How to Relax a Perm Without Damage

Young woman with hands behind head, eyes closed, close-up, outdoors
Natural, at-home ingredients help soften a perm without stressing hair. (Image: Maria Teijeiro/Lifesize/Getty Images)

Hair looks its best when it is glossy, shiny and moisturized. Unfortunately, many hair products and processes tend to damage hair shafts, leaving many with frizzy, frazzled hair. If you got a perm treatment and quickly fell out of love with it, you might be looking for solutions to create smoother, straighter locks without causing further dryness. Moisturizers are your best bet to add luster and soften the intensity of a perm without causing damage.

Step 1

Remove the skin and pit of an avocado and mash up the fruit of the avocado until smooth. Mix in about 2 tablespoons of canola or olive oil.

Step 2

Apply the mixture to your hair from root to tip. Ensure you are leaning over a bathtub, sink or a plastic bag so that any stray bits of the hair mask are contained.

Step 3

Clip up your hair once the mask has covered every single strand of hair from root to tip and place the shower cap over your head. Allow the mask to soak into the hair for at least 30 minutes or up to an hour.

Step 4

Rinse out the hair mask using a gentle shampoo for chemically treated hair, and finish with a deep, cream conditioner. Allow the conditioner to sit in hair for at least five minutes before rinsing.

Step 5

Allow hair to air dry. Repeat this hair treatment every week for at least a month as your perm grows out.

Things You'll Need

  • Avocado

  • Canola or olive oil

  • Large hair clips

  • Plastic shower cap

  • Gentle shampoo and conditioner for treated hair

Tip

Consult a hair care expert if you have particularly dry or damaged hair from the perming process. These professionals often apply a neutralizer or protectant before applying any relaxers if you plan on getting a professional relaxer put on your hair.

A few applications of the hair mask are required, and success will vary depending on your hair type and the intensity of the perm.

Allow your hair to air dry while it recovers from the perm to avoid further damage.

In lieu of the homemade mask, apply a store-bought deep conditioning treatment to damp hair to soften the perm and rehydrate stressed or frazzled hair shafts. Leave the deep conditioning treatment in for at least 10 minutes before rinsing out.

Warning

Always consult professional hair care experts before applying any chemical or intensive hair treatments.

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