Will Hair Dye Ruin A Perm? (Guide For Coloring Permed Hair)

will hair dye ruin a perm

If you recently got a perm to add texture, volume, or a new look to your hair, you would be mindful about the products you use on your locks to avoid ruining the curls and their pattern. But if you want your hair waves to appear more vibrant through coloring, will a hair dye ruin the perm?

Perm chemicals permanently change the conformation of disulfide bonds in your hair strands to produce curls. Anything that can break those rearranged bonds will likely ruin your perm. But can hair dye do that?

Let’s find out!

Whether a hair dye will ruin the perm or not depends on a few things like which type of dye you are to get, a temporary, semi-permanent or permanent.

A permanent dye will likely cause your permed hair to lose its curl pattern and get overly dry and frizzy. That’s why experts recommend not dyeing your hair for the first two weeks after getting a perm.

However, it is not the case with semi-permanent or temporary hair dye.

Are you excited to know about the enticing chemistry of what happens to your permed hair when you dye it? I’ll explain how you can dye your permed hair safely.

When is a Hair Dye Likely to Ruin Your Hair Perm?

If you are to dye your recently permed hair, knowing a few simple chemistry facts will help you not ruin the pattern of your curls. 

Both dyeing and perming your hair are aggressive chemical procedures.

When the stylist applies waving lotion to your hair strands, the primary bonds holding your hair structure together are broken. However, they are reformed in a new shape when the stylist uses a neutralizer.

That’s it for the perm! Now, let’s see what happens while dyeing your hair.

A permanent hair dye includes ammonia, hydrogen peroxide, and pigments. Ammonia increases hair’s pH to a high alkaline level, which lifts the hair cuticle.

Subsequently, hydrogen peroxide enters the hair shaft, oxidizes your original hair color, and activates the dye (pigments).

So, all of this chemical processing can ruin your curls. 

If your hair is permed, getting a permanent hair dye will ruin a perm to an extent where your curls will become loose and likely out of the pattern. It is because ammonia and hydrogen peroxide will rearrange some disulfide bonds, but not all of them.

However, there won’t be a drastic change in your hair texture unless your hair is damaged and weak.

However, you still have a few options to dye your permed hair while not ruining its texture and shape.

Let’s see what you got!

How To Dye Permed Hair While Not Ruining It?

If you have recently got the perm, it will be wise to wait at least two weeks before you color your hair with a dye. Certainly, you won’t want to over-process your locks and ruin the perm. 

When choosing a specific type of dye for your permed hair, you should consider a few things first. 

  • How far do you want to go with changing your hair color?
  • How long do you expect the dye to last on your permed hair?
  • Is your hair healthy after undergoing the perm?
  • Which type of curls have you got, tight or loose?

Having experience with hair perm and coloring, I suggest you use a semi-permanent dye on your permed locks. It is free from ammonia and hydrogen peroxide, doesn’t enter your hair shaft, but coats it from the outside. 

A semi-permanent hair dye is likely to ruin a perm because it does not over-process your hair. However, depending on how often you wash your hair, it will last only for a month or less. 

But do you know what’s good about the semi-permanent color for your permed hair? It will last longer than normal hair because of the porosity of your locks after a perm. 

If you have lost the bouncy and definition in your perm, you can use curl cream to get them back. The curls’ defining cream also moisturizes your hair and tame frizz.

Wait! Are you still thinking of permanent hair color? Let’s see into that one as well. 

Can You Color Permed Hair With a Permanent Hair Dye?

Well, experts in hair styling products don’t recommend using a permanent hair dye to color your hair after getting a perm. You surely would love to know the rationale behind it!

  • The first negative thing about using the permanent coloring option is its aggressiveness, which it gets from ammonia and peroxides.
  • The chemicals of permanent dye are more likely to ruin the perm, leaving your hair strands more porous and weak. 
  • Typically, permed hair is low maintenance if it is healthy. However, it will not be the case after coloring it with a permanent dye. 

If you get an Olaplex perm instead of the usual one, your hair will retain its shine and strength after undergoing the perming. 

In that case, you may opt for a permanent color for your permed hair. 

What Should You Do First, Perm or Coloring?

If you want to avoid oxidizing and lightening your hair dye, consider getting the perm first, wait for a week or two, and then go for hair dyeing.

Doing the perm after the hair dye will lighten the color because the neutralizer solution contains hydrogen peroxide, a potent oxidizing agent.

If you dyed your hair a few weeks ago and want to get a perm, make sure your hair is healthy enough to undergo the aggressive chemical processing.

Secondly, the artificial tint on your hair should not be too different from your natural hair color. Otherwise, you might see a drastic color change after the perm.

Wrapping Up

The bottom line is if you have loose curls on your naturally straight hair, dyeing your locks after two weeks of getting a perm will not cause much o a difference in your hair texture or curl pattern.

However, if your permed hair has very tight spiral curls, doing a permanent hair dye over it will likely cause your ringlets to get loose and out of shape.