Can I Straighten My Hair After a Perm?

Mila, the veteran beauty cosmetics professional and author of this article, while cutting and styling the hair of her client

Hi! I’m Mila. I share my 44-year experience as a Beauty Professional in this blog.This content is for educational purposes only and does not constitute professional advice. Consult your Aesthetician for your beauty needs.

Ever wondered if you can straighten your hair after getting a dreamy perm? Many are left pondering this question, as the allure of altering their curls to the sleek look becomes stronger.

Don’t worry! This article will guide you on how to achieve that transformation with minimal damage and maximum results. Read on for expert tips, precautions, and essential dos & don’ts when treading on the path from bouncy curls to glossy straight hair.

Key Takeaways

  • Straightening a perm can cause damage to your hair, such as dryness, breakage, and loss of curls.
  • To minimize damage while straightening permed hair, use heat protectant products and lower heat settings on your styling tools.
  • Consider alternatives like relaxers or re – perming your hair for a straightened look, but consult with a professional stylist first.

Can You Straighten a Perm?

Straightening a perm can be risky and may cause damage to your hair, potentially leading to loss of curls.

The potential problems with straightening a perm

Straightening a perm presents several potential issues that you should consider. Damage to your hair is one significant concern, as straightening can stress and dehydrate chemically treated strands.

This can result in brittle locks prone to split ends and breakage. It’s also likely that the beautiful curls you gained from the perming process will lose their shape or disappear completely when straightened.

Applying heat on already chemically treated hair can further weaken it, making your mane more susceptible to harm in its fragile state. Overdoing it with hot styling tools might lead not only to limp locks but dullness and a lack of shine as well.

Lastly, ignoring advice to wait for at least two weeks before applying heat increases the possibility of causing irreparable damage.

The risk of damage to your hair

Straightening permed hair comes with the risk of damaging your hair. When you straighten your hair after a perm, you are subjecting it to heat and styling tools, which can cause dryness, breakage, and other types of damage.

The chemicals used in the perming process have already altered the structure of your hair to create curls, so straightening it can counteract these effects and potentially weaken your hair strands.

It is important to exercise caution and take measures to minimize damage when straightening permed hair.

The potential loss of curls

Straightening permed hair can lead to the potential loss of curls. When you straighten your perm, you are essentially reversing the effects of the chemical treatment that created those beautiful curls.

The heat from styling tools like flat irons can cause the bonds in your hair to break, resulting in a looser or completely straightened texture. It’s important to keep this in mind before deciding to straighten your permed hair, as it may permanently alter your desired curly look.

Take precautions and consider alternative styling options if maintaining your curls is a priority for you.

How to Minimize Damage While Straightening a Perm

To minimize damage while straightening a perm, use heat protectant products and lower heat settings on your styling tools. Limit how often you straighten your hair to avoid excessive heat exposure.

Using heat protectant products

To minimize damage while straightening your permed hair, it is important to use heat protectant products. These products create a barrier between your hair and the heat from styling tools, reducing the risk of damage. Heat protectant sprays or serums coat each strand of hair, providing a layer of protection. Look for products that specifically mention heat protection on the label and apply them to damp or dry hair before using any heat styling tools. This simple step can make a significant difference in preserving the health and integrity of your permed hair.

Using a lower heat setting on your styling tools

To minimize damage while straightening permed hair, it is important to use a lower heat setting on your styling tools. This will help protect the hair from excessive heat and reduce the risk of breakage and damage. By using a lower heat setting, you can still achieve the desired straightened look without compromising the health of your permed hair. Remember to always adjust the temperature according to your hair’s needs and use a heat protectant product for added protection during styling.

Limiting the frequency of straightening

To minimize the damage that can occur when straightening permed hair, it’s important to limit the frequency of straightening. The chemicals used in the perming process can already take a toll on your hair’s health, so constantly subjecting it to heat from styling tools can further damage and weaken the strands.

Instead of straightening your hair every day or even multiple times a week, try to give your hair some time to rest and recover between styling sessions. This will help prevent excessive dryness, breakage, and other forms of damage that can occur with over-styling.

Alternatives to Straightening a Perm

Consider a relaxer or re-perming your hair to straighten it, but be aware of the potential risks and consult with a professional stylist for their recommendation.

Considering a relaxer instead

If you’re looking to straighten your permed hair, another option to consider is getting a relaxer. A relaxer is a chemical treatment that permanently straightens the hair by breaking down its natural curl pattern.

Unlike a perm, which creates curls or waves, a relaxer can give you smooth, straight hair. However, it’s important to note that using a relaxer on already permed hair can be quite damaging and may lead to further hair breakage.

Before deciding on this option, it’s advisable to consult with a professional stylist who can assess the condition of your hair and provide personalized recommendations for achieving your desired look while minimizing damage.

