damage-free.

With a little care, you can enjoy beautiful, healthy hair – no matter what color you choose. Thanks for reading!

This article was written by:

  • Nicola Freeman, Creative Director & Content Lead
    Creative Director & Content Lead

    With over two decades of passionate hair dyeing experience, I've experimented with nearly every shade imaginable. My journey began long before blogging; as an award-winning copywriter in London and New York, I shaped narratives for iconic brands. However, when friends sought advice during lockdown for at-home hair dyeing, I realized my true calling. Beyond being your hair color expert, I'm a mom of two girls, wife to artist Tony, and an avid soccer player!