What should I do first, a straight perm or a balayage? Can you get them both done the same day?

coloring techniques

  • Ideally, you should do the straight perm first and then 15 days later, get a balayage done. That would be best.
  • It’s also possible to invert the process and do the balayage first and then the straight perm, but you should always leave 15 days between one treatment and the other.
  • The reason why you should leave 15 days between the treatments is so you don’t mess up either of the two processes. If you were to get a straight perm one day and then the next do the balayage, then it might end up that neither the straight perm nor the balayage turn out looking right.


Many clients want to get a balayage, but they also want to get a straight perm. So, they ask me, “Which should I do first, a straight perm or a balayage? Can I do them both the same day?”


The short answer is, “No, you can’t do them both on the same day.” Why not?

 Because the peroxide in a balayage will damage the straight perm and the formaldehyde in the straight perm will damage the balayage.  


Balayage is a color technique that imitates the natural fading effect of your hair. To get this same effect, you have to bleach your hair.

Bleaching your hair is basically a process that removes your natural hair color using peroxide.


A straight perm is a chemical process that changes your hair’s structure.

To change your hair’s structure, the straight perm has a compound called formaldehyde.


So, on the one hand, we have peroxide and on the other, we have formaldehyde. And they’re as incompatible as oil and water.

Have you ever tried to mix water with oil?


 You can’t mix them. The same thing happens with formaldehyde and peroxide. That’s why you should wait 15 days between one process and the other.  

Once 15 days have gone by, the peroxide from the bleaching process won’t affect the formaldehyde needed to do your straight perm. So, that means, that once 15 days have gone by, the bleaching process won’t affect the results of your straight perm.


Now you know if it’s better to do the straight perm or the balayage first, so I want to tell you how to care for your hair after the straight perm so it is in perfect condition for when you do the balayage.

  • For example, should you keep using the same products to wash your hair as you always do or should you change them?
  • Is it a good idea to do some sort of mask or apply oil between the processes?


That’s exactly what I’m going to tell you about now.


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How to care for your hair between a straight perm and a balayage

brands and product quality

Let’s say you’ve already done your straight perm. Now you have to wait 15 days to do your balayage.

What can you do with your hair during this time?


  • To be honest, you don’t have to make any big changes in your hair care habits.

You can, for example, use a special shampoo for heat-straightened hair. They’re special shampoos that don’t affect the straight perm’s process. You can get them in any online store or brick and mortar beauty store.


  • If you usually dry your hair with a hair dryer, I’d recommend that you use a high heat setting because that will reactivate the chemicals from the treatment, which will make your perm look new for longer.


  • Do you use masks or oil to hydrate your hair? You can keep using them the same way you always would because they won’t hurt the straight perm, nor will they interfere with the bleaching process for your balayage.

If you can, choose natural products like argan or coconut oil.


And that’s about it. Remember that you’re waiting to do the balayage, so you shouldn’t do anything crazy to your hair in the meantime.


How to take care of your hair after getting the balayage

toning hair wicks

Let’s say you let 15 days go by and it’s time to do the balayage.

Now your hair is perfectly straight, and you have a balayage that looks wonderful.

But, my friend, if you want your hair to look like this for a long time, you need to be extra careful with your hair. If you don’t, the look that you walked out of the salon with will fade as quickly as chalk on a chalkboard.


  • The first and most important step you can take is to use a toning shampoo

It’s a kind of shampoo that has blue or purple color pigments in it, and it will help you maintain your balayage’s color as bright as it was the first day.

Don’t worry, toning shampoo won’t have any negative effects on your straight perm.


  • It’s also important to use a reparative mask or hydrating oil, since your hair has undergone the aggressive process of bleaching.

There are a many brands at many different price points of these brands, but if you choose a brand like Kerastase or L’Oreal, you can’t go wrong.


You should use the mask of your choice every 15 days. Remember that the chemicals in your straight perm will also help your hair recover from the bleaching process of the balayage.



If you invert the process and do the balayage first and then the straight perm, you should do the same things to care for your hair.

Do you want my last piece of advice?


With both your balayage and straight perm, I’d recommend that you get them done in a professional salon.

Although there are a ton of tutorials on YouTube and Instagram that show you how easy it is to do a balayage or straight perm, the truth is that each process is complex.


 I always ask the same question: Do you think that someone who has never done a balayage in their life can get the same results as a hair stylist that has done it hundreds of times?  


In case you haven’t guessed it, the answer is, “No.”

Doing the two treatments with a good professional will ensure that you get good results, while if you do it on your own, the results will be unpredictable at best. It would be like gambling in a casino, will you win?

Yes, you might win, but the chances are pretty low.


Could a balayage turn out looking great if you do it on your own at home? Yes, it might, but the changes are low. And they’re even lower if you’ve never even opened a bottle of dye before in your life.

The decision is yours.


And now I’d love to know more about you. Are you considering getting both a balayage and a straight perm?

Which will you do first?

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