Do Perms Expire? What to LOOK out for!

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Perms have been around for decades and are still a popular choice for women who want to add volume and curl to their hair.

However, many people wonder if perms have an expiration date. In this article, we will explore the answer to this question.

First, let’s define what a perm is. A perm is a chemical treatment that is used to change the structure of the hair.

It involves applying a solution that breaks down the bonds in the hair. And then reforming them to create a new shape.

This new shape is held in place by the use of neutralizers and setting lotions. 


Do Perms Expire?

Now, back to the question at hand. Do perms expire? The short answer is no, perms do not have an expiration date.

However, the longevity of a perm can vary depending on a few factors.

How Long Does a Perm Last?

Do Perms Expire?

One of the biggest factors that can affect how long a perm lasts is how well it was done in the first place.

If the perm was done correctly, with the right chemicals and techniques, it can last for up to six months.

On the other hand, if the perm was done poorly, with the wrong chemicals or techniques, it may not even last a month.

Another factor that can affect how long a perm lasts is the type of hair that it was done on.

Coarse or thick hair tends to hold a perm better than fine or thin hair.

This is because the chemicals used in the perm can penetrate coarse or thick hair more easily, allowing the new shape to hold better.

Finally, how well you take care of your hair after getting a perm can also affect its longevity.

If you use harsh shampoos or styling products, or if you expose your hair to too much heat, the perm may not last as long.

On the other hand, if you use gentle, sulfate-free shampoos and avoid excessive heat styling, your perm can last longer.

How to Tell If Your Perm Has Gone Bad

While perms do not have an expiration date, they can certainly go bad or spoil. Here are a few signs that your perm may have gone bad:

  • Lack of curl: If your hair is not holding its curl or the curl is falling out after a short period of time, it may be a sign that your perm has gone bad. A perm that has been properly done should hold its shape for several months.
  • Damage to the hair: If your hair has become dry, brittle, or damaged after getting a perm, it may be a sign that the perm was done incorrectly or that it has gone bad. Chemical treatments like perms can be damaging to the hair, but a properly done perm should not cause excessive damage.
  • Foul odor: If your hair has a foul odor, it may be a sign that the perm has gone bad. Chemical reactions that occur during the perm process can sometimes produce unpleasant odors, but these should dissipate after a few days. If the odor persists, it may be a sign that the perm has gone bad.
  • Burning or itching sensation: If you experience a burning or itching sensation on your scalp after getting a perm, it may be a sign of an allergic reaction or that the perm has gone bad. It is important to seek medical attention if you experience any adverse reactions to a perm.

What to Do Next:

If you notice any of these signs, it is important to seek the advice of a professional hairstylist.

They can help you determine if your perm has gone bad and recommend a course of action.

In some cases, it may be necessary to remove the perm or start over with a new treatment.

It is important to take good care of your hair after getting a perm. And to follow all aftercare instructions provided by your stylist.

This can help to prevent damage and ensure that your perm lasts as long as possible.


While perms do not have an expiration date, their longevity can vary depending on several factors.

If you want your perm to last as long as possible, make sure it is done correctly, and take good care of your hair afterward.

And if you ever want to remove the perm, you can do so by getting a haircut or using a chemical relaxer to break down the bonds in the hair.

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