Can Getting a Perm Cause Hair Loss?
05 / 13 / 21

Can Getting a Perm Cause Hair Loss?

Believe it or not, perms have been around for over a century! First developed and used on women in 1905 by Karl Nessler, the famous Swiss hairdresser, the main components were said to have been water and urine from bovines. Fortunately, perms have undergone many transformations since their early days and no longer contain this less than appealing ingredient.

However, many questions still surround this popular hair technique, including if perms cause hair loss? This is everything you need to know about perms and hair loss.

What is a Perm?

We all know that perms give hair more volume and better-defined waves or curls. This is accomplished by using specially formulated chemicals and a material such as a rod to define your curls just the way you want them. The hair then sits the necessary amount of time, is rinsed out, and a neutralizer is applied to stop the process. Perms last anywhere from 3-8 months, depending on several factors, including hair length.

Will Perm's Cause Hair Loss?

Unfortunately, this is not a cut-and-dry answer. A well-executed, professional perm should not cause hair loss or damage to your hair of any kind. However, a poorly executed perm (most commonly DIY home perm kits) can damage your hair, resulting in hair thinning and loss. Let's take a look at some of how a perm gone wrong can cause hair loss.

Misuse of Chemicals

Overuse or improper mixing of the chemicals has the potential to damage the hair and follicle permanently. A chemical burn to the scalp will most likely result in a scar, existing hair will fall out at the root, and the hair follicle will be damaged to the point that it can no longer produce strands of hair. This leaves a permanent bald patch. This is the least common type of hair loss as a result of a perm.

If you are experiencing this type of hair loss, there's no need to worry. A reputable hair loss restoration studio can help you once again enjoy a full head of hair!


Breakage is the most common type of hair loss due to a bad perm. Since perming is inherently a drying process, if done so incorrectly can result in damage to the strands of hair making them weak and brittle. This causes the strands to break, leaving thinning or bald patches. The good news is that this type of hair loss is temporary, and new strands will grow back in time.

Tips for Avoiding Hair Loss When Getting a Perm

It is advisable always to seek the professional services of a hairstylist when getting a perm. If you are untrained, you leave your hair and scalp's health at risk by using at-home kits. When preparing for your next perm, you should do the following:

  • Ensure your scalp is healthy
  • Avoid brushing your hair the day before
  • Avoid scratching your hair the day before.

It is important to ensure that you do not have any cuts or irritated places on your scalp when getting your perm to prevent chemical burns. Once you have your perm, avoid excessive heat. It is recommended to keep all styling tools below 300 degrees Fahrenheit.

Is It Coincidental Hair Loss?

There is always the chance that your hair loss or thinning just so happens to occur right after a perm but is actually the result of something entirely different such as hereditary balding. If you suspect this is the case for you, then you have options. First, seek the help of North Carolina's most trusted hair restoration studio. Here, at LH Hair, our dedicated specialists will get down to the root cause of your hair loss and present you with various solutions to fit your needs and budget. Contact us today to schedule your FREE consultation!