Perm: Digital VS. Straight
December 27, 2011 10:43 AM   Subscribe

I have straight hair with a natural wave that curls or straightens very well. However, I am super lazy when it comes to doing my hair in the morning so am looking for a wash and go hairstyle. Thinking about getting either a digital perm or a Japanese straight perm. Any recommendations for one or the other?

I've gotten a regular perm before--the first time was great--truly wash and go!--but the second time was more kinky-frizzy which was awful so I am wary to get another.
posted by lirael2008 to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (7 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
You need neither a perm nor a Japanese straightening treatment, both of which can be ruinous on your hair's condition. What you DO need is a Brazilian Blow Dry [or Blow Out]. I've had two of them, and they tamed my thick, wavy and tending-to-frizzy hair marvellously - they don't rid you of waves or curl entirely, but they DO give you glossy, easy-to-manage, wash-and-go type hair. My mornings were transformed!

That said, there has been some, er, controversy about the treatment's formaldehyde content, so go for the formaldehyde-free option to be on the safe side...
posted by HandfulOfDust at 11:20 AM on December 27, 2011 [3 favorites]

Best answer: Japanese straight perm isn't very wash and go (this is based on my experiences with it almost 7-10 years ago, mind you, so maybe there have been some technological advances). For one thing if you want bone straight hair, this works. It definitely works. The problem is it works a little too well.

The first 1-2 weeks after you get the treatment, you can't wash, braid, tie back, clip or "fold" your hair in anyway, or else it'll leave a bend in your hair. That means even being careful how you lay on it when you go to sleep.

And even after that two weeks it is HIGHLY recommended that when you wash your hair, you blow dry it dry and not air dry. Now blow drying it might be less troublesome, than styling it every morning, but that totally depends on your threshold for what is considered "wash-and-go" and what you do now to style your hair. I personally have super fine curly (frizzy if not kept in check) hair, and was already used to the "wash it more like every 3 days, not everyday" routine, so I honestly I was washing my hair every 3-4 days. Especially because I was worried about how much the process had weakened my hair.

But yea, when I got it done, my hair was all shiny and straight and I was all "Omg my hair moves like hair in shampoo commercials and doesn't tangle or anything."
posted by kkokkodalk at 11:39 AM on December 27, 2011

Best answer: Would you be happy with curls that take no time in the morning as well? I have hair that sounds similar in texture to yours, if maybe a little more wavy, and I pin-curl it every few days to get curls that last for ages. You wash your hair before bed, put in a setting lotion (this is optional-- my hair holds a curl so well that I don't usually don't bother), pin-curl it, and sleep in the pins. In the morning, you unpin it, shake out your curls, and go. It should stay curly for several days. It also looks agreeably retro with the right haircut.
posted by nonasuch at 11:52 AM on December 27, 2011

I really, really don't recommend a Japanese straight perm. I had one for two years, and it basically ruined my hair. I had to cut it short and grow the curls out again.

No idea about the digital perm, but if I were you, I'd spend the available finds on regular blow-outs, etc. instead.
posted by devymetal at 12:34 PM on December 27, 2011

I go with a simple ponytail. After I get seven inches of whatever back there, it goes off to Locks of Love. Lather, Rinse, Repeat.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 2:10 PM on December 27, 2011

Best answer: I have thick, wavy-ish hair that tends to frizz, and I've been getting Japanese straight perms every 6 months for 3 years now. It changed my life for the better!

The "no washing or ponytailing" thing is only for the first two days. After that you treat it as normal. You can even color after two weeks. For the first 2-3 months it dries totally straight, thereafter I still touch it up with an iron but I suppose that's not strictly necessary. My hair's a bit dry, but as long as I get it trimmed every couple of months to get rid of split ends it's fine.

I'm thinking of trying the brazilian blow-out and maybe switching, but that's mostly because I'm tired of the straight look, not because my hair is unhealthy or unmanageable.

Note: I go to an actual Japanese salon (they exist in most major cities) to get it done by Japanese stylists, I don't know if that really helps but they do seem to know how to cut straight-permed hair excellently as well.
posted by jetsetlag at 3:28 PM on December 27, 2011

I have mostly straight hair with some wave. I just got a really good haircut (first commercial cut in 15 years, first stylist cut ever) which has given me a great wash & go style. I never would have believed that a cut alone would have such a good effect.
posted by jb at 11:43 PM on December 27, 2011

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