How Soon Can You Color Your Hair After A Perm?

The reason that I write this is because I know someone who didn’t want to know how soon she could color her hair after a perm. She just did not want to know it. Until she made the mistake of doing it too early and all hell broke loose…

Okay, I have a friend who is a very impatient person, not just the normal impatient person, but everything has to be done right now. 

For a lot of things, this can be handy because things get done quickly. But with your hair, this sometimes is another story.

Both a perm and coloring your hair are chemical processes and they affect your hair. This means that if you perm your hair, your hair needs time to recover. If you don’t do that and dye your hair too early, you damage your hair in a way that you just don’t want. It has implications for the results and your hair.

My friend found out the hard way and so this article is for her!

So, how soon can you color your hair after a perm? You should wait for at least 15 days. If you can make it 20 that is even better. You need this time to let your hair heal after the chemical perm process. Otherwise, you can damage your hair and this has implications for the results and the conditions of your hair. 

Why should you wait 15 days after your perm to dye your hair?

You should wait at least 15 days before coloring your hair after a perm because if you don’t, there’s a high chance of damaging your hair.

As I told earlier, my friend made this mistake. She wanted to go fast and dyed her hair 5 days after getting a perm. This resulted in hair looking 3 tones lighter at roots, and the ends of her hair were broken. The curls from her perm were still there but they weren’t happy and fun anymore. No, they were looking sad so to speak.

You see, both a perm and coloring your hair are chemical processes. 

In the case of a term that means that the internal structure of the hair is modified so that you can form curls in straight hair. 

The chemicals used when getting a perm are harsh and ensure that little moisture remains in the hair. Even the elasticity of the hair is slightly affected.

You can imagine that if you then immediately start dyeing your hair, also a chemical process, little of your hair remains.

You can actually imagine it very easily:

Suppose you are sick and you run for 30 minutes on the same day… Does this make your body feel better? No, it won’t… You first wait for your body to get better before you do something intense.

The same goes for your hair. You will have to let your hair recover before you do anything else with it. 

Both of the processes remove moisture from your hair. And when there’s not much moisture left, your hair is going to break and split at the ends.

That’s why you need to wait at least 15 days before coloring your hair after a perm.

You need to give your hair the time it needs to become healthy again.

This is also why you can not have a perm and dye your hair the same day. Remember that! 

How to prepare your hair for dyeing it after a perm?

Hopefully, you now know that you should not perm and color your hair too soon after each other. You wait for about 15 to 20 days to let your hair recover and then you can start the coloring process.

But how do you do this? How do you prepare your hair for the coloring process after you’ve gotten a perm?

You have to be careful I’ll tell you that. Below I’ll give you some pointers on how to keep your hair healthy and safe while you wait out the 15 days.

Be careful of water

You may not know this but water can ruin your perm because it damages the chemical bonds. That’s why you should not wash your hair 24 to 72 hours after you’ve gotten a perm. You wouldn’t want to rinse out the chemical bonds…

After that, you can wash your hair but know that you can do this best with a shampoo and a conditioner that defines curls.

Comb your hair the right way

Did you ever think that you could comb your hair wrong? You’re right! No, you can’t do it totally “wrong”, but there are some things that you need to think about. You should avoid combing or brushing your hair with a narrow-toothed comb. cause this can me your hair weaker and can encourage it to break.  

What you should do is using a wide-toothed comb and let it dry in the air. This way you’re working towards getting your hair healthy and strong.

Avoid using too much heat

Using too much heat on your hair is also a thing that you should avoid. Excess exposure to heat can damage your hair. If you need to use heat, I would recommend you to use a hairdryer at its lowest temperature and also not too long. This way you avoid frying your hair with your hairdryer. 

But now you might think: what can I do to make my hair actually stronger and healthier?

Hydrate the hell out of your hair!

Okay, this maybe is an overstatement… But it really is something that is very important. You should hydrate your curly hair (your perm) before coloring it.

With hydrating, I mean that you should seal the moisture into the hair. You learned earlier in this article that getting a perm is a chemical process that removes moisture from the hair. Removing moisture makes your hair weak and that’s why it is necessary to put the moisture back in!

What can you use to do this?

You can use a really good lotion that is made up of emollients, oils, and lipids. All the ingredients that can create a barrier around the hair so that the water does not escape. This way you can hydrate your hair again! Coconut oil is wonderful for this! You can put coconut oil in your hair once a week and repeat this every week before you color your hair.

This means that you can start about 3 weeks before you get your hair colored. Each time you should let the coconut oil sit for about an hour.

What happens if you don’t wait long enough?

I touched upon this a couple of times so you might know it by now… But just to make it extra clear I want to tell you again what happens if you don’t wait long enough to dye your hair after a perm!

Your hair weakens

As I said earlier, a pern is a chemical process and so is hair coloring. When you perm your hair, you damage it. Not something to worry about, but you have to let it heal. If you don’t wait long enough and just got on with the hair coloring process, you will damage your hair in a way that weakens your hair and this can lead to split ends and breakage.

Split ends and breakage

As I stated above, weakening your hair by dyeing your hair too quickly can make your hair so weak that the ends split and your hair breaks.

All the energy goes out of your hair

When you just got a perm and now you have beautiful curls, you might make them less happy when you color your hair too quickly. If you damage your hair too bad, the once happy, luminous, and fun curls will disappear and turn to sad and frizzy curls.

Is it better to color or perm first?

Now I know I talked a lot today about not coloring your hair too soon after you got a perm and I hear you thinking: can I do it the other way around? Can I color my hair and then get a perm and is this a way to do it quicker?

The short answer is no. The longer answer is still no… Even though you do it the other way around, coloring your hair is still a chemical process that makes your hair weaker and damages it. You have to give your hair time to heal! It does not matter if you set a perm first or if you dye it first This is not the time to do things quickly!

Final thoughts

Getting a perm and dyeing your hair is great! But it is something you can not hurry. This is not the time to be impatient. Just let nature do its thing and let your hair recover. Sure, you can give your hair a boost by keeping it moisturized! Also, the better you take care of yourself, the better shape your hair is in! 

So this means that you can also help your hair and yourself by eating and drinking healthily! It may sound cheesy… But if you can help your hair from the outside with coconut oil, you can help the inside with fruits and vegetables. Learn here which fruits and vegetables are good for you and your hair!