Straighten a Perm

Newly permed hair
Photo: Progressman/Shutterstock
Q: I just got a perm yesterday. How long do I have to wait to straighten it?
A: The length of time required between chemical hair services depends on the condition of your hair after the most recent service.
Generally, a stylist will recommend at least two weeks between chemical processes to give the hair time to "normalize" after being treated with the chemicals that are used in whatever process you have done. This allows you to condition your hair properly and regularly to smooth the cuticle layer back down before subjecting the hair to more harsh treatment.
This, however, only applies to hair that is in good, healthy condition. In some cases, the hair will have been processed and chemically treated to the point where it can no longer safely take further chemical treatments. This usually happens in people who have their hair colored and permed on a regular basis, particularly if the hair is lightened.
If, however, you are talking about simply straightening the hair with a flat iron or other heat styling tool, you can feel free to do so after your first shampoo following the perm. (Most salons recommend waiting 48 hours before washing the hair after receiving a perm.) Just make certain that the hair is fully dry before using a heated appliance on it, and make double sure that the appliance you use is just hot enough to create the effect you want.
Also, be sure to condition the hair every day after a perm, especially if you are using heated appliances in styling. This will help to keep the hair looking healthy and prevent damage from heat styling.
See also:
Flat iron styling
Permanent hair straightening
Will using a flat iron on my hair affect my perm?
How can I straighten my perm without ruining it?
How much it would cost to chemically straighten my permed hair?