How to care for a perm in the first 48-72 hours to not ruin it?

what shampoo to use

Do you have any idea how it feels when you finally do something that you’ve wanted to do for a long time?


It’s like the first time the boy melt for kiss you, or when you go parasailing for the first time.

It’s the feeling of being on cloud nine, that after getting what you want, the world could crumble and you wouldn’t care at all.


That’s how I felt the first time I got a perm.

But that happiness didn’t last long, because I ruined my perm before I had even had the change to show it off to my friends.


That’s why, if you want your perm to look spectacular, don’t wash your hair in the first forty-eight hours, use a sulfate-free shampoo for the first wash, don’t use a hair dryer and use a silk pillowcase to sleep.

I did the exact opposite, and that’s why my curls disappeared.


Yes, the first time I did a perm, I did everything wrong. And when I say everything, I mean everything.

I washed my hair too soon.

And on top of that, I did it with the first shampoo I came across.


To complete my bad decisions, I dried my hair with a hair dryer and slept on a cotton pillowcase.

Basically, I didn’t everything you’re not supposed to. Everything that is absolutely prohibited if you don’t want to ruin your beautiful curls.


I should acknowledge that it was a bit my fault.

For being anxious, impatient, for wanting my hair to smell like jasmine and rose.

And it was also a bit of the hair stylist’s fault, because they didn’t explain how I had to care for my perm in those 48 hours that are so key.


During those days was the anniversary of man landing on the Moon. I’m sure you’ve seen the videos of that important event in the history of civilization that was “one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”

Did you notice that they always talked about how the first moments of take off were crucial for the success of Apollo XI’s mission?


 The same thing happens in the first 48 to 72 hours of your perm. Because the success of your perm will depend on how you care for it.   

This also determines if your curls or waves look fantastic for longer, or if they look dingy after a few days.


Before I tell you everything that you SHOULDN’T do to care for your perm in the first hours, let me explain to you why these moments are so important.


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Why it is so important to care for your perm the first hours after application

When you leave the salon with your recently done perm, you think that that’s it.

That after a minimum of 4 hours sitting, looking at yourself in the mirror or checking your social media on your cellphone, that everything is done.

But actually, during the perm process, two liquids are used.


  • The first, is the solution for the perm, which is responsible for defining the type of curls, along with the type of curlers.
  • The second liquid is a neutralizer, which is in charge of setting the form of the curl.


And here with this guy called the neutralizer is where the crux of the matter comes from.

Because even though, obviously, they rinse your hair out at the salon, it continues working in the hair fibers to finish setting the form of the curl.

So, what is the first thing that you SHOULDN’T do after getting a perm?


 Obviously, wet your hair. 

Do you want to know why?


Keep reading, because I will explain that and also everything that you should keep in mind to not damage your perm in the first few hours.


If you don’t want to ruin your perm in the first few hours these 5 pieces of advice are for you

first days

I want to confess something to you that while I write these words still causes my eyes to fill with tears.

Because I still can’t believe that I ruined the curls that I had wanted for so long due to pure misinformation an impatience.


I threw away half my salary, And I felt completely frustrated. Because the worst part is that when you ruin your perm, you can’t do the process again until at least one month has passed.

Do you want to suffer my same destiny?


Then pay attention, because with what I have to say there is no fine print, just selfless information.


Talk to your stylist as soon as you finish your perm

Yes, because to each his own. And she is the best person to explain to you how you should care for your perm from that moment on.

It doesn’t matter if you are in a rush. Or if behind you there are a dozen impatient clients waiting. You paid for a service, which costs money, and you deserve all the attention.


In my case, what hurt me is that I was in a rush. I had made plans to go to the movies with one of my friends, and I left the salon quickly when the stylist had finished.

 But come on, it wouldn’t have hurt the stylist to tell me how to care for my perm those first key days while she applied the curlers.  

I think that’s fair to say, right?


Whatever your type of hair, length and texture is, it is important to have a washing routine that is adapted to your new curls.

Talk with your stylist, because she knows the texture and state of your hair before and after the treatment, and will provide you with personalized information about what the next steps of your hair care are.


Keep your perm far away from water

Yes, forget about Aquaman, which is awesome!, but this time you won’t be able to go along on his oceanic adventures.

No water. Not from the tap nor the pool nor the sea. And of course, forget about singing in the rain without completely covering your hair.

Because water will prevent the neutralizer from finishing its job, and then, goodbye curls!

Are you not able to wait more than a day to wash your hair?


Make your hands busy or plan a marathon of your favorite tv show with your best friend to keep your mind busy and not think about it.

Because this is basically what the survival of your perm will depend on.


 No water for 48 hours. And if you can, 72 hours would be better.  


And when it comes time to wash your hair for the first time after doing the perm, use a shampoo specifically for curly hair.

Do you want to know which one I use?


I’ll tell you below.

But in addition to the shampoo, it’s important to gently massage your scalp while you wash, always use warm water instead of hot water when possible, and dry it gently with a towel.

Don’t rub it too hard. The friction can make your hair tangle and frizz.


Use the right shampoos

wash hair with botox

When you leave the salon with your perm, the first thing that you have to do when you get home is throw away those shampoos and conditioners that you buy in supermarkets on sale 2 for 1.

Yes, your curls will need another type of product.


Sulfate-free, meaning, without those detergents that definitely make your shampoo be pure foam.


 Always use a shampoo designed for chemically-treated hair because its formula will restore the lost moisture and will clean permed hair gently.  


Generic shampoos contain chemical substances that can be too strong for curly hair.

I promised to tell you what shampoo to use know that I know how to care for my perm. Yes, because after two months, I got it redone.

Mixed Chicks – Sulfate-free shampoo. 


Thanks to this shampoo, when I wash my curls, I don’t get rid of the natural oils which prevent frizz.


Care for your curls while you sleep

Because while you are counting sheep and you move your head from one side to another, you can erase the shape of your curls.

I know what you are thinking. You are imagining that you will have to sleep standing up as if you were the mummy of Tutankhamun.

No, girl, nothing like that!


 What you need to do is simply use a silk or saten pillowcase, because curly hair is more prone to frizz.  


Am I forgetting something?

Yes, it almost escaped me.


Are you addicted to the hair dryer?

Then lock it up with four keys.


Avoid heat tools

And when possible, not just for the first forty-eight hours, but for the whole time you have a perm.

Because I’m sure your stylist explained or will explain to you that curly hair is more porous. So it holds in less moisture.

So, if you apply the heat from the hair dryer, you will just be drying it out even more. And the more you dry out your curls, the more chance you have that frizz appears and it breaks.



 Of course, when I did the perm for a second time, I changed stylists and I followed her instructions to the “t” about what I shouldn’t do in the first few hours. 


And then, yes, I felt like I was on cloud nine.

Because Armstrong may have been the first man to walk on the Moon, but I’m the first woman to have bathed my curls in the rays of the moon every night.


Do you know any other secret that is crucial for caring for your perm in the first few hours?

Share them! The curly community will thank you!

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