Sunday, April 19, 2009

japanese digital perm


For all of you straight-haired girls out there who have always yearned for a little bouncy waviness to your hair, I have something amazing to share with you: the Japanese digital perm.

I have been addicted to this technologically advanced version of the perm since I went to Tokyo over a year ago and now I can't see myself ever going back to the stubbornly stick straight hair that I've had my whole life. For all of you who have tried every type of hairspray, curling iron, hot curlers, wax, and curling product out there, this is the true method that will actually work and allow you to have naturally looking waves everyday (obviously I am a huge convert). The Japanese digital perm is much different from the stinky perms of the 80's. It involves multiple steps that I have finally deciphered, since none of the hairstylists I've been to have spoken English.(Before: my hair is super duper straight)
  • haircut. The extremely important first step is a layered haircut, which thins out the bulk of your hair to avoid the excessive volume that was caused by 80's perms (I call it the unfortunate "triangle look"). I'm wary of layers, but in the end it is barely noticeable and just makes the curls more natural looking.
  • heat-activated conditioner. A chemical conditioner is painted into your hair in small sections over your entire head and left to saturate each strand for a length of time.
  • wash. The conditioner is washed out.
  • curlers. Your hair is rolled up into large heavy curlers that each have an outlet for an electrical connection on the end.
  • heat-activation. A foam insulation pad is inserted between the curlers and your head to avoid burns and each curlers is plugged into a central station. This is the craziest part because your head weighs a ton and you feel like your hair is being cooked by a robot.
  • relaxer. The curlers do their job and then they are removed. Your hair will be super duper curly in tight ringlets...but don't be scared, this is not how your hair will stay! To create the loose curl look your hair will be saturated with a relaxer.
  • blow dry. After the relaxer is washed out, your hairdresser will teach you how to properly blowdry your curls so they look beautiful.
(After: this is my first perm in Japan when my hair was shorter.)

One of the main differences between the digital perm and the regular chemical perm is the heat activation process. After your perm is completed, your curls will be re-activated by heat instead of water. There is a special method for blow-drying your hair and shaping the curls with your hand to create the exact loose wave look that you desire.
The process is also very programmable (literally, since it is electronic) so they can tailor each perm to match the exact size and tightness of curls that you are looking for.

The entire process takes at last three hours, but the curls don't really fall out...they basically stay until your hair grows out so I re-perm every six months. The price is fairly high at about $175-200 for the perm plus around $60 for the cut, but I think that it is completely worth it.


To get a digital perm in the U.S. you will need to find a Japanese or Korean hair salon. If you live in New York, I highly recommend Kiwa Salon on the F.I.T. campus on 27th St b/w 7 and 8 Ave. Make an appointment with Tany. If you are interested in going to Kiwa, let me know and I will get you a discount since I am a regular customer.

UPDATE: I already had a lot of responses for the discount and gave out my new customer discount cards! Sorry to those of you who have contacted me. I am trying to get in touch with Kiwa to see if they can give a discount to more people and I will post if I figure it out. Sorry!

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26 comments:

Eyeliah @ stylesymmetry.com said...

Wow, I have never heard of anything like this, amazing! When I have longer hair again it is so worth a go!

Erika said...

I've never heard of this before, but I am now completely in adoration of it. What a clever idea!

Kimmie said...

I love it! Thank you so much for sharing this but I can see how this is much easier for you to do to your hair!

Tiffany said...

fabulous post! I am a digital perm convert too! I get questions from readers all the time asking for salon recommendations, I will point my NY readers to you and your salon!

hello.kelli said...

Great! I'm so glad that you are all so excited about it...it is really such a great technological advance in hair styling...especially for Asian girls who have hated straight hair their whole lives. Let me know any salon recs you have on the west coast!

Helena said...

this sounds amazing! you've inspired me. can you help me get a discount? electrista@hotmail.com helena chin

pcube said...

I love the curls, esp since summer is here. Can you also help me get a discount pls? sina@pleasurecube.com cheers!

Dangermouse said...

hi, can you please help me get a discount, i need to get another one... cch38@columbia.edu is my email. Thanks!

jenny said...

