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How to Swim After Getting a Perm

author image Celeigh O'Neil
Celeigh O'Neil has been writing professionally since 2008. She has a Bachelor of fine arts from the University of Ottawa, as well as degrees in fashion illustration/design, digital arts and certification in hair and makeup artistry. O'Neil was a frequent contributor to Toronto's "Dialog" newspaper and has worked as an instructional writer, creating lessons in fashion, art and English for students of all ages.
How to Swim After Getting a Perm
Swim caps keep the hair dry, allowing freshly permed hair to maintain its condition. Photo Credit: Digital Vision./Photodisc/Getty Images

As with all chemically treated hair, permed hair must be treated with care to maintain a healthy look. The hair shaft is left more vulnerable to moisture after being permed, because the chemicals used in the process open up the cuticle. Permed hair therefore requires a resting period to strengthen up again. Typically, you should wait a minimum of 72 hours between the time of the perm and exposure to pool-water chlorine and other chemicals. It is possible to swim after getting a perm, however, if you use a swim cap.

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Step 1

Apply a light leave-in conditioner to the hair. This will help seal in moisture and nutrients, and avoid overdrying or damage from friction.

Step 2

Pin your hair up on top of your head. Grab the curls in sections of two to three at a time, and push them toward your scalp like coils. Use bobby pins to gently secure them as far away from the neck as possible. This will help the curls to maintain their form.

Step 3

Put on a swimming cap. Starting from the nape of the neck, and then pull the cap forward over the hair. Tuck all hair tightly underneath the cap to protect it.

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