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Poodle Perms: How to Fix Them and Get the Curls You Want

There are several reasons your perm may look like a poodle, including using low-quality perm products, using the wrong rods, and using your natural curl pattern. If your perm looks like a poodle, do not panic. There are a few things you can do to fix it.

What Should I Do If My Perm Looks Like a Poodle?

If your perm looks like a poodle, wash it within the first 48 hours to prevent the perm from setting further. Then, deep condition the hair to detangle it and loosen the curls.

You can also do a hot oil treatment on the hair or apply a perming kit to reverse the perm and loosen up the hair. Hot oil treatment is preferable as it nourishes the hair.

#1. Wash and Deep Condition the Hair

how to fix when perms look like a poodle - wash and deep condition

One of the most crucial post-perm treatment hair care measures is to ensure that your hair does not get wet in the first 48-72 hours. Aside from not washing your hair, avoiding activities that may cause sweating in the first three days is recommended.

Water deactivates the perm, resulting in the perm falling apart. If your perm looks like a poodle, wash it within the first 48 hours to encourage the perm to fall apart.

Use a permed-hair-appropriate shampoo to wash your hair. Rinse and generously apply hydrating conditioners. Use a wide-toothed comb to detangle the curls, starting at the edges. Work your way towards the root as the hair strands straighten.

Wear a shower cap and sit under a hood dryer for 20 minutes. Then, rinse the hair with cool water. Apply a conditioner or a hydrating treatment in place of the conditioner.

Once your hair is detangled, rinse thoroughly with warm water. Pat the hair to get rid of excess water and leave it to air dry. Apply styling cream on the hair and hold it in your desired shape. You may apply oil to the ends and strands to nourish the hair.

Sleep in a satin bonnet or on a satin pillowcase. It minimizes friction on your hair, preventing the hair from becoming frizzy.

#2. Use Perm Kit

how to fix when perms look like a poodle - use perm kit

After washing and conditioning your hair, you can apply perming kit to further interrupt the ability of the perm to set. Once you have washed off the conditioner, generously apply the waving lotion.

Use a wide-toothed comb to detangle the hair. Let the lotion sit on the hair for about 10 minutes—by now, the hair should be saturated with the lotion, and the curls should have started to relax.

Thoroughly rinse the lotion out, dry excess water with a soft towel, and then apply a neutralizer from the perming kit. Let it sit for 10 minutes, and then comb. Finally, rinse the neutralizer and air dry the hair.

This method can be extremely harsh on the hair. Therefore, it should be used as a last resort. You should also ensure to condition the hair daily, even if you do not wash it, to prevent the scalp and strands from becoming too dry.

#3. Hot Oil Treatment

how to fix when perms look like a poodle - hot oil treatment

A hot oil treatment will enable you to get rid of the curls. You can do it yourself or have a hairstylist do it. Aside from straightening your poodle-like hair, it offers numerous benefits, including nourishing your hair, softening it, and adding shine.

It also prevents split ends, soothes your scalp, minimizes hair damage due to coloring, bleaching, or styling, and prevents the hair from being frizzy.

To do a hot hair treatment, start by deciding the type of oil you want to incorporate. Options include olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil, argan oil, etc. You may also infuse a few drops of essential oil.

Start by washing your hair to enable oil to penetrate better. Then, put 3-7 tablespoons of your preferred oil in a small microwave-safe bowl and heat it for 10 seconds. The oil should be warm rather than hot.

Scoop the warm oil on your hands and apply it to your hair and scalp, taking time to massage it in. Apply a generous amount and ensure that the hair is well covered. Rub your fingers or a wide-toothed comb through the hair to loosen the curls. Then cover the hair with a shower cap for 20-30 minutes.

Rinse out the oil with warm water and then condition. You may repeat this treatment two to three times a week until the curls straighten completely.

#4. Flat Iron

If you want your hair completely straight, flat iron it after washing and shampooing or after a hot oil treatment.

However, use a heat protectant and oil the hair frequently in the following days. Although effective, the high flat iron heat can damage the hair causing it to fall.

So, How to Fix Poodle Perms?

It can be disappointing if your permed hair curls do not come out as you anticipated but instead look like a poodle. You can find creative ways to style the hair until the curls loosen.

However, if the poodle-like look bothers you, wash and condition your hair within the first 48 hours of applying the perm. You may then comb it to your desired style, do an oil treatment, or flat iron. Using a perming kit also reverses the perm and makes your hair straight.