How Long After a Perm Can You Color Your Hair?

If your hair lacks volume and depth, you might consider getting a perm. A perm is a great way to instantly create bouncy curls with lots of life. Of course, you can also take curly locks to pin-straight tresses with a straight perm. But can you color your hair after a perm, and how long should you wait between treatments?

Ideally, it would be best if you waited at least 15 days to color your hair after getting a perm, but the longer, the better. This will give your hair time to rest in-between treatments. During the two-week wait, condition your hair to replenish moisture.

If you’re considering coloring your hair after getting a perm, this article is for you. Today, we’re talking about how long you should wait to color your hair after you get a perm. You won’t want to miss this one, folks!

Let’s discuss perming and hair coloring!

How Long After a Perm Can You Color Your Hair?

A perm is designed to alter the natural structure of your hair strands, either curling them or making them pin-straight. This is accomplished by applying chemicals to the mane, letting them sit for a certain period, then rinsing and using a neutralizer to halt the process.

Needless to say, a perm is a relatively intensive treatment that changes your hair’s texture entirely. That said, it’s somewhat damaging and can leave you with less moisture, breakage, and split ends.

Hair coloring? Well, that’s another treatment that can wreak havoc on your locks. That’s why you absolutely cannot perm and color your hair simultaneously. You’ll likely end up with severe breakage, frizziness, and otherwise undesirable tresses.

With all of this in mind, it’s best to wait at least 15 days between a perm and color appointment. This allows your hair some time to rest and relax before “the next big thing.” However, the longer you wait, the better.

How to Prepare Your Permed Hair for Color

The best thing you can do to minimize damage is to prepare your permed hair for coloring. Here are the top five ways to do it:

Use the Right Shampoo and Conditioner

When you perm your hair, you need to switch up your products. This shampoo and conditioner set is an excellent choice because it’s sulfate-free and contains coconut oil (conditions), hibiscus flowers (delivers shine and reduces breakage), and neem oil and silk protein (nourishes and protects).

Pro tip: Don’t wash your locks for the first 48 hours following your perm. Limit washes to two or three times per week. Always use lukewarm water rather than hot water, as heat can cause further damage to dehydrated, permed strands.

Moisturize with Hair Masks

Perming depletes moisture and can be damaging to your mane. That said, your goal should be to replenish the lost hydration. One great way to do this is by using a hair mask, and the Olaplex Hair Perfector is one of the best choices.

You should use the Olaplex Hair Perfector – or any other conditioning hair mask of your choice – at least once weekly. Use it before and after getting your hair colored, as adding color on top of permed hair can cause your strands to become even weaker.

If you don’t want to purchase a specialty hair mask, you can always apply coconut oil or olive oil to your mane. Leave it in your locks for about an hour before rinsing it with warm water. Enjoy hydrated, soft, and silky strands!

Avoid Heat

Heat is the enemy of your hair strands. This is even truer for strands that have undergone an intensive treatment, such as perming and coloring

It’s best to avoid hot styling tools as much as possible. Not only will it potentially cause further damage to your hair strands, but it can loosen your new lovely curls. And who wants that?

If you absolutely must use a hot tool for one reason or another, ensure you apply a top-notch heat protectant. This will minimize the amount of damage that can occur from using heated styling tools.

Wrap Hair With a Silk Scarf for Bedtime

If you leave your newly permed hair to fend for itself while you slumber, you’ll be doing yourself a major disfavor. Un-tied hair strands will succumb to some type of friction during the night, leading to tangles and knots – neither of which you want to deal with every morning.

Fend off friction and undesirable effects by tying your permed hair into a silk scarf. If that’s too much work, you can place your mane into a silk shower cap for the night. At the least, you should consider swapping to a silk pillowcase.

Brush With a Wide-Toothed Comb

When it comes to brushing your permed mane, the key is to be gentle, gentle, gentle. Using a wide-toothed comb is the best way to gently get rid of tangles and knots and leave your mane looking flawless. It will also help to keep your “new hair texture” hold its shape.

Should You Color or Perm Hair First?

It’s always best to perm your hair before you color it. That’s because the chemicals used for perming can fade color, which is the last thing you want to happen after getting your hair colored. 

If you want vibrant hair color and picture-perfect texture, get the perm before the hair color. Always have these processes done by a professional hairstylist.


Now you know everything there is to know about perming and coloring your locks! But if you’re still dying to learn more (get it – dying, hair coloring), I’ve picked out a few frequently asked questions you’ll want to see.

What happens if you dye your hair after a perm?

If you dye your hair directly after perming it, a few adverse reactions can occur. For one, your hair can over-process or over-lighten, resulting in an undesirable shade. Secondly, your hair will be more prone to damage, such as dryness, frizziness, and breakage. Wait 15 days before coloring after perming.

Can you put color on permed hair?

You can successfully (and safely) put color on permed hair. However, I highly recommend leaving it up to the professionals. Coloring permed hair puts your strands at a greater risk for damage. Having a professional hairstylist color your permed locks can minimize the risk.

How long does permed hair last?

Permed hair can last up to six months, but you don’t need to wait that long to color your mane – as long as your hair’s in relatively good condition. You only need to wait 15 days after your hair is permed to color it. In the meantime, condition and moisturize as much as possible to prepare your locks.

You Can Color Permed Hair 15 Days After the Perming Process

If you want to color your permed hair, you can. However, you need to wait at least 15 days before applying color. This allows your hair enough time to rest after the intensive perm procedure. During this time, you should conditioner your hair and apply hair masks to restore hydration.

Have you ever colored your hair after getting it permed? What was the outcome? How did you prepare your locks? Share in the comment section below!

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