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Reverse Perm to Straighten Hair: How to Fix a Bad Perm?

We’ve all been there: we’ve walked into our stylists’ salons so excited about possibilities, only to walk back out with a sickening feeling and hoping to hide our heads under a paper bag.

Trips to the salon can be expensive and also hard to reverse. Such can be the case with a perm. It’s even right there in the name: the permanent wave.

But what happens if you have buyer’s remorse and want to go on a reverse perm to straighten permed hair holy grail search? It may seem like an impossible feat, but we’re here to tell you that it’s not!

tips to fix a bad perm


Reverse Perm Technique: How to Fix A Bad Perm

Today, we’re going to help you get over that perm gone wrong and get back to your pure, unadulterated, unpermed hair. Any therapy you need afterward? That part is on you.

Here are some easy steps to kiss that bad perm goodbye.

Focus on Restoration

When you perm your hair, the chemicals used in the procedure alter the texture of your hair through an incredibly drying and damaging process.

Although there’s no real way to snap your fingers and restore your hair’s health, there are several things you can do to help improve the damage so your hair can get back to normal faster.

The internet is awash with ways you can nourish and moisturize dry and lackluster locks. Be careful, though, because some of these treatments can strangely be drying and damaging themselves. So for a first resort, turn to natural methods.


Olive Oil

olive oil for bad perm hair

Olive oil treatments can help nourish and relax your permed hair. Since it’s high in vitamin E and A, it can work wonders as an antioxidant with restorative and protective qualities.

Use it as a hair mask and apply half a teaspoon amount from the roots to the ends of your hair. Let it sit for thirty minutes at most and rinse out. Repeat every day for one week to see less curled, more relaxed, more nourished locks.


Avocado and Egg

avocado and eggs for for bad perm hair

Here’s another treatment you can make out of grocery items you probably already have in your fridge at home.

Both these ingredients are high in amino acids, omega oils, and natural fats. These ingredients contain protein that can supply your hair with the building blocks to repair itself over time.

All you have to do is whisk the egg, mash the avocado, and combine in equal parts. After letting it sit for a while to settle, apply it all over your hair, from roots to tips.

Leave on like a mask treatment and rinse off after about half an hour. Repeat this every day for one week, and you’ll see healthier, more relaxed hair.


Frizz-Busting Rinses

rinsing with sparkling water

Often, what ruins a perm is the resulting untameable frizziness. This, too, is caused by damage to the hair. But it can be halted in its tracks and lessened by using some natural ingredients to create a homemade rinse that can help reverse a perm to straighten hair.

Rinsing with either apple cider vinegar or sparkling water is known to help cut frizz. So, if you have these ingredients, simply hold your head over the bathtub, rinse your hair with the liquid, and then rinse again with water.

The great thing about these rinses is that they can be done whenever you note extra frizziness and want to restore your hair to a more nourished, shiny state.


Try a Quick Fix

If you’re in a hurry to see straighter hair and don’t have time to wait for natural treatment results, then there are several quick fixes that you can try.

Don’t forget, though, that damaging your hair more will only make your transition back from a bad perm even harder.



straightening permed hair

This one is a no-brainer, but it’s best to try and straighten your hair as little as possible while waiting out a bad perm. Straightening, and any other heat-styling methods, will only damage your hair more.

But if you have an event or somewhere to go where you can’t bear the thought of showing your face in your current bad perm state, then applying a deep conditioning or moisturizing treatment before straightening will help mitigate some of the damage.



washing bad perm hair

If you catch your bad perm red-handed early, within the first 48 hours, then washing your hair can help relax the perm and soften the results.

Stylists usually warn clients not to wash their hair within this time frame as it can disrupt the effects of the perm. So if disrupting it is the effect you want, then go ahead and suds up!


The Heavy Hitter

straightening treatment for bad permed hair

If you’ve tried all of these methods and still can’t stand the sight of your permed hair, then it may be time to consider a more permanent (excuse the pun) solution. The bad news is that straightening treatments damage your hair with chemicals, just like a perm. That’s why it’s important not to rush out to get one soon after having a perm.

Many experts advise waiting to get a corrective straightening treatment for at least several months, with six months being the ideal time frame. As hard as it can be to wait, this will give your hair time to repair itself and build itself back up for another chemical treatment.

And in the end, you likely hate your perm because of the extent to which it damaged your hair. So waiting, even though it seems unhelpful, will allow your hair to get back to its healthy, happy self.


Final Thoughts

Whether you’re stuck with curls that just aren’t you, or you’re haunted by frizziness, a bad perm is an awful thing. If you’re on a quest to unperm hair, then try some of these methods that will help restore moisture and shine to your locks.

Remember that, even if you want to reverse a perm very badly, time is the best healing treatment you can use to restore your hair.