I was inspired by Nina’s awesome post about her loose wave perm! It looks great! I wanted to share my experience with the Digital Perm aka digiperm that I had done almost a year ago because I know when I was thinking about it, I was googling it like crazy trying to find people who had gotten it.
What is a digital perm? It’s a perm that is popular among Koreans, Japanese and Chinese because it creates loose curls or waves, depending on the rod sizes you use. It’s also known as a “hot perm” because the rods are heated to create the curls, whereas a traditional perm, “cold perm”, does not use heated rods. It gets its name “digital” because there is a digital display on the machine that connects to the rods.
What I love about the digital perm! It is a very low maintenance hair style. Every morning, I shower, put some curl-enhancing product in it, twist around my fingers and I’m set to go. If I have time, I’ll dry it a little with a diffuser. Also, it lasted a really long time. I had mine done about 10 months ago and I still have a little bit of curl at the ends of my hair (I’m overdue for another perm).
The process, as I remember it. This was a 4 hour appointment so make sure you’re well fed and you bring some entertainment with you! First my stylist trimmed my hair in a way that was supposed to be most flattering for the digiperm. He then sprayed some solution all over my hair and let it sit. After some time passed, he began rolling my hair in the biggest-sized rods (see picture below). Normally, he will only roll halfway up your hair but I asked him to go all the way to my scalp so I can get as much volume as possible. This made it uncomfortably hot on my scalp! He had to put in little pads to separate my scalp from my rolled hair (ouch). And he was nice enough to fan me ^.^. After he unrolled the rods, my hair was in tight little curls (see picture below) and I was a little frightened, haha. But he eventually worked them out and they became long curls.
Where I got it done and the cost: I had it done at a Japanese salon in Los Angeles called Hair Epoch and my stylist was Aki. The cut and perm was $190 and I tipped him $60 (cash only). Trust me, he deserved the tip because it took a lot of work to roll and unroll my hair. I highly recommend a Korean or Japanese salon for digiperms.
Products that I use on my hair: Fekkai Brilliant Glossing Shampoo, Fekkai Reparative Conditioner, Ojon Restorative Hair Treatment, Ojon Revitalizing Mist. I love all four products and use them to this day. Lately, I’ve been rubbing Josie Maran’s 100% Organic Argan Oil on the ends (read my review here)
Some tips for caring for your digiperm:
- Don’t wash your hair for 3 days after the perm.
- Never comb or brush your hair. Only comb it gently in the shower to detangle
- Only blow dry your hair with a diffuser
- Look for shampoo and conditioner that are specifically for chemically-treated hair
- I don’t want to say DON’T straighten your hair because I don’t know what kind of damage will be done if any, but I definitely wouldn’t
- For best curl, I liked to shower at night, twist my hair into 4 small buns, sleep on it and then apply mousse the next day
- The digiperm should last you about 6 months
- My hair didn’t dry out all that much because of the digiperm, but make sure you deep condition it anyway with a product that is kind to chemically-treated hair
I had a ton of questions about the digital perm but in the end, I LOVE it and I will definitely do it again. I just haven’t made it a priority to go to Aki’s salon. But I will soon! If you have any questions, please feel free to ask!