Skip to main content

Post Digital Perm - 6 Months Later


You're probably wondering about the long-term effects of a digital perm. Lucky for you, I remembered to update this blog!

Did I end up dying my hair after the perm?
  • Well, it is now about 6 months later and if you have thoroughly read my first post, you might wonder if I got those peek-a-boo highlights in addition to my digital perm. Originally, I wanted to perm my hair and get highlights at the same time. At the time, my stylist told me to get the perm first because it is less damaging and also perming after coloring would cause you to lose the intensity of your hair color (due to that massive heat that will pretty much bake the color out of your hair or at least lessen its vibrancy). The stylist advised me that I can decide to get it dyed exactly 1 month later if I wanted to. So for those of you who are thinking about getting a perm and then highlighting/dying your hair, read back on my first post about how much damage my hair felt like it went through. In December, after 1 month had passed, I knew I didn't want my hair super crunchy after perming and highlighting it, so I decided not to go through with the original plan. But maybe if you read on, you might change your mind and choose to get those highlights or dye your hair months later (instead of 1 month later). I do partially feel like the stylist gave me a 1 month estimate to get me back in the salon sooner than later. I personally feel like you should wait at least 3 months before considering coloring your hair in any way. However, that also depends on how you take care of your perm.
How do you take care of a digital perm to extend its life?
  • Originally, my stylist advised me to sleep with my hair twisted in 2 side buns like Princess Leia. I thought I could cheat the system to avoid looking like a fool and sleeping uncomfortably by just doing one high bun. It took me 4 months to realize that pulling my hair into 1 bun actually made the sides of my hair really straight and not curly at all. Seems obvious now, but that's why I'm writing it in this blog here so you can avoid this mistake. So I recently started doing the Princess Leia buns, but a lot higher since I'm a side sleeper and nobody wants to sleep on a ball of hair. Even though I had straightened my hair by pulling it back those 4 months, it surprising was still able to get curly again by doing the Princess Leia buns.
  • Twisting the hair into 2 buns helps keep the curls curly, obviously, but it actually really helps. For the nights I got lazy, I freaked myself out in the morning to find my hair fairly straight. But once, I twisted my hair into buns, it was really curly again.
  • I am a night showerer and to avoid further hair damage, I no longer blow dry my hair with a diffuser like the stylist suggested. I find that if I towel blot my hair and twist them into Princess Leia buns while damp and go to sleep like that, I can then wake up and put curling product in my hair that has been twisted overnight. I feel like this keeps the curls in the best condition but not everyone can sleep with their hair wet-ish or shower at night. This routine, though, has managed to keep my digital perm going for 6 months now and I feel like the tightness of the curls has decreased about 60% although I still like the waviness of my hair. (much better than when it was stick straight and I was so easily bored with my hairstyle).
  • Use curly hair products! It is surprising how much it can maintain the bounce and define the curl. So far I've used Miss Jessie's Curly Meringue (had a free sample of it) and Suave Curling Hair Mousse, (I was on a super low budget) both available at Target. Both work pretty well. I completed finished the bottle of Suave in 5 months and am using little dabs of the curly meringue here and there. If you're low budget too, I'd suggest using the Suave. I can't remember the price but it was extremely cheap and the lowest price curl captivator on the shelves. You can use them either when your hair is damp or dry, but I feel like you get better results when your hair is a bit damp. After putting the product in your hair starting from the ends, twist and scrunch your hair to get nice curls.
 

  • Repair the damage from the perm! You can save your hair maybe up to 75% in my opinion. No, it won't go back to what it was, but you can use deep conditioners to revitalize your hair and make it more manageable. Trust me, I felt like I was touching a hard bristled broom in my 1st month, now it's close to the texture it was pre-perm, but not quite. My favorites are the Dove Intensive Damage Repair products, Neutrogena Triple Moisture Deep Recovery Hair Mask, and Aussie 3 Minute Miracle Conditioner. I also plan to use Herbal Essence's Shampoo & Conditioner for curly hair once I run out of my current supply (update 9/3/13: not my favorite - stick to the intensive damage repair shampoos instead. The shampoo for curly hair made no noticeable difference).
     


What do I have to avoid while having a digital perm?

  • Depending on if you actually want to keep your perm for a while, you should avoid the steam room, sauna, chlorine, brushing your hair (only wide-tooth combing is ok if you must, be use a detangler first), using too much conditioner (which can weigh your hair down and make it less curly), combing your hair in the shower while conditioning your hair (stylist highly advised me against this), towel rubbing your hair (only blot it gently to avoid frizz), and washing your hair everyday (you should only wash it once every other day). Yes this all sucks to hear, but you'll get used to it and it won't be that bad at all, unless you're a swimmer.


