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What Is a Korean Digital Perm and Does It Really Work?


As technology advances, people are willing to try any new gimmick to get the hair of their dreams, from new styling tools to chemical treatments to coloring techniques.

Twitter via Buzzfeed

Enter the Korean Digital Perm, a treatment that uses digitized heat technology to curl the hair in a semi-permanent matter to create natural-looking waves and loose curls. It’s an alternative to a traditional perm (also called a “cold perm”) which uses chemicals and plastic rods to create tighter curls without using any sort of heat during the process.

One Buzzfeed employee decided to try out the technique in a video that’s now garnered over 11,200 likes.

“I’ve had very straight hair all my life and while I love it, I really wanted to see what its like going curly for awhile,” she tells viewers before entering the salon.

The process is relatively simple. First, her hair is washed and trimmed before a solution is spread through the hair containing chemicals that break the natural bond in her strands, allowing for the hair to be molded into a different shape or form.

The hair is then saran wrapped and put under a dryer before it is given a “bend test” to make sure it can hold a curl before it is put into rollers by the root. Paper is then put down in sections of hair which is then rolled up in rods and covered by more paper which is meant to protect the hair from the impending heat.

Then, the brain experiment-looking machine is rolled out, connecting dozens of wires to each rod.

“I felt like an alien in one of those old sci-fi movies,” the brave experimentee says.

After the machine is finished doing its job, the hair is rebonded to set the curl and then washed and left to dry.

These perms are popular for their low maintenance requirements, as most recipients will wash their hair and let it air dry without the need to style it.

It’s important to note the distinction that the style of the perm shown in the video (loose, natural-looking waves) is considered to be a Korean Perm while the technique of using the machine is called a digital perm, thus making this a Korean Digital Perm.

According to Salon Suites Palm Beach, the treatment can cost anywhere from $40 to $200.

They are expected to last over 3 months.

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