Understanding Bad Perms and Effective Ways On How To Get rid of A Perm

A bad hair day can totally wreck your mood.

But a bad hair day that lasts for months? Now, that’s scary.

If you have a bad perm, you can’t just sit around and wait for the perm to go away. That could take up to six months.

A bad perm can affect multiple areas of your life, from your social and romantic life to your ability to look and feel professional at work.

But what can you do? Perms are permanent, aren’t they?

​While it’s true that having your hair permed does make a permanent change to the structure of your hair, there are a variety of things you can do to take the curl out of your hair and get your hair closer to its pre-perm state.
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​Understanding Perms and Permed Hair

Perms, also called permanents, get their name from the phrase “Permanent Waves,” according to wikipedia, as the very first perms were more wave than curl.

Today, there are several different types of perms available, allowing for a range of different styles. There are perms that create tight curls, loose natural looking curls, soft waves, and even perms that just create a slight lift and add body.

There are also permanents that straighten hair and some that relax natural African hair, whether it is curly, kinky, or just not as straight as you’d like.

​However, to fix a bad perm, you have to know what went wrong and why. Because a perm is a chemical process, that changes the structure of your hair, there are a lot of variables involved.

Sometimes the problem is caused by an error during the perming process and needs a new chemical process to fix it. Other times, the issue is with the hair’s moisture level, damage level, or even the hair cut.

And sometimes, the perm and hair are both fine, but you haven’t quite nailed down on how to care for your hair’s new needs.

All of these issues are different and require very different solutions.

Luckily, we’ve compiled everything we know about perms and perm removal to give you this comprehensive guide to understanding, fixing, and even getting rid of your perm.

​In 1909, a man named Charles Nessler made history by submitting a patent for the very first hair perming process, which he called “A New or Improved Process of Waving Natural Hair on the Head.

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​1​2 Useful Home Remedies To Get Rid Of A Perm

Sometimes your only option is to completely remove the perm from your hair.

There are many reasons you might want to get rid of a perm entirely.

Maybe the curls don’t look the way you had hoped or your hair just isn’t handling them well. Maybe you’ve deep conditioned a dozen times and the curls just never look right. Or maybe you just want to go back to straight hair.

Whatever your reason for removing your perm, you have a few different options.

1. Recognizing ​A Bad Perm

Before deciding on how to get rid of your permed hair, you need to be certain that the perm really does need to go.

Removing a perm is difficult work. The damage from the initial perm process can never truly be reversed and removing the perm will not give your hair back its original shape and texture.

However, you can remove the curls or waves from the perm. And if your hair was permed to remove curls or waves, they can be recreated with a re-texturizing treatment.

​​2. Wash ​And Brush ​Out ​The Perm

If your perm is still in the setting stage, you may be able to remove most of the curl by washing your hair with a clarifying shampoo, applying a hair mask, and then brushing out the curls.

How much of the curl is removed depends on the size and tightness of the curls, the condition of your hair, and the length of time you spend working on your hair with the comb.

You should see a considerable amount of difference after the first wash. However, it may take several washes to get the results you want.

3. Harsh Shampoos

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You could try using harsh shampoos like Pert or Pril, these shampoos are known to be pretty strong and help loosen the curl quite a bit

​4. Use ​At Home Straightening Perm ​Or Relaxer

There are a variety of products designed to straighten hair and remove curls. These include Keratin treatments, relaxers, and at home perm solutions.

These treatments are more effective than just washing and brushing your hair, but they also do more damage.

When choosing an at home straightening treatment, look for one that minimizes damage and reduces frizz.

Please see reviews ​of best ​hair ​straightening ​products.

​​5. Use Daily Straightening Products ​To Reduce Curl

If you don’t want to risk the damage of an at home straightener, retexturizer, or relaxer, you can remove the curl from your hair on a day to day basis, using deep conditioners paired with daily straightening products.

Here are a few of our absolute favorite daily straightening products. See #7 to #9

​6. Deep ​Conditioning

To loosen or even remove the curl or wave from your hair, you only need a deep conditioner and a comb. Apply deep conditioner or hair oil to damp hair. The conditioners and hair masks listed above are great options for this.

After applying the conditioner, run the comb through your hair, pulling downward in long slow motions. The weight of the conditioner and they hydration that comes with it will ease the curls out of your hair a little at a time.

