Can you straighten a perm

Can You Straighten A Perm? Three Expert Methods You Can Perform At Home

Your perm can make you look like the most gorgeous lady in town, but even you might get tired of keeping a single style on yourself for a very long time. Often out of such monotony or for a change in looks, we find individuals asking this question: can you straighten a perm? To quench your thirst on the matter, the short answer is: YES! You can!

The long answer is however not that simple and straightforward. The straightening of a perm can be both temporarily or permanently done. Both of these procedures can be intrusive to your hair’s natural moisture and an incorrectly performed operation can damage your hair to a high degree.

So, to know everything about straightening a perm – the available methods, safe precautions or precautions – you can follow this article right now! Before diving into the precures, you should have the proper tools like a flat iron, so learn how to choose the best one in the market.

If you follow everything correctly, you will end up with a straightened perm in the safest possible way!

What Is A Perm?

What is a perm

A perm is an induced curl to your hair that doesn’t go away easily – after shower or prolonged exposure to heat. It’s achieved through a chemical treatment which isn’t always kind to your hair. Perms are often done out of passion and is the short form of ‘permanent’ which speaks the duration of the curls.

Although it really doesn’t last till eternity, perming has a significant downside to your hair’s health. Experts suggest that you equip yourself with curling iron knowledge and get a temporary solution instead of perm. This way, you’ll have hair strands that are still nourished enough and not stiff without moisture – but don’t make using curling iron your regular habit either!

Question: Can You Straighten A Perm?

You already know the short answer to this question. The long answer is that there are three major methods of straightening a perm. Two of these are temporary solutions and one is almost permanent. Ideally, doing anything with your perm is going to be harmful for your hair one way or another, so be mindful of that.

One of the temporary solutions is achieved through using a flat iron in the regular way. Remember, you must wait at least two weeks before getting your perms through the iron, and even then it can leave behind significant damage due to the heat. Applying some solution like Argan oil can reduce the damage whatsoever.

The second temporary solution isn’t ideal as it’ll mess up your hair’s texture for the time being, but it’s the least harmful of the three. It’s done through applying hair gel on your hair strands and overpowering the curls. Apart from being a temporary solution, it doesn’t really work for everyone, so it’s necessary that you give it enough time before considering.

The final solution is getting an at-home perm kit and using chemicals to revert the perm back to fine hair. But after a perm, which itself is a chemical process, another chemical-induced straightening process can harm your hair beyond any repair. And even if you opt for this method knowing the risks, do it at least a couple of months after the initial perming procedure.

In our following section, we’ll elucidate on these two straightening solutions. However, you can have a look at some of the natural methods which can create fruitful results even for a perm!

How To Straighten Permed Hair?

How to straighten permed hair

Let’s check out the three methods of straightening permed hair and the steps you can take to reach your final destination:

Using A Flat Iron

Using a flat iron to straighten your permed hair has always been a temporary and go-to solution in such cases. For instance, if you have a function to attend and want to straighten up your perm only for this occasion, then using a flat iron can be your perfect cheat trick.

To go through with the process, you have to make sure that you don’t put your hair into harm’s way. Leave at least a couple weeks of time in between your perming procedure and straightening with flat iron, otherwise you might see your hair strands breaking apart in places.

Apply a heat proof solution beforehand so that the exposure to heat doesn’t affect your strands more than necessary. Take small groups of hair after applying the solution and iron it in the regular way.

Once everything is done, your straightened hair is good to go for your specific occasion! Remember that it’ll remain straight only for a couple of days, and a wash can revert your hair back to the original permed position, thus rendering it a temporary fix to your question.

Gel Method

This method is sometimes less relevant than the flat iron method, because not all perms can be straightened with hair gel. Also, you have to give it some time to find the perfect hair gel for your specific needs. You can make an assessment by comparing the type of hair you have, the perm category and the gel that suits your situation the best.

