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How long after dyeing hair can you perm it?

Getting your hair colored and permed can dramatically change your look. However, it’s important to carefully consider the order and timing of these chemical processes to avoid damage to your hair. This article will examine how long you should wait after dyeing your hair before getting a perm, the factors that determine the ideal waiting period, and tips for maintaining healthy hair through repeated chemical treatments.

The General Rule

As a general guideline, it is recommended to wait at least 4-6 weeks after dyeing your hair before perming it. This waiting period allows the cuticles of your hair to close and return to a healthy state after the stress of coloring. Rushing into a perm too soon after dyeing can cause major damage.

Why You Need to Wait

There are a few key reasons why waiting 4-6 weeks between dyeing and perming is so important:

  • Hair dye opens the cuticles – The process of dyeing your hair involves opening up the outermost protective layer, called the cuticle, so the color can deposit inside the hair shaft. This leaves the cuticles in a fragile state.
  • Perms also open cuticles – Perm solutions work by breaking the bonds inside your hair so it can be reshaped. This also requires opening the cuticle layer first.
  • Doing both causes overload – If the cuticles have just been opened up by dyeing, asking them to open again so soon for a perm can cause too much stress and damage.
  • Can lead to broken bonds – The excessive processing makes hair very prone to breakage. The opened cuticles may not close properly either, leading to dry, brittle hair.

That’s why giving your hair adequate time to recover after dyeing before perming enables the cuticles to fully close and protects the bonds inside the hair shaft from getting overloaded.

Factors that Affect the Waiting Period

While 4-6 weeks is the standard timeline, the precise waiting period needed before perming dyed hair can vary based on:

Your hair type

The texture and porosity of your hair impacts how much damage it sustains from chemical processing:
– Fine, fragile hair – needs a longer wait time, up to 8 weeks

– Coarse, resistant hair – may handle a slightly shorter 3-4 week wait

Color and bleach

Low-impact dye options like semi-permanent and demi-permanent color result in less cuticle damage than harsher permanent color or bleach. The more intense the coloring process, the longer your hair will need to recover. Bleached hair in particular benefits greatly from extending the wait time before perming.

Condition of your hair

Hair that is already dry or damaged from heat styling, over-washing, or previous chemical treatments needs extra time to bounce back after dyeing. Healthier hair in good condition has a better chance of tolerating a perm sooner after being colored.

Type of perm

The particular perm technique and solution used also plays a role. Traditional perms based on ammonium thioglycolate cause more cuticle damage compared to newer acid-based perms. The gentler the perm process, the less time needed to wait after dyeing.

Given all these factors, it’s best to consult a professional hair stylist to evaluate your specific scenario. They can recommend the ideal waiting period before perming dyed hair based on your hair’s properties and the services you want.

Tips for Healthy Hair

Here are some tips to help maintain the health and integrity of your hair while alternating between dyeing and perming:

Use a deep conditioner

Deeply condition your hair with a moisturizing hair mask at least once a week. Focus on the mid-lengths and ends which tend to get the most damaged from processing. This helps reinforce and protect the cuticle layer.

Rinse with cool water

Whenever washing your hair, finish off with a cool water rinse. The cold temperature helps seal the cuticles closed tightly.

Avoid heat styling

Limit use of hot tools like blow dryers, flat irons and curling wands which can degrade hair over time. Let your hair air dry when possible.

Get occasional trims

Schedule regular trims every 6-8 weeks to snip away split ends before they travel up the hair shaft and cause breakage.

Use bond repair products

Bond repairing treatments can help rebuild broken disulfide bonds inside the hair. This strengthens strands from the inside out.

Use sulfate-free shampoo

Sulfate-free shampoos are gentler on the hair cuticle and preserve moisture levels. Opt for a nourishing shampoo and limit washing to 2-3 times per week.

The Takeaway

Allowing adequate time between dyeing and perming your hair is crucial to maintaining healthy hair and avoiding severe damage from overprocessing. While 4-6 weeks is the standard recommendation, have a professional evaluate your particular scenario to determine the ideal waiting period. With some patience and TLC, you can safely switch between colors and perms for an easy hair makeover.


Dyeing and perming hair too close together can wreak havoc by overloading and breaking the hair’s bonds. But by understanding the importance of waiting at least 4-6 weeks between chemical treatments, using gentler options when possible, and properly caring for hair in between, you can safely transition from one look to the next. Being patient and letting your hair fully recover enables you to color and curl without compromise.

Hair Type Recommended Waiting Period
Fine and fragile 6-8 weeks
Average 4-6 weeks
Thick and coarse 3-4 weeks
Color Type Waiting Period
Semi-permanent 4 weeks
Demi-permanent 4-5 weeks
Permanent 5-6 weeks
Bleach 6-8 weeks