How Soon After a Perm Can I Color My Hair?

Getting a perm can be an exciting way to add volume and texture to your hair. But if you’re thinking about changing your hair color post-perm, it’s essential to approach it with care. The chemicals used in both processes can be harsh on your hair, and you want to ensure the best results without compromising its health.

How Soon After a Perm Can I Color My Hair

Why Wait Before Coloring?

After getting a perm, your hair goes through a chemical process that alters its structure. The perm solution works on breaking and reforming the disulfide bonds in your hair, resulting in the desired curl pattern. This process can leave your hair more porous and sensitive to damage, making it crucial to wait before applying hair color.

The Ideal Waiting Period

According to most experts, it’s best to wait for at least 2 weeks after getting a perm before coloring your hair. This waiting period allows your hair to recover from the chemical treatment, minimizing the risk of damage when applying hair dye. Patience during this time will ensure that your new color takes well and looks stunning with your perm-enhanced curls.

Consulting with a Professional

Before reaching for the hair dye, consider consulting with a professional hairstylist. They can assess the condition of your hair and advise you on the best time to introduce color. Additionally, they can help you choose a color that complements your new perm look, enhancing your overall appearance.

Coloring Your Hair Sooner – The Risks

While some sources suggest that you can color your hair after 1 week if you absolutely cannot wait for 2 weeks, it’s crucial to be cautious. Coloring your hair too soon after a perm can lead to further damage, leaving your hair dry and brittle. If you find yourself in a situation where you need to color your hair earlier, opt for gentle hair color products and consider a patch test to ensure there are no adverse reactions.

Avoiding Simultaneous Perming and Coloring

One golden rule in hair care is to avoid perming and coloring your hair on the same day. This combination of chemical treatments can overwhelm your hair and scalp, leading to significant damage and undesired results. It’s best to space out these procedures to give your hair time to recover and maintain its health.

Taking Care of Your Perm and Colored Hair

Whether you’re rocking a fresh perm or enjoying your new hair color, taking proper care of your hair is vital. Use hair care products specifically designed for chemically treated hair and follow a hair care routine that suits your unique needs. Regular deep conditioning treatments, minimal use of heat styling tools, and protecting your hair from the sun and harsh environmental factors can help maintain the health and longevity of your perm and colored hair.


Getting a perm can be an exciting and transformative experience, and adding a new hair color can elevate your style even further. Remember, patience is key when it comes to caring for chemically treated hair. Waiting for at least two weeks after a perm before applying hair dye is advisable to minimize the risk of damage and ensure optimal results. However, if you need to color your hair sooner, do so with caution and gentleness.


Can I color my hair before getting a perm?

While it’s technically possible, it’s generally not recommended. Perming after coloring can result in unpredictable and unwanted outcomes.

Can I use permanent hair color after a perm?

Using permanent hair color after a perm is generally safe, but waiting for a couple of weeks is advisable to ensure better results.

Will coloring my hair after a perm cause it to lose its curl?

When done correctly, hair coloring should not affect the curl pattern of a perm. However, improper or aggressive coloring can lead to damage and impact the curl formation.

Can I do a home hair coloring after a perm?

It’s best to consult with a professional hairstylist, especially if you’re doing a home hair color application for the first time. They can guide you on product selection and application techniques.

How can I maintain the health of my perm and colored hair?

Regular deep conditioning, using sulfate-free hair care products, and avoiding excessive heat styling are essential for maintaining the health of both permed and colored hair.

Sharing Is Caring:

The Howtowise team has helped thousands of homemakers fix their household problems with step-by-step tutorials. Howtowise has been featured in The New York Times, Scientific American, Good Housekeeping, Vox, Apartment Therapy, Lifehacker, and more.