How to Reverse a Perm

A bad perm not only damages your appearance--it can also strip the hair of natural texture and color. Whether too much curl or not enough curl is the cause of the problem, learn how to reverse a perm to regain your original hair quality.

Wash hair immediately if you believe your hair is too curly after a home perm. The washing relaxes the perm and a deep conditioning treatment over the following couple of days loosens curls that are too tight.

Choose a salon in your area that specializes in the reverse perm process. Whether you've given yourself a bad perm or a professional perm hasn't lived up to your expectations, a reverse perm--under the care of a qualified, experienced hairstylist--can remove the unwanted curl.

Expect a special chemical solution to be applied to the hair to reverse the perm. The solution is similar to the solution used to give a perm, only rods aren't used. The solution is repeatedly worked through the hair with a fine-tooth comb until noticeable curl relaxation is present.

Ask your hairstylist for tips on how to care for your hair. She should advise you not to have any chemical processes done to your hair for a period of time after you reverse a perm.


Deep conditioning treatments encourage tight curls to loosen up.


A reverse perm can cause damage to the hair in various ways. Dryness of the hair is the most common side effect and can be combated with moisture-rich shampoo. More serious hair problems such as hair loss, breakage and scalp rashes also occur. Talk with your hairstylist before a reverse perm to discuss possible side effects. The cost to reverse a perm varies based on the length and curl of the hair. It's an expensive process--expect to pay at least $300 to reverse a perm.

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