Tips On What To Do Before Perms

Hello my lovely group of followers!

So, there are some rules in the black community around perms that float around from ear to ear.

Don’t comb it too much, or you’ll get split ends. 

If you wet your perm, it’ll fall out.

Wrap it up every night, or it’ll end up looking crusty.

Black girls were taught that this was a kind of slipper slope. If you messed up once, you’d end up bald. Sometimes getting a perm is like buying an expensive chihuahua at a pet store. I’m going somewhere with this, trust me. It looks cute, and you think it’ll be a fun time, but no one tells you about the maintenance, the constant visiting the beauty salon so you can get a touch up, and not to mention the dent in your wallet.

I’m not sure if that analogy made complete sense. Whatever, I’m tired.

Anyway,  what are the real guidelines about perms, if they even exist? This guide will help shed some light on this whole perming business.

Disclaimer: There is a different kind of perm, where people with straight hair chemically alter their hair to make it curly. (Yeah, that’s a thing). This guide is only for people chemically straightening their hair. I might make another post about that some day.


Wait for your hair to become “dirty” before perming. It doesn’t have to be full of leaves and twigs, but the natural oils from your scalp will protect it from chemical damage.

Make sure that you hair is healthy before you perm. If your hair is dry, full of split ends, or many going through a dandruff problem, you should focus on fixing that first.

Apply a protein treatment on your hair to strengthen your hair strands and avoid breakage. Perms are chemicals, after all. Using them can cause your hair to become weak and brittle, so you have to prepare your scalp. Do the treatment roughly a week before the perm.

Protect your scalp with a lubricant, like Vaseline or coconut oil before applying the perm. I like applying coconut oil the day before I get a perm, so my hair is stronger. Right before you apply the perm, put Vaseline on your edges to protect your scalp and face.

Cleanse your hair with an apple cider vinegar rinse two weeks before you get a relaxer. Your hair should have natural oils, but it shouldn’t be held down with products. Again, use coconut oil or jojoba oil the day before you get a perm.

Do Not:

Agitate your scalp. What does that mean? No itching, scratching, or poking your scalp while you’re getting a perm.

Like, at all. I know this sounds like a no-brainer, but if you’ve following this guide you should remember that your hair needs to be dirty before you have a perm. That means that your scalp will probably be itchy, and it’ll probably be itchy. But this can cause scalp burns, when the perm chemicals get into your skin and burns you. They’re a huge pain in the butt are not supposed to be normal when you visit the salon, so try not to scratch!

Come in the beauty salon with tangled hair.  Combing your hair slightly tugs at your scalp, something you don’t want to do right before getting a perm. Make sure that your hair is easy to comb and is detangled before you go.

Give a kid a perm, at least until they’re a teenager. For the sake of their hairline, take this advice to heart. Early damage to their scalp may result in hair loss. Besides, I doubt they’ll be able to stay still anyway, haha.

Exercise before getting a perm. This sounds like some type of old wive’s tale, but it has some truth in it. Going for a run and other forms of exercise makes you sweat, which will sit heavy on your scalp. Sweat allows the body to detoxify itself, and contains waste and salt. This is dehydrating to the scalp and can cause you to itch it like crazy.


If you have any tips that I’ve missed or want to ask me questions about hair, tell me in the comments section!




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