Can You Perm and Dye Your Hair on the Same Day? [Answered]

You may be pressed for time and keen to have your hair permed and dyed. In this article, we will examine if you can perm and dye your hair on the same day.

Can You Perm and Dye Your Hair on the Same Day?

It is not advisable to perm and color your hair on the same day. The processes are not compatible and will possibly result in a disappointing outcome for both.

Can You Perm Your Hair and Dye It On The Same Day?

The general consensus is that, no, it is not a good idea to perm your hair and dye it on the same day.

Both processes use strong chemicals.

In a perm, the technique involves breaking the bonds of protein within your hair then manipulating them into a new shape to last for up to six months.

In the process of dyeing, chemicals remove the hair’s natural pigment to make room for other color molecules to provide new pigment.

Both processes are harsh on the hair and can lead to a lot of lost moisture. For this reason, there really needs to be a ‘recovery’ period between the processes.

In addition, when you’ve had a perm, residue of the perm and neutralizing liquid remain. This can interfere with the result of the dye.

The dye may not work properly, so you may not get the color you are trying to achieve.

If you were to color first then perm, you would still have a problem. The perm solution used is a neutralizer so it will affect the color of your dye, perhaps even neutralizing it completely.

How Long Should You Wait Between The Two?

It is recommended that you wait at least two weeks between treatments.

Otherwise, your hair can become overprocessed and more susceptible to damage. At best, your hair may become frizzy, dull, and dry.

At worst, you may experience breakage, excessive hair loss, and even scalp irritation.

Can Permed Hair Be Colored?

Can Permed Hair Be Colored

Permed hair can be colored, but it is highly recommended by professionals that you wait a minimum of two weeks. In this time, you should give your hair plenty of love.

 A deep conditioning treatment can help with this. The aim is to replenish lost moisture in your hair and scalp.

You should also avoid shampoos that contain parabens or sulfates at this time, to give your hair the best chance of recovery.

Alternatively, you could use a semi-permanent dye. These dyes are free from ammonia and as a result, are less aggressive on your hair.

Another option to try is a hair gloss. This can revive your current color and add shine.

It is semi-permanent and is absorbed into the cortex without putting the hair through any major chemical stress.

Preparing Your Hair for a Perm

During the process of a perm, your hair will be exposed to chemicals and high heat for a few hours- this has the potential to wreak havoc with your mane.

There are a few things you can do to prepare:


It is a good idea to consult a professional stylist who is experienced. They will be able to closely examine your hair and see if it is healthy and strong enough to withstand a perm.

Hit The Brakes (For A While)

Your hair needs to be in optimum condition to make the most of a perm. Untreated hair usually holds a perm best.

If your hair is dry, damaged, or color-treated, it might be a good idea to put your perming plans on hold for a month or two so hair has time to recover.


Before you have your hair permed, make sure it is nourished. Use repair treatments and/ or deep conditioning treatments.

Look for products that are infused with keratin to help replenish strength in your hair.

Cut Your Losses

You may need to get those dry, damaged ends cut off for a good perm to be possible.

Avoid Treatments

Some treatments to avoid once you have decided to get a perm are henna color, herbal hair treatment, and a keratin treatment.

These all have the potential to leave a coating around the hair which can interfere with the chemical process of the perm. You could be left with lifeless curls lacking in bounce.

Make sure you let your stylist know if you have had any of these treatments in the past- even if it was years ago.

Avoid Layering Hair Too Much

If hair has been thinned too much, it will be more difficult to hold a curl.

A perm often works best on a certain haircut to achieve the best result. Some perms require a haircut of one length and a heavy bottom.

How to Take Care of Permed Hair

How to Take Care of Permed Hair

There are a few things you can do to take care of your permed hair and prolong its lifespan.

Avoid Washing

Avoid washing permed hair for 48 hours after the process. This is to ensure the chemical products will not be deactivated.

Furthermore, it is advisable to avoid washing hair on a daily basis.

This gives the scalp time to reintroduce its natural oils to the hair.

Try using a dry shampoo between washes if you feel your hair needs something.

Shampoo Choice

Consider your choice of shampoo. If possible, choose a shampoo specifically formulated for permed hair.

Alternatively, you can use a shampoo designed for color-treated hair. These will help replenish moisture lost from the chemical process of perming.

Try to avoid shampoos containing sulfates or parabens as these can further dry out the hair.

The top priority at this point is moisture so make sure the shampoo will do that.

The more botanical ingredients and the fewer chemical ingredients in the shampoo, the better this will be to nourish your hair.

It also reduces the chance of any reaction between the chemicals from the perming process which may have remained in the hair follicles, reacting with chemicals from the shampoo.

Limit Heat

Try to limit the amount of time you spend styling your hair with heat- that means blow dryer, straightening irons, curling tongs, etc.

When you do use these, make sure you use a heat protectant for your hair.

Tips for Perming and Coloring Your Hair At Home

Perming at home

If you have decided to perm or color your hair at home, we have put together a few helpful tips:

Perm Buddy

You should have a perm buddy. It is almost impossible to perm your hair evenly by yourself. A perm buddy should be someone reliable you can trust and who is willing to help with this.

Hair Type

Choose the right type of home perm kit for your hair type. Modern home perm kits use much less potent chemicals than those of the past. These kits make it easier for perms to ‘take’.

However, making sure you choose a good quality home perm kit could mean the difference between a successful outcome and a failed outcome.

Perm Rods

Ensure you choose the correct size perm rods for your hair and the style you are hoping to achieve.

Perm rods are color-coded according to size. There are guides available to help you choose the correct size and type of rod according to your circumstances.

Before you proceed, make sure you have researched which rods will benefit you most.

Home Color

If you have decided to color your hair at home, have a read through the tips below:

Get Two Boxes

It is worthwhile buying two boxes of your chosen dye. You don’t want to run out of dye midway through the process.

If your hair is longer than shoulder length or quite thick, it is likely you will need the second box too.

Do A Strand Test

This is important so don’t skip it. Try the color on a few trimmed or hidden hairs to make sure the color result is what you want.

At this point, it is also worthwhile doing a patch test. Dab a little of the dye solution behind your ear or on your inner elbow and leave it to dry.

After 24 hours, if no adverse reaction has occurred, it is safe to proceed with using the dye.

Protect Your Skin

Using a stick of solid lip balm can help protect your skin from those tell-tale dye stripes. Just glide a little lip balm along your hairline and around your ears before applying the dye.

Be Prepared

Make sure you read the instructions that come with your dye carefully. Have all the things you will need easily accessible:

  • Color brush and bowl
  • Dye kit
  • Disposable shower cap
  • Latex-free disposable gloves
  • Clear solid lip balm
  • Hair clips

Dry hair

Always start dyeing on dry hair. If hair is wet, the dye may not ‘take’ or it could become diluted, giving you a different outcome to what you expected.

Use Bowl and Brush

Don’t just squirt the dye mixture from the bottle. This might be convenient, but it doesn’t always give the evenest results. Instead, squirt the mixture out into a bowl and paint it on. This will give more professional results.

Start At The Roots

Start by applying dye to the roots as they need the most processing time. Allow the color to develop for the time indicated in the instructions before combing through the rest of the hair.

Split hair into four to six sections like the professionals do to ensure full coverage. Hair clips can help with this.

All in all, it is strongly advised to avoid perming your hair and dyeing it on the same day.

You can certainly have both treatments done, but the result will be better if you leave a few weeks between them.

With a little patience and forward planning, you can achieve the beautiful curls or waves you are looking for in the color of your choice.

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