Hair perm is one of the most technical and difficult hair services you can get in a hair salon and the beautiful curly result comes with many risks for your hair.
Luckily Japanese hairdressers and hair industry manufacturers are earnest scientists when it comes to hairdressing techniques and technology. They always study and experiment eagerly for a better result, meaning non-damaging better curls.
I went to have my perm done in a hair salon located in Harajuku, the hub of fashion in Tokyo.
Vélo Vetica, a hair salon where all trend-conscious Tokyoites gather
Vélo and Vetica used to be 2 salons located in different places, reunited today in the same building on 2 floors.
Vélo targets around 30’s people, a little more mature than Vetica, frequented by teens and young adults. Both salons have the trendy clientele, many of them working in creative fields or modeling, in common.
The two salons, thus two floors have therefore a slightly different atmosphere.
I went to have my hair done at Vélo and asked for Toba san, the owner of both salons.
Vélo has the advantage of having a fantastic terrace where you can sit and relax when the weather is nice and warm.
It’s a shame that it was cloudy on the day of my visit …
New Japanese perm technique
Regular digital perm uses heat between 80 to 90℃ to form curls. If your hair has sustained damage before perming, it will worsen your hair condition, especially tips, which could even lead to hair breakage.
My hair still had some rest of color on hair tips and since it has been through many previous perms, it was a bit brittle so had to be handled with care.
In a proper Japanese hair salon, you don’t get to choose which perm you want; your hairdresser has to check your hair condition and decide on the appropriate technique for the finish you want, which is the only thing you should communicate to your hairdresser.
So this blog content is not for you to order the perm technique I will be writing about, but to rather let you know how diverse the Japanese perm techniques can be and to reassure you on the fact that a skillful Japanese hairdresser is capable of letting each of you have the ideal perm.
This is the name of the perm my perm specialist chose. By the way, at Vélo Vetica, hairdressers and color / perm specialists are separated, just like in West, which is not so common in Japan.
Digiclip perm is in fact not so new but maybe just more popularized today. It was my first time trying.
Digiclip perm particularities
Digiclip perm goes through a process similar to the digital perm. It actually uses the digital perm machine. However, rods are covered with insulating clips which allow to effectively and homogeneously steam, rather than heat the rods. Thanks to this action, we need a much lower temperature (45-50℃) and processing time (only from 3 to 5 min)
Digiclip perm process
So here are the steps of the digiclip perm:
- on wet hair apply the 1st lotion (reducer), which is rather creamy
- wind hair on rods
- clip the rods and plug them into the machine
- let process at 45-50℃ for 3 to 5 min
- unplug and remove clips
- neutralize with water
- apply the 2nd lotion and leave 5 min then repeat a 2nd time
- remove rods and rinse
Digiclip perm advantages
This perm technique broaden possibilities for perm styles because:
- It takes less time compared to a regular perm, which takes between 10 to 15 min of processing time, so it’s accessible to even busy people. I almost didn’t have enough time to savour the pretty drink that I was served!
- It offers more varieties of perm styles than regular digital perm, which, because of the higher temperature, cannot have the rods rolled up to the roots, meaning that you can only have waves from the middle to length.
- It’s more gentle to hair due to the lower temperature it requires. Also because hair is steamed evenly and effectively, a soft perm solution with little alkaline agents is enough to form nice curls.
Still to improve
It’s not about this particular perm technique but rather about the general perm process:
- Rods are heavy and it’s tiring! Neck gets stiff but luckily in a Japanese hair salon, you generaly get a nice neck and shoulder massage once perm is done!
- The overall perm process obviously remains unchanged: winding, processing, towel tucking around the face, neutralizing, etc… which still stays cumbersome. I wish we could do perm more lightly!
Neverthless I am happy with this perm, process and result. My hair feels very light and airy, which also results from Toba san’s wonderful cutting technique 🙂
The curls are soft and natural. Too much dolly curls are not for me any more! But this is to be consulted with your hairdresser and dolly curls are, of course, also possible depending on your wished style!
Getting your hair cut by Toba san costs 8,000 yen + tax and digital perm for my length costs 14,000 yen + tax, so it’s not for every day! But I like to ensure the salon’s reputation and haidresser’s skills when it comes to my hairstyle as it is part of my identity!
Address: 3-25-5, Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
Phone: 03 5411 5051