How to Reverse a Perm

Written by ehow fashion, style & personal care editor
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How to Reverse a Perm
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.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging


  1. 1

    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.

  2. 2

    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.

  3. 3

    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.

  4. 4

    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.

Tips and warnings

  • 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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