Re-perming your hair to straighten it

If you want to straighten your permed hair, re-perming your hair to achieve a straight look is an option to consider. Here’s what you can do:

  1. Wait for at least two weeks after getting the initial perm before re – perming your hair.
  2. Consult with a professional stylist who specializes in perms to discuss the desired outcome and determine if re-perming is suitable for your hair.
  3. Discuss the potential risks and effects of re – perming on your hair, as well as any necessary precautions.
  4. Understand that re – perming involves applying chemicals that may alter the structure of your hair again, potentially resulting in damage or loss of curls.
  5. Follow proper aftercare instructions provided by the stylist to minimize damage and maintain healthy hair throughout the process.

Caring for Permed Hair

Deep conditioning treatments help to restore moisture and elasticity to your permed hair, keeping it healthy and soft. Prioritize moisture and avoid excessive heat and styling for long-lasting curls.

Discover more tips for caring for your permed hair!

Deep conditioning treatments

To keep your permed hair healthy and moisturized, consider incorporating deep conditioning treatments into your hair care routine. Here are some tips to help you maintain the health of your permed hair:

  1. Use a deep conditioning mask once a week. This will help replenish moisture and nourish your hair, keeping it soft and smooth.
  2. Look for deep conditioning products specifically formulated for permed or chemically treated hair. These products often contain ingredients that can help repair and strengthen your hair.
  3. Apply the deep conditioner evenly throughout your hair, focusing on the ends and any areas that seem particularly dry or damaged.
  4. Leave the conditioner on for the recommended amount of time, usually around 10 – 15 minutes, to allow it to penetrate deeply into your hair shafts.
  5. Rinse out the conditioner thoroughly with cool water to seal the cuticles and lock in moisture.
  6. Consider using a leave – in conditioner after washing your hair to provide additional hydration throughout the day.
  7. Avoid using hot styling tools immediately after applying a deep conditioning treatment, as this can cause further damage to your already fragile permed hair.

Prioritizing moisture

To keep your permed hair healthy and vibrant, it’s important to prioritize moisture. Here are some tips:

  1. Use a hydrating shampoo and conditioner specifically formulated for permed hair.
  2. Apply a deep conditioning treatment once a week to nourish and hydrate your hair.
  3. Avoid washing your hair too frequently, as this can strip it of its natural oils.
  4. When styling or blow – drying your hair, use heat protectant products to prevent further damage.
  5. Opt for hairstyles that minimize heat styling, such as air – drying or using rollers instead of curling irons.
  6. Consider using leave – in conditioners or oils to lock in moisture throughout the day.
  7. Trim your hair regularly to remove any split ends and maintain its overall health.

Avoiding excessive heat and styling

To minimize damage to your permed hair, it is important to avoid excessive heat and styling. Here are some tips:

  1. Limit the use of heat styling tools: Using flat irons, curling irons, or hot rollers on a regular basis can cause dryness and damage to your permed hair. Try to embrace your natural curls and use these tools sparingly.
  2. Opt for low heat settings: When you do use a heat styling tool, make sure to set it at a lower temperature. High heat can be especially damaging to permed hair, so try not to go above 350°F.
  3. Use heat protectant products: Before applying any heat to your hair, always use a heat protectant spray or serum. This will create a barrier between your hair and the heat, reducing the risk of damage.
  4. Air dry whenever possible: Instead of using a blow dryer on high heat, allow your permed hair to air dry naturally. This will help maintain moisture and prevent excessive drying out of your curls.
  5. Avoid tight hairstyles: Pulling back your permed hair tightly in ponytails or braids can cause breakage and weaken the curl pattern. Opt for looser hairstyles that allow your curls to bounce freely.


In conclusion, while it is possible to straighten permed hair, it is not recommended to do so immediately after getting the perm. Waiting at least two weeks allows the hair to “normalize” and minimizes the risk of damage.

Remember to take proper precautions, use heat protectant products, and consult with a professional stylist for the best results when straightening permed hair.


1. Can I straighten my hair after getting a perm?

After getting a perm, it’s recommended to wait for some time before you start straightening your hair as it could lead to hair damage.

2. How long should I wait before the straightening process after a perm?

A waiting period is crucial to prevent any damage control; one should usually wait about two weeks or follow their stylist recommendation.

3. Is home straightening an option after getting a perm?

While home straightening might seem convenient, you risk unperming and damaging your hair without professional supervision especially on tight coily or curly hairstyles.

4. What happens if I want my natural, loose curls back instead of the permed ones?

You may consider applying a reverse perm or normalizing treatment by professionals that can help restore your natural loose curls safely without leading to more damage.

5. Can I experiment with other hairstyles for permed hair despite having previously undergone the perming process?

Yes! There are many ways you can style your hair post-perm including loosely curled styles but make sure you keep up with necessary tips for caring for permed hair to minimize possible harm.

Can I Straighten My Hair After a Perm?
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