Washing Hair & Perm Service

Towel drying long hair
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Q: I am getting a perm tomorrow. Do you think it will take better if I do not wash my hair beforehand? I have had trouble with the underneath hair not taking well.
I know that the stylist should leave the chemical on the "tougher" hair longer, after reading your website. I just want to know if there is any effect of not washing beforehand. What about coloring my hair? Is there any effect from not washing the day before?

A: Actually, before any perm service you want to clean the hair thoroughly. In fact, most salons will shampoo the hair using a clarifying shampoo to remove any excess oils and residue from the hair so that the perm solution can better penetrate the hair.
If you are concerned over keeping the hair safe and healthy, you can give yourself a deep conditioning treatment a few days before the perm.
Not washing the hair prior to a perm service can result in poor perm results. Oils and product build-up can prevent the waving lotion from penetrating the hair shaft and can keep the hair from conforming properly to the shape of the perm rod. This can mean limper curls and results that don't last as long as desired.
For coloring, you want the hair to be clean and dry before you apply the color. You should shampoo the hair the day of your appointment provided you have enough time to make sure the hair is fully dry before your appointment (or the time you plan to color yourself).
Avoid using styling products before a color service as anything that coats the hair surface can prevent the color from penetrating and lead to uneven color results.
See also:
What is the importance of removing product build up before starting the perming process?
Is it better to have clean hair before getting highlights?