You may not be able to get your hair completely straight, but you can definitely make a difference in the size and shape of your curls.

​7. Essential Oil Treatment

Essential Oils

Try doing lots of hot oil treatments during the week; you can try it for about twice or thrice a week. This will weigh your curls down and also help your hair look smoother.

Continuous hot oil treatments will make your curls turn in to loose waves, which not only look pretty but also add a touch of glamour to your over all look.

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You can also use essential oils, such as Cedarwood, Chamomile, Clary Sage, Eucalyptus, Frankincense, Lavender, Lemon, Myrrh, Rose, Sage, Sandalwood, and Tea Tree to boost the health of your hair while you loosen the curls.

​8. Flat Iron

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If you can't seem to get rid of the perm through the above techniques you might want to straighten your hair using a flat iron or a blow dryer, but remember that you hair is already chemically processed, giving too much heat to it might cause your hair to burn and become stringy.

Use a heat protectant while flat ironing your hair.

​9. Hair Rebonding

If you would rather get rid of your perm once and for all, you might try getting your hair rebonded or straightened. This is the most effective treatment. My wife had lots of perms, but after rebonding her hairs feel straight and beautiful.

In rebonding they use chemical to straighten your hair. Though you must beware of the consequences of double chemical processing. If done unprofessionally might cause permanent damage to your hair.

1​0. Trimming

Sometimes, all you need to do is trim the ends of your hair. You can trim away a tiny bit of hair each week with a process known as micro-trimming or solve the issue all at once by cutting the end of the hair off at the point where it begins to fishtail.

You might also try trimming your ends off every month or so until you get rid of the curls completely.

​1​1. The Big Chop

If you find the process of removing your perm and straightening your hair to be too much work, there is one other option. You could choose to cut your hair short and allow it to grow back naturally.

In the salon world, this is referred to as the 'big chop' and for some women, it’s the most empowering option. You can do this shortly after getting a bad perm or wait until your hair has a chance to grow out a little and then cut it.

Byrdie.com, a popular style website, suggests that you “snip away anything past the new growth, and “dust” or finely trim any remaining bits of processed ends.” 

Then, rock your new short style with the confidence that comes from taking your hair care goals into your own hands.

1​2. Wait​​ And ​Let ​It ​Grow

Last but no the least, sometimes the best possible thing for you to do is to wait till it all grows out and not get a retouch done.

Best ​Masks and Conditioners To ​Straighten Hairs

​There are a variety of great products designed to give you smooth, straight, frizz free hair that lasts until your next wash.

These include straightening balms, serums, lotions, and heat protectors, as well as the typical styling gels, creams, and sprays.

1. Dove Advanced Hair Intense Restoration Mask

Dove is well known for their moisture rich hydrating products. From shampoo and hair conditioning masks to body lotions and hand crèmes, Dove knows what they’re doing.

Dove’s Advanced Hair Series is a collection of hair products designed to boost the condition of your hair. This intense restoration mask is specially formulated for curly hair, which makes it perfect for improving the condition of permed hair.

It features hydrating buriti oil, nutrients, and restorative protein to hydrate, seal, and protect hair. After just one use, your hair is left soft and smooth with beautiful, frizz free curls.

2. Arvazallia Hydrating Argan Oil Hair Mask and Deep Conditioner

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Argan oil is one of the best things you can put in your hair. Not only does it hydrate and soften hair, it also adds a beautiful healthy shine.

The professional salon brand Arvazallia has created a variety of excellent hair care products designed for both salon and home use. Their Hydrating Argan Oil Hair Mask and Deep Conditioner pairs the hair healthy benefits of argan oil with a variety of vitamins and nutrients in a sulfate and paraben free formula.

This hair mask is loved by stylists, both for its ability to deep moisturize natural hair and for its curl rejuvenating effects. If your curls are looking less than lustrous, this could be exactly the hair mask for you.

3. ArtNaturals Argan Oil Hair Mask

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Artnaturals Argan Hair Mask, 8 Ounce
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Another great argan oil product is this Argan Oil Hair Mask from ArtNaturals. This mask pairs hydrating Moroccan argan oil with hair healthy jojoba, green tea, sage, ground ivy, and real silk amino acids for a hair mask full of natural goodness.