After a few months, did you like your hair?
  • Yes! Like a commenter said, I really wasn't used to the volume in my hair. I felt like I had a ball head in the 1st month. It has flattened out now which is the look I prefer. PLUS, I hated how puffy the stylist made my bangs. When the curls got a little tamer and I tried to repair the damage with products, it was SOO SOO much better. However, it is noticeably drier now without product in it.
What does your hair look like now?
  • This is the most recent picture I could find showing my full hair. Notice that it's still pretty curly even from 10 hours of making that wedding cake! I used the Suave Curl Captivator here.

    At this point, I do find myself bored with my hair after 6 months. Would I get another digital perm? Probably not. I can't justify the price for a curl that doesn't come out as nice as one I can get for free from a sock bun (that doesn't damage your hair either!). If you're still undecided on a digital perm, I suggest you try the sock bun technique if you haven't already. If you don't like the sock bun, then maybe you should just get a perm. Everyone I know who has gotten it loves it. If you're worried about it being high-maintenance, then honestly, you don't have to maintain it--you can just carry on and still have loose waves (it just won't last as long or be very curly without the product and sleeping techniques). I only know that because that's what a friend of mine does and it has worked for her skipping all the extra steps to maintain the hair.

    Hopefully this post-perm portion helped. Feel free to ask questions and comment and I will do my best to try to check back and answer questions. Good luck!

Comments

  1. wow that was a great testimony. thank you for the advice and tips.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Love your blog Sandy! I just got my Digiperm done for the second time (it's just more convenient for me) with a guy in San Francisco who supposedly uses better chemicals and am going in tomorrow for highlights. I'm concerned about over frying my hair, but I find that argan oil shampoo/conditioner products, if you can stand the smell, do a great job of keeping the dry away. I also try to do a warm olive oil hair mask at home, which, while initially weighs your hair down, after a few washes makes it less dry.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I will have to try the Princess Leia buns, haven't tried that. got my digi perm 4 months ago and it's fading! My hair was naturally wavy before the perm and now it's getting flatter, didn't know not to comb conditioned hair in the shower.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hi sandy, i've been reading your blogs since the day you got your hair permed. Eventhough you initially didnt like the result I still put my brave heart forward and get a perm. I followed your princess Leia bun and I really dont get the curls that I want. I have my mousse and curls up curl rwactivator and defrizzant and sone other products. I still dont get the curls. I am born with a super straight hair-rebond looking hair and its very thick. My friends thinks that its because of the weight of my hair. I cried thinking that i made a mistake of getting my hair permed. Im now thinking of cutting my hair short. My heart is totally sinking. Pls elighten me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm so sorry your perm isn't working out! :( That is really disheartening to hear :/ Do you have very long hair? I've heard of your situation happening to girls with very long hair, hair that is too thick or fine, and usually the stylist should be able to tell if you are a good candidate for a digital perm. I've heard of some stylists who are willing to do touchups so you might consider going back to the salon as well. I used to have a lot of hair before I started experiencing hair loss and I think in my case, having less hair and a "digital perm" hair cut helped trim off the weight. Is your hair completely stick straight with no wave at all? Did you walk out of the salon with straight hair still after your perm?

      Delete
  5. Yes i do a have very thick hair. Well the hairstylist didn't ask me or advise.of the possible outcome. Now i see lots hair when i shower :( I think im loosing my hair. I will certainly drop by this weekend and ask them to fix it. I asked the hairstylist to cut my hair but he didnt. He says that it will look better on very long hair.. (my hair is as long as yours before u cut it) which i doubt. Yea i do have a very thick and sleek straight hair. And when walked out of the salon its not curly like yours a bit wavy i think and the curls are like braided curls not the beach waves that i thought i'll have. They just asked me twist my hair and off I go. I really need to see them this weekend.Thanks sandy for the response.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My guess is that your salon may have used smaller rollers instead of the large ones which could explain why your hair doesn't have the beach waves although I didn't get beach waves until maybe more than a month later when my hair settled down a bit. If your hair isn't considered "coarse" by the stylist, it is more difficult for different textures to hold the curl shape. I would give the sock bun technique a try if twisting your hair into the buns isn't working. I lost quite a lot of hair too - see my "General Hair Care" section for tips on how to prevent further hair loss. Good luck!

      Delete
  6. hi ms. sandy :), i just had my digiperm last wednesday and i love the curls but the other half side of my hair seems to return to my normal wavy hair before i had the digiperm, do you have any advice on what i should do about it? hope you'll reply thank you and Godbless! and by the way I LOVE YOUR BLOG!:)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Janine :)
      The only 2 things that have worked on my hair to revive curls are to either 1) Sleep with the Princess Leia buns (try not to do it with soaking wet hair - instead, slightly damp is better) and always put in curling product into hair or hair spray. or 2) After you wash your hair, part your hair into sections, twist them with your finger and then coil it around a diffuser to dry them and make sure you put a curling product in your hair to keep the curls. Currently, if I don't put enough curling product, my curls don't stay and instead straighten out by the end of the day. Although your hair might react differently, I'd give these options a try. But if you JUST got your perm last Wednesday, I'd HIGHLY suggest revisiting the salon where you got it done - I've heard some salons offer "touch ups" and they may have different advice since they'll be able to see how your hair reacted. Like on my other posts, make sure you're not combing your hair straight (instead use detangler), tying your hair into tight pony tails, etc. Hope that helps!

