Workout with Permed Hair

Woman with a permed bob during workout
Q: I have a perm, and I just started to workout. How do I keep my hair looking like I have a perm? I know I should wrap it before I workout, but I do sweat a lot.
A: Well, contrary to popular myth, if a perm service is properly performed, the hair will be as stable in the new wave-pattern as it was prior to perming. Caring for permed hair is simply a matter of dealing with the needs of the hair as a whole. If the hair is porous and lacking in moisture, then it needs added conditioning.
As for dealing with permed hair and sweat from exercise, the goal is to keep the hair looking and smelling healthy and clean. After a workout that results in excessive perspiration, you should cleanse the hair using either a very mild shampoo – watered down – applied to the scalp area and massaged gently and briefly then rinsed away.
For example: take a small bottle and apply ¼th baby shampoo and ¾th water and shake it to mix it thoroughly. Use this on the scalp after a workout in the showers, and massage it a little then rinse it away. Then style the hair as directed by your stylist who did the perm service.
If you aren’t in a situation where you can shower after a workout, then keep a spray-on, leave-in conditioner handy and apply it after carefully toweling off the scalp after your workout. The conditioner will help to prevent stale-sweat odors from forming, and will help keep the hair moisturized and healthy.
If even this would require too much, after-workout hair care, then look for a light, fragrant body mist to use to prevent the stale-sweat smell of after-workout hair.
Photo: ShotPrime Studio/Shutterstock
See also:
Will humidity affect a perm?
Does outside humidity have any effect on how a perm takes?
Are there any chemicals in a perm that will be affected by high humidity?