Can you wash out a perm with cold water? No, cold water won’t affect it

sad woman wants to use cold water to remove perm

  • You cannot remove a perm with cold water because cold water closes the cuticles. Therefore, it won’t remove the perm liquid inside each hair.
  • If it’s been less than 48 hours since you permed your hair, what you can do to remove the perm is to wash your hair with hot water to interrupt the process.
  • If it’s been more than 48 hours since you permed your hair, you should wash it three times a week with a moisturizing shampoo and hot water to gradually remove the perm. I’ll tell you all the details below.


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 If you thought you could remove your perm with cold water, you could turn off the tap. Because cold water won’t help you to remove a perm. 


And cold water won’t help you even if your perm makes you look like a poodle, or you want to fix a bad perm.



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Let’s remember what happens when you get a perm.

A perm is a chemical process that alters the structure of the hair. When the hairdresser applies the perm liquid, your hair cuticles open, and the keratin bonds break, giving your hair a new shape or structure: curls.

But the liquids you apply during the perm continue to work inside the hair for 48 hours.

That’s why all stylists recommend not washing your hair for 48 hours after a perm.


Now  , if it’s been less than 48 hours since you permed your hair, that’s the best time to remove it. Simply wash your hair with a moisturizing shampoo. 

woman washing her hair with hot water to remove perm

But don’t use cold water.  You should use hot water to open the hair cuticles and remove a large part of the liquid from the perm. 


If you wash your hair with cold water to remove the perm, all you will do is close the hair cuticles and seal each strand, making it impossible to expel anything.

Want to remove your perm? Here’s how to do it.


How to remove a perm without putting your hair at risk

hairdresser removes perm

Before I give you the details on removing your perm, I recommend you see your stylist. Because the professional will be able to evaluate your hair and will be able to decide the best way to remove your perm without ruining your hair.

For example, they could apply a neutralizing liquid to stop the internal perming process and reduce the effect. Or if you have beach waves, they could even wash your hair with clarifying shampoo to eliminate the waves.


If you don’t want to go back to the salon, I’ll give you a no-fail option:

  •  Wet your hair with hot water, as hot as you can stand, and let it run through your hair for ten minutes. 
  • Apply moisturizing shampoo with keratin, and massage your hair to form a lot of foam.
  • Rinse with  warm water .
  • Apply extra moisturizing conditioner with keratin and leave it on for five minutes.
  • Rinse with  hot water , letting it run for ten minutes through your hair.
  • Finally, rinse your hair with lukewarm, almost cold water to close your cuticles.


 Wash your hair this way three times a week to gradually remove the perm.  The moisturizing agents in the shampoo and conditioner will displace and remove the perm chemicals.

You can also apply a deep moisturizing mask once a week, leaving it on for 45 minutes. When you rinse it from your hair, it will wash out the perm more.

In addition, you can trim your ends one centimeter every month to remove the perm faster.



As a hairstylist, I advise you to go to a professional to remove your perm if you don’t want to ruin your hair. Perming is a chemical process that modifies the structure of the hair permanently.

Cold water won’t help you to remove it. You can try washing your hair with moisturizing shampoo three times a week with warm to hot water to remove it gradually.

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