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Perm for Bleached Hair: Will It Damage Your Hair?

Want to perm your bleached hair? Find out if it’s safe in our comprehensive guide!

Written by Ioana Moldovan
Perm for Bleached Hair

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Getting a perm for bleached hair can be a tricky process. Bleached hair is already weakened by chemicals. Adding a perm to the mix might seem risky. Yet, many people want both the light color and the curls.

Is it possible to have the best of both worlds? Yes, but caution is key. It’s essential to know that perming over bleached hair can cause more damage if you don’t know what you’re doing.

This article will guide you through the dos and don’ts. We’ll help you achieve those dreamy curls without sacrificing your hair’s health.

Perms And Bleached Hair

Perms And Bleached Hair

The chemical processes of perming and bleaching can both weaken the hair structure. This makes it important to approach combining them with caution to reduce damage.

The Science Behind Perms

Perms change the structure of your hair to create curls or waves. This process involves using chemicals. These chemicals include an alkaline solution that breaks down the protein bonds in your hair.

The perm solution works with the natural shape of your hair. After applying the solution, you must use perm rods to mold your hair into the desired shape.

A neutralizing agent is then applied to set the curls and reform the protein bonds. This results in a lasting change to your hair’s texture.

The Science Behind Hair Bleaching

Hair bleaching involves using chemicals to strip the color from your hair, making it lighter.

Hydrogen peroxide is the main ingredient in most cases. It opens the hair cuticles and reacts with the melanin in your hair shaft. The bleach removes the color, revealing a lighter shade.

This process can be damaging, as it weakens the hair structure and makes it more susceptible to breakage.

Can You Perm Bleached Hair?

Yes, you can perm bleached hair, but take precautions and use products designed for color-treated hair.

Bleached hair is more fragile and prone to damage. You need to choose a perm formulated for bleached or damaged hair.

Consult with a professional hairdresser before taking this step. They can assess your hair’s condition and suggest the best approach to achieve the desired outcome.

Does Perm Damage Hair More Than Bleach?

Perming can be less damaging if you use the correct type of perm. Still, both perming and bleaching involve using chemicals that can damage your hair. The level of damage depends on factors like:

  • The type of chemicals used
  • The hair’s condition
  • The application process

Bleaching removes hair color, making it more fragile and prone to breakage.

The Risk And Damage

The Risk And Damage

When it comes to perming bleached hair, there are several risks and potential damages you need to be aware of. Bleaching already strains your hair, making it more susceptible to breakage and damage.

Some risks of perming bleached hair include:

  • Dry and frizzy hair: Perming can cause your hair to become dry and frizzy due to the changes in the outer layers of the hair.
  • Weakened hair: The chemicals in perms alter the protein bonds in your hair, which may further weaken it.
  • Breakage: Damaged and overprocessed hair is more prone to breakage when permed.
  • Permanent damage: Both bleaching and perming can inflict permanent damage to your hair.

To reduce these risks and prevent further damage, you can:

  1. Wait for a few weeks after bleaching to perm your hair.
  2. Deeply condition your hair before and after the perm.
  3. Opt for a gentle perm that works best with your hair type.
  4. Avoid heat styling and harsh hair products.
  5. Consult a professional hairstylist for guidance.

Types Of Perms

Perming bleached hair requires extra care and choosing the right type of perm to avoid further damage. There are various types of perms available, as follows:

Comparison Table Between the Types of Perms

Type of PermKey IngredientsProcessing TimeSuitability for Bleached Hair
Acid PermGlyceryl monothioglycolate15-45 minsRecommended
Alkaline PermAmmonium thioglycolate10-30 minsNot recommended
Thio-Free PermCysteamine hydrochloride20-40 minsSuitable
Cold PermAmmonium thioglycolate10-30 minsNot recommended
Cysteamine PermCysteamine hydrochloride20-40 minsSuitable

What Kind Of Perm Is Best For Bleached Hair?

