permed haircare: lady with a loose perm hairstyle

7 Professional Permed Haircare Tips for Newbies

Break out your shoulder pads and get ready to #throwback to the ’80s as curly perms are officially back in fashion. If you’ve just stepped out the salon with a head full of fresh curls from this treatment, you might be wondering exactly what your new permed haircare routine entails. Covering everything from the best products for permed hair, to your essential mane-tainance tips, we’ve got the lowdown on preserving your curly perm with the help of All Things Hair hairstylist Elena Diaz.

Sharing her expert advice on the subject, get ready to take notes as Elena decodes the ins and outs of permed haircare, from wash to wear.


Read on to find out the best haircare tips for permed hair.

  • How to care for permed hair during the first 48 hours
  • How long do you have to wait to wash your hair after getting a perm?
  • What are the best products to use for permed haircare?
  • How to style permed hair after a shower
  • What are the best tools to style permed hair with?
  • Can I put my hair up after getting a perm?
  • Wondering how to sleep with permed hair?


1. The First 48 Hours: Get to know your perm.

permed haircare: lady with a loose perm hairstyle
Source: Adobe Stock

Whatever your hair type, length, and texture, it’s important to have a grooming routine that accommodates freshly-treated curls. The first step? Speak to your stylist. Be sure to ask them as many questions as possible about permed haircare and follow their advice. The stylist that treated your hair knows the texture and condition of your hair pre and post-treatment and will give you bespoke feedback on what your next styling steps are.


2. Don’t wash your hair too soon.

One of the biggest faux pas you can make with permed hair care is washing your locks too quickly after the treatment. “Always take your hairdresser’s advice,” recommends Elena. “It’s common that after a perm, you will need to wait 48 hours before washing your hair.”


3. Find the right hair products.

permed haircare: woman with an undercut and short curly hair
Source: Adobe Stock

Perming hair is a chemical process and as such, it can cause dryness or damage. To combat this, use products that nourish your locks from root-to-tip, helping them to maintain a healthy appearance.

When washing your hair, use formulas that help restore any damage to the appearance of your hair that is caused by the perming process.

The Dove Intensive Repair Shampoo and Conditioner strengthens hair inside and out. Visibly repairing while cleansing, it will leave your curls looking healthy and moisturised.


4. Create a new styling routine.

When curating your styling kit, make sure to include products that specifically cater to curly-haired needs. According to Elena, when it comes to styling, “It’s totally up to you! It’s crucial to treat permed hair the same way you would if your curls were formed naturally.”

If you’re concerned about how to dry permed hair after washing, the hair plopping method is a great way to form your curls overnight. Alternatively, if you don’t have time to air dry, use a diffuser to create definition and volume.

The Shea Moisture Coconut and Hibiscus Curl Enhancing Smoothie, for example, will give your curls and waves structure and hold, while hydrating them.


5. Find the best tools.

Step away from your straighteners. Fresh curls need a few key tools to cover all their styling bases.

  • For longer or thicker hair: If you’re using a hairdryer, add the diffuser attachment. This will direct the heat to exactly where you need it, causing less friction on the hair cuticle, creating a smooth finish.
  • For shorter or finer hair: If you opted for a perm to add volume, use a small round brush when blow-drying. This will help lift the hair at the root and give you the appearance of fuller tresses.


6. Don’t be overly cautious.

woman with chin-length, brown curly hair
Source: Unsplash

Absolutely! Don’t be afraid of misshaping or re-structuring your new curls. As this treatment is permanent, your new waves are locked firmly in place. Giving you an endless new realm of styling possibilities.


7. Nail down your sleep routine.

If you’re new to permed haircare, sleeping with curls can be pretty daunting. “To avoid waking up with messy or tangled tresses, try sleeping with your hair tied in a silk scarf or on a silk pillowcase,” recommends Elena. This trick will minimise the amount of friction on the cuticle (outside) of the hair, reducing the appearance of flyaways. Leaving you to catch some beauty sleep, without worry about a bad case of #bedhead. You’re welcome!


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