What happens if you wash your hair early after a perm?

woman distressed by washing her hair with a perm

  • If you wash your hair early after a perm instead of waiting for the indicated time, two things could happen.
  • For example, your curls could lose their shape and turn frizzy and dull.
  • Alternatively, your hair will be damaged because washing will have interrupted the chemical perming process. I’ll tell you more about this later


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


Now that I told you what  could happen if you wash your hair early after a perm,  I can only ask you something else.


Does it make sense to wash your perm early after a perm?

I don’t think so.  Of course, my advice isn’t to wash your perm without respecting the time recommended by your hairdresser. 

Or the times recommended by the product you used.


Otherwise, you may end up repeating a phrase I usually hear in my salon: “I look like a poodle“.


And if you don’t know how long to wait to wash your hair after a perm, I recommend waiting for 48 hours.

This way, you’ll ensure that your curls don’t disappear, but you’ll also avoid damaging your hair.

Do you still have questions? Read on.


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Why shouldn’t you wash your hair early after a perm?

woman washes her hair after perm
Simply,  if you don’t wait 48 hours to wash your hair after a perm,  your hair will look like a bird’s nest instead of sporting well-defined, frizz-free, and shiny curls.


Bird’s nests can look very beautiful on top of a tree.

But if you get a chance to look at a bird’s nest from just a few inches away, you’ll discover that they are dry, they have broken twigs intermingled with feathers, insects, and other things.


From up close, a bird’s nest loses its magic.

The same will happen if you wash your hair early after a perm without respecting the recommended time. Your curls will look like the dry twigs of a bird’s nest.

Perming is a chemical process with stages. Let’s see.


When you arrive at the salon, you choose the size of the rollers. Your stylist divides your hair, applies the perm liquid, sets the rollers, and invites you to wait under the dryer.

After about forty minutes you’re ready to go home to enjoy your new look.


However, how does the perm work on the inner layers of the hair?

The perm liquid acts on your hair’s keratin. It gives structure to your hair. Therefore, the perm liquid breaks the chemical bonds to form the curls in your mane.

This process has several stages:

  •  First step:  the perm liquid is applied and the bonds are broken.
  •  Second step:  during the first 24 hours after perming, the perm settles.
  •  Third step:  24 hours after perming, your hair expels the remains of the process.


As you can see, both the first and second steps happen  during the first 24 hours after perming.  Therefore, you shouldn’t wash your hair.


Otherwise, you’ll interrupt the process and damage your hair. And you won’t even get to the third step, which is the moment when the hair expels the leftover liquid that hasn’t been used.

If you think about it in depth, washing your hair after perming before the recommended time will ruin the chemical process. That way, your hair will retain all the chemicals that it couldn’t expel.


All this is what will happen inside your hair. But the bad news continues.

Do you know why?


If you wash your hair early after a perm, your curls will disappear and your hair will be seriously damaged

ruined permanent
Then, you’ll have thrown money and time away. Of course, money comes and goes, as the saying goes. Time can sometimes be recovered.

However, what about the curls? What about your hair health?

That won’t be so easy to get back.


 What will be left of your perm is frizzy hair. 


Remember that the perm liquid broke the hair structure.

If you wash your hair early after a perm, the chemical bonds will be loose and will cause frizz.

Then, you’ll need to apply intensive repair treatments such as keratin. But you can only do this after three months.


Also,  your hair will become weak and brittle. 

The ends of your hair will start to break because curls are more prone to breakage.


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You’ll have to go to the salon to trim the ends and avoid more breakage.

Finally, your hair won’t have a defined shape.. It’ll be neither curly nor straight.



You shouldn’t wash your hair early after a perm.

Generally, both professionals and manufacturers recommend that you always wash your hair 48 hours after perming.

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