Can You Straighten A Perm? Skipping A Bad Hair Day Forever


Can You Straighten A Perm

Perms or a permanent hairstyle, has been a thing in the hair industry for a few decades now. It’s been highly popular in the last century, but it’s certainly popular again now.

The tiny curls or huge, lustrous locks are all beautiful – and desired. So many people are in love with curls, and they want the hairstyle on their heads all the time!

That’s where perms come in. Perms, and other types of permanent hairstyles, last for at least half a year before you need to touch it up!

It’s quite convenient to have a perm, since you don’t truly need to do a blowout – ever. Your hair looks amazing after a simple wash and dry!

So many people are looking into perms because they do make your life easier. There are some things to ask beforehand. Number one, do you have to stick to the hairstyle forever?

For example, can you straighten a perm? Can you change the look in any way, or not? Continue reading our article to find out the answer, and more!


What Is A Perm?

A perm is a term used to call any type of permanent hairstyle. It’s most commonly used to describe permanent curly or wavy hairstyles.

The style is not permanent in a way it lasts forever, but rather a few months, maybe up to a year (with one or two touch-ups at the hairdresser). 

Permanent hairstyles are set into the hair with thermal or chemical means. Chemical liquids are applied to the hair, which is then wrapped around a certain form you want the hair to get.

The same thing is with relaxing or straightening the hair. The hair is flattened instead of curled during the chemical reaction. This method is most commonly known as a Brazilian blowout today.

Now, when getting a perm, the hairdresser will use thermal and chemical means to curl your hair. The hair will be wrapped to create curls, and there will be a chemical phase beforehand.

Both parts are crucial to get a truly satisfying result. The results can vary – a lot, because it depends on the type of rod used to curl the hair, how it’s wrapped, and so on.

The most popular types of rods are straight and concave – and they both give the hair a whole different result curl-wise. When we’re talking about the wrapping method, it can be spiral or crokinole.

Smaller rods will produce smaller and tighter curls, and the hair will appear shortened. But, let’s see that in a table:

Rod SizesCurl Results
7/16”Jerry Curl
11/16”Beach Curl
¾”Loose Deep Curl
1”Body Wave

We can see in the table that bigger rods give you looser, softer waves. While it may seem fun to get tight curls, they can be a bit difficult to manage at times.

Softer, larger curls are suitable for every occasion there is. They are a subtle change, too, so it might be best to stick to larger curls for your first perm – so you get used to the change. If it’s vastly different, you may feel opposed to it!

When we’re talking about the chemical part of the perm, the hairdresser will decide on a certain solution to use. They will decide based on the state of the client’s hair, and the hair type, as well as the pH of the solution. 

Classic, alkaline perms are used for stronger and coarser hair. Not many hairdressers even have this solution in their salon, so you should talk beforehand with your salon about the perm. 

This type of perm works at room temperature. When you have thinner, delicate hair, the hairdresser will opt for the acid type of perm solution. 

The acid solution is not so aggressive, so it’s suitable for fragile hair. However, this type requires applying heat afterward to settle the curl. You might be wondering can you get a perm over bleached hair, so read our article to find out more about it!

The pH of the solutionType of hair
6.5-7.5Fine, thin hair
9-10Thick, coarse hair

When you do decide to get a perm, you should discuss this with your hairdresser. If you have fragile hair, the hairdresser should give you advice on whether it’s a good idea to get a perm at this time. 

Fragile hair is usually caused by external factors like UV rays, and changing the hair color. The most common factor is using bleach on hair improperly – for some good tips, read our article!


Can You Straighten A Perm?

Getting a perm usually means you don’t have to battle with your hair about a hairdo each morning. Your hair will be curly and presentable at all times, even if you slept for two hours and didn’t even have the time to comb it out!

Perms are all about convenience and getting a good hair day, each day. However, we noted that perms last for about six months. 

In those six months, you could get bored of the same hairstyle each morning, just like you got bored with your straight or just unruly hair. So, you thought about straightening your perm, but you’re not sure whether it’s a good idea.

Can you straighten a perm? Will straightening the perm ruin it or not?

Yes, you can straighten a perm! It’s completely safe and okay to straighten your perm if you feel like wearing your hair straight today!

We found three methods to straighten a perm that work the best. We advise you to try all three before you figure out which one works wonders for your hair!


Method #1: Using A Straightening Iron

Lav Using A Straightening Iron

This is our number-one method because it’s the fastest and the most convenient way to straighten your hair. So, the first step is to wash your hair with a gentle shampoo.

Use a heavy conditioner that has straightening agents in it. Then, comb your hair with a wide-tooth comb and use a heat-protecting balm or spray.

If you have long or thick hair, use your blow dryer to dry your hair. If you have thin hair, you can let it air dry. Once dry, take your straightening iron and let it heat up.

Choose an appropriate temperature – somewhere between 380 and 430 degrees Fahrenheit. Don’t go over 430, as it will give you split ends and irreparable damage.

Section out your hair and take your time working through each strand. It’s better to go through a strand slowly, rather than going three times fast.

Once you’re done, use some repairing oil to make your hair shiny and to protect it. We recommend using castor oil – you can see our favorite picks in our article.


Method #2: Using A Gel

Lav Using A Gel

Some hair gels can help your hair stay straight temporarily if you want it to. To pick a good gel that will help you achieve this look, ask your hairdresser for tips.

They will generally have a better idea of what will work on your hair. Even if you’re out to buy something your hairdresser recommended, it’s best to check the warnings on the product.

Some products are not suitable for permed or dyed hair. The product could compromise or even ruin your permanent hairstyle, so be careful.

The next step is to wash your hair with a gentle shampoo. Use a smoothing or straightening conditioner to help you achieve that smooth look.

Then, use a wide-toothed comb to work through your curls. Use a heat-protective balm or spray, before using the gel. 

Use a tiny bit of gel, and work it through your locks. It’s better to use too little and add more because if you add too much, your hair will look slick and dirty.

Then, section your hair and use clips to lift the upper part of your hair. Use your blow dryer on a medium setting and brush your hair while you’re drying.

Try not to press the blow dryer on your brush, as it can dry out and damage your hair. Keep the dryer at least five inches away from your hair.


Method #3: Getting A Brazilian Blowout

Lav Getting A Brazilian Blowout

We get it – you sometimes get bored with your perm, especially if you’ve worn it for a few years now. Your friend got a Brazilian blowout and you loved it.

You can get a Brazilian blowout over your perm, but be careful. Every perm is damaging to your hair, and getting a permanent blowout can damage your hair, a lot.

The first two methods we listed are the temporary ones, and the third is the lasting one. If you catch yourself straightening your perm often, you should consider getting a Brazilian blowout.

You will find that there are kits online to DIY the Brazilian blowout. We certainly advise you against that!

Chances are, you will ruin your hair or just get unsatisfying results. You should visit a salon and get the hair you want in just a few hours!


Can You Straighten A Perm? – Bottom Line

To conclude, you can straighten a perm. Luckily, you can do it temporarily or permanently – it’s up to you!

We listed two methods of doing it temporarily. We find it’s easier to straighten hair with a hot iron, but you can try both to see what works better for you.

Moreover, the permanent way is to get a Brazilian blowout. We recommend going to the salon rather than doing it yourself for the best results!

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