Can I Wash My Hair 36 Hours After a Perm or is it risky?

  • You can’t wash your hair 36 hours after a perm because you’ll lose the curl shape you worked so hard for. It’s because the perm liquids will not have finished setting in the hair.
  • After perming, you should WAIT AT LEAST 48 HOURS to wash your hair. This is so important that you should even avoid getting rainwater in your hair.
  • You should also use specific products for permed hair, which you can get in specialized stores.


shoulder length hair

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Remember: the first 48 hours after perming will decide the fate of the process you have done on your hair.

And  it may seem like there’s almost no difference between 36 hours and 48 hours,  but believe me that the difference is everything when it comes to a fresh perm.


When preparing a cake, for example, 36 or 48 grams don’t mean much difference. After all, it’s only 12 grams.

And even in matters of love, a difference of 12 years isn’t a big difference.


 But if you’ve just permed your hair, washing it after 36 hours will make your precious curls disappear. 

In perming matters, the first 48 hours decide everything.


blonde hair

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You should wait that time to make sure your hair maintains the same result as when you left the salon. In the meantime, you should stay away from shampoo and water, even raindrops.

Therefore, if you’re thinking of perming, I advise you to check the weather forecast first.

 Hair needs 48 hours to get used to its new shape.  Wash it out, and you’ll regret it.

Still think twelve hours won’t make any difference?

Read on.

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What can happen if you wash your hair 36 hours after perming it?

with shampoo and conditioner

Please, don’t wash your hair with shampoo or conditioner before the first 48 hours after a perm. That will prevent water and other chemicals from ruining your perm and loosening your curls.

The last thing you want is for your permed curls to start to lose their shape, or worse, become straight.


It can also help you keep your perm fresh longer. So:

  • Make sure to keep your hair as dry as possible, especially if it rains or it’s very humid where you live.
  • Ask your hairdresser how long you should wait to wash your hair.


The length of time may depend on your hair and the type of perm you get. If you can’t wait to wash your hair, call your hairdresser to find the best way to approach this situation. He or she may suggest using dry shampoo or another product until you can wet your hair.


Why is it important to wait at least two days to wash your perm?

Those first 48 hours will determine the success of your perm. It’s the crucial time for the disulfide bonds to solidify in their new places.

That’s why you should wait, and don’t wet your hair with even a drop of water. Do you want to know more?


 Actually, you should wait 72 hours to make sure your hair has settled perfectly.

That’s why you should stay away from water and shampoo during this time.


Now, once those first 48 hours are up, you should also pay attention to how you should wash your permed hair for the first time. And, of course, I won’t leave you in doubt.


How to do the first wash after perming?

curl defining

You’ll probably notice that your hair is drier than before perming. And that’s normal, don’t panic. If your hair was damaged or weak before the perm, you’ll notice even more signs of dehydration.

That’s why you should increase your hair care as much as possible. And even if your hair doesn’t feel dry,  you should moisturize it so that your new curls look better. 


Do you want to know how to care for your perm?

  • The best thing is to wash your hair with special shampoo and conditioner for permed hair, which you can get in specialized stores.
  • You can also apply products with natural moisturizing oils, such as almond, argan, or olive oil, vitamin E or aloe vera. They’ll help you nourish your hair.
  • Wash your hair with lukewarm water. Hot water, instead, dilates the hair pores and promotes hair weakening and hair loss.
  • Remember that perming alters the protein in the hair. So, it can dry it out. Therefore, I recommend a natural mask that provides hydration, vitamins, and nutrients at least once a week.


If your hair is very dry, replace the conditioner with a moisturizing mask, or make your own homemade mask.

Any ideas for this? You can mix avocado and olive oil, for example.


Prepare your natural mask and apply it once a week. Leave it on as long as possible because it’ll increase its effects and improve the appearance of your perm.

  • Once you’ve finished washing your hair, detangle it with a wide-toothed comb while it’s still wet and conditioned. It’ll prevent your hair from breaking.
  • Don’t rub your hair with a towel to dry it. Simply towel dry your hair with light strokes and let it air dry to avoid frizz.


Finally,  keep your hair away from heat because it can be the perm’s worst enemy. 

If for some reason, you can’t avoid using heat tools, always apply a heat protectant or conditioning product to your hair.

A diffuser adapted to your hairdryer will also protect the perm, as it disperses the air and doesn’t alter the curls as much as a standard blow dryer.



You should wait 48 hours to wash your hair after a perm. This way, the curls will be defined, and the liquids will have done their job.

You should also avoid over-brushing your hair during this time.

If you follow all these tips and recommendations, you’ll be successful with your perm.

Always use good quality products that don’t alter the PH and protect the hair structure.

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