How to Keep My Permed Curls Nice All Day

by M.T. Wroblewski ; Updated September 28, 2017

Treat your perm right at the beginning of the day.

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If you have a perm, you probably count your blessings every time you see aisles of curling irons and hot rollers at the store. Your perm has presumably given you the body and curl you desire, without the fuss of curling devices. Still, perms can be finicky, and they do require maintenance. To keep your permed curls looking good all day, start your day with the proper perm regimen. Then you’ll be in great shape if you have to infuse your curls with a mid-day pick-me-up.

Shampoo your hair and then condition it with a moisturizing conditioner designed for chemically treated hair. Your perm needs moisture to control frizz and split ends and to keep it looking good all day.

Wrap your hair in a towel or pat it with a towel until it is damp, not dripping wet. Comb out the tangles with a wide-tooth comb to minimize hair breakage.

Apply a mousse to your hair. Mousse will help maintain the bounce and curl in your hair all day long. Squirt the mousse into your hand and apply it evenly over your hair.

Scrunch your permed hair to help the mousse saturate your hair; grab sections of hair at the end and literally scrunch them up to the roots.

Blow-dry your damp hair on the lowest heat setting and use a diffuser attachment. Scrunch your hair as you completely dry your hair to give your permed curls volume. If you don’t blow-dry your hair, your curls may become hard and crunchy because of the mousse.

Spray your curls lightly with hair spray designed for curly hair.

Avoid touching your hair, wrapping ringlets around your finger or otherwise playing with your hair as much as possible. Friction will cause your permed hair to tangle and frizz.

Provide a mid- or late-day pick-me-up to your permed curls by lightly spraying or applying water to your hair. Scrunch your hair until it dries and spray it lightly to set the curls.

Backcomb – or tease – your curls gently if you find they have “fallen” during the day. To backcomb, hold a section of your hair straight up. With a teasing comb, brush the section toward your scalp in very fast and short strokes. Continue backcombing your hair until it reaches the volume you desire. Spray your hair lightly with hair spray, if desired.

Plug in a curling or flat iron for that midday pick-me-up, but only as a last resort. Overuse of heat will cause damage to your permed curls.


  • Shampoo your hair every other day and wet your hair in the shower on the “off” days to help keep from stripping your hair of its natural oils.

    Keep your perm looking by good by getting a trim every four to six weeks. If you can’t afford the services of a professional stylist, nip the dead ends yourself to provide more “spring” to your curls.

Photo Credits

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About the Author

If you can't see the world, then you may as well try to meet (or at least talk to) everyone in it. So goes the hopeful thinking of many journalists, including Mary Wroblewski. This is why you'll see her work in a wide variety of publications, especially those in the business, education, health care and nutrition genres. Mary came of age as a reporter and editor in some of Chicago's scrappiest newsrooms but softened up long enough to write nine children's books as well as one nonfiction tome.