Hair Care

Can I Wash My Hair 36 Hours After a Perm?

“Can I wash my hair 36 hours after a perm?” – If you’ve recently gotten a perm, this might be a burning question on your mind. You want to maintain the beautiful curls you’ve gotten, but you also want to feel fresh and clean. It’s a tricky balance, and understanding how perms work can help you figure it out.

Understanding the World of Perms

Perms or permanent waves have been around since the early 20th century, and they’ve evolved considerably over the years. Today’s perms are more natural and less damaging than the tight, frizzy curls of yesteryear. However, they still require careful handling and maintenance, especially in the first few days after treatment.

The Perm Process: A Quick Rundown

A perm involves the use of chemicals to change the structure of your hair, breaking the inner bonds and reshaping them to form curls. This process usually takes a few hours and involves several stages, including applying a waving solution, setting the hair in curlers, and neutralizing the solution to stabilize the newly formed bonds.

Why Wait to Wash: The Science Behind the 48-hour Rule

The most common advice you’ll hear after getting a perm is to avoid washing your hair for at least 48 hours. But why? The reason lies in the science of hair structure. When the perm solution is applied, it breaks down the bonds in your hair that give it its shape. After the hair is curled and the neutralizer is applied, these bonds begin to reform into their new curly shape. However, this process isn’t instant – it continues for up to 48 hours after the perm. Washing your hair during this time could interfere with the bond-reforming process and potentially weaken your new curls.

Washing Hair 36 Hours After a Perm: The Potential Consequences

So, what happens if you wash your hair 36 hours after a perm? While everyone’s hair reacts differently, the potential risks include losing the curl shape, increasing frizz, and causing damage to the hair. The perm might also not last as long as it should, meaning you’d have to get it redone sooner. When you’ve invested time and money in a perm, these are consequences you’d likely prefer to avoid. check out this article.

Can I Wash My Hair 36 Hours After a Perm?

The bottom line is that it’s best to wait the full 48 hours before washing your hair after a perm. While 36 hours might seem close enough, those extra 12 hours can make a significant difference in how well your perm sets and lasts. The waiting period is a small price to pay for beautiful, long-lasting curls.

The Potential Repercussions: Early Washing After a Perm

Rushing to wash your hair soon after a perm can lead to undesirable outcomes. Your new curls may lose their form, appearing limp and lifeless. It’s like buying a cake and eating it before it’s fully baked – you end up with a mess instead of the delightful dessert you were anticipating.

The Significance of the Waiting Period: Why 48 Hours?

The 48-hour waiting period after a perm isn’t arbitrary. This time frame is based on the average amount of time it takes for the hair’s disulfide bonds to fully reform after being broken down by the perm solution. It’s like letting a freshly painted picture dry – rush it, and you risk smudging the beautiful image you’ve created.

Hair Care Post-Perm: Immediate and Long-term

Proper care after getting a perm can prolong the life of your curls and keep them looking their best. In the immediate aftermath, try to avoid disturbing your hair as much as possible – no brushing, no ponytails, and definitely no washing. After the first 48 hours, you can begin to wash and style your hair gently, using products specifically designed for permed hair.

How to Preserve Your Perm: Handy Tips and Tricks

The maintenance of a perm extends beyond the first 48 hours. Regular deep conditioning treatments can help keep your curls soft and bouncy, while avoiding harsh chemical treatments can prevent damage. Remember, your hair has been through a significant chemical process – it needs all the TLC it can get!

Avoidable Mistakes After Getting a Perm

One of the most common mistakes people make after getting a perm is using the wrong hair products. Using products not suitable for permed hair can cause your curls to lose their shape or become frizzy. Another mistake is using heat styling tools, which can also damage the curls. Be sure to consult with your stylist about the best products and practices for maintaining your perm.

Handling an Early Wash After Perm: What to Do?

If you’ve washed your hair within the 48-hour window after a perm, don’t panic. Your curls might still be salvageable. Use curl-enhancing products and let your hair dry naturally to give the curls the best chance of setting.


What should I do if I accidentally wet my hair within 48 hours of getting a perm? If your hair gets wet accidentally, try not to disturb it too much. Don’t towel dry or brush it, as this could disrupt the curl formation. Instead, gently blot it with a towel and let it air dry.

Can I tie my hair up within 48 hours of getting a perm? No, it’s best to leave your hair down and undisturbed during the first 48 hours after getting a perm. Tying it up could alter the shape of the curls.

What products should I use on my hair after getting a perm? It’s best to use products specifically designed for permed or curly hair. These products will help nourish your hair and maintain the curls.

Is it okay to use heat styling tools on permed hair? Using heat styling tools on permed hair can cause damage and potentially alter the shape of the curls. It’s best to avoid them as much as possible.

How long does a perm typically last? A perm can last anywhere from a few weeks to several months, depending on how well you take care of it and how quickly your hair grows.

Can I color my hair after getting a perm? It’s generally recommended to wait at least a week or two after getting a perm before coloring your hair. Both perms and hair coloring involve chemical processes that can be damaging to the hair, so it’s best not to do them too close together.

Concluding Thoughts

The world of perms can be exciting, but it also requires some careful navigation. One crucial rule to remember is the 48-hour no-wash rule. Washing your hair too soon after a perm can lead to a variety of issues, including limp curls and increased frizz. But with proper care and patience, you can enjoy beautiful, long-lasting curls.

Nyla Rose

Nyla Rose is the dynamic voice behind Thestylinista, where she merges her passion for beauty and fashion into a comprehensive style guide.

Armed with a degree in Cosmetology from the prestigious Aveda Institute and certification in Esthetics, Nyla offers a holistic approach to beauty, covering hair care, skin care, makeup, nail care, and the latest fashion trends.

Her expertise not only lies in the realms of natural beauty enhancements but also in curating fashion-forward looks that inspire her readers to express their individuality.

Thestylinista is a testament to Nyla's belief in the power of personal style as a form of self-expression, making her blog a one-stop destination for those looking to elevate their beauty and fashion game.


You may also like...