Korean Perm: What Is It and Should You Get One?
Updated: November 22, 2021
If you’ve watched Korean dramas, you’ll probably notice the ladies (and even men) sporting that carefree, natural-looking waves that look so effortlessly chic. That, my dear, is what the world refers to as the Korean perm. And boy, do they look fabulous!
Unfortunately, this type of hairstyle is not for everyone. Just like all perm hairstyles, there are pros and cons to getting a Korean perm.
To help you decide whether to get a Korean perm or not, we’ve put together this quick guide.
What is a Korean Perm?
As its name suggests, a Korean perm is a type of soft wavy hairstyle inspired by Korean actresses and Hallyu stars. Compared to traditional perms that look stiff and spring-like, this type of perm produces natural-looking waves that softly frame the face and adds volume to the hair. And thanks to the rising popularity of Korean movies and dramas, beauty trends like this one are gaining traction around the world.
The Korean perm’s main selling point, however, is its low maintenance requirement. It’s basically wash-and-wear. Not to mention that they tend to last longer than most types of perms. With the right after-perm care, you’ll be able to maintain those gorgeous locks for a long time.
Another advantage this type of perm has over traditional ones is that it doesn’t dry out the hair. When perming your hair, hairstylists and hairdressers focus on giving your hair life and volume without overdoing it.
Since getting a Korean perm is different from getting a traditional perm, you have to remember specific steps and tips before and after you get your hair done. Knowing what you’re dealing with will help you better care for your perm and avoid ruining your hair.
Korean Perm vs. Digital Perm
Korean perm is often confused with digital perm. To clear the confusion once and for all, a digital perm is a perming technique while a Korean perm is a hairstyle. They just get mixed up a lot because the digital perming technique is often used to create a Korean perm.
Though cold perms and other perming methods can also produce that signature soft locks associated with Korean perm, digital perms are more popular because it makes the hair softer, smoother, and shinier.
Korean Perm vs. Japanese Perm
The biggest difference between a Korean perm and a Japanese perm is that the latter is less noticeable. While Korean perms are more on voluminous and bouncy curls, the Japanese Perm is more subtle and natural. Most of the time, only the ends are curled in a very subtle wave making it look like nothing is done to the hair at all.
Japanese perms also often use cold perms as opposed to heat-perming methods like digital perms. In a fast-paced country like Japan, cold perms are ideal because it’s cheaper and only takes less than 2 hours.
How Much Does a Korean Perm Cost?
The cost of getting a Korean perm will depend on several factors like the length of your hair, the perming technique used, and where you got your hair done. Digital perms typically cost more than cold perms and a higher-end hair studio in a nice place in town obviously charges more. In general, you can expect to pay anywhere from $40 to $200. In some major cities, the price could go way more than that.
(Related: 20 Celebrity Hair Stylists Who Are Making Waves Online)
What You Need to Know Before Getting a Korean Perm
If you’ve decided that a Korean perm is for you, here are some of the things you should know before booking an appointment:
Your Hair Should Be Healthy
When getting a Korean perm, or any kind of perm for that matter, you must ensure that your hair is in good shape. Your hair should be strong enough to withstand all the tugging, chemicals, and hair products or tools that a hairdresser will use during the perming process. If your hair is damaged before getting the perm, there is a high possibility that it will only worsen.
Before getting permed hair, do a little research and find out the products that hairdressers use in the process. You can do this by simply searching it up on the Internet or asking a hair dresser. You can search what the possible perms effects are and what brand of products work best in perming your hair well to maintain its healthy condition.
Know that since you will be applying many chemicals to your hair, you will have to take extra precautionary steps after the treatment to ensure that your hair remains intact. Tight curls must acquire the best shape possible. Perming your hair will make it harder to maintain as you will have to change a lot of steps in your routine, such as ironing or blow-drying your hair.
Before getting that Korean perm, know the different styles you can do after the perm. Some hairstyles look better on straight hair than curly/wavy hair, and vice versa. You can easily do this by simply searching up different Korean hairstyle ideas perfect for soft, delicate curls.
Choose The Right Salon
To ensure that you get the best result of light, curly hair, make sure that you choose the best Korean hair salon near you. You can do prior research and list all the good Korean hair salons around your area with many good reviews. While Korean perms may be more affordable in other salons, high-quality service that costs more will ensure that you will get the best perm.
Things To Do Before Perm
Before getting your hair permed, make all the necessary preparations and take all the steps required to ensure you have a quick and easy procedure. These steps may include not washing your hair for at least 48 hours before perming and such.
There’s No Going Back
Hair perms are a commitment. Once you get your hair permed, there is no turning back. It will take a long time for your hair to go back to the way it was, and even then, it may not even be exactly like how it was. Before you get a Korean perm, make sure you are in your right mind to make that decision.
Seek Expert Advice
If you are not sure about Korean perms, you can consult a professional and ask for their advice on the matter. Hair experts often know your hair more than you do, so make sure to talk to an expert you trust and get information from them as much as possible.
Now, what you may see on social media posts, such as Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, may not be what you will get. There are many reasons why your hair may not look like the style you were looking forward to. Everyone’s hair density and hair texture are different. Keep in mind that different hair lengths, thicknesses, health conditions, and such will affect how your hair will look after a perm, so make sure to manage your expectations.
Change in Hair Care Routines
Since your hair will not be the same after getting a Korean perm, it will undoubtedly need different products. Your hair can be challenging to maintain, especially after having gone through a process like a Korean perm. Consider changing your shampoo and conditioners to make sure that you are getting proper hair treatments.
With that, the next time you think about getting a Korean perm, make sure to know all the information first and be 100% willing to do the procedure. You may feel a bit hesitant in the beginning, but it will be worth it.
The way you look is a huge statement of who you are and your personality. Although it is common knowledge that you should not judge a book by its cover, Korean perms will have people assuming the best out of you as your hair will showcase your style well.
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About The Author
Krizzia Paolyn is a professional blogger whose work has reached millions of people worldwide. She has a bachelors degree in Psychology and a passion for beauty trends.