Should I wash my hair 48 or 72 hours after a perm? 72 hours is ideal for these reasons

Woman with curly hair looks up with a gesture of doubt

  • Ideally, you should wait 72 hours to wash your hair after a perm to make sure your new curls have set.
  • If you wash your perm before 72 hours, you may end up with curls that aren’t very defined and could be difficult to manage.
  • In this article, I’ll tell you how to wash your hair after 72 hours and how to take care of your new curls from now on.


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Did you get a perm and now you don’t know if you should wash your hair after 48 or 72 hours?


Well, as I was saying, it’s best to wait 72 hours to wash your hair after getting a perm. Why?


Surely you’ve heard the saying  “it’s better to be safe than sorry” , right?


Well, this is the perfect occasion to apply that phrase.

You might think that after spending so many hours in the salon getting your hair permed and having your hair washed, nothing bad will happen if you decide to wash it right away. However, this is a big mistake. Do you know why?


When you perm your hair,  the new shape you’ve given your hair takes a few days to settle in. 

Most hairdressers will tell you that allowing 48 hours before washing is enough. But if you wait longer, all the better.


I’m sure the last thing you want to do is waste time and money in vain, so it’s best to wait 72 hours to wash your hair after a perm.

In this article, we’ll look at what will happen if you wash your hair before the specified time. We’ll also see how you should wash and care for it afterward.


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What will happen if I wash my hair before 72 hours have passed? Nothing good!

blonde woman with curls doubting

After getting your hair permed, if you decide that waiting 48 hours before washing your hair is enough, you may be in luck.

Maybe your hair has already taken its new shape and your curls look spectacular.

But the opposite can also happen, i.e. your hair hasn’t fully adapted to its new shape. Then  when you wash your hair, you’ll have to say goodbye to your desired curls. 

But let’s get to the point: What will happen if you wash your hair before 72 hours?


You may think the worst that can happen is that your hair will go back to the way it was.

But this isn’t true: if you wash your hair before the 3 days indicated,  your curls will stay totally undefined,  shapeless, and impossible to manage.

In this situation, the only thing you can do is wait.

I don’t mean to scare you, I just  hope you keep your head away from water as long as possible after your perm. 


How do you take care of your hair within the first 72 hours? Wear a bandana and avoid fiddling with your curls

woman covers her curls with a bandana

I’m going to tell you what you can and can’t do during those first 72 hours after perming your hair:

  • You can’t wash your hair  or even wet it.  The further away you keep it from water, the better.
  • Avoid touching and manipulating your hair. This will help keep the shape intact and prevent the hair from breaking easily.
  • You can  use a silk scarf or bandana  for sleeping or exercising to protect your hair.


How should you first wash your hair 72 hours after perming? Use the right products and forget the blow dryer

Girl with shampoo in her hair shows a bottle of product and smiles

Every change brings new routines and getting a perm is no exception.

 You should adopt these 5 basic tips for caring for permed hair: 


Choose a  shampoo specifically designed for chemically treated hair. [/su_list]


  • Moisturize and nourish your hair deeply, as perming deteriorates and weakens it.
 Your hair can become porous, dry, and brittle  after perming. Pamper your hair with moisturizers, nourishers, and reconstructive formulas. This is vitally important.[/su_list]


These will help you detangle your hair without breaking the curls. That way you’ll avoid frizz.


In that case, use a heat protectant and try to keep the airflow cool or warm.


This way you will avoid waking up in the morning with your hair totally out of control.



As we’ve seen in this article, if you’ve gotten a perm, it’s best to wait 72 hours before washing it to make sure your new curls are really set.

 This way you can enjoy your curly hair for longer.  Also, try to incorporate the new curl care routine I showed you above.

Finally, here’s a recommendation:  don’t get more than 3 perms per year. 

Of course, the fewer, the better. It’s a process that involves strong chemicals and as I said before, it can deteriorate and dry out your hair. 

Now, enjoy your new curls!

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