Dry Hair After Perm? Here’s Why & Best Way To Fix It!

Perming your hair is a great way to give your hair a vibrant look, but it can make your hair a little dry if done incorrectly. I’ve done my research into this issue and here’s what I found.

Similar to any other chemical hair treatment, your hair will most likely be a little dry and damaged after you have permed it due to these harsh chemicals. That said, to avoid dry hair after a perm, use a moisturizing conditioner every time you shampoo your hair, as well as a deep-conditioning treatment to lock in moisture and prevent dryness.

Keep reading to find out how you can fix your damaged hair after a perm, as well as some helpful tips to follow so this never becomes an issue for you again!

How To Fix Dry Hair After a Perm

How To Fix Dry Hair After a Perm

If your hair is feeling dry and damaged after your perm treatment, don’t despair! Luckily, there are some steps you can take to revive your hair and have it looking and feeling soft, shiny, and strong!

The best way to fix dry hair after a perm is to condition and moisturize your hair after every shampoo (2-3 times a week). You can also use a DIY protein treatment that entails applying mayonnaise to damp and clean hair and letting it sit while your hair is covered for an hour, then rinsing it off before washing your hair with shampoo conditioner.

01. Use a Deep-Conditioning Treatment.

Your hair becomes dry after a perm because your outer cuticle layer takes a hit with the chemicals found in the perm treatment, meaning that your hair loses moisture rapidly. If you don’t replenish this moisture, your hair will end up dry, frizzy and full of knots and tangles!

The solution here is to use a deep-conditioning treatment to replenish your scalp and hair with nutrients and moisture.

I recommended massaging Royal Locks Curl Quench Conditioner into your hair and leave it in for 30-40 minutes to soak into your strands. If you want, you can leave it overnight if your hair is particularly dry.

02. Use Coconut Oil.

Coconut oil is a little trick I wish I knew earlier! Not only does it help to add moisture back into your hair, but it won’t loosen your perm, which is definitely a concern for many women.

It will help you with perming problems such as drying and tangling, but it won’t straighten your hair. You can even make the oil more potent by adding curry and sage extracts, as these actually help prevent your hair from graying! Bet you didn’t know that, right?

Simply soak the dried curry and sage leaves in some coconut oil for 15 days to allow them to infuse together. If you don’t have time to wait, you can speed up this process by heating the mixture for 5-10 minutes, and then apply the mixture to your hair.

You should do this about once a week, and after 4-5 applications you will notice a huge difference in your hair—goodbye, dryness!

03. Use a Clarifying Cleanser.

Nourishing your hair is one thing to treat damaged hair from perming, but cleansing is another really important step to reviving your dry, permed hair!

Chemicals and heat are the two main ingredients for creating permed hair, so this means your hair has had more than its recommended dose already! If you use shampoos laden with chemicals, your poor hair will only worsen.

This means you need to use a shampoo that is clarifying and does not contain any harsh chemicals such as sulfates or parabens. I recommend Neutrogena Anti-Residue Clarifying Shampoo for the best results!

This shampoo will remove your hair of any dirt and build-up, but it will not damage your perm in any way.

04. Use a Heavy-Duty Protective Serum.

Now that your hair has been permed, the outer layers will be maybe damaged meaning your hair will be more permeable. This means it needs a strong protective layer to protect it from further damage, especially if you are someone who enjoys the beach and outdoors.

I recommend using SheaMoisture Coconut & Hibiscus for Thick, Curly Hair! It will protect your hair while also maintaining its permed style.

05. Give it a Trim.

The best remedy, when all else fails, is to give your hair a little bit of a trim. This will help to get rid of any dry, broken ends and will give your hair a much fresher overall look.

Extra length on your hair can also weigh down your curls, meaning this can shorten the lifespan of your perm—definitely another solid reason to take out those scissors!

How To Prevent Dry Hair After a Perm

If you’re about to get a perm, then it’s not too late! If you follow the prevention tips below, you shouldn’t have any dry-hair problems with your newly permed hair.

The best way to prevent dry hair after a perm is to use shampoo that is safe chemically treated hair. You also need to ensure that you apply a deep conditioner to your hair at least 2-3 times a week, after every wash. Hair conditioners will hydrate and moisturize your hair.

01. Protect Your Hair From Sunlight.

To prevent your freshly permed hair from becoming dry and damaged, try and avoid being in direct sunlight for prolonged periods of time. The sun can be very damaging on your hair and especially your scalp, which will only cause further damage.

If you must be in the sun, make sure you are wearing a wide-brimmed hat and some form of heat protector oil or sunscreen.

02. Don’t Wash Until at Least 24-48 Hours After The Perm.

Many women make this mistake, and it has some serious consequences! The reason behind this is that the perm uses a neutralizer to form the curls, and this takes time. The process involved usually takes about 15-20 minutes for the chemicals to set in, but many experts recommend waiting 48 hours to allow the process to fully set in your hair so your perm lasts longer.

Additionally, using shampoo so soon on your hair after such an intense perm treatment, could put extra strain on your hair and cause it to become very dry.

Does your hair constantly feel dry after shampooing? If so, check out our article here for the best fixes and prevention tips!

03. Avoid Dyeing Your Permed Hair 2 Weeks Before or After.

I cannot emphasize this enough! Perming your hair involves putting your hair through a significant amount of stress due to the heat and chemicals, and dyeing your hair also exposes it to chemicals. The combination of both these processes can create an environment of disaster for your poor hair!

Some people may experience a bit of frizz and dull, dry hair, but others have reported breakage, hair loss and severe scalp irritation (not ideal)! The color may also come out looking a little lighter than intended when you perm and color.

To prevent this, rather be safe and wait at least 2 weeks after or before you get your hair permed before you add some color.

04. Avoid Brushing Hair For 1 Week.

While this may sound a little daunting, and very unlike my usual recommendations, this situation is an exception!

Brushing your hair with a normal hairbrush is a big no-no if you have a perm, as this will separate your gorgeous curls and will cause frizz-galore! This may also damage the delicate permed strands, leaving your hair looking frizzy and brittle.

Instead, rinse your hair with some water and apply a leave-in conditioner. Then, you can take a wide-toothed comb and very gently run it through your hair to remove any tangles or knots.

05. Dry Hair With Gentle Hairflow.

Hair-dryers are notorious for sapping moisture from hair, and this rings even more true for permed hair! Permed hair is generally delicate, so using a blow-dryer can exacerbate this and damage already-stressed hair.

My recommendation is to attach a diffuser to your blow-dryer to protect your curls and disperse the heat away from your curls or turn the blow-dryer down to the coolest setting possible.

Final Thoughts

Perming your hair is both exciting yet nerve-racking, but the results are certainly worth it! My best advice is to follow the prevention tips and close as you can before your hair becomes dry, as prevention is always better than cure! However, if your hair is already dry and damaged, the remedies listed above will have your hair bouncy and soft in no time!



Hey, I’m Jodie, the gal behind CraftyHairHacks. I have a deep passion for hair extensions, hairstyles, and almost anything that has to do with hair, which leads me to the writing and research I do for this website daily. Our site is still small, however, we’re pushing to get the best hair hacks out to as many as people as possible. ENJOY!

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