How Often Should You Get Your Perm Touched Up? Can You Do it at Home?

grown roots

If you’re a fan of curls, and you were born with straight hair, you’ve probably already discovered the magic of a perm.

But, unfortunately, nothing is forever.


That’s why you should get a touch-up on your perm approximately every five or six months. Of course, the amount of time depends on how you care for your hair. The better you take care of it, the longer your perm will last.

But, how you touch it up it is also very important. It’s always advisable to get it touched up in a salon.

Want to know how I know?


Because I’ve been getting a perm for more than ten years.

 And the first few times I got it touched-up it, I did it at home with my own hands. And the results were disastrous. 


That’s why I finally decided to go back to a professional to get my perm redone and it was an excellent decision.

After all, those of us that love curls want to have well-defined curls with no frizz.


My love for permed hair comes from when I was very young. I still remember when my mom put in sponge curlers at night so that I could have divine little curls the next morning.

After that, I tried all kinds of different curling methods, and during a long time, I also used a curling iron, until finally, more than ten years ago, I got a perm for the first time. And I never left curls behind.


 Every time I touch up my perm, I get butterflies in my stomach, but only because I leave it to professionals. 

You think I’m exaggerating?


Then, keep reading, because I’ll tell you about:

  • The dangers of touching up your perm by yourself
  • The difference between touching up your perm at home and in a salon
  • How often you should get your perm maintained


After reading this, you’ll realize that the only time I exaggerate is when I talk about my love for Adele. God, she sings so well!

But, let’s forget about the music and talk perms.


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The Dangers of Touching Up a Perm by Yourself

Like I told you before, the first times I touched up my perm, I made a lot of mistakes.


First and foremost, all of the mistakes I made were when I was doing it by myself. And it was all because of greed, because I didn’t want to spend a few more dollars at the salon. Which, in the end I ended up spending the same amount and then some to save my hair’s health.

My inexperience and lack of knowledge lead me to make quite a few mistakes.


 The first of which was not properly preparing my hair for getting another perm. 

Surely you already know that when you get a perm, your hair needs to be well-hydrated. I had been hydrating it pretty well, but it’s essential to hydrate it as much as possible during the fifteen days before getting another perm done.


Because the chemicals will do their job. And their job is to modify the internal structure of your hair. If your hair is dry and fragile, breaking it is inevitable.

At least in my case it was. My curls ended up full of frizz. None of the defined form of my curls was left, there were just little hairs wanting to escape the curls at all costs.


 Also, maybe because I didn’t know how long I should have left the liquids in my hair, I ended up with a very irritated scalp, although I should be thankful that I didn’t have any burns. 


Do you think it’s easy to put in the rods?


Absolutely not!

It’s not only not easy to get the hair to roll around them, but you also need to know how to put them in, how many to use and what kind of rod to use.

I ended up with super tight curls that didn’t look anything like the curls I had when I left the salon the first time.

I also ended up with curls going every which way, with one going one way and two others going another, like I’d just stepped in from a very, very windy day focused just on my head.


 Most importantly, did you know that you might not need to put the perm solution all over your hair, but rather just on the roots? 

And this is for a super obvious reason.


The new hair that grows has your original texture, but your permed hair was already modified, so the curls stick around, even if they’re not as defined as before or they’ve softened.

So, it wouldn’t be necessary to apply the perm solution all over your hair and during the same amount of time, because doing it would make you end up with your hair completely dried out and weak, just like how mine did when I did the first touch-up on my own.


That’s why I strongly recommend that you go back to the salon to get your perm touched up. They will know how to analyze where you need the touch-up.

My hair completely changed when I did the touch-up on my perm in the salon.

Want to know why?


Keep reading.


Why Getting a Touch-Up on Your Perm in a Salon is the Best Option

I only touched up my perm on my own once, since I wasn’t about to make the same mistake twice. I learn from my mistakes.

And after that first time, that I ended up with my hair basically burned, I wasn’t about to risk it again.

I went to a salon, which is the same one that I’ve been going to for ten years.


  • And that first time, the only thing that the stylist did was apply an Olaplex treatment to try to recuperate my hair’s health. And she asked me to come in again in fifteen days to touch up my curls.
  • When I returned fifteen days later, she trimmed my ends a few inches and put the rods only in the roots of my hair for twenty minutes.
  • Before the twenty minutes were up – some five minutes before – she put a few rods in the rest of my hair and applied the perm solution with a much softer touch.
  • Afterwards she simply applied the neutralizer and let it sit, then finally, she rinsed my hair.

And the results were awesome.


Firstly, the curls were the size that I wanted; they were perfectly defined waves without that corkscrew shape that I had after I touched up my perm on my own the first time at home.

Do you think there was any frizz?


Not even a little bit.

Surely those stupendous results are thanks to my stylist that knows the exact amount of time to leave the perm solution and the neutralizer in my hair to avoid causing it unnecessary deterioration.

 And I learned an important lesson: when it comes to chemical products, the best thing to do is leave it to the professionals.  


Now, you want to know how often you should get a touch-up on your perm?

Each case is different, but there is still a more or less standard amount of time, which is what I’m going to tell you about soon.


How Often Should You Get a Touch-Up on a Perm?

Before, I said that everything depends on everyone’s individual head of hair.

It depends things like if you wash your hair every day or every two days, if your hair grows faster or slower and if you use products specifically designed for curly hair.


 But, in general terms, a perm will last between four and six months. I get mine touched up every six months, always at a hair salon. 


Of course, I use shampoos with no sulfates to wash my hair, and once a week I do a coconut oil treatment to keep it hydrated.

The last month before I get it touched up, what I do is form the curls with sponge curlers like my mom did when I was younger. That way I am able to define the curls without having to use a heat tool like a curler.


Now that you know what the healthiest way to get your perm touched up is, go out and get those curls.

How do you maintain your curly hair?

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