How many days before a perm can I wash my hair?

scared woman thinking about her hair before getting a perm

  • You should wash your hair the same day you perm your hair. And as a professional hairdresser, I recommend you wash your hair at the salon.
  • Your stylist will wash your hair with clarifying shampoo before the perm to remove dirt and all traces or residues of hair products.
  • If you don’t wash your hair with clarifying shampoo just before your perm, your curls may turn out indistinct.


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Surprised? I suspected as much!

It’s the same thing that happens to many of my clients  when I tell them that I’ll wash their hair at the salon the same day I do their perm. 


And I understand your surprise. Because for example, if you bleach your hair, it’s recommended you wash your hair at least two days before the process.

So many of my clients think they should also wash their hair two days before getting a perm.

But perming is an entirely different process from bleaching.


So washing your hair before a perm is essential to ensure the perm liquid works properly. And knowing when to wash your hair before your perm is also essential.

Let’s take a closer look at the latter.


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Why should you wash your hair the same day you get a perm?

hairdresser washes client's hair before doing perm

Because when you apply a chemical treatment to your hair that changes its shape, washing your hair is essential.

  • Firstly,  you wash your hair just before the perm. 
  • And secondly,  you will also need to use clarifying shampoo. 


Let’s say you wash your hair one day before your perm using your usual shampoo.

Regular shampoo will leave your hair clean because it removes the dirt. But your regular shampoo probably also contains some moisturizing agents. For example, avocado oil penetrates the hair and moisturizes it.


The next day, you arrive at the salon and tell your stylist you have washed your hair already. Trusting your word, the stylist applies the perm.

Hours later, when your stylist removes the curlers, disaster strikes. The perm didn’t take! That’s what happens when you wash your hair days before perming with just any shampoo.

Kenra clarifying shampoo to use before perming

 You should always wash your hair the same day you perm it, using a clarifying shampoo. 

Why? Clarifying shampoo is a deep cleansing shampoo that removes dirt and all kinds of hair product residues that accumulate in the hair.

Therefore, my professional advice is to leave the washing of your hair before your perm in the hands of your stylist.

Now, if you use clarifying shampoo frequently, you can also wash your hair at home the same day you get your perm. Here’s how to do it.


How to wash your hair with clarifying shampoo on the same day you perm your hair

  •  Wet your hair with warm water, apply the clarifying shampoo from the roots to the ends, and massage it thoroughly. 
  • Leave it on for five minutes and rinse with warm water.
  • Drain your hair, reapply the clarifying shampoo, massage your hair again, and rinse it out with warm water. Don’t apply any conditioner.
  • Wrap your hair in a towel and comb it out.


Now, resist the temptation. It doesn’t matter if your hair is limp, unmanageable, or frizzy. All you have to do is go to the salon to get your hair permed.



You should wash your hair just before your perm with a clarifying shampoo, and you can do this at home or at the salon.

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