Is it better to cut my hair before or after I get a straight perm?

and smoothing the same day

Are you ready to take the big step of permanently straightening your hair? Before you make the step, you probably have this question:

Should I get my hair cut before or after I get it straightened?

  • You should always get your hair cut after you get a straight perm.
  • That way, you can see what kind of haircut is best for you, and if you’re a fan of long hair, you’ll be able to cut off as little as possible.
  • Plus, you’ll also be able to cut off the parts of your hair damaged by the straight perm.


Many women have a lot of expectations when it comes to straight perm. They think it’s the magic solution for their hair, and as such they want to see a clear before and after to know they’ve made the right choice.

It’s true that in many cases, a straight perm can be a good way to get that change, especially if you feel like your hair is hard to handle, not very shiny or really frizzy.

That was Victoria’s situation. She’s one of my clients that came in desperate to get a straight perm.

Do you want to hear Victoria’s story?


If so, keep reading, because I’m also going to tell you about:

  • Why it’s important to cut your hair after you get a straight perm, as opposed to before
  • A few style ideas for after you get your straight perm


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Advantages to cutting your hair after a straight perm

to match the hair

In order to explain the benefits of getting your hair cut after getting a straight perm, let’s go back to Victoria’s story. After that, you can come to your own conclusions.


Victoria was tired of her unmanageable curls, which she needed to spend at least 40 minutes on every single day. And if that weren’t enough, she still had a lot of trouble beating her frizz.

In her case, a straight perm really would be a solution. But, I told her that after we straightened her hair, we should probably at least trim her ends.

I think you could hear her screams all the way to the south pole making the penguins go running.


  • A straight perm is a process that involves extreme heat to change the internal structure of your hair with a chemical called formaldehyde. Any material that you apply formaldehyde to will remain intact.

That’s why your hair can look perfect, beautiful and bright after a straight perm, because formaldehyde creates a protective film over your hair and your stylist will seal it with extreme heat.


At this point in my explanation, Victoria’s ears had perked up and she seemed open to hearing my reasoning, so I continued.

I would never cut a woman’s hair that didn’t want to do it or that didn’t understand the reasons behind cutting it.

I invited her to take a closer look at her hair and asked her to consider what she felt upon touching it.

What did she notice? I didn’t have to wait long for her to tell me.


  • Her curly hair was very dry, which is normal for curly hair because of its structure. Frizzy hair is damaged, dry and dim hair.

Would a straight perm fix her problem?


Of course, it would, because a straight perm would re-structure her hair fiber, repairing it and getting rid of the frizz.

But, although the straight perm would help to nurture her hair, there would be parts that it can’t recuperate, usually the ends.

 That’s why it’s better to get your hair cut after a straight perm, so that way you can get rid of that damaged hair.  

Can you imagine how ugly your hair would be with a straight perm but horrible split ends? It would be a disaster!


So, if you cut your hair, you won’t just have perfectly straight hair, but you’ll also have healthy and strong hair, without frizz.

In order to get to that point, it was key for Victoria to cut the parts of her hair that the straight perm can’t recuperate.


By this point, Victoria was convinced: She would get her hair cut after the straight perm.

 When I finished the straight perm, we both could see the excellent results: her hair was totally straight, without frizz and it was wonderfully bright.  


Victoria was happy, but her hair had some areas that were damaged, because although the straight perm was able to repair some parts of her hair, there were still a few areas that it couldn’t recover, so we needed to cut those parts out.

Her hair was also a little bit uneven, which makes sense because she had a style that was for curly hair, so when it was straight, it wasn’t all the same length. Some areas were longer than others and it definitely did not form a straight line.


How could we solve this problem? Exactly! By cutting her hair. And I’ll tell you exactly how I did that.

Do you want a few ideas for how to get your hair cut for after a straight perm?

If so, then keep reading.


How to get your hair cut after a straight perm

  • I cut Victoria’s hair into layers and shortened out some areas on the sides. That way, we would kill two birds with one stone: we would get rid of the damaged parts and we would even out her ends.

It was three years ago that Victoria first got her straight perm and now she comes back every three or four months to update her perm and she’s even tried many different kinds of haircuts.


  • If you’ve had curly hair for a long time, then you must know that it’s totally different cutting curly hair than cutting straight hair. Depending on your curl type, the hair stylist might need to cut it diagonally, getting rid of certain layers to control your hair’s volume, etc.

That’s why when you finish up with the straight perm, you’ll at least need to get the ends trimmed and it’s a good idea to get a cut that complements straight hair.

That might mean shortening the sides, getting layers or even a bob if you’re open to shorter hair.


  • Straight hair styles are a lot easier to maintain and with the straight perm, you won’t need to worry about frizz, so you should be able to have any style you want.

You also can choose to get layers, which look amazing on straight hair, whether it’s medium or long.


What happens if you already got your hair cut and now you want to get a straight perm?

Now let’s say that you got your hair cut recently and now you want to get a straight perm.

Don’t worry, the world will keep on turning.


 Once your stylist has finished with the straight perm, they’ll do the same thing as always. That means that if they see that your cut looks uneven, they’ll ask you if you want them to even it out.  

It might have ended up uneven because when you got the cut originally, your hair wasn’t permed straight. So, the only option you’ll have left is even out the parts that didn’t end up quite right.


The most important thing is that you take advantage of everything that a straight perm has to offer, and it’s always a good idea to get your hair cut after getting a straight perm.

What cut are you thinking of getting after a straight perm?

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