Reverse Perm Naturally: Remove Unwanted Curls without Hair Damage

How to Reverse Perm Naturally

For most of the individuals, chemical treatments do not produce results as expected. The same goes for hair perming, as this is an irreversible and permanent treatment that changes the shape of the follicle. Hair perms are back in the world of hair styling, and with modern perms, anyone can change the hair texture from straight to curl and from curl to straight, as desired.

Although hair perms let you enjoy versatile hairstyles, what happens when the perms go wrong? Yes, there is a possibility when a perm does not produce bouncy curls, and you are left with a head full of unmanageable coily hairs every morning.

Luckily, you can naturally minimize the effects of hair perms at home without damaging your hair.

But before finding natural ways to unperm your hair, let’s explore what a perm is and how it is performed.

What is a Perm?

What is a Perm
A Girl With Perm on Her Hair

As the name suggests, this permanent treatment changes the hair follicle through an aggressive chemical process that gives your hair a voluminous bounce. The chemical processing of a hair perm is irreversible and cannot be removed from the treated hairs. During the treatment, hair fall is more likely to occur as the hair strands weaken due to the harshness of the chemicals.

Hair perming is an effective solution for those folks who want more defined curls, but, in some cases, the resultant curls are either too small or too loose or do not come out as expected. Before undergoing the perm treatment, it is important to understand that you cannot eliminate the results of perm. It happens when you do not take the services of a skilled hairstylist and rely upon a novice or maybe a friend who needs to be more knowledgeable about the perms. A haircut is not the ultimate solution to get away from the damage done by the hair perming treatment.

Natural Ways of Getting Rid of Perm

Natural Ways of Getting Rid of Perm
A Girl Worried About Her Perm Hairs

If the results of a perm are not satisfying, you may either wait for the new hairs to grow out or style your hair so the uneven hair texture is not prominent. Although the permanent effects of perm might scare you, luckily, there are a few ways that can reduce the effects of perm, if not remove them completely.

Before proceeding, know that patience is the key, and you just cannot reverse the effects of a bad perm overnight.

How can you fix the frizzy and ruined perm without exposing your hair to another chemical procedure? Let’s find below.

Olive Oil

Olive oil is nature’s gift; repairing damaged cuticles and uneven curls greatly helps fix the damage. It relaxes the hair composition that is altered during the perm and gives your hair a straightening effect. Before using the olive oil on your hair, slightly warm it. Ensure that the oil is evenly distributed throughout the hair length. Cover your head with a shower cap, and after 30 minutes, wash your hair with shampoo.


You will be surprised to know this hack. Beer contains sucrose and malt, which are helpful in tightening the curls. If the perm results in creating too-tight curls, treating them with beer can produce bouncy curls that are not too tight. Bowl one glass of beer at low flame till the point it remains half. Cool it down and then mix it in the shampoo that you use regularly. Wash your hair thoroughly; you will see frizz-free hair with beautiful bouncy curls.

Aloe Vera

Aloe vera is the ultimate solution to almost all skin and hair problems, and this time, it comes as a savior to fix the uneven curls that result from a bad perm. Also, if you are facing a lot of frizz post-treatment, applying aloe vera gel can prevent hair frizz. Mix aloe vera gel into warm olive oil and other essential oils. Thoroughly apply the mixture on your hairs from roots to tips and massage gently. Cover your head with a shower cap and wait for an hour. Now wash your hair with cold water.

When Natural Ways Don’t Work…

If you don’t want to use natural ingredients on your uneven hair post-perm, here are a few other ways to relax a bad perm.

Wash Your Hair Immediately

If you want to nullify the results of a bad perm before it seals into the hair, wash it immediately after the treatment. Since hair neutralizers take at least 24 hours to produce results, washing them right after perm application has a high possibility of reversing the effects of a bad perm. Try using a color-protectant shampoo and conditioner that nourishes your hair and relaxes your curls.


If only the hair ends have acquired unsightly curls, trim them. Trimming can preserve the hair curls and remove the uneven curly ends.

Deep Conditioning

Add deep conditioner into your routine to relax the curls if the perm produced uneven curls.

Get a Straight Perm

While perm rods help you get the bouncy curls, a straight perm or relaxer can help you relax the curls and give your hair a straightened effect. Lock your hair in a well-brushed, straight shape to eliminate unruly curls.

How is Perm Performed?

How is Perm Performed
A Girl Performing Perm

We always suggest seeking the services of a professional hairstylist to get the hair perm service as this chemical treatment brings a high chance of producing damage to the hair. The experts perform the process, and since it’s a chemical procedure, the hairs need to be properly nourished to reduce any chances of frizz.

  • During the treatment, the hairs are wrapped on the rolls, and a chemical is applied to the rolled hairs. The hairstylists usually use Ammonium thioglycolate, also known as a perm salt, and the hairs are allowed to rest for a while.
  • The chemical application breaks down the disulfide bond in the hair strands, permanently altering the hair structure. The chemical is then washed away while the rods are still on.
  • During this stage, the hairs are extremely fragile, so a neutralizer is applied to ensure the keratin is deeply locked into the new structure of the hairs.
  • The hairs are washed thoroughly, and the rods are removed.

