Hairstyles, Hair Care & Fashion

Shampooed Permed Hair

Q: I just had my hair permed and after putting the neutralizer and leaving it on for around 15-20 minutes, the stylist's assistant was only supposed to wash my hair with conditioner, but mistakenly shampooed my hair! I read on your website that it's a myth to have to wait 24-48 hours before you shampoo, but this guy only waited 15-20 minutes. I haven't washed my hair yet since and read so many things online that either one or all of the following would happen:
(1) My hair would break/fall out because it was in such a vulnerable state and shampooed too soon,
(2) My curls would disappear in the next couple of washing,
(3) I would get uneven curls, where some parts would be straight and some parts curly. I am dreading washing my hair and seeing what would happen. What should I do to save my hair? Do you recommend I wait longer before doing anything to compensate for the early shampooing? If it becomes straight, how soon can I go back to another stylist and have it redone?
I also read that you should do anything (blow dry or use heat) on your newly permed hair for up to 2 weeks because the curls are still neutralizing. Is this true? Thank you so much for your advice!

A: First of all, leaving the neutralizer on the hair post perm for 15-20 minutes is more than ample to neutralize the hair and lock the curl (in fact it's much longer than I've ever heard of). And I am correct that the requirement to wait 24-48 hours is a myth. However, this advice is usually given to keep people from doing things that would have a negative impact on their newly permed hair.
Frankly, if you were going to have any adverse reactions to the hair being shampooed too soon, you would see evidence of it already. As long as the hair was neutralized properly, the curls you've gotten should be stable.
Losing your curls, or having uneven curl levels, is also something you should already see signs of if it's going to happen. The bottom line, however, is that regardless of what might happen once you shampoo the hair again, you have to go ahead and face it. You can't choose never to shampoo your hair again.
If you do encounter issues that you think stem from the previous perm service, I suggest going to a new salon and explaining to them exactly what you went through before, and asking them how they believe you should proceed. Best of luck to you.
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