The Best Home Perm for Tinted Hair

The right home perm can keep your locks looking healthy.

Photo: NA/ Images

Any time you chemically treat your hair, it becomes more porous. It’s like adding more holes to a sponge. Over time, the more porous your locks become, the quicker your strands absorb a perming solution. This is a good thing if you love wearing curly locks, but the process can devastatingly assault your hair and scalp. Taking the time to shop for the best home perm kit can save you from a hair treatment that ends in tears.

How Perms and Color Treatments Work

In an interview for magazine “Modern Salon,” chemist Joe Santy says that hair tints and perms cause your tresses to swell and soften so the chemical can penetrate it better. When the hair swells, your locks are robbed of the natural proteins and bonds that make them shiny, soft and flexible. Hair tints and perm solutions both contain ammonia, and perm kits also use the damaging chemical ammonium thioglycolate. Consequently, you might get the look you want, but your hair silently suffers. With the right home perm kit, however, you can help prevent some of the damage and resulting frizz.

What to Look For

According to Santy, modern perm solutions have made it possible to achieve pleasing results even if you've tinted your hair. He says the most important thing to look for is the right formula based on the level of curl you want and your hair type. As you shop, you’ll notice perm kits that are acid-based, alkaline-based and thio-free. Since your colored tresses are so vulnerable to damage after a color treatment, choose a perm kit that's thio-free, is acid-based and has low levels of ammonia. You might find home perm kits that are specifically for use on tinted hair, giving you an easy solution. The best perm solution for colored hair, according to Santy, comes with a pre-perm lotion that has a protein conditioner. This pre-treatment helps improve the hair cuticles and the flexibility of your locks.


Even though perm treatments have joined the modern world, they can still affect the condition of your hair and scalp. Some home perm kits don’t come with a pre-perm lotion, so you may need to hunt around a beauty supply store for a bottle. Before you apply any new product onto your lovely locks, do a patch test on an area of your body recommended by the manufacturer. Otherwise, if your skin is sensitive or has an allergic reaction, you could end up with a painful rash on your scalp, bald patches and the worst hair day of your life.

Preparing for a Perm

Your hair is like a canvas. As an artist would prepare a canvas before painting, you should prepare your mane for your hair treatment. In the month leading up to your perm, regularly condition your hair with protein-rich moisturizers. For the best results, Santy says you should tint your hair before applying a perm solution. When you’re ready to curl your hair, use the pre-perm lotion along with the perming solution.

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