A favorite of stylists, this mask is the perfect way to give your hair a little TLC and improve both the look and feel of your perm.

Best Straightening Products To Remove Perms

​Here are some of the best hair straightening products for removing perm once and for all.

​1. Ion Keratin Smoothing Treatment Kit

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This smoothing treatment by Ion smooths hair by coating each follicle with a protective barrier made with the same keratin proteins that naturally make up your hair. Not only can a keratin treatment take the curl or wave out of your hair, it also creates smoothness and shine while dramatically reducing frizz.

Like many of the hair products mentioned in this article, the Ion Keratin Smoothing Treatment features hair healthy argan oil for extra moisture to lock in hydration and shine. It also reduces damage caused by the perming process to get you hair as close to its original condition as possible.

​2. Make It Straight Salon Blowout Treatment

To reduce curl and increase volume, you can visit a salon to get a professional blowout or do your own at home Brazilian blowout with this easy to use blowout treatment from Developlus.

With a single treatment, you can straighten and smooth away curls, reduce damage, and seal hair follicles to protect against frizz.

Even better, you’ll look like you’ve just come from a salon visit for only a fraction of the cost. Each treatment lasts up to 20 ​minutes and can be repeated to gradually remove the effects of your perm.

​3. Carson Care Defy Breakage Relaxer

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If you need more extreme curl removing results, you may want to use a hair relaxer like this Optimum Care defy breakage relaxer by Softsheen. This six step relaxer can be used to take curl out of a perm or to soften and straighten naturally curly hair.

Because the treatment is a little more intense than a basic blowout, there is some risk of damage to your hair, but this relaxer balances out some of the damage with coconut oil, ceramide, and other natural moisturizers. It also features a whipped oil moisturizer that strengthens and repairs hair.

​4. Garnier Fructis Sleek Shot In Shower Styler

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This unique styling cream from Garnier Fructis is a new, unique way to straighten and smooth your hair. For straighter hair, you just mix equal amounts of styling cream with your favorite shampoo and leave on for an extra minute.

The cream coats your hair, smoothing follicles even before you condition your hair. The result is hair that dries more quickly and with less curl for five times smoother hair.

Follow it up with a heated hair straightener or flat iron for super sleek hair that looks like it was never permed at all.

​5. Rusk Str8 Anti-Frizz and Curl Lotion

This Str8 anti-frizz styling lotion by Rusk is a quick, easy way to get straighter, smoother hair. Just add a small amount to damp hair before blow drying and straightening to reduce curl, block frizz, and give you greater control over the shape and style of your hair.

If you need straight hair for a day or event, this anti-frizz, anti-curl lotion is an excellent solution. Just make sure to deep condition your hair and keep the use of heat products to a minimum to reduce further damage to your hair.

​6. John Frieda Frizz ​Straight Fixation Styling Crème

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John Frieda’s Frizz Ease collection has long been a favorite of salon, stylists, and beauty aficionados in the never ending quest for smooth, straight, perfectly frizz free hair. 

Their Straight Fixation styling cr​eam is a great way to reduce curl while protecting against the damage that comes with blow drying and heat styling hair.

The easy to use cream reduces heat damage in two ways. First, it closes hair follicles, causing hair to dry more quickly and evenly. Then, it protects against heat damage by wrapping each strand with John Frieda’s patented ThermaGuard Complex.

With moisturizing sweet almond oil and strengthening milk protein, it’s a great addition to your hair care routine. Just add a small amount to damp hair before blow drying and straightening to reduce the appearance of curls and fight frizz and humidity for the day.


Make sure to follow the above techniques if you want to get rid of your perm, sometimes the best option is to wait out, get your hair trimmed on a monthly bases and use lots of natural products like henna or oil to straighten your hair without using any harsh chemicals.

Remember persistence pays off and you will soon be rid of a perm in no time at all.

5 thoughts on “Understanding Bad Perms and Effective Ways On How To Get rid of A Perm”

  1. I got a perm ant it has been over 6 days but only one side is really curly. And I alrthad to have the salon do it again because the first time it did not even last 3days. I hate it now what should I do

  2. my mom and me have a perm but her perm look more better then mine it not curling like my moms and my mom got it a moth a ago and I got it in Dec 2014 and I want my perm gone so I can have my strat hair back

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