Can You Perm Hair Extensions?
by BRENDA L. / AUG 9, 2023
Reading Time: 5 Minutes
Using hair extensions as a solution for more volume and length in your tresses is not news to you, but what about perming? If you’re considering getting some permanent curls or waves in your tresses, you may want to know the do’s and don'ts of perming your human hair extensions. Starting with the big question: can you perm hair extensions? In this blog, I’ll walk you through everything you need to know about perming your hair extensions, including expectations, maintenance, and more.
Understanding the Perming Process for Hair Extensions
Let’s be honest – perming hair isn’t all fun and games: in fact, the process involves altering the structure of your hair to achieve curls, waves, or any other desired texture. Whilst doing a perm, your hair stylist will typically use chemical solutions to break down the hair's protein bonds, just to reshape them using rollers and rods depending on the desired shape. While perming and relaxing natural hair has been safely practised for decades, using the same technique on Remy hair extensions isn’t as common, and many are still left wondering: is it possible? Is it safe? And most importantly: will it ruin your hair extensions?
Considerations for Perming Hair Extensions
Are you just a phone call away from booking your perm appointment? Hold up – there’s a couple of things you need to know before going on with it.
Material Type: first of all, let’s be clear: human hair extensions can hold a perm, but you can’t get it done on synthetic hair. However, it's important to check with your hair extension provider for specific guidelines.
Quality: choosing high-quality hair extensions will ensure you get the best results you can, however, here’s a little disclaimer: we don’t personally recommend to perm nor bleach Cliphair hair extensions as the process can damage your tresses.
Professional Expertise: perming hair extensions is a delicate procedure and cannot be done at home. DIY with perming solutions can be irreparably damaging, not to mention dangerous! Leave the job to a trained professional with previous experience on the matter.
Aftercare: permed hair extensions will be even more demanding when it comes to aftercare. Follow your stylist’s recommendations for shampoo, conditioner, and drying and styling techniques.
Potential Outcomes of Perming Hair Extensions
As human hair extensions often come from various donors, the results can be quite unpredictable – just like in the case of bleaching. On top of that, the quality of the products used and ultimately the skills of your stylist of choice will have a major impact on the final results. Want to know what to expect? Here are a few potential outcomes:
Beautiful Curls: let’s start with the best case scenario: everything goes as planned, and with the right technique and high-quality products and Remy hair extensions you manage to achieve the perfect curls or waves you’ve been longing for. Nothing else to add.
Texture Mismatch: now, one of the possible outcomes would be a mismatch in texture between your natural hair and your extensions. One thing you could do to avoid this is to shop for hair extensions already available in your desired texture, so that you’ll only need to perm your hair and not the extensions as well. Check out these curly hair extensions!
Damage: last but not least, the worst case scenario: over-processed, brittle, frizzy hair that is prone to breakage. Sucks to say it, but unfortunately it is one of the possibilities. A good hair stylist would refuse to perm your hair if they believe your tresses are not up for the job!
Read more about getting a perm and how the whole process works on our dedicated guide: Should I Get A Perm? Everything You Need To Know Before Going Curly.
Maintaining Permed Hair Extensions
Once you’ve had your perm done, aftercare needs to be followed religiously – as this is what will guarantee you long-lasting, gorgeous results. Make sure you always use sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner to avoid drying out your hair extensions any further.
Make a habit of giving your tresses a deep conditioning treatment once a week (or as needed) to restore their shine, softness and manageability – and opt for heatless styling techniques whenever it is possible for you to do so (although, now that you have a perm, you shouldn’t need any curling wands and flat irons for a while!).
Last but not least, maintain your curls by booking (and attending) regular touch ups with your hair stylist.
While the question "Can you perm hair extensions?" can have a positive answer, it's important to proceed with caution. Have a thorough consultation with your stylist of choice about perming hair extensions, and if you’re unsure, have a chat with other salons too and compare the opinion of different professionals.