How to Go Longer Between Perms and Hair Straightening Treatments

Your stylist already warned you to wait a couple of days before you wash your hair.

The chemical treatment takes 48 to 72 hours to settle.

If it was a perm, they probably also said don’t comb it or brush it for the first day.

And they reminded you not to get a color treatment for a couple of weeks.

It’s not just that your hair is more fragile right now. The advice is also meant to help you enjoy your new style for longer.

I don’t know about you, but I was always on a tight budget. I always tried to squeeze one more week between treatments.

Plus, I’d seen the damage that too much styling could do to someone’s hair.

Those are the reasons why I wanted to share this information with you today.

Let’s see if we can help you extend the time between this perm and the next. The same rules apply to dyeing and straightening treatments.

How to keep chemically-processed hair looking great for longer

Like every good stylist will tell you: moisturize, moisturize, moisturize (1).

Well-hydrated hair can handle chemical treatments and styling. It’s elastic and strong.

Not only does it look healthy, but it feels good.

As you age, it becomes even more important to condition your hair, too.

Once you begin washing your permed hair, always use conditioner. Don’t be shy about hair masks, either.

Even oily hair can benefit from moisture. That’s because sometimes your scalp produces extra sebum to compensate for the dehydration.

If it’s not thirsty, maybe it won’t get so greasy.

Treat permed hair as if it were naturally curly. Give it plenty of hydration.

For example, the best best conditioners for permed hair won’t relax your curls. They will make them shiny, bouncy, and less likely to break or split at the ends.

But there are other tricks you should know.

It matters a lot what you use to wash your hair.

When you’ve spent all that money on a permanent or relaxing your hair, it’s a shame to ruin it with cheap shampoo.

There are specially-designed products for both permed hair and relaxed hair. Many aren’t any more expensive than the regular stuff.

In general, they are sulfate-free and gentle.

You don’t need salt, sulfates, perfumes, or a lot of chemicals to clean your hair. You’re better off with moisturizing ingredients and mild cleansers.

Moreover, you can wash more often when you use gentle shampoos.

Or skip a day by using dry shampoo on your scalp. It soaks up the excess oil and refreshes your style.

You don’t need to walk around with greasy hair.

If you go swimming, protect your head with a silicone swim cap. Then wash with a swimmer’s shampoo.

Fine-tune your hair care to wait just a week or two longer between treatments

Now that you’ve switched to a moisturizing shampoo and conditioner, your hair will hold up better for longer.

Plus, there are other little tweaks that keep your hairstyle beautiful for as long as possible.

One is super simple. Get a trim. Let your stylist freshen up your appearance.

Next, cut back on the heat-styling and blow-drying.

If you must style your hair, use leave-in conditioners that protect against damage.

If you’ve dyed your hair, but spent a lot of time outdoors, use conditioner with sunscreen. Or just wear a hat.

What’s more, don’t brush or comb your hair while it’s wet any more than you have to. It’s more fragile at that time. Use your fingers instead.

Finally, there are a few other lifestyle changes that will benefit your hair.

Also, the healthier you are overall, the healthier your hair will be. Eat healthily, drink more water, and cut back on stress and smoking.

For one, sleep on a silk pillowcase. Not only is it gentle to your strands, but it’s also kind to your face.

The older you get, the more you will appreciate how well you’ve taken care of yourself.


1. published February 11, 2020, accessed March 4, 2020