Can I sleep on my newly permed hair?

scared woman because she doesn't know how to sleep with fresh perm

  • No, you can’t sleep on your newly permed hair.
  • Ideally, if you don’t want to ruin your perm while you sleep, you should place all your loose curls upwards, and use a silk pillowcase.
  • Laying your permed hair upwards, without resting your head on the curls, will prevent the perm from flattening or deforming. And the silk pillowcase will prevent frizz.


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Believe me, I understand you.

 Do you know how many moms have called me at the salon because their daughters were staying up all night for fear of ruining their perm if they slept on their newly permed hair? 


I don’t think I can count the number of calls from desperate mothers on the one hand.

I don’t know why so many react with extreme decisions when they apply processes like perming or straightening to their hair.

Many think they have to go through life stiffer than a broomstick, not moving their head even an inch even to say “good morning” and learning levitation to sleep.


No stylist in the world would recommend you don’t sleep for 24 or 48 hours when you first get a perm.

But  this is what a stylist will tell you when you’ve done your perm. Don’t wash your hair for 48 hours, don’t tie it up, and don’t apply products like gels or styling creams. 

woman shows her fresh perm

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Since perming is a chemical process that changes the structure of the hair, it’s essential that during those first 48 hours after your perm, you respect these recommendations.

Because during those first 48 hours, your hair continues to adopt the new structure. The perm liquid continues to break the keratin bonds inside the hair to make the curls stay.

Now, the perm fluid doesn’t care if you sleep or don’t sleep through the night. But both your mind and your body need sleep.


So here are my secrets to keeping your freshly permed hair safe while you sleep.


How to get your hair ready for sleep with a new perm

First of all, relax.

Appeal to ancient meditation techniques or the more recent mindfulness techniques. Anything that helps you calm down is welcome.


Find a satin pillowcase.

If you don’t have one at home, call your grandmother, who I’m sure keeps her best satin pillowcases under lock and key.

Why do I recommend a satin pillowcase? Because cotton pillowcases cause friction on your hair as you move your head while sleeping, raising your scalp temperature.

If your scalp temperature rises, you’ll start sweating, and your perm will get wet. The next morning, your curls will be frizzy.


Arrange your hair loosely upwards

 Rest your head on the satin pillowcase and gently gather your curls, arranging them upwards.  It’s important not to rest your head on your curls.


The following day, you can dampen your curls to shape them. Spray them with a tiny amount of water.


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Two days after perming, you can arrange your hair in different ways to sleep but always use the silk or satin pillowcase.

  •  If your perm is very curly , use the pineapple head method to keep your curls tight while you sleep.
  •  If your curls are looser waves , you can do loose braids for sleeping.



The first few days after a perm, it’s important you don’t lay your head on top of your curls to sleep. You should also use a satin pillowcase to avoid flattening the curls and going frizzy.

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