      Delete
  7. Hi sandy! I love your blog it helps a lot since I'm a bit confused with my hair. I had my digiperm done yesterday and the result was not what I expected. I want big curls, how will I make it to bouncy big curls? And is it really recommende to use mousse cream? I have an aloe vera gel here but is it okay to use it instead of mousse cream? Thanks a lot :) btw I use anon here becos I don't have an account. CJ here. :) thanks! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hmmm.. I'm not really sure if it's possible to make big curls if the rods used in your digital perm were small. In time your curls will loosen and not be as tight/small. I DO highly recommend you find a mousse specifically that is curl enhancing, aloe vera gel is not made to curl hair so I would not use it for what you're looking for.

      Delete
  8. Hi sandy (: how can i make the princess Leia bun? Can you please teach me? Thanks a lot ((:

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi! The Princess Leia buns are very simple - part your hair into 2 parts (on one each side of your head), twist your hair and then wrap them into a bun. There's really nothing special about it :) Hope that is descriptive enough!

      Delete
  9. Hi Sandy! I am Kathy, I had my digiperm last Dec14, and I really find it hard to maintain the curls, only the ends are curly now. My hair is almost down to my waist. Can I do the sock bun method to maintain my curls? Or will it ruin my curls from the perm? Thanks! Your reply will really help. :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've done the sock bun method and I've also slept with my hair slightly damp and in a bun and found that it helps with the curls. In the morning, make sure you use a good hair curl product (like mousse/hairspray/whatever your prefer). If you're using mousse, twist your hair into a spiral and squeeze/crunch the curl and then let loose (that's how the hairdresser described it to me). Remember not to do anything that would straighten your hair like brushing while in the shower - you can try using shampoo/conditioner for curly hair as well. Good luck!

      Delete
    2. Thanks a lot Sandy! God bless! :-)

      Delete
  10. hello beautiful!!!
    You know, I did the same technique to my hair, but unlike you, I did it to make it straight. Now I want to do it again... but I am not sure if they do it here in spain, I was in malaysia when I tried it and I LOVE IT. but now after six months my hair is so so wild again, I mean the growing part is very curly while the bottom of my hair still very straight, so It doesn't look quite good, hahahaha My hair is superstrong so It is surviving well, but I feel it reaaally dry.
    Here in spain they talk about queratina, they say queratina treatment can get your hair really really straight, like digital perm, but I don't believe it... Do you know something about queratina treatments?
    I love your post!! Thanks!! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Andreita! I have never heard of queratina treatments, but it sounds intriguing (similar to Brazilian blowouts?) Though my hair is naturally very very straight :)

      Delete
    2. I think queratina is the Spanish word for keratine. These treatments are usually used to strengthen hair (keratin is naturally in the hair already), but then when it's applied and a flat iron used over it, it is supposed to straighten the hair.http://www.webmd.com/beauty/hair-styling/keratin-hair-straightening-treatments. Might be worth checking out!

      PS, I'm in China and will be trying for a digiperm soon! I have short hair that's super thin and mostly straight. I really want some body!

      Delete
  11. Hi. Michelle here. I want to perm my hair. My current hair is wavy. So i thought i want to perm it. Would you recommend me to go for soft perm or digi perm? I want to have loose curls. Your reply will help me make decision :)

    ReplyDelete
  12. This blog is SUPER HELPFUL. Just had my digital perm done this past Sunday - did NOT like how it looked. Went back today to get it redone - it looks slightly better - eh! Will try all the products you recommended. Thank you!!

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

My Digital Perm

This is my digital perm experience.

I always yelp and read reviews before I do anything and for those who would like to know, I'm located in San Francisco and chose to go to the Elements Salon by Aleen in Daly City.

After all the googling and curiosity, I decided to just go for it because I would always forever wonder what it might be like. If I just got it over with, I'd never have to be curious again.

I've had the same hair all my life and I've gotten bored of it. I always told myself not to dye my hair or do anything to it, but after 22 years of the same thing, I think it's time for change. Girls always seem to change their hair when something major happens or when they want something in their life to change. Maybe they just got out of a relationship or they're entering a new phase in life. And then it seems like we always want what we don't have and take for granted what we do have - straight haired girls want curly hair and curly haired girls want stra…