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Friday, January 25, 2013

Digital Perm

I've always wanted to try a digital perm.  I was growing my hair out for my wedding so right after, it was the perfect time to try it. I figured since my hair was long and if I didn't like it, I could always pony tail it up or cut it.

The difference between a digital perm and a normal perm is that heat is added to the rods by a machine, while a normal perm only uses chemicals only.  A digital perm is suppose to be a more looser perm, more wave-like, which is definitely what I wanted.  My inspiration:

I went to a small Korean salon in Fairfax, VA. It only had one good yelp review so I was a little nervous, but it was within the price range I wanted to spend and they had an appointment spot the day I wanted, so might as well!

I've never gotten a digital perm before so I didn't know what to expect and have no other experience to compare it to, but this is what happened at mine:

The lady placed my hair in mid-sized rollers and then attached them to this machine (which gives the temp digitally, hence the name digital perm).  She added these chemicals to my hair similar to a regular perm, but I guess because the chemicals are suppose to work more precisely with the heat, it is suppose to be "better" for your hair, but don't quote me on that one.  The heat was added for up to an hour, I lost track of time, but the whole process took about 1.5 hours. Once we finished, she rinsed my hair off and blow dried it with a diffuser on cool air and added an anti frize creme to my hair, Biosilk, to mold my hair a bit.  My hair was still half wet when I left and honestly it looked terrible.  Permed wet hair = UGLY.  After an hour of air-drying however, it looked SO much better!  The waves were very tousled, nothing too curly!  It was just what I was looking for.

You are not suppose to wash your hair for the next 24-48 hours.  I even waited an extra day to in order to ensure my curls stayed intact.  The next day, it looked even better.  I didn't even have to do anything with my hair.  I got loads of compliments & my co-workers thought I spent the time every morning to curl my hair (score!)

I was a little suspect on whether or not the digital perm process was enough time, since I read at some places it takes pretty long 3+ hours, while mine only only about 1.5 hours.  However, I was pretty satisfied with the results. My hair was still very soft, which totally is a bonus.

Since the perm was more of a looser tousled wave, I was a bit worried about if it would last long. The first month was great.  I could go every other day without washing my hair and get the perfect waved look.  The second day actually always looked better.  Two months later, I can definitely tell the difference - the curl is much looser now.  My hair is of course growing out, but in order to get a more curly look, I need to wash my hair everyday to reactivate the curls.  It still looks a bit wavy, but more flattened out from sleeping on it if I give it a 2nd day.

Maintenance is very easy:
1. Add some anti-friz serum to define the curl or scrunch it up after I take a shower and that's about it!

2. Hand-style it with your fingers.  DON'T COMB/BRUSH your hair (which is also a negative for me)
3. If blow drying hair - use a diffuser with limited heat as so not to damage your hair more
4. In terms of shampoos & conditioners - I'm really loving the brand Clear, which is very affordable and you can get it at your local Target!


  • Perfect tousled wave look without the work!  I wake up every morning already styled pretty much!  I'm honestly super lazy so being able to get nicely curled hair without spending 45 min+ to curl my hair is awesome!  
  • Luckily for me my hair was still soft, but not sure if that will be the case for everyone


  • As I said you should NOT comb/brush your hair, but I tend to get a lot of knots in my hair!  I usually try to condition a lot and finger comb my hair in the shower, but I would still say that its not a perfect solution.  Sometimes I wish I could just brush it out like normal
  • Looser curl after a month, but what can you expect after all your hair is growing out and each wash is deactivating the chemicals of the curl more and more
Hope all this digital hair perm information is helpful for anyone who is interested in getting one!

  Feel free to ask me any other questions that you have! Please share on your tips and experience with a digital perm as well, I would love to hear them!

digi perm inspiration pics google search via


Couture Carrie said...

So gorgeous!


Style, She Wrote said...

Gorgeous! Love this look. xo style, she wrote

Cafe Fashionista said...

You look stunning! I LOVE the waves! :)

Allison said...

I never heard of this - and it's absolutely gorgeous! Your hair is so beautiful. What a great idea - when I first saw perm, I had a terrible 80's perm in my head, but you've converted me :)
Thank you so much for your comment on my last post - I forgot how much I love your blog and what an absolute sweetheart you are! xox

Winnie said...

Wow, 1.5 hours is really short! I had mine done in Hong Kong last year and I was there for about 3 hours, as they had to keep checking my hair was curling properly. I had more princessy curls at first and they gradually loosened up over time and now there is just a tiny wave left at the ends. My curls have pretty much all gone now but the perm lasted a good 6-7 months. I'm tempted to get mine done again when I fly back in the summer!

Suppose I Should Blog said...

this is lovely, i'd love curly hair, following you now love x

Susannah said...

Oh wow, this looks like something I would try. I've always wanted loose, breezy curls. Thanks for sharing!

Sarah said...

thank you:))
I don't have any experiences with digital perms, but it looks really good:)

Jacquii Lie said...

oooo it looks fabulous on you darl! I really need to do this!

Couture Caddy x
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Fleur d'air said...

I'm back here! I've got to tell you that you look great with that hair style :)

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Virna Ívinna said...

Your hair is so beautiful!!

photoshop color correction said...

I also love curly hair very much. You are looking so gorgeous !!

Feli said...

Hi~~ the curls look gentle~~ How much did it cost?