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Properly caring for your permed tresses can help ensure the longevity of the chemical treatment and keep your locks looking envy-worthy. When you get a perm, the bonds in your hair that make it strong and flexible break down, so the ideal hair care products are those that help reinforce weaknesses in the shaft and keep your locks hydrated.
The best shampoos for permed hair are those that are protein-based, give your hair extra moisture and are sulfate free. Protein-based shampoos are those that have ingredients like silk amino acids, wheat or soy extracts. The protein in a hair cleanser will help keep your hair strong and prevent breakage. When shopping for shampoo, look for those formulated specifically for permed or chemically treated hair. While moisturizing shampoos that are protein-based or have hair-strengthening ingredients are best for permed hair, a gentle shampoo -- like baby shampoo -- is a good, short-term substitute if you're in a pinch.
Washing Your Hair
The way you wash your permed hair is as important as the shampoo you choose. Wait about 24 to 48 hours after getting a perm to wash your hair, depending on what your stylist recommends. Your hair will need time to adjust to the chemical treatment after you get it permed, and shampooing it too soon can cause it to further dry out. When you wash your hair, concentrate on cleaning your scalp so that the ends don’t become too dry and the roots too oily. The website Naturally Curly recommends that you don’t shampoo your hair every day because your hair can become dry. Instead, wash it every other day, or use conditioner every day and shampoo every other day.
Conditioner will help detangle your curly locks and add moisture. “Ladies’ Home Journal” recommends alternating between a moisturizing and protein conditioner every week. If you chose a shampoo that is specific for permed hair, use the conditioner that accompanies the product. If not, look for a rich conditioner made for chemically treated, dry or curly hair. When you condition your hair, focus on applying the crème rinse to the bottom half of your locks because that is the part that is most at risk for becoming dry.
The shampoo and conditioner you choose won’t matter if you don’t gently style your hair after a shower. Gently towel-dry wet, permed hair and brush your tresses while they’re still wet. Apply your styling products and let your hair air-dry. Heated styling tools can quickly dry your hair. If you must dry your hair, use a heat-protecting serum in your locks and a diffuser attachment on the dryer. Once your curls are dry, don’t let a comb near them, or your mane will become a frizzy nightmare.