It’s no secret that I have major volume issues with my hair: it’s that I have none. Nada. Zilch. Zero. My hair is as flat as they come, which has led me to years upon years of trying every single method; methods that led me to write this post, 8 Ways to Get More Volume in Your Hair.
While those methods have helped greatly, I don’t really like doing much to my hair; meaning I don’t want to wake up an hour early to blow dry it, wash it excessively with volumizing products and style it everyday. These methods work greatly for some – that’s why I wrote the post – but for myself and other lazy ones, I just like to wake up with big hair. So far, the only way that happens is to get a perm.
In the past I’ve had disastrous cold perms, which end up being a big frizzy mess – I looked like a clown, and not to mention my hair was completely damaged. But I never learn, and this time around I wanted another perm, not only because I wanted more volume around the crown area, but I decided I wanted wavy hair – no more straight hair I’ve had all my life (minus that year of that hideous perm)!
I wanted something that was the least damaging to the hair, and researched – and heard so much – that digital perms are great.
What is a digital hair perm, and why is it “better”? First of all, it’s said to minimize the ‘frizz’ look, because heated rollers control it, and secondly, these heated rollers generate less damage to the hair. In other words – I was sold at that point, did some research where lots of girls claimed that they loved it, and when my friend got a digital perm that turned out fantastic, I booked an appointment immediately.
Perhaps that’s where I went wrong – I didn’t research the place. I went to an ordinary salon near my house (because I wanted it done asap, ah, the curse of being impatient!), and though it was close to my house and very convenient, it was a reputable brand – they had many branches all over the country, so I thought why not.
First, I revealed my concerns: my hair is hideously damaged, but vanity overpowers that and I still wanted waves. I said I wanted my hair to be big, fluffy waves from root to tip, especially my crown area, to be wavy. (Most digital perms start off with straight roots and goes into curly ends.) I also specifically pointed out that I wanted that kind of volume, but with much more tighter curls.
It was a long process. I sat there for 4.5 hours, listening to bad Ke$ha songs on the radio, waiting for the solution to set in (20 mins), rollers being put in (30 mins), heating the rollers (30 mins), taking them out, and then applying neutralizer (about 20 mins). In between, I got a trim and a treatment done, plus random waiting intervals, so by the time I was done my brain was mush and I was ready to pass out!
Here’s the funny part… When everything was done, I saw minor waves. MINOR. The stylist told me to go home and put some products in, because apparently digital perm needs products to aid the curls. Dang, so much for not spending time on my hair – but still, I did what he said.
When I got home, I applied some kind of curling product I had from ages ago and I got big, fluffly waves. I was estatic! It was literally like the photo of Kristen, except it was more suited to ‘me’, and I adored it. However, I sat down for dinner and once I was done, less than half an hour later, the waves were gone. My hair was back to being stick straight, and worse of all, FLAT. My crown area never looked so flat, I can basically see the whole shape of my skull. Yikes.
I called the stylist to ask what was up – I spent $300 and almost 5 hours sitting at the salon and it resulted to absolutely nothing! He asked me to come back to the salon and for him to look at it, and of course he said something about blowdrying it into curls and blah blah blah. (Told you those Ke$ha song were getting to me!)
But it was too late, my hair was still straight, they said they can’t do anything about it, so now I am $300 poorer. (I used all my Chinese New Year money for this perm!)
To say I’m disaapointed it an understatement. 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. The products he used were Revlon, and I don’t think it’s a bad brand (is it?).
I did more research online, (i.e., “my digital perm isn’t curly and I’m pissed” on Google) and found out many had my complaints. Damn! Lesson learnt: Research the good, the bad, and the ugly reviews. Research, research, research!
So for me, digital perms are not worth it: apart from my money and time, my hair is now completely straight (my friend even asked me if I had rebonded my hair. I nearly slapped her!) Not to mention, my hair is now full of chemicals from root to tip, so I have to be extra careful not damaging it further. A real bad experience and I’m disappointed. :(
Has anyone tried digital perms? How did you find them? Is there any explanation to why for some people, there are barely any curls?