After the treatment is completed, you get bouncy, voluminous curls that instantly grab the praise. To enjoy the curls to the fullest, avoid practices that are unsafe for the longevity of the curls or make them less defined. The entire process is aggressive, which makes undoing it impossible.

When does the Perm not Produce Satisfactory Results?

When Perm Produce Satisfactory Results
A Girl in Front of Stylist

A perm does not always produce the kind of curls you desire, as sometimes, the curls can be too loose or just too tight, which makes them unmanageable. The curls are there, but their consistency and bounce are different than expected. The chemical formula used during the procedure sometimes leaves the hair dry, lifeless, and full of frizz.

The causes behind the ruined results of perm include:

  • Using stronger or milder solutions often results in uneven curls. If the solution is too strong, there will be a lot of frizz, while on the other hand, a weak solution results in unbouncy curls or no curls at all.
  • If the solution is left on the hairs for too long, the hair cuticles are severely damaged, increasing the hair porosity. The hairs become dry and dehydrated when exposed to the chemical solution for too long.
  • Sometimes, inexperienced hair stylists need to apply the solution correctly on the hair, as a result of which the solution does not saturate properly throughout the hair. If this is the case, the hair ends will be straight while the rest of the hair will turn out curly.
  • If the hairs are not tightly rolled around the roller, they will keep moving from their place, and the curls will not appear to be well-defined.
  • If the hairs are not trimmed before the treatment, there will be a lot of frizz throughout the hairs.

Tips to Keep Permed Hair Healthy

Tips to Keep Permed Hair Healthy
Girl Combing Her Hairs

If, unfortunately, the hair results are not satisfactory and, on top of that, your hair has lost its shine as a result of the perm procedure, you are left with hair that now needs proper nourishment.

There is always something you can do for the health of your hair, and in case of ensuring hair health after a perm, there are a few tips you may follow for healthy perm results.

  • Perm dries out the hair and extracts the essential nutrients from the hair shafts, leaving hair dry and brittle. So, it is important to ensure that the hairs are properly nourished in the first place before treating hairs with the perm. You may also invest in a deep conditioning mask for deep nourishment so the perm produces bouncy and healthy curls.
  • The time your hair stylist allows for the perm to process in your hair determines the health of the curls. A perm should be left for almost two to three hours, depending upon the hair length, for the chemical to process the right way.
  • There are various types of perms, each one producing a specific type of curl. For example, a perm rod produces beachy, natural-looking curls, while a spiral perm produces tight curls. Always explain to your stylist the type of curls you want or show him a picture of the desired curls for the stylist to understand exactly what you want.
  • Do not wash your hair more than twice a week, as shampooing leads to hair drying and creates frizz. After shampooing, don’t forget to apply a deep conditioner to your hair for the hair to settle down.
  • Keratin makes up more than 80% of human hair. Using hair products high in protein causes protein molecules to stick to your hair strands. They strengthen each strand and nourish the scalp. Additionally, they increase your hair’s capacity to retain moisture, reducing the chances of drying out and breaking off.
  • A crucial component of caring for permed hair is trimming. Hair with chemical treatments or curls is more likely to dry out. The hair begins to fray and split at the ends when it is constantly dry. Trimming eliminates damaged areas in your hair, which improves its look and feel. Moreover, it also stops the damage from spreading upward and ruining the rest of your hair.

Bottom Line

Shampooing and thoroughly conditioning your perm as soon as possible will help it become looser if the results are different than expected. Try to relax the perm as much as possible by keeping it up for the first 72 hours. To prevent irreparable harm to your hair as a result of a ruined perm, we advise having the chemical procedure done by a hair professional in a salon. Only an expert can guide you about the results expectancy, do’s and don’ts of perm, and the tips to go well the entire treatment.

If you don’t want your hair to lose its shine and strength, it’s better not to opt for a perm and try to do hairstyling, which looks great on your natural hair texture. Hair perms of every strength damage the hairs; for some, the damage can be irreparable.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the difference between a hair perm and a relaxer?

A hair perm is a chemical treatment in which the hairs are wrapped around a curling rod to produce curls while a relaxer is applied to the curls to give them a straight texture by relaxing them.

What are relaxers?

Relaxers are chemicals applied to the curly or coily hairs to relax them and give them a straight texture. Those females who are suffering through hair thinning, frizz, or hair breakage should stay away from relaxers for some time and focus more on nourishing their hair so they may gain some strength.

How long does it take for the perm to process in their hair?

A perm requires almost two to three hours to be left on hair, depending upon the hair length. If left for too long, the curls may appear too tight, and if removed early, the curls may not be visible, or there would be uneven curls.

How long does it take for a perm to go away?

Although a perm is a permanent procedure, the well-defined results of a perm stay from three to six months, depending upon the health of the hair and the hair type.

Does sweat affect the perm result?

If you are a gym enthusiast, sweat can affect the perm results as the chlorinated water and sweat both lead to hair frizz and breakage.

Are perms worth it?

Hair perm is not for everyone, especially if you have already damaged hair. It’s crucial to talk to your hairstylist about your preferred curl style, care, and hair type before getting a perm. Only a professional stylist can assist you in deciding which kind of perm solution, perm tool, and cut will yield the greatest results.

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