Hi, I am interested in getting the digital perm. Your hair looks fabulous. Could you hook me up with the discount? jencha9@gmail.com jenny cha

ayakamay said...

hello kelli :)
this is May from Kiwa salon.

if you can come to our salon, we can give you a discount card for you friends friends any time.-but it needs to be you kelli :)- just tell the receptionist (or me, when im there)that you want to get Tany's reference card! we can give you much as you want ;) then you can give it to your lovely friends!!

thank you so much for your comment and blogging about us!
looking forward to see you soon :)

ARIGATO!
kiss kiss

May

hello.kelli said...

Hi May!

Thanks for letting me know the situation. Unfortunately I don't live in NY anymore so I won't be able to stop by Kiwa Salon to pick up the reference cards! :( so sad...I really wanted to help people get a discount....

Fuji.Tina said...

Hi :) I am currently living in Japan and was wondering where you got your digiperm done in Japan? I'm not sure which salons have this service and which ones are 'good' soo any advice would be appreciated! :) thanks!

Mimi said...

I'm heading up to New York soon and would love to get a digital perm at Kiwa Salon, and was wondering if there was any way I could still get the discount, maybe by mentioning your name? Thanks so much for sharing this!

Cherries said...

I think your straight hair and new hairdo both look gorgeous :D I've always wanted my hair to look this way.

hello.kelli said...

Mimi...Unfortunately I don't have any more discount cards to hand out. :( So sorry!! Wish I did!

Cherries...thanks so much for the compliment!

smexyybehbiiee said...

I was wondering what type of hair cut do you need with the digital perm and is there different type of digital perms? and can you post more pictures

Sarah said...

Hi Kelli! Thamks for the info on digital perms! I am thinking about going to Kiwa, but I really want to know that if i decide to wear my hair straight can i flat iron for a day or am i stuck with curly forever? Thanks!
Sarah-SarahAlise85@gmail.com

stella said...

Kelli,
Can you provide a reference card so I can get discount at Kiwa?

Bao An said...

Hi Kelli,

I am planning to go get a digital perm at Kiwa (my first time) and I was wondering if I could get a coupon from you. I am not sure how to contact you. Let me know. Thank you.
P.S: I requested Tary too, i'm not sure who is good there.
Hope to hear from you soon

tres tippy said...

hi kelli,
i'm so glad i came across this post in my search for a digital perm! i am heading to tokyo in two months and was wondering if you recommend the salon where you got your perm in japan? hope to hear from you! thanks so much!
tippy

trestippy@gmail.com

hello.kelli said...

Hi Tippy!

I have been getting so many questions about the digital perm that I think I will do another post soon...

The salon I went to in Tokyo is called Anny Hair and it's in Harajuku. Here is the website:
http://www.annyhair.com

If you can read Japanese, there is a lot of information about the digital perm on the website. There are also a ton of other super fancy hair salons in that area of Harajuku so you could shop around...but Anny Hair was definitely amazing!

Christine said...

Hello Kelli,

Thank you for the useful info regarding digital perm. I am planning to make an appt. with Tany at Kiwa. Is the referral discount still available?

Cheers
Christine

Wanderer of Wonders said...

Does anyone know where one can get a digi perm in Indiana?

hello.kelli said...

Wanderer... my sister was at IU so I passed along your question to her..here is her response:

I highly doubt they do it in Indiana, so you could suggest that they should drive to Chicago to get a digital perm at one of these places: http://chicagoseoul.tripod.com/beauty.htm It's better to have it done in a place where the stylists are experienced than to get the only stylist in the state who probably doesn't do it very often.

Min said...

Thanks for the info. about Kiwa. I was debating getting a digital perm from either there or Oz hair salon in NY. Do you have any coupons that I could use if I go to Kiwa? If so please email them to me at sheminkim@aol.com. Thanks

shemin said...

Thanks for the info about the digital perm. I was debating getting one at either Kiwa or Oz but now I think I will go to Oz. Do you still have any more coupons for Oz. If so could you please send me one. Thanks.