Can you do a perm and dye your hair on the same day? Which should be done first?

first perm then color

I know that we women are used to doing a thousand things at once. We are able to do a thousand things at the same time. We are able to prepare a meal and at the same time we talk with a friend on the food and help our children with homework.

But when it comes to hair matters, things are different. There are limits: time and space. And there are treatments that are incompatible with each other.


Today in my salon, a client came in that wanted to dye her hair, and also do a perm.

Are you in the same situation as my client?


Then, stop for a minute. Because you can’t dye your hair and do a perm in the same day.

These to processes are absolutely incompatible with each other and can’t be done on the same day.

What you can do, is first do a perm and after fifteen days, apply the dye to your hair.


I know that you are probably thinking, “One of my friends did the two things at the same time.” Of course, for every rip there is a patch.

But, have you stopped to thing about the consequences your friend suffered in her hair because of her decision?


 Because I’m sure you don’t know that after doing it, she started to lose a lot of hair, her frizz was uncontrollable, and her ends were more open that Christ’s arms on the cross. 

If you want to do both things the same day for kicks, you can, but afterwards, don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Your hair will be in great danger.

Do you want to know why?


Keep reading, because I will tell you:

  • Why it isn’t best to dye and do a perm in the same day
  • How to prepare your hair to do the perm


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Why is it not a good idea to color and do a perm on the same day

ash blonde

Do you remember that I told you that a client wanted to do both at the same time?


Of course, my answer was no.

And I don’t care that she begged me for all the saints, that she was in a rush because she had a party, and that she told me she would take responsibility for the any consequences.

When I have clients that tell me that they aren’t afraid of anything, I shake. I shake because I know that they are very brave while they have hair on their head, but when that hair is destroyed and they are left with tatters, the braveness is erased quickly.

And the stylist’s head is what rolls.


 With this client, I suffered a lot to be honest. Because it took me two hours to convince her that first we had to do the perm and after two weeks we could dye her hair.  


I explained that both processes use chemicals. Very strong chemicals, created to change the internal structure of the hair, in the case of the perm.

And in the case of the dye, the chemicals erase the natural pigment of the hair, so that other color molecules provide new pigment.

When you do either of these two processes, the hair to a greater or lesser extent suffers. It loses its natural moisture.

That’s why it is necessary to let the hair rest for fifteen days so that it can recover.

But there is another even more important reason.


When you do the perm, and once you wash and rinse out the liquids used in the process, residue of the perm and neutralizing liquid stay in the hair.

And these liquids can interfere with the dye.


So what happens then?

Well, try to guess. I’ll give you two options.

  1. The dye doesn’t get deposited into the cuticle.
  2. The color does turn out how you hoped.


 In reality, both answers are correct because the dye doesn’t get deposited correctly in the hair, therefore, you don’t get the color that you want. 

Now, if you wait fifteen days after curling your hair with a perm, the color will be deposited without problems, because at that point, you will have completely eliminated the residue.


Also, if you color you hair befre doing the perm, since the perm solution is a reducer, neutralizer, and oxidizer, it will eliminate the color of the dye efficiently.

Do you want another piece of advice?


When possible, try to use a semi-permanent dye, since it doesn’t contain ammonia, and therefore, isn’t as aggressive for hair with a perm.

Now that we know that you should do the perm first, let’s see how you should prepare your hair to have perfect, healthy curls.


How to prepare your hair for a perm

dyed hair 15 days ago

Once I convinced my client that the best thing would be to do the perm first and the color after fifteen days, we started evaluating her hair.

Luckily, her hair was in perfect condition.


If your hair is extremely dry, the best thing to do is a deep-conditioning treatment before doing the perm.

Is the length of your hair important for a perm?


 If you have short hair or layered hair, it’s possible that you won’t get the result you want because the perm could end up looking like a poodle.  

Luckily for my client, her hair wasn’t cut in layers, and length was long enough to have a smooth perm.


Because this is also important when it comes time to do the perm, since there are different types of curls.

The curl will always depend on the thickness of rollers that you use. The smaller they are, the tighter the curl, like corkscrew curls.

Even in my salon, I have done perms using different sized barrels to give the curls a more natural look, and my clients have ended up super happy.


After two hours of work, my client was very happy with her perm.

And that was the moment that I took advantage of to give her some recommendations.


  • First off, I asked her to not wash her hair for at least 48 hours, to not deactivate the  the chemical products used for the perm.

If you don’t want your perm to be a loss of time and money, stick to this.


If you can’t find them, you can always use products for curly hair, which for the most part contain oils, like argan for example, that keep your curls healthy.


After fifteen days, my client came back to the salon to do her color. She was very happy because at the party, she received a lot of compliments on her new look. And she hadn’t even changed the color yet!

As our grandmothers say, “patience is bitter, but its fruits are sweet.” And in her case, doing the perm first and 15 days later the color, she had her prize.

Because she was able to get the look that she wanted in her hair, without seriously damaging it.


And now you know.

  • Perm and color in the same day: NO.
  • Perm first and fifteen days later color: YES

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