I washed my hair 24 hours after a perm, how bad is it? Are the curls going to lose their shape?

how long to wait to apply dye

  • If you washed your hair 24 hours after perm, it may have lost some or all of the curls you had achieved. Alternatively, it may have gained a lot of frizz.
  • Whether you keep the curls from your perm after washing will depend on your hair type, how you washed it, and the curlers you chose for your hair.


  • With a bit of luck, you still have time to get your permed curls back by following some tips I’ll give you here.
  • If you’re not that lucky, and you can’t get your curls back, you’ll have to go back to the salon to get your hair permed again.


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Did you wash your perm 24 hours after getting it done?


Oops… that’s the first thing that comes to mind.

It’s best to take it slow, though.

As many say out there:  “what’s done is done”. You can’t turn back time. 


If you washed your hair 24 hours after perm, two things happened to your hair.

  • Your perm completely lost its shape or much of it.
  • You didn’t completely lose your perm, but your mane became uncontrollable and full of scary frizz.

The worst-case scenario would be if both happened at the same time.


On the other hand, the way your perm reacted to the wash will depend on other issues.

  • For example, what shampoo did you use, and how did you wash your hair?
  • What type of curl perm did you get at the salon?
  • What kind of hair type do you have?


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How did you wash your perm?

a while after cutting it

If you washed your perm gently and with a sulfate-free shampoo for permed hair, your curls are less likely to be ruined.

On the other hand, if you washed your hair intently and used regular shampoo, your curls will likely be stretched or lose their original shape.


However, it also depends on the type of curl you’ve permed, as we’ll see now.


What curl type did you choose for your perm?

Your perm ruining and losing its shape after early washing depends on the curl type you chose with your stylist.

Curls aren’t all the same, and there isn’t only one type of perm.


For example, afro-style curls are usually tight. Other curls are in-between, and others are more relaxed, such as the beach waves, which are very fashionable.

Also,  each perm curl type can react differently to washing. 


  • If you got a tight curl perm, washing it may have stretched the curls a bit perhaps without completely losing their shape.

This means that, with a little luck, you may be in time to save your perm.


  • On the other hand, if your stylist went for beach waves perm, chances are your curls stretched it out quite a bit.

In that case, you won’t be able to save your perm. Then, you’ll have to go back to the salon and talk to your stylist.


However, as I said before, what happens to your perm when you wash it after 24 hours also depends on your hair type. And that’s what I’m going to talk to you about in a moment.


What hair type do you have?


Do you remember that when you started reading this article, I talked about two possible scenarios?


The second possible scenario is that, after washing your hair, your perm is not stretched or undone. Rather, it gained a lot of frizz.

And that’s a problem because it’ll take you a long time to get it back under control.


You’ll need to be patient and get a lot of styling products to style your frizzy perm.

 Hopefully, with a thorough care plan, you’ll be able to tame those unruly curls again. 


Having thick, resistant hair is not the same as having fine hair.

Especially, when it comes to frizz, fine hair is more prone to it.

Being fine, it’s more exposed to damage, to getting big, and to losing its shape faster.


When you had your hair permed,  I’m sure your stylist explained that it’s a process that changes the shape of the hair. 

If you wash it too soon, the chemicals don’t end up settling in to maintain that shape.


  • So, if your hair is fine or too fine, and you washed your hair too early, the perm chemicals settled unevenly throughout your hair.

And so, you’ve made your permed curls lose shape and gain frizz.


  • On the other hand, thicker hair with more weight is likely to be frizz-free. Still, being thicker, it takes even longer for the perm chemicals to settle in.

So, your thicker hair may have lost its curl shape after washing. In that case, you’ll have to visit your stylist again.


Before I end this article, I want to tell you about a washing method that can help you get your curls back into shape.

It’s not a miracle solution! But you might find it very useful.


What you can do to try to get your perm back after washing: Co-washing

washing permed hair

Before giving up on your perm, try co-washing for a couple of days.

What is it?


It is a method to wash your hair without using shampoo.

 Only a special conditioner is used for co-washes. This way, you’ll be able to restore moisture and curl shape. 


It’ll also be the best way to make sure your perm abandoned you.

If the co-wash doesn’t work, I’m sorry to tell you that you’ll have to go back to the salon to get a new perm.

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