Apr 5, 2012


As you guys know, my hair was LONG.  Like it was too heavy for my face and body long.  But I liiiike it!  It's my hair cape.  My security blanket.  But last month, I cut 4"+ off and never felt more liberated.  At that point I also made an appointment to get my hair...permed!!  I was nervous because the salon only had one "perm specialist," but my appointment was more than a month out.  My hair was really starting to get on my nerves.  It wasn't holding any curls, it wasn't doing anything.  4" shorter and it was just as stick straight and heavy as it was before.

So I waited for my appointment...and waited.  And you know the more you have to wait for something the more you want it?  So I started getting impatient and would call the salon to see if this perm specialist had any openings.  Nope.  And nope.  So finally my appointment came on Saturday and I was so excited.  I printed out pictures of digi perms that I liked and was all ready to tell this perm specialist that I liked this type of perm, except I wanted my perm to start higher (MOAR VOLUME).

When I asked if he was able to do digital perms, he said no.  Then I died a little inside.  So when I showed him said printed pictures, he replied, "These perms aren't perms at all, they're styled that way."  And while I understood that perms don't actually create "barrel" curls, I just wanted my hair to someway, some how STAY curled.  I mean, how ironic is that my hair is "too healthy" that it doesn't hold curls?   CURSE YOU SILKY HAIR!

So he recommended a body perm.  SOUNDS SO 90's!!  But I trusted him.  He said that my hair was SO straight that it needed to be "processed" and "broken down" in order to create and hold volume and curls.  Of course I documented the process:

BEFORE: Straight and blah:

Step 1 & 2:  First he "detoxed" my hair by putting a solution on it that stripped away any residual conditioner, products, etc.  Then the process began.  Usually when people think of perms, they think of spiral perms with those rubber wormy things that create those tight, springy curls.  For a body perm, he used a bigger rolls (similar sized to the ones I use to hot roll my hair); since my hair was so long, he had to piggy-back two rollers for each section of hair.
He did not perm my front layers or my bangs, thank goodness:
Step 3 & 4: So then they wrap your hair with cotton strands and wrap it in a plastic bag to let things "set".  Afterwards, they put the perm "solution" all over your head.  This solution is what creates the "perm" and is what breaks down your hair enough to hold a somewhat permanent curl.  BUT SMELLS SO BAD.  It literally smells like how your mom used to smell in the 80s.  And it was a little stingy.
Step 5:  With the solution on, you sit under a dryer for about 20 minutes:
Step 6: Then he rinsed the solution out (still smelled bad), added a deep conditioner, and then styled my hair!!  But he put so much damn product in my hair (I think the help curl the hair) that it looks stringy in this picture.  To be honest, I was surprised my hair "took" the perm at all!!
The one thing I do need to buy now is a diffuser attachment on my blow dryer, which helps disperse the warm air so that it's not blowing your hair all crazy, but keeping the curls in place.  Another note: you're not supposed to shampoo/condition your hair 48-72 hours after the perm to let the solution set.  First of all, that solution smells like death becomes me.  Second of all, he put so much GD product in my hair that I was just itching to get it out.  Luckily, you ARE able to rinse your hair out (water-only), which was great because I was in Vegas that weekend and if I couldn't rinse the smell of perm solution, cigarettes, and regret out of my hair, I think I would have shaved it all off.

In Vegas, my curls were a lot more defined and definitely stayed longer, so I was impressed:
But like I said, I was skeptical that my hair wasn't going to take the perm...and I sort of blame the fact that I don't a diffuser yet, but now that it's been 4-5 days, my hair hasn't really changed THAT much.  Yes, it does feel like it's "broken down" and "processed" more, but yesterday when curling my hair with hot rollers, this is how it turned out after a few hours:
Right?  Just kind of blah, and look at my face.  Not very happy...and kind of wide.  Not my best angle.  You should have seen Ryan's face...not happy about me spending $$ for something that didn't really improve my hair THAT much.

I'm going to keep trying - I'm going to buy a diffuser and the correct products to see if that makes an impact on my hair.  I'll keep you guys updated!  Today I curled my hair with a curling iron (1" barrel) and it seemed to hold much better (don't mind the horrible lighting):
So we'll see how it goes!  You're only supposed to get your hair permed like 2-3x a year, max.  So we'll see where things are in a few months.

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P.S. Today is my birthday so here's an awesome picture of me...YOU'RE WELCOME.


  1. LLOYD!!!!!

    Hopefully next time you can get that digiperm and see how that turns out! I still think your hair looks good in these pics, both curly AND straight.

    This is a good description, lol : "It literally smells like how your mom used to smell in the 80s."

  2. Happy Birthday!!

    Yeah, this sounds like quite an experience. My hair doesn't hold much of a curl, either -- or, at least, my natural hair doesn't. I have a partial highlight and that's processed my hair enough to keep a curl, but only on the top layers. The bottom falls flat within an hours or so, Sigh.

    best of luck in figuring this out!

  3. Happy belated birthday! As a veteran of both body perm and digiperm - I swear by digiperm. When I moved out to LA last year, I got one done by Hidemi at Hair Epoch and loved it - my hair is also super thick and straight, even when air dried it was pin straight. Nine months later, it has mostly grown out but is definitely still beach-wavy curled towards the end, healthy (only had one trim around January) and still easy to maintain.

    Good luck!!

  4. Love your hair! Happy Belated Birthday!

  5. i actually like the stringy hair look. SO HOTTT (with THREE Ts) my mom gave me a body wave when i was 10 and it totally ended up straight. with split ends. but that's probably because i didn't know how to take care of my hair. because i was 10.

    that photo of your mom reminds me a little of vv's mom. i think it's the face shape and short hair or something!

  6. Hello! Not sure if you read comments but I have the same hair as you! If not worse! Got three digi perms totaling about 500 bucks and nota single one held.. Money down the drain... Recently got a body wave like yours with old school chemicals for 75 bucks, gotta love Houston, and my girl who has been doing my hair for 10 years swore by this. First use a shine serum and scrunch it into your hair, pushing the ends upward to keep the curl, then use Biolage silk milk spray a big puddle into ur hand and again scrunch, scrunch scrunch all over, once ur done take individual parts of ur hair and twist it like spirals. All of this done with damp hair. While driving to work every morning I will twist my hairs until it dries naturally. Works every time! Especially love the Silk Milk bc it gives the hold with out the crispness of gel, mousse.

    Hope that works for you!


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