How to Keep Sweat From Ruining a Perm


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Permed hair, whether loose waves or tightly wound spirals, requires proper maintenance to preserve the curl and allow the perm to last as long as possible. The most critical time for perm maintenance is in the days immediately after getting a perm. Water, such as sweat, can pull down curls, loosen waves and prevent a perm from properly setting. Keeping sweat off and away from hair is one way to help ensure your perm lasts and looks curly, bouncy and fresh.

Everyday Life

To help prevent sweating in excessive amounts, enough to penetrate through the hair and thus affect curls, make sure to maintain a comfortable room temperature in your house and place of employment. If you begin to feel warm, and thus on the verge of sweating, grab a cool drink and step outside for fresh air. You can also stave off sweating by using a hair dryer with a cool air stream setting and briefly blowing air around your head to cool down. If you do not have a cool air hair dryer, stand in front of a stationary or oscillating fan to get the temperature of your head to cool down quickly to prevent sweating. Dress in layers and adjust your body temperature by wearing less clothing when you feel warm.

Inclement and Hot Weather

The weather outside can be unpredictable, and even on cool days you can begin to sweat when standing in direct sunlight. Wear a light-colored, wide-brimmed hat during all sunny days to help keep your head cool and dry. For days when the temperature soars, soak a hand towel in ice water and wrap it around your neck to keep your overall body temperature down, helping to prevent sweating. Wearing a headband made from absorbent cotton material will help soak up brow sweat before it has a chance to penetrate your scalp and hairline. An umbrella or parasol can also be used to help keep your head cool and dry during hot and sunny weather.


Avoiding exercise during the first 48 hours of having a new perm is one way to help keep sweat from permeating curls. If you find yourself on a strict exercise schedule, or simply have the need to exert some energy, use a few tactics to help keep hair dry. Wearing a sweatband around your forehead helps to soak up some sweat, and working out during cooler times of the day will also help. Wear light-colored and sweat-absorbing clothing to help keep your body temperature in check. Working out or exercising in short, 10-minute sets will also help keep sweat at bay.


If you have a tendency to sweat while sleeping, lowering the temperature of your bedroom will help prevent sweat from impacting your perm. Sleep on cotton pillowcases to help absorb sweat and pull hair back in to a loose ponytail to encourage air flow. You can also use a room fan, ceiling fan and handheld fan if you wake up and feel yourself beginning to overheat. Additionally, wearing lightweight pajamas will help keep you cool and thus help prevent sweating from occurring.