As someone who’s straight-haired, it is only natural that I suffer from the “curly-hair syndrome”. I always liked wavy/curly hair on other people, so I decided to get a regular perm my senior year of high school. I discovered that curly hair fit me. After perming it one last time about less than a year later, I’ve let it all grow out and been stuck with the same boring straight hair. In the last two years, I’ve been dying to perm my hair again, but I was waiting for it to grow out to an appropriate length after I’d chopped my hair off.

Well, couple weeks ago, I went to consult this hair stylist in my neighbourhood of Seoul. I pointed out a style I liked in one of her many magazines. She then proposed that I do it as a “setting perm” aka “digital perm”. Honestly, I had no idea what that was. I just nodded and pretended I knew what she was talking about after she pointed at the scary looking machine. She also told me that it would cost 80,000 won (about $70 - $80 depending on the exchange rate) to do the perm along with some hot oil hair nourishing session. After I consulted the internet, the my Korean ahjumma co-workers, I decided to go with the digital perm because it produces prettier curl, is slightly less damaging on my hair, and because out of curiosity!

On Saturday, my friend J and I decided to go get our hair perm. J ended up getting a regular perm. Her perm was simpler and faster. Mine . . . well let’s break it down into steps.

1) Wash my hair.

2) Put something in my hair, then wrapped up in plastic wrap, and had the heating hat on.

3) Took the heating hat off and plunked me under the rotating heating thing. The plastic wrap on my head made me feel like a conehead or an egghead.

4) Wash my hair again.

5) Put another solution on my head. Don’t ask me what it is. I have no clue.

6) Put my hair in the roller and attached me to the machine like the image up there. Unfortunately, my lovely machine was hanging above me, so it was more uncomfortable. I felt like Medusa, Bride of Frankenstein, and a Freak of Nature.

7) They unrolled it, and this is where I nearly freaked out. I ended up looking like Little Orphan Annie. I thought this was the end, and I was about to scream, “This is not what I asked for!” Luckily, I just waited.

8) They put more solution on the curls that were “pinned together”. Nearly got my forehead burned as they were trying to curl my bangs up, haha. Luckily, it was just a slight touch, so no mark and burn.

9) Wash my hair for the umpteenth time.

10) Blow dried my hair and got instructions on how to care for the hair, which involved a lot of scrunching.

This entire process took about three hours. Oiya. My friend J took about two and a half for hers. Here are the pictures of our results.


Regular Perm (image courtesy of J.E.)


Digital Perm

Now that I know what a digital/setting perm is and have gone through it . . . would I do it again? I don’t know. Being attached to the machine was a pain. I couldn’t move for the fear of yanking the machine out of my hair and three hours?! I know getting beautiful is a pain, but for me, sitting in that chair for three hours was the ultimate sacrifice! Oh at least I have pretty curls again.


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Wow! The sacrifices we make to make ourselfs pretty....


The digiperm may have taken longer, but it looks WAYY better than the regular perm!


yeah you have really long hair. I like the definition of curl with the digi perm, but I think the regular perm gave better results when it comes to volume


i got my hair chemically straightened and cut in beijing for the equivalent of USD $25. <3 imbalanced exchange rates.


Wow.  Only 30 bucks?  Now, it’s like 50 or more.  Then again you were in Daegu, which is probably a lot cheaper than Seoul. <3


Hehe You can be my translator. smile

Neighborhood ones are definitely cheaper for good quality too. I always went to my neighborhood one and she took care of me all the time AND gave me discounts too. I miss her. ONLY stylist I ever liked.

When I got my regular perm there it was only $30 and my hair was to the middle of my shoulder blade.


@Lan—Sure!  You go do your hair at the salon, and I’ll just . . . sit there and talk with you XD

@Miss.Kang—My mum insist that the neighbourhood salons overcharged my perm.  She keeps saying that the hight ritzy places charges like that, not a simple neighbourhood ones.

@MingMinHui & @Japangirl—The digital perm is actually started by the Japanese ?  Or so says my research.


Ooo I didn’t know there was a Digi and Regular. haha


i like the digi perm curl better, it’s a softer wave. interesting name though…


I miss cheap perms. Over here they charge so much...-.-;


Geez your hair long. <3 Next time I’m in Korea lets go to the salon together. haha




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