For bleached hair, choose a gentle perm on your hair while providing the desired curls. The following options are best for bleached hair due to their gentle formulas:

  • Acid Perm: An acid perm uses glyceryl monothioglycolate as its active ingredient, which is less damaging to the hair. It takes longer to process but provides a more natural wavy appearance.
  • Thio-Free Perm: Thio-free perms use cysteamine hydrochloride as the main ingredient. This type of perm is gentle on the hair and can work well on bleached hair.

Remember that perms can be unpredictable on bleached hair. It’s essential to talk to a professional stylist to find the best option for your specific hair condition.

How To Perm Bleached Hair

Perming bleached hair requires extra care due to the chemical treatments it has undergone. Here is a step-by-step guide to help you perm your bleached hair:

  1. Wait a few weeks after bleaching: Allow at least two to three weeks between the bleaching and perming.
  2. Clean your hair: Use a clarifying shampoo to remove dirt, oil, and any buildup from your hair. Rinse well and dry your hair.
  3. Detangle: Brush your hair to remove all tangles, ensuring it’s smooth for the perming process.
  4. Prepare the perming solution: Gather all necessary products: the perm solution, waving lotion, activator, and a neutralizer.
  5. Apply the perming solution: Follow the instructions provided with the perming kit. Make sure to cover all strands evenly with the solution.
  6. Add texture: Use perm rods or other methods to achieve your desired curl pattern. Wrap your hair around the rods without pulling too hard.
  7. Processing time: Check the instructions on your perming kit for the recommended processing time. Do not exceed this time to prevent further damage to your hair.
  8. Rinse and neutralize: Rinse the chemical solution out of your hair using warm water. Apply the neutralizing solution according to the instructions and let it sit for the specified time.
  9. Final rinse and style: Rinse your hair one last time and remove the rods. Style your permed hair as you desire, and enjoy your gorgeous curls.

How To Care For Permed Bleached Hair

How To Care For Permed Bleached Hair

Your permed, bleached hair needs extra attention as it’s soft, vulnerable, and prone to damage. To keep your waves, curls, and volume looking fresh and healthy, follow these simple tips:

  • Wash: Use a sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner to protect your hair’s cuticles and natural curls. Don’t rub your hair roughly with a towel, instead, squeeze out excess water.
  • Hydrate and moisturize: Use deep-conditioning treatments weekly. This will prevent hair fall and maintain the integrity of the disulfide bonds in your hair.
  • Avoid heat styling: Heat styling tools can further damage your permed and dyed hair. Limit their usage and use a heat protectant spray if necessary.
  • Protein treatments: Include protein treatments in your hair care routine to strengthen and nourish your hair.

Keep these tips in mind:

  • Be gentle with your hair
  • Use sulfate-free products
  • Hydrate and moisturize
  • Limit heat styling
  • Try protein treatments

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the safest perm for color-treated hair?

The safest perm for color-treated hair is an acid perm. Acid perms have a lower pH level, which causes less damage to your hair than alkaline perms. These perms are gentler on the hair and work well with color-treated or damaged hair. They provide natural, long-lasting curls. Still, they might not be ideal for all hair types, so consult with your stylist before choosing this option.

Is there a gentle perm option for bleached hair?

A gentle perm option for bleached hair is a low-pH perm, like the acid perm mentioned above. These perms are milder and cause less damage to your hair. Consult with a professional hairstylist to ensure that your hair is in good condition before perming it.

Should I bleach my hair before or after getting a perm?

It’s generally better to bleach your hair before getting a perm. Bleaching hair after a perm can cause serious damage since both processes involve chemicals. If you want to bleach and perm your hair, wait at least two weeks after bleaching before you get a perm to give your hair some recovery time.

Can you perm bleached hair with Olaplex?

Olaplex is a hair treatment that can help maintain the integrity of your hair during chemical processes like perming or coloring. While it won’t perform the perm itself, using Olaplex during the perming process can help protect and repair your bleached hair. A professional hairstylist can incorporate Olaplex into your perm treatment.