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What happens if you perm and dye your hair?

Perming and dyeing hair are common hair treatments that many people use to change the texture and color of their hair. However, there are some risks and potential damage associated with overprocessing hair through excessive chemical treatments. This article will examine what happens when you perm and dye your hair, the potential problems, and tips for minimizing damage.

What is a Perm?

A perm, or permanent wave, is a chemical process that alters the structure of your hair to add curl or wave. The process involves applying a perm solution to break the bonds in the hair, then wrapping the hair around rods or curlers and applying a neutralizer to restructure the bonds in the new curled shape.

There are two main types of perms:

  • Acid perms use an acidic solution to break the bonds. These are stronger and last longer than alkaline perms.
  • Alkaline perms use an alkaline solution and tend to produce looser, more natural-looking curls.

Perms last around 3-6 months as new hair grows in. Over time, the perm pattern will relax as hair is replaced by new, untreated growth.

What Does Hair Dye Do?

Hair dye works by penetrating the hair cuticle and depositing color inside the hair shaft. Permanent hair dye causes a chemical reaction that alters the color molecules inside the hair.

There are three main categories of hair dye:

  • Permanent hair dye – contains ammonia and an alkali agent that opens the cuticle layer so color can penetrate deeply and permanently alter the color of the hair shaft.
  • Demi-permanent dye – deposits color without opening the cuticle. The color washes out over several weeks.
  • Temporary dye – coats the outside of the hair shaft only and washes out within a few shampoos.

Permanent hair dyes lead to the most significant chemical change in the hair strands.

Overprocessing Risks of Perming and Dyeing

While perms and dyeing are common procedures, overprocessing with excessive chemical treatments can damage hair. Some risks and problems include:

  • Dry, brittle hair – chemicals remove oils and protein, leaving hair dried out.
  • Breakage – weakened hair is prone to snapping and breaking.
  • Thinning – multiple processes wear down the hair cuticle, causing thinning.
  • Scalp irritation – chemicals can irritate skin.
  • Hair loss – severe damage can cause hair loss.
  • Inconsistent texture – perms and dye lead to uneven porosity along the hair shaft.
  • Color fading – damaged hair has a hard time holding onto color.

Reasons for Hair Damage from Perms and Dye

There are a few reasons why overprocessing with perms and dye can ruin your hair:

  • Chemical cuticle damage – perms and dye lift cuticles. Repeated lifting causes uneven rough spots.
  • Stripped moisture and protein – leads to dry, brittle hair.
  • Overlapping treatments – new chemicals interact with residuals left behind.
  • Multiple processes in one session – excessive chemical exposure.
  • Too short between treatments – not giving hair time to recover.

Tips to Minimize Damage from Perm and Dye

You can reduce the risk of serious damage by following these tips:

  • Wait at least 6-8 weeks between perms.
  • Use a conditioning perm solution to be gentler on hair.
  • Avoid overprocessing with excessive perm rod tension.
  • Wait 2-3 weeks after a perm before any color treatment.
  • Use a demi-permanent or semi-permanent dye.
  • Select professional hair products designed for processed hair.
  • Use a deep conditioner weekly to add moisture.
  • Trim regularly to remove damaged ends.
  • Avoid heat styling when possible.

What to Expect When Perming and Dyeing Hair

If you decide to perm and dye your hair, here is an overview of the process and results you can expect:

Getting a Perm

  • Hair is wrapped around rods in the desired curl pattern.
  • A perm solution is applied to break the inner bonds of the hair.
  • The solution processes for about 10-20 minutes.
  • A neutralizer is applied to restructure the bonds in the new curled shape.
  • Rods are removed to reveal new curls or waves.
  • Hair may feel dry at first but should normalize within a few days.

Dyeing After a Perm

  • Wait at least 2-3 weeks after perming before applying dye.
  • Strand test first to check results with chemical services.
  • Apply hair dye following the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • The dyed perm results should last about 3-4 weeks before fading.
  • Roots will grow in with natural color and texture.
  • Repeat dying only when needed, not more than every 4-6 weeks.

Choosing a Perm and Dye Schedule

Finding the right schedule for perming and dyeing takes some trial and error. Here are some tips on timing treatments:

  • Perm hair no more than every 6-8 weeks.
  • Wait at least 2 weeks after perming before dyeing.
  • Dye regrowth only as needed, every 4-6 weeks.
  • Avoid overlapping chemical services.
  • Use a deep conditioner 1-2 times per week.
  • Get regular trims to remove damaged ends.
  • Adjust schedule if hair becomes dry or damaged.

Caring for Hair Between Perm and Dye

Proper hair care between chemical treatments is crucial to maintaining health. Here are some tips:

  • Use a moisture restoring shampoo and conditioner.
  • Rinse with cool water to lock in moisture.
  • Apply a weekly hydrating hair mask.
  • Use a heat protectant before heat styling.
  • Limit use of hot tools to reduce damage.
  • Avoid tightly pulling back hair.
  • Use a gentle brush and comb.
  • Reduce washing to 2-3 times per week.
  • Avoid chlorine by wearing a cap when swimming.

Should You Perm and Dye Damaged Hair?

If your hair is already in poor condition, perming and dyeing can cause further damage. It’s best to avoid chemical processing until hair is healthy.

Signs your hair is too damaged for perming/dyeing include:

  • Extreme dryness and brittleness
  • Hair feels “gummy” or stretches when wet
  • Coarse, dull, or frizzy texture
  • Split ends throughout hair
  • Hair breakage
  • Scalp visible at part and hairline
  • Excess shedding

If your hair shows these signs, treat damage before perming or coloring:

  • Deep condition weekly with a moisturizing hair mask.
  • Use a reconstructor treatment to strengthen hair.
  • Trim off split ends.
  • Take a break from heat styling.
  • Massage scalp to stimulate growth.
  • Follow a schedule of at least 8 weeks between chemical services.

With proper care between processes, even damaged hair can gradually regain strength.

Main Takeaways

Here are the key points to remember:

  • Wait at least 2 weeks after perming before dyeing.
  • Space perms at least 6-8 weeks apart.
  • Avoid overlap between chemical services.
  • Use nourishing products to restore moisture.
  • Don’t dye or perm hair that is extremely damaged.
  • Regular trims help minimize split ends.
  • Adjust schedule if hair becomes dry or brittle.

While it’s fine to periodically perm and dye your hair, be cautious not to overprocess. Allow enough recovery time between treatments and nurture hair health to avoid damage from these chemical services. With proper care, you can safely perm and dye your hair while keeping it healthy.

Chemical Service Processing Time Results Last
Acid Perm 10-15 minutes 4-6 months
Alkaline Perm 15-20 minutes 3-5 months
Permanent Hair Dye 25-35 minutes 4-6 weeks (roots)
Demi-permanent Dye 15-25 minutes 4-5 weeks

This table provides a comparison of common perm types and hair dye options, including the processing time and how long results typically last. The longer lasting acid perms require a shorter processing time than alkaline perms. Permanent hair dyes last 4-6 weeks before roots grow in, while demi-permanent color washes out over 4-5 weeks.