How to Care for Your Perm

You’ve just sat in your stylist’s chair for one or two hours and gotten a perm. It looks great, but taking care of it properly is extremely important — improper care can cause the hair to dry and frizz, and curls to loosen and come apart.

The good news is: Good maintenance isn’t as hard as it seems. Just follow these simple steps and your perms will look fantastic for the next two to three months.

Step One: Due to the chemicals introduced into the hair during the perm process, DO NOT wash it for at least 24 hours. You can get it wet, just don’t wash it with shampoo.

Step Two: After the 24-hour wait time is up, your hair can be washed. However, only use a shampoo made specifically for chemically treated hair. Regular shampoos have ingredients that can strip the chemicals from the hair.

Step Three: Contrary to popular belief, you can condition a perm. Choosing a light-bodied conditioner that is made for perms, helps to protect the hair and keep it detangled.

Step Four: When combing through a perm, be sure to use a wide-toothed comb and gently pull through the hair — not doing so can cause breakage.

Step Five: When styling, don’t overuse the hair dryer. Allow the hair to remain damp — natural drying will help the perm to keep its shape longer. Also, use styling products that contain as little alcohol as possible. Alcohol dries out the hair and causes split ends and frizz.

Step Six: Every few weeks, go to the salon and have the hair trimmed. Keeping the hair shorter ensures the bounce in the curls stays intact longer!

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