How Long After a Perm Should You Get Braids?

Consider waiting a while after chemical processing before braiding your locks.

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Chemical processing is both a blessing and a curse: the chemicals combine to make your hair look downright amazing. Bouncy, fresh, shiny and sleek -- something you might not be able to accomplish with your natural hair texture. However, chemicals can also cause stress on your hair. If you recently had a perm application, you might consider waiting a few weeks before putting your hair into tightly bound braided styles.

Length of Wait

In general, wait about six weeks after perming or relaxing your hair before you braid it up. The exception to this is very loose, larger braids -- the kind you might wear at night to go to bed. But super-small, super-tight braids are a no-no after any kind of chemical processing. And if you experienced any kind of adverse reaction to the chemicals, you might want to tack on another two to three weeks beyond that, just to be sure your hair doesn't start to break off.

Why Wait?

Chemicals make your hair look fab, but they can be murder on your tresses. Not only do the chemicals change the composition of your locks, but also the alcohol found in perm products dries your hair out like you wouldn't believe. It takes some serious TLC to keep your hair healthy after a perm, something you cannot accomplish if your hair is braided up.

Alternative Styles

If you've got a curly perm, then you might just leave your hair loose and enjoy the curls. If you've got a perm relaxer and your hair is bone straight, then you might leave in loose braids or pull it into loose ponytail styles as a way to play with it. Enjoy what the chemicals did for your locks and try to hold off on braiding it so soon after processing.

Additional Considerations

Remember, no matter what style you come up with after you get a perm, you need to seriously care for your hair. Lots of deep conditioning, limited restrictive styles and only a minimal amount of goopy hair products are all recommendations to keep in mind. You might also use a leave-in conditioner to ensure that your locks are getting plenty of nourishment after getting a perm.

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