Can You Perm Bleached Hair

By: | Last Updated: March 6, 2022

You finally took the plunge and got your dream blonde hair. But after a quick scroll through the internet, you see photos of gorgeous perms. So now you’re tempted to get one, too.

But before you rush to gather every perm hair inspiration you could find, remember how much damage your hair had to go through to get to your perfect blonde shade.  

So, is it safe to perm bleached blonde hair? And how long should you wait before putting your tresses under your hairstylist’s hands again? Well, follow along to find out.

What is a hair perm?

What is a hair perm

A hair perm is a chemical treatment that temporarily turns your hair curly or wavy for a few months. Depending on the type of perm and your aftercare, it can last for 3-7 months. 

But when you think about perms, the first thing you remember is the tight poodle-like curls your mom probably had in the 80s. 

But nowadays, perms have evolved to look more natural. Aside from getting the traditional tight curls, you can also get soft curls or beachy waves. But if that’s not your style, you can even perm your hair just to enhance your natural curls.

That’s because hairstylists have gone a long way from sticking to a perm rod to curl your hair. Nowadays, they can use fabric or hair curlers to set your hair so you can customize the type of curl you want.

Can you perm bleached blonde hair?

Perming bleached blonde hair is doable if it’s not severely damaged from bleaching.

Bleach can be harsh as it needs to open up your hair cuticles to penetrate the hair. That’s why you usually end up with dry and brittle hair after. 

But if you already have damaged hair and are planning on perming it, you might risk melting your hair.

Although modern perm solutions are less damaging than in the 80s, they still alter your hair’s chemical composition, making them weaker than untreated hair.

That’s why it’s essential to consult a professional hairstylist so they can assess if your hair is fit for the treatment, even if you’re only planning on a loose perm on bleached hair.

Perming bleached hair with Olaplex

If you’ve been following the latest news on beauty, Olaplex is currently every hairstylist’s secret weapon since it allows dyeing or perming your hair to come out with minimal damage.

If you’re not familiar, Olaplex consists of hair treatments that repair your hair. They do this by restoring the broken disulfide bonds in your hair, so you’ll come out with stronger and shinier hair.

While your stylist can apply Olaplex during your chemical treatment at the salon, you can also purchase other Olaplex products to maintain your hair at home.  

On their official website, Olaplex has a 12-step perming system suitable for any perm type to help minimize damage.

They recommend using Olaplex No. 2, their bond perfector, before applying the perm solution to your hair. Then followed by Olaplex No.1, their bond multiplier, throughout the perming process.

So if you’re thinking about using Olaplex during your perming treatment, you can talk to your hairstylist to see if their salon uses their products.

When is it safe to perm hair after bleaching?

When is it safe to perm hair after bleaching

Perming bleached blonde hair can be challenging, even for professional hairstylists. But it’s possible as long as you don’t do it on the same day of bleaching your hair. 

Hairstylists recommend waiting at least 15 days after bleaching your hair to give it time to recover. Since bleaching your hair is already an aggressive process, adding perming solution can further damage it. 

You can spend the time between processes by taking care of your newly blonde hair instead since your hair will need a lot of moisture after the treatment.  

Focus on getting your hair to a healthy state so it’ll still look gorgeous after your perm.

Can you get a curly perm on bleached hair?

If you have naturally straight hair, you might be tempted to see how you look with curly hair.

It is possible to get a curly perm on bleached hair; they just won’t come out as nice as on unbleached hair.

Curls need keratin so they can hold onto your hair. But bleach strips keratin off of your hair to lighten it.

So the lighter your hair is, the less keratin it has. 

So if you have platinum blonde hair, it’s best to go for a wavy perm instead of a curly one so your hair can still look voluminous.

Can you perm bleached highlighted hair?

Hairstylists don’t recommend perming your hair when you have bleached highlights, especially when you want to maintain them.

Repeating bleach touch-ups is already damaging for your hair, so if you add perming solution to the mix, your tresses will not handle it. 

That’s why most salons will turn away perming hair with bleached highlights, as the risk of frying your hair is too high. 

So it’s best to grow your highlights out first before getting a perm.

Perm aftercare

Perm aftercare

So you went ahead and finally got your perm. Here are a few tips to make sure your hair stays healthy after your treatment:

Avoid washing your hair  for 48 hours

To quote Elle Woods, “…you’re forbidden to wet your hair for at least 24 hours after getting a perm at the risk of deactivating the ammonium thioglycolate.” 

The first 48 hours after your perming treatment is the most delicate part since the perming solution hasn’t fully settled into your hair yet. 

But if your stylist was using Olaplex throughout the process, you don’t need to wait that long since Olaplex helps complete the oxidation process.

But if you want to stay on the safe side, avoid applying water or products to your hair. Or else you’ll risk washing your curls out, and all of your efforts will go down the drain.

Adjust your hair products

Since you now have curly hair, products that work for your straight hair may not work for your curly hair.

So it’s essential to change your shampoo and conditioner that’s compatible with curly hair.

Since curly hair is prone to dryness, it needs products with gentler formulas that don’t strip its natural oils as this causes frizz and breakage.

It’s also important to pick products that contain moisturizing agents to nourish your hair. Ingredients like glycerin, aloe vera, coconut oil, and shea butter are great examples.

Conditioners are your new best friend

After chemically altering your hair’s texture, it’s surely going to need a lot of moisture. 

Once the 48 hour period is over, give your hair a deep conditioning treatment twice a week to hydrate your locks back. 

Since the chemicals from the treatment open up your hair cuticles, it makes your hair drier than before. Opt for products for curly hair since those contain the most moisturizing properties that help replenish your hair.

Leave-in conditioners are also great as they help eliminate frizz while providing your hair with more moisture. Always remember to apply it while your hair is still damp to allow your hair to absorb the product fully.

Avoid heating tools as much as possible

It’s always best to avoid using heat on your hair as much as possible. But if the occasion arises, mist your hair with a heat-protecting spray to give it a barrier.

It’s also a good habit to air-dry your hair more often instead of using a blow dryer. But if you don’t have time, make sure to attach a diffuser. 

The diffuser distributes the heat evenly, so it’s more gentle on your hair. Plus, it allows you to dry one section of hair at a time, helping you eliminate frizz.

Lastly, if you want to refresh your curl pattern, skip your curling iron. Use heatless hair rollers instead to give your curls the added volume. Not to mention, they’re affordable and easy to put on.

Just roll your hair up at night, so you can wake up with bouncy curls in the morning. 

Get a hair trim regularly

Since bleaching and perming your hair can weaken it, it’s vital to get a hair trim every month to keep your hair healthy.

Once you start to notice split-ends popping up, it’s time to get an appointment with your stylist. 

This helps your hair feel smoother and maintains the shape of your curls. 

CHECK OUT: After Perm Rules: How to take care of a perm

The bottom line

Perming your hair can be a risky treatment, especially if you have bleached blonde hair. 

That’s why it’s important to consult a professional hairstylist to do it instead of buying an at-home perming kit. This way, your stylist can customize the perming treatment according to the state of your hair to minimize damage.

Also, letting your hair go through harsh chemical treatments can really do numbers on your cuticles, so it’s crucial to create a routine that nourishes your hair.

Providing your hair with moisture is a top priority for perms, so choosing the right products is crucial. So opt for products for curly hair since these contain more moisturizing properties.

Keeping up with hair trends can be fun, but it’s important to always put the health of your hair first. Remember to not go overboard on chemical treatments so your hair can thank you later.

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