Perm Or Color First: Which One Should You Do And Why?

If you want to modify the look of your hair, you can think about getting a perm or color first, or both. A perm can give you curly, wavy, or voluminous hair, whilst a color can change the hue, tone, or dimension of your hair. However, before you make an appointment at the salon, you may be wondering if you should perm or color your hair first. And what are the advantages and disadvantages of each option?. In this blog post, we will address these concerns of perms and color and offer advice on how to select the ideal order for your hair goals and needs.
Perm or Color First

Perm or Color First: The Basics

Perming and coloring your hair are both chemical treatments that change the structure and look of your hair. A perm breaks and restores the links that keep your hair in its natural pattern, whereas a color deposits or removes colors from the shaft of your hair. Both techniques can harm your hair if performed poorly or excessively, and they can also interfere with one another if performed too close together.

The conventional guideline is that you should perm your hair before coloring it, not vice versa. This is because a perm can fade or change the color of your hair, whereas a color can weaken or damage your hair, making it less receptive to a perm. There are, however, several caveats and aspects to consider before making your selection, such as:

1. The Type And Condition Of Your Hair

If you have fine, thin, or damaged hair, you should avoid getting both a perm and a color because it can do more harm than good. If you have thick, coarse, or healthy hair, you can perform both a perm and a color, but you should wait at least two weeks between them to allow your hair to recover.

Considering your hair condition
Considering your hair condition

2. The Type And Intensity Of The Perm And The Color

If you want a light or natural-looking perm, such as a body wave or a digital perm, you can perform it after coloring your hair because it will not have a significant impact on the color. If you want a powerful or dramatic perm, such as a spiral or a root perm, you should perform it before coloring your hair, as it will substantially change the color of your hair. So, should you perm or color first? Definitely, I am sure that you have the answer.

Similarly, if you want a delicate or gentle color, such as a gloss or a semi-permanent color, you can do it before a perm because it will not cause too much damage to your hair. If you want a bright or harsh color, such as a bleach or a permanent color, do it after a perm because it will weaken your hair and make it less suited for a perm.

3. The Desired Result And Maintenance Of Your Hair

If you want your perm to last longer and look better, do it before applying a color, as the color might fade or alter your perm over time. If you want your color to be more brilliant and uniform, do it after a perm, as a perm might modify or unevenly distribute your color. You should also consider how frequently you want to touch up your perm or color, as well as how much money you want to spend on hair care products and treatments.

The desired result and maintenance of your hair
The desired result and maintenance of your hair

Perm Or Color First: The Pros and Cons

To help you decide whether you should perm or color your hair first, here are some pros and cons of each option:

1. Perm First, Color Later

  • Pros: Because your color will not fade or affect your perm, it will last longer and look better. Your perm will not fluctuate or unevenly distribute your color, it will be more brilliant and consistent. You will have more color selections and versatility because you can see how your perm looks on your hair.
  • Cons: Your perm can harm your hair, making it porous and prone to color loss. Your hair color can weaken it and leave it dry and brittle. You’ll have to wait at least two weeks between perms and colors, which can be inconvenient and time-consuming.
Pros and cons of perm first, color later
Pros and cons of perm first, color later

2. Color First, Perm Later

  • Pros: Your color will be less damaged and more stable, as your perm will not fade or alter your color. Your perm will be more effective and uniform, as your color will not weaken or damage your hair. You will not have to wait too long between your color and your perm, which can be more convenient and fast. Thus, you’ve known the pros of color first, perm later. Which should you choose? Perm or color first?
  • Cons: Your perm can change or uneven your color, especially if you have a strong or dramatic perm. Your color can interfere with your perm, especially if you have a vivid or harsh color. You will have less flexibility and options in choosing your perm, as you will have to consider how your color will affect your perm.
Pros and cons of color first, perm later
Pros and cons of color first, perm later

Can You Dye Your Hair With A Perm?

Yes, you can dye your hair after getting a perm, but it’s generally recommended to wait at least a week or two before applying hair dye. Perming and coloring involve the use of chemicals that can affect the structure of your hair, and doing both processes too close together can potentially lead to damage.

Here are a few tips to keep in mind when dyeing your hair after a perm:

  • Wait for the Right Moment: Give your hair some time to recover after the perm. Waiting a week or two is usually recommended to give your hair time to stabilize.
  • Consider Hair Condition: Beside considering perm or color first, you need to know your hair condition. It may be more ideal for coloring if it seems healthy and resilient. If your hair is damaged or too dry, you should wait a little longer and focus on feeding and conditioning it in the interim
Perm and dye hair - Can I combine it at the same time
Perm and dye hair – Can I combine it at the same time?
  • Professional Advice: If you are unsure or your hair is in poor condition, it is best to check with a professional stylist or colorist. They can analyze the quality of your hair and give you unique advise depending on your specific scenario.
  • Select a Gentle Dye: Select a hair dye that is specifically formulated for use on chemically treated hair. These formulations are frequently milder and less likely to cause subsequent harm.
  • Deep Conditioning: Deep condition your hair before and after coloring to help preserve hydration and recover any lost nutrients.

How Soon Can I Color My Hair After A Perm?

You have the answer for perm or color first through above parts. It’s normally advised to wait at least a week or two after receiving a perm before dyeing your hair. Perming chemicals can make your hair more porous, and applying color right away might result in uneven color absorption or damage. Waiting allows the cuticle of your hair to close and your hair to settle.
How Long After A Perm Can You Color Your Hair
How Long After A Perm Can You Color Your Hair?

However, you must examine the exact products used during the perm as well as the quality of your hair. You may be able to color your hair sooner if your hair feels healthy and robust and you followed the post-perm care guidelines. If, on the other hand, your hair is damaged or severely dry after the perm, it is best to wait a little longer before adding hair color to avoid putting further stress on your hair.

If you’re unsure, consultzwith your stylist or a professional colorist. They can examine your hair’s condition and give you unique suggestions depending on your specific scenario.


A perm and a color are both chemical processes that can change the shape and appearance of your hair. The order in which you do them can affect the outcome and the health of your hair. So, perm or color first? The general rule of thumb is that you should perm your hair before you color it, not the other way around. We hope that this blog post has helped you understand the pros and cons of color or perm first, and how to choose the best order for your hair goals and needs.

But, if you are afraid of your natural hair damaging, you can consider to coloring permed hair extensions of Apohair. Apohair is a reputable Vietnamese hair supplier with more than 10,000 products, and we have 2 large hair factory in Vietnam. Our ODM/OEM services will meet your demands. So, why wait?

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