12 answers

Need Advice on Bad Hair Perm

Can anyone advise me on how to deal with a bad curly perm, besides cutting it all off? I had a permanent done last week and it is way to curly for my liking. I have long hair, almost one length. I also have grey roots that are growing in (about 2 inches), that make it look even worse. It is also very frizzy. I'd like it to be more of a wave, and of course, not frizzy. I've been using the curling iron to straighten it and lots and lots of conditioner. Is their a magic cure that doesn't require loads of time from me? Please help!

1 mom found this helpful

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

This is going to sound weird, but it worked for me when I got a horrifying perm when I was 16. I went to the drug store and bought a relaxer meant for African American hair. Took the perm completely out and did not dry up my hair. Only bad side effect - my hair was sort of greasy for about a week.

More Answers

Here's what I found about relaxing a frizzy perm:
Things You'll Need:

* Shampoo
* Conditioner
* Hot oil or deep-conditioning treatment
* Comb
* Olive oil

Step 1

Wash your hair with a moisturizing shampoo. If you received your perm within the past 72 hours, shampoo your hair as soon as possible. This will help to remove some of the perm's chemicals from your hair before they fully set the curl.
Step 2

Apply moisturizing conditioner to your hair.
Step 3

Comb your hair completely straight while the conditioner is still in your hair. Wait 5 to 10 minutes before rinsing it out. Continue combing your hair while you wait.
Step 4

Rinse your hair and then repeat the process. Shampoo, condition, comb, wait and rinse again.
Step 5

Put a hot oil treatment on your hair. This will help to add weight and gloss to your hair, thus relaxing the perm's curls. Use a hot oil treatment two times a week for more relaxation.
Step 6

Soak your hair in olive oil. This will add lots of shine to your hair while also weighing down the curls. The result will be looser, gentler curls and very shiny hair.

1 mom found this helpful

Oh to be so lucky. Ive had 2 perms now that have not taken. Im about to give up but I long for curly or wavy hair at least.
I would just continue to wash and condition, hot oil treatments and use an anti frizz serum/cream. Eventually it will relax. If you cut some length off it will make your curls spring up and appear curlier, so you might want to hold on to the length for now.

1 mom found this helpful

I got a terrible perm a few months ago. Shortly after that I started beauty school & was told I could get a "reverse perm". Luckily my hair was still healthy enough to tolerate the processing again. All they do is "perm" your hair without rods. They combed perm solution through my hair for about 20 min then followed the same procedure as would've been done for a regular perm (neutralizer/rinse). It worked great for me & my perm is gone. Hope that helps! Good Luck!

1 mom found this helpful

I would try John Frieda Shampoo and Conditioner - I have naturally frizzier hair and when I started using this, it stopped being frizzy and was very silky and smooth. It infuses moisture into your strands and will drastically cut down on the frizz!!! AND it's affordable and you can buy it almost anywhere! Also - don't fry your hair too much using straight irons and curling irons, etc - you can use leave in conditioner, gel, etc., and that should also help...and if you want to blow it dry, use a diffuser and turn your head upside down and diffuse dry it - that will cut down on split ends, etc and make it not so wild. It will take some time for it to repair itself, and then maybe you can try going natural. :) Bad perms have happened to the bets of us!!!

I've never had a perm, but I have curly hair and have learned to go with the curl. To avoid frizz, I use moose on wet hair, shake, and go. Hope you find a solution to make you happy.

Try a shampoo and conditioner with balsam in it. For some reason the balsam seems to relax a perm pretty quickly.

For the frizz I'd go with the Friz-eze products. They work fantastically and still keep the curl nice. They also have products to help "relax" the curl. In our family we have the problem of having curly hair and wanting straight ... so we've tried a LOT of different products LOL And for us the best has been the Friz-eze.

Definitely go easy on the curling iron as that can lead to more damage. Consider getting a trim of the ends in a week or so, just to get rid of some of the damage perms cause (I wouldn't get more than about a 1/4 of an inch taken off though).


I had the same thing happen to me. I was told to take an at home perm kit and put the developer on my wet hair and comb it with a comb. Once you get it to the desired wave, put on the neutralizer wait a few minutes then wash and condition. Hope this helps.


Since your perm is only a week old the good news is that it will relax some and be less curly. The bad news is that when perming the hair the chemical structure has been altered, hence the name, permanent. Keep up with the conditioning as that will further help to relax the curl. I wouldn't go crazy with a curling iron as that could do more damage. By next week you could put some semi-permanent color to blend the grey and will put a nice shine on as well. Without seeing you I can't be sure if it was overprocessed or if the rod size used was too small. You may have hair that takes a perm very easily. Information to remember the next time you get one. Good luck and be patient.

It's been nearly 20 years since I had my last perm, but I would recommend Prell or Johnson & Johnson baby shampoo. Though the latter is supposed to be gentler for baby's eyes, I recall my stylist telling me that they were very harsh and would "strip" the perm from my hair. (She told me as a warning to stay away from them to keep my perm. Hey, it was 20 yeas ago.)

In addition or instead of, you may want to try coloring your hair. Also many years ago, I bleached my hair blond. For years after I colored my hair to restore health and luster, not just color. That may help build up on your hair what's been burnt away by the perm.

Good luck!

The advice you have received so far about conditioning is great. A good reconstructor and leav in moisturizer will help with the frizz. Please do not try to reverse the perm yourself this will only cause more damage and make you situation worse. If you live in Norfolk, I own a salon in Willougby and would be happy to assess your hair for free. After seeing your hair can tell you what the best course of action will be. I can be reached at ###-###-####. Good Luck!

Try "It's a ten" (salons only)products. There is a leave in conditioner that will control the frizz. There is also a product called Frizz Ease which you can find at Walmart, Target,etc. Make sure you use a diffuser if you are blow drying your hair and do not use a bristle brush use a pic. Dry hair on low and scrunch with your fingers in order to get to get defined curls. Do not brush after it is dry. All perms will frizz if you are not using the proper products and brushes. Good luck.

This is going to sound weird, but it worked for me when I got a horrifying perm when I was 16. I went to the drug store and bought a relaxer meant for African American hair. Took the perm completely out and did not dry up my hair. Only bad side effect - my hair was sort of greasy for about a week.

Required Fields

Our records show that we already have a Mamapedia or Mamasource account created for you under the email address you entered.

Please enter your Mamapedia or Mamasource password to continue signing in.

Required Fields

, you’re almost done...

Since this is the first time you are logging in to Mamapedia with Facebook Connect, please provide the following information so you can participate in the Mamapedia community.

As a member, you’ll receive optional email newsletters and community updates sent to you from Mamapedia, and your email address will never be shared with third parties.

By clicking "Continue to Mamapedia", I agree to the Mamapedia Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.