should i perm my hair before braids

Should I perm my hair before braids? Or, should I relax my hair before braiding? It can be confusing, but it does not have to be.

Getting a perm involves undergoing a chemical procedure that modifies your hair follicles in a way that cannot be undone.

Although perms are most commonly used to add curls to straight hair, they can also be used to achieve the opposite effect.  

You may have been given a laundry list of rules to follow after getting a perm. Perhaps your hairstylist has told you to avoid using shampoo, conditioner, and hot tools on your hair.

But, if you perm, can you still go get your hair braided?

There is no need to perm your hair before braids for better results, and if done correctly, it is just as simple to get braids after getting a perm.

Tip: Find products designed for naturally curly hair and use them when you get a perm. 

Should I Perm My Hair Before Braids or Not?

perm hair before braids

No, you do not need to.

But, that leaves you with another question: If I should not perm, should I relax my hair before braids?

To understand it, you need to know the basic difference between the two concepts. 

What Is The Difference Between A Perm And A Relaxer?

The directions of a relaxer and a chemical perm are completely opposed.

A relaxer is for you if you desire straight hair or just want to loosen up your natural curls.

A perm is an artificial hairstyle that provides various unnatural curls, waves, and textural effects

Is It Okay To Perm Your Hair Before Braids?

Many people who wear their hair in a curly style find braids an effective protective technique.

getting a perm

But if you just got a perm, they might not be the ideal choice.

If you have spent time and effort perfecting your curl pattern, a tight braid could undo all of your hard work.

And in the long run, you risk developing unnatural curl patterns and even breaking. 

How Long Should You Wait After A Perm To Braid?

It is better to drop your idea of getting your hair braided soon after you get a perm.

In most cases, you should wait for at least a couple of months after a perm to install braids in your hair. 

Is It Okay To Relax Your Hair Before Braids?

Again, you do not have to play around, and let a professional decide.

Still, if you are thinking of relaxing your edges before braids, it should not limit your options anyway.

How Long Should You Wait For Braids After Relaxing Your Hair?

wait for braids after relaxing hair

If you plan on having braids after relaxing your edges, you should wait at least three to six weeks after the therapy.

The cuticle layer of your hair is lifted during the relaxer processing, making relaxed hair brittle and weak.

Tip: Stay away from dyeing your hair for at least two weeks before and after you get a perming treatment. 

Should I Relax My Hair Before Braids?

Relaxers for natural hair are divisive, but they are not without their supporters. 

When and how to get ready for a hair relaxer treatment is crucial, though.   

Can I Relax My Hair Before I Install Braids?

relaxing hair before braids

Despite the fact that relaxing your hair is a permanent and powerful chemical procedure, some still go with it.

The goal is to achieve greater styling options and manageability.

But what do experts say about blending braids and relaxed hair?

Braids are wonderful protective styles for both relaxed and natural hair. However, stylists advise against relaxing hair before braiding it. 

Why Is It Not Advisable to Relax Your Hair Before Braids?

It is because a relaxer can alter the pH balance of your hair, making it more susceptible to damage when you go with braids.

When your hair is already weak after using a relaxer, you will only make it harder for them to add braids to the equation.

Moreover, the protein structure of your hair will be damaged if you braid it after using a relaxer.

ironing hair

You are much less likely to have breakage when braiding natural hair than when working with relaxed hair.

After getting your hair relaxed, you need to treat it with protein conditioners and other products to improve its health.

And you would not be able to do that if you turn to braid right after using a relaxer. 

What Should You Do?

Usually, it is better to avoid relaxing your hair when you already have the plan to braid it.

If you really have to, you should wait for at least 3-6 months to braid after using a relaxer.

Tip: Do not try to comb your hair for at least 24 hours of getting your hair permed to avoid any loss of curls. 

What Other Hairstyles Should You Avoid After You Perm Your Hair?

what hairstyles to avoid

You might be itching to experiment with new hairstyles post-perm that would be impossible with your natural hair. 

But, hold your horses!

Before you even pick up a brush, comb, or any other styling product, know what not to do with your hair.

You already know braids are off-limit immediately after getting your perm, but there are other styles to avoid as well. 

Twists

Even though twists appear to be a perfect fit for a fresh perm, they actually have the potential to completely damage your curls. 

The twists in your hair will cause it to take on a new shape and pattern that will be at odds with the curls your perm created.

In addition, twisting your hair before the perm has fully set (after three days) can cause your curls to loosen and fall out. 

Finger Coils

For post-perm hair, it is better to avoid a hairstyle as risky as finger coiling.

finger coiled hair

By wrapping sections of hair around your fingers, you may create spiraling barrel curls.

Due to excessive pulling and twisting, finger coiling is not a good option for permed hair.

Furthermore, this technique may cause split ends and an uneven curl pattern in newly permed hair. 

Roller Sets

You may think that you can do the same just because your stylists used rollers during the perming process. 

Well, it would not work if you want to do it just to maintain the curl pattern.

Once you have completed your perm, there is nothing you can do to stimulate curl production for at least three days. Forcing it may actually damage your hair. 

Is It Okay To Put Your Hair Up After A Perm?

putting hair after perm

A successful perm requires you not to wear your hair up on the day it is done. 

If you want your curls to last, you need to take extra care of them on the first day after your perm.

It is not a good idea to put your hair up with elastics or hair bands, as this will result in breakage.

Due to its sensitivity, permed hair is especially vulnerable to harm.

Damage is more likely to occur to newly permed hair because of its low protein content.

In addition, putting elastics in your hair might further weaken it, leading to more breakage. 

What Else To Avoid After You Perm Your Hair?

Just like certain hairstyles, there are things you should avoid after getting your hair permed. 

Do Not Use Blow Dryer 

blow dryer

How you dry your hair has a huge impact on the life of your permed hair.

Do it incorrectly, and you will lose your curls in no time and even develop frizz and split ends.

Simply let your hair dry naturally and use a microfiber towel. 

Do Not Leave Your Hair Dry

Curly hair needs more hydration than straight hair since it is harder for products to coat the hair and move down the shaft.

By applying moisturizing mists, leave-in serums, and deep conditioners on a regular basis, you may give your hair a daily dose of hydration. 

Do Not Ignore The Need To Trim

trimming hair

The perming technique can cause damage to your hair, and you should remove any damaged strands by cutting them off at the scalp.

Maintaining a healthy length can be achieved by cutting your hair every 2-3 months by a quarter of an inch.

Tip: Avoid putting your permed hair up to prevent frizz because it will only aggravate the issue. 

Takeaway

Mixing perms and braids can be confusing and make people ask, “Should I perm my hair before braids?” 

Ideally, you should not. In fact, you should wait for several weeks before you decide to braid your permed hair. 

Moreover, many styles, other than braids, do not go with perms. So, learn about them to ensure you do not end up damaging your hair.

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