You’ve probably heard of the word “digital perm”. It’s getting pretty popular, not just in Malaysia, but the whole of Asia. That’s also why it’s known as an ‘Asian perm’.

Many Asians are looking into getting more volume and texture in their hair, which is where digital perms play a role in achieving that desired voluminous hair texture!

Now, before you jump onto the trend mindlessly, you must know how to take care of digital perm hair. Why? Because, unlike your natural hair, when you get your hair permed, it’s not permanent and would lose its shape. So if you’re considering this hairstyle, read on to learn more about it!

What is a digital perm?


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In simple terms, a digital perm involves breaking down the hair and transforming or re-structuring them into another style using heating rods with a digital display. Do you realise those pretty locks on a friend who always had straight hair her whole life? She probably did a digital perm if it looks curlier than usual! Once hair stylists curl your hair, certain chemicals will be used to lock them, making it last longer.

Don’t get confused with the normal cold perm though! Cold perm is when your hair gets sectioned and curled around a plastic rod, in which the cold wave solution is poured and soaks the hair.

Is digital perm bad for your hair?


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Since digital perm involves a chemical process, it could potentially cause some sort of damage to your hair. The primary reason why it damages your hair is that it makes your hair more dry and frizzy. If you already have dry and frizzy hair, it’s highly advisable for you to not consider getting a digital perm at all.

Other than that, it’s perfectly okay to try digital perm hair once in a while – just don’t do it too often. Similar to bleaching or colouring your hair, both are chemical processes that can have some damage to your hair, especially when done too frequently.

How do you sleep with a digital perm?

When you’re sleeping, get a silk cloth and tie it around your head. Alternatively, you can also get a silk or satin pillow. This helps to prevent the friction caused between your hair and the pillow. It may sound a little silly, but many people have said that it actually really works!

Another option is to sleep with your hair twisted on both sides as a side bun (think Princess Leia!). If that’s too much of work for you, apply a leave-in conditioner and pull up your curls into a large bun all the way on top of your head. Braiding your hair before you sleep is also one of the best ways to maintain your curls while you sleep soundly.

Should you get a digital perm?


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First of all, what you should know before getting a digital perm is that it requires a lot of commitment and effort to maintain it. Not only does it cost a hefty sum, but it’s also a huge investment in terms of money and time. Just imagine, you let your hair down showing your curly locks – but after a month or two, you end up ignoring the fact you have digitally permed hair altogether by not taking good care of it.

For those who have coloured or dyed hair, if you just got them done, it’s best to avoid getting a digital perm for at least a month or so. This is because your hair has already gone through a chemical process, getting another one could potentially hurt your hair. Be sure to go through a hair treatment before going for digitally permed hair as your coloured or dyed hair could be already dried up. Hydrating it before performing another chemical process could hugely make a difference to your hair. Even better if you’ve been keeping your treated hair healthy all this while!

A digital perm requires maintenance as it doesn’t just stay permanent for as long as you want it to without proper care. On top of certain lifestyle changes you would have to make, you have to invest in good hair care products as well.

Once you realize what kind of things to expect after getting a digital perm, then you can decide on whether it’s worth it for you or not!

8 tips on how to take care of digital perm hair (and make it last longer!)

A digital perm typically lasts for a few months up to a year. If you want to make your money’s worth, here are some useful tips on how to take care of digital perm hair:

1. Don’t wash your hair 24 up to 48 hours

Now, this is probably one of the most important tips of all – once you’ve got a digital perm, don’t wash your hair right after! Wait at least 24 hours or 48 hours to be safe. If you have to wash your hair every day, trust us – you’ll soon see your expensive digital permed hair fading away. While it’s tempting to get the greasiness off your head – please refrain from doing so!

When bathing, simply use a shower cap to prevent your digital permed hair from getting wet. To make it easier, wash your hair before you get your hair done. That way, you could wait a day or two without feeling your greasy hair.

2. Use hair care products specifically for curly hair

As we all know, when chemicals are used on your hair, it could cause dryness and become dehydrated really quickly. Once you’ve decided on getting digital perm hair, you have to get new hair products to suit your new curls.

Purchase sulfate-free shampoos as this ingredient tend to cause dryness. Shampoos that contain hydrating properties such as argan oil helps to retain the moisture on your hair. Try to avoid creamy formulas as they can make your curls heavier and weigh them down.

Other than that, look out for hair care products that are said to be effective to treat curly hair. You can also consider getting a hair mask or oil that is made to hydrate your hair.

3. Detangle your hair while it’s still wet

One of the most important tips on how to take care of digital perm hair is to always untangle your hair out straight while it’s still wet after a shower using your fingers. Brushing your curls when its wet could loosen them and cause frizziness, so you should avoid using a brush but instead use your fingers to clear all the knots and tangles.

4. Don’t tie up your hair

Of course, when you’re playing sports and such, you’re likely to tie your hair up. However, it is recommended to not tie your hair for at least one month. It could ruin your luscious curls when doing so!

Consider simply exercising with your hair down (if that’s possible for you), or just avoid activities that require you to tie your hair altogether. Come on – it’s just one month, imagine the amount of money you’ve spent getting your digital perm done! It’s definitely worth the wait.

5. Air dry your hair

Even if you’ve been blow-drying your hair all this while for many years, when you have digital perm hair, you can’t blow-dry it as it could cause heat damage, making your hair lose all of your curls and have split ends. Before it dries, twist your hair into a braid to ensure your curls maintain its’ shape. If you’d like a bigger curl, take bigger sections and twist it.

But if you really can’t stand the thought of just leaving your hair to air dry, you can consider blow-drying using only cool air, provided your hairdryer offers that option. If not, it’s best to avoid it or consider investing in a hair dryer that offers both hot and cold drying to really prolong the lifespan of your digitally permed hair.

6. Avoid drying your hair with a towel

A common habit we often perform after washing our hair is to rub it in between the towel. While this works fine for normal hair, it’s a big no-no for your digital perm hair.

However, you could consider using a cotton T-shirt or a microfibre towel to squeeze water out from your hair. Wrapping your hair in a turban-style also helps to absorb some water which makes it more comfortable for you to air dry your hair afterward.

7. Get a trim once in a while

You may think cutting your hair isn’t an option – if not your curls are gone! But in actual fact, trimming it a little could help it stay in shape while maintaining the overall looks it. Trimming your hair also helps to reduce the amount of frizziness you experience after a digital perm.

8. Avoid swimming and using a sauna or steam room

Going to any one of these places is as good as ruining your digital perm! The excessive heat and chlorine in the water could cause damage to your permed hair. If you really must go swimming, you could use a swimming cap to protect your hair.