Care for a new perm should involve avoiding shampoo for the first 24 hours and, after that, using only products especially formulated for chemically treated hair. Taking care of a perm appropriately ensures that it lasts the maximum amount of time with the minimum amount of damage to the hair.
The process of permanent waves involves first breaking down the chemical structure of the hair with the first solution, which makes the hair form to the shape of the rods. The second solution neutralizes the processor, stopping the chemical action so that the hair stays in the shape of the rods.
According to Happy Living Magazine, shampoo should be avoided for the first 24 hours because it changes the pH balance of the hair, which is still recovering from the chemical process associated with the perm.
According to professional hair care brand Schwarzkopf, only products formulated for chemically treated hair should be used. These products are pH-balanced to restore hair to a smooth luster. They do this by including plant oils and proteins that serve as the building blocks of the hair.
Concerning other chemical treatments, hair care brand Clairol suggests perming before coloring the hair. In fact, perming may remove some artificial color. However, getting a semi-permanent color the same day as a perm is fine as long as the scalp is not irritated.