Once you’re certain that the gel you’ve obtained is the ideal one for you, start off with freshly washed and dried up hair. Take small bits of gel on your palm, rub gently to spread it out and divide your hair into smaller sections to apply it out evenly.

For each of the sections, make sure that the gel gets smoothly rubbed to your hair strands. After the gel application, bring out your blow-dryer and a round brush to spin it and blow hot hair over the brush. This way, gel will be sealed into your hair strands and make it straight for a specific duration of time.

At-Home Perm Kit

Your at-home kit contains a perm solution – the very one you’ve used to get your perm done in the first place, and a neutralizer. Both of these chemicals will be utilized one after the other during the straightening phase.

It’s a must that you leave a couple months of latency between your perm and straightening process for the sake of your hair. Before starting anything, you should get a hydration procedure for your hair – be that by a professional or yourself if you feel confident enough.

If you prefer to do it at home, get a shower and apply the perm lotion on your hair. Run your comb through your hair strands gently to straighten them up nicely to your desired texture. Create your preferred hairstyle with your comb and keep on combing for around 10 minutes.

If you can’t see any significant change, then comb for an additional 5 minutes in the same way. When you notice that your curls have started to give up, you’ll know that you’ve fulfilled your target.

Rinse the solution off of your hair under running warm water, make sure you’re thorough and take all the time you need. Mop your hair but don’t rub it, as it can mess up your texture. Apply the neutralizer on the dried up hair like hair conditioner.

Once done, rinse it off completely without leaving any trace behind. It can take you more than 5 minutes as neutralizers aren’t easy for removal. Use your towel to gently dry up your hair again without any sort of rubbing.

Considering you’ve followed these steps precisely, you’ll be left with fine & straight hair that was your initial goal!

Precautions To Straightening Permed Hair

There are a few precautionary steps you can follow before straightening your permed hair. This will ensure you a smooth procedure along with your hair’s maximum safety.

  • Apply deep shampoo and conditioning before each of the methods for a better result. Trying these on with a hair entangled with residue makes it only difficult and the solutions won’t evenly reach your hair strands.
  • Don’t leave your hair exposed to flat iron’s heat for a prolonged duration. Adjust the temperature to the specific setting to achieve the most optimum outcome.
  • Only the flat iron method requires blow drying, so learn the basics of such procedures to spare your hair some heat-based damage.
  • Never feel reluctant to visit a professional stylist for such actions. DIY isn’t always the only solution and it’s okay to take help once in a while instead of damaging yourself.

If you can follow these precautions, you’d hopefully get away with the least amount of damage to your hair.


Check out our FAQ section to find a few minor details about the straightening of your perm procedures and their surrounding factors.

Q: Can you undo a perm to go back to straight hair?

A: It can be done six months after getting your curly perm. The way is to get a straight perm that’ll undo the initial perm.

Q: Can olive oil get rid of a perm?

A: Yes! Olive oil has the power to loosen up your perm but it’s a lengthy process of months and it won’t give you instant results permanently.

Q: What do I do if my perm is too curly?

A: You can give yourself a deep conditioning solution which can loosen up your curls and make them a little relaxed for your convenience.

Final Opinion

Now that we’ve reached the end of this article, you’ve explored through the three mainstream methods up until this point. We hope we’ve been able to answer your question ‘can you straighten a perm?’ precisely and have provided you extensive knowledge on the methods.

Our verdict is to think smart – plan ahead before getting a perm which can be fruitful to your hair’s health in the long run. Because we believe committing to such treatments should be of a long term, and doing something permanent out of whim will cost you one way or another.

And if you find yourself permed already with the need to straighten up your hair, go for the flat iron method for a temporary change in your style. Don’t do it frequently as heat can damage your chemically curled hair.

Lastly, learn to love the curls that you’ve given yourself so passionately! They are wonderful!

I am Emily. I am a hair care enthusiast, and I like writing about it. Reading books and styling hair is one of my greatest passions. I have a knack for creativity, and I find pleasure in making art. I love going out in the field and basking under the sun on a cold day. My life motto is: "you only live once."

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