Digital perms are one of the hottest hair innovations to come in the recent years.
Said to be a safer, less damaging option – and more natural looking – than traditional perms, it’s no wonder it’s so popular now!
Unfortunately for me, it did not work at all.
Why digital perms?
I decided on a digital perm because they sounded so good – and as I mentioned before, I once had a traditional perm, and it was the best thing in helping my hair to get more volume.
However, while it was good at giving me volume – it was still that “old-school” perm, and before long, it end up being a big frizzy mess. Plus, the grow out was awful, since my hair is naturally very straight. Digital perms seemed like the answer. It was a long process, but I was so excited, so I didn’t mind.
My digital perm experience
I decided to do my digital perm at a salon close by to me that seemed to know what they were doing. It was part of a big chain of salons that was popular in my city, so I didn’t think much of it. (Mistake #1, obviously.)
The salon seemed nice enough – very nice, in fact. I sat in the chair of the salon, listening to bad pop songs (that I secretly enjoyed, not gonna lie) for almost 5 hours, and when everything was done, I got up to check, and I saw minor waves… MINOR.
This was my first red flag, so I told the stylist about it, and he told me to go home and put some products in, because apparently a digital perm needs products to help bring out the curls.
When I got home, I did what he said and I did indeed get big, fluffy waves, and I adored it. And surprisingly, my hair didn’t feel damaged or dry at all – I was super pleased. However, less than half an hour later, the waves were completely gone. I immediately called the stylist to ask what happened, and he asked me to come back to the salon and for him to look at it.
I went back to the salon, where the stylist looked a little puzzled, and then proceeded to take out a curling iron – you know, the normal curling irons you have at home – to curl my hair. At that point I got a bit mad, because what is the point in getting a perm is a curling iron is needed?! Afterward they said they can’t do anything about it, sorry but they have a no refund policy, and that was that.
I’m not sure what went wrong – my hair used to be able to take perms perfectly, and the steps he was doing seemed to be correct.
But if everything was going “right” and it came out like it did, then that’s enough concern to say that perhaps digital perms are not guaranteed to work. I immediately went to Google, as you do, and typed in “my digital perm isn’t curly and I’m pissed”, and it seems like I’m not the only one.
What I Think I Did Wrong
Oh, well, on hindsight – so many things. Let me count the ways:
- I should have gone to a Japanese or Korean salon. Digital perms originated there; it’s a technique they would know. This was my first mistake, I went to some salon near my house without thinking about it.
- I should’ve researched more on digital perms. All I knew was that I heard they were awesome, my friends loved them, I’ve had perms before and they were fine, and that was it. If you’re reading this post – and this one I’ve since written – then you’re doing great on the research front!
- I should’ve asked more questions to the stylist: my concerns, or just for more information about digital perms in the first place!
It’s Not All Bad…
I hope I haven’t discouraged anyone to not get a digital perm.
Still, even though my experience was a bad one, I know many, many women who has gotten them and absolutely love them – they wouldn’t be so popular if this wasn’t the case. My good friend has been having digital perms for the last 5 years with absolutely no problem.
If you’ve read this whole post, and my follow up, 9 Things to Know Before Getting A Digital Perm, then you’re already on your way and probably have a 99% chance your digital perm will turn out way better than mine. I would also recommend, after reading this full article, to tell your stylist about your concerns and get confirmation that the salon, it’s tools and digital perm formula are correct, and that they know what they are doing.
I hope this post can help someone else, and make you aware and cautious before you spend your time and money on a digital perm.