Perm Before or After Surgery

Hair with perm rods
Photo: WichianKD/Shutterstock
Q: I am scheduled to have a surgical procedure done next week, and I need a new perm. Should I get it done before my surgery or wait until afterward?
A: I would advise you to go ahead with your perm service beforehand, particularly if having your hair permed makes it easier for you to maintain your preferred hairstyle.
However, if the surgery is going to inhibit your range of motion to be able to style your hair, you may find this problematic. In other words, surgical procedures affecting the lower body would be no trouble, but surgery that would affect the upper torso and musculature or the arms may mean you have discomfort in trying to style your hair, at least for a while.
The other consideration for timing your perm is that post-operative patients may be given any number of medications which could affect the hair's growth and its ability to absorb and respond to the chemicals used in perming the hair.
Some of these effects can be eliminated by the use of a clarifying shampoo before perming the hair, but in some cases, medications can cause the hair to simply resist perming altogether. If you go ahead and have the perm beforehand, you can bypass that situation altogether.
See also:
Can medication or anesthetics cause a perm to drop out?
Can I have my hair permed after conscious sedation?
Medications with side effects that might affect your hair