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Can I Bleach My Permed Hair?

The adage that blondes have more fun is acceptable for brunettes who haven’t had their hair chemically altered, but what about those girls who want to go the curly route and perm their hair?

Some gals are going for the total transformation, and they want curly locks with blonde hair afterward. But can you bleach your hair after you’ve already put a perm in it?

The wrong answer to these questions can leave you with devastating damage to your crown of glory. Let’s take a look at what’s happening to your hair with a perm and when you bleach it to see if the two processes can co-exist.

Is It Safe to Bleach Permed Hair?

Celestine Gitau, a certified trichologist, says, “I wouldn’t suggest anyone get their hair bleached after a perm, especially not right away.” According to her, if you’ve already made up your mind and you’re going to go for the bleach, you should wait at least two weeks to two months after the first process.

That means no matter how strong you think your hair is, perms are harsh on the hair, and you shouldn’t do any color treatment and bleach for at least 14 days.

This allows the hair to fully recover from the perming process and be in good condition to undergo another chemical process. Let your hair rest.

While you’re waiting for the bleach session, prep your hair appropriately by using some tips I’ll highlight below.

What Does Bleaching Do to Your Hair?

Bleach is even harsher on the hair than a perm because it literally breaks your hair proteins (what keeps the hair strong) apart so that it can lift, or remove, the color.

Your hair is lighter once you wash and rinse, but your hair is also a lot weaker afterward. Dryness, frizz, and breakage are common effects after bleaching your hair.

What Does Bleaching Do to Hair

Both perming and bleaching your hair are chemical processes done by professional stylists in the salon.

Those processes use chemicals that open up the hair cuticle to reconfigure the hair’s shape, color, and structure.  The components of these treatments can severely compromise the hair fiber.

So, never, ever have them done on the same day. No truly licensed hairstylist will ever recommend doing what will result in a catastrophe for your mane. In general, you should choose one or the other.

Nonetheless, I’ll give you some pertinent information to help lessen the damage if you still want to bleach your hair after a perm.

How Long Should I Wait?

How Long Should I Wait Before Bleaching Permed Hair

If you just permed your hair, you should be waiting regardless of how much you want the bleaching treatment. It’ll be there hun, but if you bleach too soon, your hair will not!

If you’ve waited at least 14 days, have a licensed hairstylist perform a hair diagnostic test to evaluate whether your hair is in good enough condition to withstand another aggressive chemical process like bleaching.

Hairstylists understand that each person’s hair has unique characteristics, and they can tell what your hair can handle. Perhaps you have more resistant hair that’s thicker and coarser; you may fare better than someone who has finer, thinner tresses.

Several factors will get evaluated when your stylist does a hair diagnostic; elasticity and thickness are two key components.

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Hair Diagnostic

Hair Diagnostic to Bleach Hair

Getting a hair diagnostic is good practice. It will tell if your hair can handle bleaching or not, but it will also inform you as to how much you can lighten your hair with hydrogen peroxide or other chemicals. Additionally, it will tell you how it will affect the curls and waves of your perm.

If your hairstylist determines your hair is strong enough to endure the bleaching process after a perm, take care of your hair and prep it while you’re waiting for your appointment.

Tips For Prepping Permed Hair Before You Bleach

  • Be sure to wash your hair depending on your hair type and texture. Wash curly or coily hair at least once a week or twice at most, and straight hair 3-4 times a week.
  • Every ten days, use a repairing mask. A protein and a moisture treatment
  • Use products that moisturize and nourish your hair.
  • Refrain from combing your hair when it’s tangledComb your hair with a wide-toothed comb and use a conditioner on dry hair before combing if necessary
  • Treat your hair as if your curls are natural by using styling products such as curl mousses and styling creams.

So, the time between your perm and bleaching your hair depends on different factors. As a general rule, wait close to two months before you go back in with the chemicals.

However, if you can, choose one or the other between bleaching and perming because even the upkeep afterward is a bit of a hassle to keep your hair constantly moisturized.