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How soon after colouring can I perm my hair?

Updated April 17, 2017

Hair colour can be used to cover grey hair or to transform hair from one colour to another. Perms create volume, curls, or waves. How soon hair can be coloured after perming depends on the type of hair colour used.

Permanent hair colour

Both perms and permanent hair colours utilise hydrogen peroxide. Hydrogen peroxide can alter hair colour by lightening it. Because of that, most stylists schedule permanent hair colouring and perms at least two weeks apart, with the perms first. Otherwise, a perm could lighten already colour treated hair.

Demi permanent hair colour

Demi permanent hair colour uses a colour developer that contains small amounts of ammonia or hydrogen peroxide. Therefore, most perms can be performed the same day as a demi permanent hair colour treatment. Again, the perm should come first to ensure that freshly colour treated hair is not lightened. Check for scalp irritation after the perm before applying hair colour.

Semi permanent hair colour

Semi permanent hair colours do not contain agents that lighten hair; these colours are safe to apply the same day as a perm. But once again, the perm contains hydrogen peroxide, which can affect freshly coloured hair. Perm first and check for scalp irritation before colouring.

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About the Author

David Arnold became a freelance writer in 2004. He has worked as a phlebotomist and world traveler for more than 8 years, accruing a wide range of medical and travel knowledge. David enjoys writing about travel, DIY projects and health related topics. He attends the University of Missouri St. Louis and South Western Illinois College in pursuit of a nursing degree.