Are you thinking of giving your hair a stunning makeover by getting a perm, but worried about getting your hair wet afterward? Many women who desire the bouncy, curly look of a perm wonder if they can still enjoy their favorite water activities or even just take a shower without ruining their expensive perm. So, can you perm your hair if it gets wet? Let’s uncover the truth and bust the commonly held myth about perming wet hair.

It’s essential to set the record straight and understand that perming wet hair is not recommended. If you have long, lustrous locks that you love to dip in the pool or enjoy lounging at the beach, your hair’s condition is crucial before perming. The hair needs to be dry before applying the perm solution because water can cause the hair cuticles to swell, resulting in an uneven perm pattern.

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So in this article, we’ll spill some more tea on what exactly happens to wet hair when you perm it!

Can I wet my hair after perming it?

Immediately after perming your hair, it’s important to avoid getting it wet for at least 48 hours. This is because the hair’s structure is still changing due to the chemical process, and any exposure to water during this time can disrupt the curl pattern and cause the perm to fail.

After the 48 hours have passed, you can start wetting your hair again. However, you should still be cautious and avoid over-wetting it. Too much water can cause the hair to become frizzy and lose its shape, which is the last thing you want after spending time and money on a perm.

Another thing to keep in mind is the type of water you’re using. Hard water, which contains high levels of minerals, can dry out your hair and make it more prone to breakage. If your water is particularly hard, consider using a shower filter or rinsing your hair with distilled water to keep it in the best condition possible.

Can I wet my permed hair everyday?

Wetting your hair every day can cause your curls or waves to lose their shape, leading to a frizzy and unmanageable mane. The constant moisture could also lead to the chemicals breaking down faster than intended, leaving you with limp and lifeless locks.

It’s essential to give your permed hair some time to settle in and dry out entirely. You should also avoid using hot styling tools or pulling your hair up in tight ponytails or buns. These actions could damage the permed structure and lead to more breakage and split ends.

Therefore, it’s advisable to wait at least 24-48 hours after your perm before wetting it. You should also invest in a good quality sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner to help maintain the health of your permed locks.

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Can I touch my hair after perm?

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It’s best to wait at least 24 hours before touching your hair, to allow the perm formula to fully set in. When you do touch it, be gentle and use a light touch. Run your fingers through your hair lightly, without pulling or yanking on the curls.

Also, avoid using styling tools that generate heat, as they can cause the curls to loosen or even fall out. Instead, use styling products specifically designed for permed hair, like mousse or curl-enhancing cream.

Remember, your permed hair needs extra love and attention to stay healthy and beautiful. So, be patient and gentle with your curls, and they’ll reward you with a fabulous, bouncy hairstyle that’s sure to turn heads!

I accidentally got my perm wet, what to do?

The first thing to do is to blot your hair dry with a towel as soon as possible. Avoid rubbing or pulling at your hair, as this can damage the perm and cause frizz. Instead, gently press the towel against your hair to absorb as much moisture as possible.

Once your hair is as dry as you can get it, do not attempt to blow-dry your hair or straighten it as this can cause further damage. Let your hair air-dry completely before styling as you normally would.

If you’re worried about losing the shape of your curl or wave, you may want to consider re-perming your hair. However, it’s important to wait at least two weeks after the accidental wetting as the chemicals from the perm can react with any moisture left in your hair, causing damage.

Can I put mousse in my hair after a perm?

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Applying mousse can help enhance the texture and definition of your curls. However, it’s important to choose a mousse that’s specifically formulated for curly or permed hair. These mousses are designed to provide the right amount of hold without weighing down your curls or causing frizz.

When applying mousse, it’s essential to start with clean, damp hair. Gently scrunch the mousse into your curls, starting from the ends and working your way up to the roots.

Avoid using too much product, as this can lead to crunchy curls. Instead, opt for a small amount and gradually build up if necessary.

How to care for permed hair?

After getting a perm, it’s crucial to take care of your hair to maintain those bouncy and beautiful curls. Here are some tips to help you care for your permed hair:

  • First off, avoid washing your hair for at least 48 hours after getting a perm to allow the curls to set in properly. When you do wash your hair, use a sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner to prevent the curls from drying out.
  • Next, avoid brushing or combing your hair when it’s wet, as it can cause breakage and damage to your curls. Instead, use a wide-toothed comb or your fingers to detangle your hair gently.
  • It’s also crucial to regularly deep condition your hair to keep it hydrated and nourished. You can use a store-bought hair mask or make one at home using natural ingredients like egg, honey, and avocado.
  • Additionally, avoid using heat styling tools like hair straighteners and curling irons, as they can damage your curls and cause frizz. If you must use heat styling tools, use a heat protectant spray and keep the heat on low.
  • Lastly, don’t forget to trim your hair regularly to get rid of split ends and keep your curls looking healthy and bouncy.
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How to sleep with a perm?

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Firstly, never go to bed with wet hair, as this can cause your curls to fall out and become frizzy. Allow your hair to air dry or use a diffuser attachment with your hair dryer before hitting the pillow.

If you have long hair, consider putting it up in a loose ponytail or bun on top of your head to prevent it from tangling or getting flat against your pillow.

Similarly, avoid sleeping on your hair by investing in a silk or satin pillowcase. These materials reduce friction and help your hair retain moisture, making your curls appear soft and shiny.

Another way to protect your perm while sleeping is by using a silk or satin bonnet. These bonnets come in different sizes and styles and are designed to protect your curls while you sleep. They also help to maintain the shape of your perm, preventing it from becoming flat or frizzy.

Lastly, remember to fluff and rearrange your curls upon waking up. Use your fingers or a wide-tooth comb to gently separate the curls and add volume where needed. Avoid brushing your curly hair, as this can turn your curls into frizzy knots.

Is it OK to swim with permed hair?

Yes, you can swim, but only if you take the necessary precautions. Swimming pools contain chlorine and other chemicals that can severely damage your hair, especially if it is permed.

To protect your permed hair while swimming, you should invest in a good quality swim cap. You can also rinse your hair with clean water before wearing the swim cap, ensuring that the chemicals do not penetrate your hair. In case you forget your swim cap, you should avoid getting your hair wet in the pool.

If your permed hair gets wet, it can affect the pattern of your curls, causing the perm to loosen or fall out entirely. It can also cause severe damage to your hair strands, causing them to break, split or snap.

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Why is my perm only curly when wet?

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One reason could be that your hair is simply too heavy to hold onto the curl. When your hair is wet, it’s heavier, so the curls will appear more defined. When your hair dries, the weight can pull the curls out.

Another possibility is that your hair was not properly processed during the perm. If the perm solution wasn’t left on long enough, the curls may not have had enough time to set properly. This can result in curls that are only visible when your hair is wet.

Additionally, if you’ve been using the wrong products on your hair, it can affect how your curls look. Using heavy products like oils and butters can weigh down your curls, making them limp and lifeless. Switching to lightweight, curl-enhancing products could make a big difference in the appearance of your curls.


In conclusion, the answer to the question “Can You Perm Your Hair if it Gets Wet?” is a resounding no. It is best to avoid getting your hair wet for at least 48 hours after getting a perm to ensure that the chemicals can fully settle into your hair, resulting in long-lasting curls.

Attempting to perm your hair while it is still damp or wet can lead to uneven curls or even hair damage. Trust the process and resist the urge to rush it. After all, good things come to those who wait, and in this case, it means beautiful, bouncy curls. So, embrace the patience and enjoy the results that a professionally-done perm can bring!