Sunny Lee
Updated on April 17, 2021

The first association women have with the word “perms” is even, springy ringlets. But this is not the case with a digital perm!

Digital curls are loose and just add a natural, wavy definition to your hair, which can still make a huge difference if you have a straight hair type. If you enjoy the look of digitally permed hair as much as I do, here are 7 facts to know before you give them a try.

Digital Perms on Long Asian Hair

Instagram / @jisu_sunny

1. The Process of Perming Requires Much Time and Skills

A digital perm is a modern perm technique used to permanently change the structure of your hair. Digi perm is one of the types of hot perming that involves the use of a professional machine to heat the rods to around 80 to 120 degrees.

The process takes around 3 hours, which is quite long for a salon treatment. Just like in cold perming, the process involves the application of chemicals to break the natural bonds in your hair and, then, other chemicals to set the hair in a new, curly pattern. Note that digital perm chemical is stronger and, also, heat is applied directly on hair. Thus, make sure the treatment is carried out by a professional who is well-versed in the process.

2. Digital Curls Look Very Natural

Digital perm creates very soft, large curls that are more defined when dry. It is not used close to the scalp, so the crown of your hair remains mostly intact.

Digital perming used to work better for short and medium-length hair. But now, when large rolls for digital perms have become available, it is used to create natural-looking waves in long hair too.

Overall, this type of perming helps create a splendid natural hairstyle that largely resembles a ‘rich girl hair’ with a perfect blowout. The difference is that you do not have to spend much time styling your hair each day!

Asian Woman with Digitally Permed Hair

Instagram / @jisu_sunny

3. The Perm Was Created with Straight Hair in Mind

Digital wave perms came to the West from Asian countries, where they are extremely popular. This is why digital perms are also called Asian perms, Korean perms, and even Japanese perms.

That being said, it works best on the thick straight hair that most Asian women have. Also, it works better for women who want to add volume to thin, limp hair, even though thin hair may give you looser curls.

At the same time, thick-haired beauties that have more natural structure to their hair may struggle with the excessive volume and frizz this perm gives. In some cases, women first go through permanent straightening and, then, digital perming to create a hairstyle that is smooth but has large soft curls in it.

4. The Day After Day Look Depends on Styling

To get the desired wavy structure day after day, you need to style your hair the proper way. Here is the right wash day and drying routine:

  • After shampooing, apply a curling cream;
  • Dry the hair with the focus on the scalp to create volume at the roots;
  • After 70-80% of hair is dry, split it into two and twirl each part to dry it;
  • Use a large hair roll to style face-framing layers;
  • When the hair is completely dry, use a big tooth comb or fingers to smoothen the curl and apply serum or oil to the tips.

5. Digitally Permed Hair Requires a New Hair Routine

First of all, you need to understand that the structure of your hair will change after perming, so you should adopt a hair care routine for wavy and curly rather than straight hair.

Since perming makes hair dry and curly hair is naturally more prone to dryness, you will have to learn strategies to moisturize your locks and fight the frizz. Beware that hair tips tend to become dry a month after a digital perm, so gentle care and moisturization are needed to keep them from becoming damaged and tangled.

If you could not take timely action, fix the issue with a little trim and re-texturing: after the second perming hair becomes less tangled and easier to style. In general, you can perm twice a year to maintain the style.

6. Digital Perms Last and Cost More

Digital perms are more time-intensive and normally last for more than 3 months, while curls created using cold perming disappear in 1 to 3 months. But the price you are going to pay is higher too.

A higher price is due to the use of a professional machine, which is quite an investment for a salon. Also, the technique and the specialists performing it are sparse in the West compared to Asian countries, making the treatment quite exclusive.

Asian Woman with Digital Curls

Instagram / @jisu_sunny

7. You Need to Start with Healthy Hair

Perm results vary depending on the hair condition, and you can get a satisfactory result only with healthy hair. Digital perm is not recommended to do on bleached or very damaged hair. Thus, if you think about getting some digi perms, start by repairing bleached-damaged hair and committing to nurturing hair care.

If you cannot live without dying your hair, choose subtle balayage rather than all-over blonde: the highlights will look stunning with soft curls!

Got excited? I’m sure you are, for it is so hard to stay indifferent to the trendy and alluring look digital curls give. If you need more time to look around before getting anything permanent, follow me on Instagram @jisu_sunny for digital perm style inspo and tips for hair styling.

Digital Perms on Long Asian Hair Asian Woman with Digitally Permed Hair Asian Woman with Digital Curls