Will hair dye ruin a perm? How long should I wait to dye my hair?

woman with fresh perm on her hair is worried

  • Hair dye could ruin the perm if you don’t wait at least 15 days to dye your hair.
  • Otherwise, if you dye your hair immediately after perming, the dye will relax the curls and leave your hair damaged, frizzy, and dull. Therefore, you should always wait fifteen days between perming and coloring your hair.
  • My professional advice to care for your perm is to color your hair at a salon. I’ll tell you why.


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Can I dye my hair a month after a perm? What about two months afterward?


  If you’ve just had a perm and you color your hair, the hair dye will ruin the perm.  


That is the general rule, although there are some exceptions we’ll see below.

What do I mean?


Usually, people consider permanent dyes like the kits in beauty stores or supermarkets.

Permanent dyes could seriously damage the perm if you don’t wait a fortnight to dye your hair.

hand holds revlon hair dye box

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For example, a few days ago, my client Monica visited me at the salon. She had had her hair permed less than a week ago.

She was in love with her new curls! But, seven days after perming, she applied a permanent dye to cover her gray hair.

  After rinsing out the dye, and when her hair dried, she was shocked to discover that her short, tight curls had turned into soft and frizzy waves.  


Unfortunately, there was nothing I could do to fix the ruined perm in Monica’s hair. A new perm would’ve completely ruined her hair.

And I couldn’t apply a Keratin treatment either, as heat is used to seal it. The heat would also have irreversibly damaged her hair.

The only thing I could do on Monica’s hair was to apply a moisturizing treatment to start repairing the damage of the dye on her permed hair.

So, if you don’t want to ruin your permed hair with dye like Monica, read on.


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How long should you wait to color your hair after perming?

perm ruined by hair dye

  You should wait at least two weeks to apply permanent hair dye after perming.  


Otherwise, if you don’t wait at least two weeks, the dye penetrating the hair will remove some of the perm fluid that changed the natural structure of your hair to form the curls.

Besides,   you should avoid exposing your hair to two chemical processes in less than a fortnight.  Think about it for a few moments.


During perming, the perming solution and the neutralizing liquid are used. Add to that, the heat from the blow dryer.

Even if you perm your hair in a salon, it is still a chemical process that will weaken your hair after losing nutrients and moisture.

If you apply a permanent dye on that weakened hair less than fifteen days after perming, your hair will suffer irreversible damage.

  You’ll ruin the shape of your curls because the dye will interrupt the perming process.  


What dye should be used on permed hair?

Clairol semi-permanent hair color for permed hair

Remember that   if you want to apply a permanent hair color, you must wait at least fifteen days to dye your hair.  


However, as a professional, I recommend waiting at least a month if you don’t urgently need to dye your hair. In the meantime, you’ll have more time to get used to your curly hair and add the newly permed hair-care routines.


  Alternatively, if you need to cover your gray hair or roots and you can’t wait even fifteen days after perming, you could use a semi-permanent hair dye because it doesn’t penetrate the hair. 


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Semi-permanent hair dye deposits pigments in the outermost layer of the hair. However, you should know that this hair dye fades with washes.

It’s, therefore important to wash your hair less frequently, using sulfate-free products.


Should I color my permed hair at home or at a salon?

woman dyed her permed hair in salon so as not to ruin it

You have invested a significant amount of money to get a perm. Also, your hair went through a chemical process that changed its structure.

It’s time to take care of it like a little treasure.


  Coloring your hair in a salon won’t leave you broke. Instead, you’ll avoid damaging your permed hair.  


Therefore, my advice as a professional is to ask for an appointment at a salon. The colorist will assess the health of your permed hair before coloring it to determine how it may react during coloring.

She may also offer special products, such as Olaplex to prevent damaging the perm during coloring.


If you want to color your permed hair with semi-permanent hair color for the first time, I advise visiting a salon.

This way, your colorist will recommend brands of dye to use, how to apply it, and suitable colors to highlight your features and curls.



Permed hair dye can ruin your perm if you don’t wait a fortnight to color your permed hair. My professional advice is to ask for an appointment at a salon to color your hair after perming.

This way, you’ll protect both your hair’s health and your perm’s duration.

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