12 Do’s And Don’ts When Going for a Salon Perm

12 Do's And Don'ts When Going for a Salon Perm

There are so many ways to give your tresses the refresh they deserve. Heading for a salon perm is one of them. Getting your mane chemically restyled into fantastic waves can absolutely transform your look from dowdy to fashionable, from uptight to chic.

If it’s your first time, parsing through the internet to learn about perming — everything from expert tips to novice mistakes — can feel overwhelming. No fear, this guide is here to help you.

We’ll take you through a quick introduction of perming and its process, as well as our 12 do’s and don’ts when it comes to getting your perm at the salon.


Salon Perm 101

1. What Is Perming?

Perming is a chemical technique to add semi-permanent waves to your tresses. As it involves chemicals and sometimes heat, it should only be done at the salon by expert professionals. This is a process that alters the arrangement of your keratin bonds to give you waves that can last up to your next monthly appointment. The resultant waves stick around for longer than the ones that you get from home irons but, of course, will still eventually loosen as your roots grow out.

2. What Types Are There?

There are numerous curling trends and styles out there, but they can be divided into two main categories. We can differentiate these curling techniques based on the specific perming solution used and whether heat is involved. They are:

  • Hot or digital perm
  • Cold wave perm

The technique, in turn, influences the size and shape of your curls. The many variations we see on our favourite celebrities and in magazines are simply dependent on where the stylist applies the specific waving technique. For example, if it is a classic perm, the stylist will apply the curls throughout the tresses. On the other hand, an S-curl technique focuses the voluminous spirals at the ends only.


The Perming Process

Let’s settle in for a quick science lesson on what happens during a salon curling session:

1. Deep Cleansing Wash

Achieving the perfect curly texture starts with creating a clean canvas — your style expert will first begin by applying a clarifying shampoo. This sloughs away any product residue clinging to your strands. Deeply cleansing your locks also helps to remove excess sebum and dead scalp cells. After cleansing thoroughly, your stylist will towel-dry your mane and loosen out the knots and tangles with a wide-toothed comb. Now you are ready for the next step.

2. Apply Perm Solution

The professional stylist then proceeds to coat your locks with the perming solution. This solution works on the protein bonds — called disulphide bonds — that connect the molecules making up each strand. The chemical reaction causes them to break down. Your stylist will then wash the solution out of your mane. The nature of this solution generally depends on your chosen style. Hot or digital reconditioning techniques, in particular, use an acidic solution. Meanwhile, cold perms call for the use of an alkaline solution, instead.

3. Shape The Wave

The next step is to reshape the protein molecules with the help of rods. These rods are smaller when applying the cold wave technique, setting your tresses into their new form. Smaller rods equal tighter spirals that you may find in classic or pin curl styles. On the other hand, digital perms, such as Korean waves, involve heated rods. These are connected to the machine that manages the ideal thermal setting to create the big, shapely waves that you desire. Depending on which style you’ve chosen, the stylist will begin to remould your cuticles accordingly.

4. Set The Curl Style

Finally, the stylist locks in your wonderfully reshaped tresses with an oxidation lotion. This lotion is made up of hydrogen peroxide, the key ingredient that rebonds the disulphide molecules in the desired wavy structure. Once that is done, the stylist washes away any excess solution. A quick blow-dry and some styling tips from your hair expert end off the session. You’ll walk away with a head of fresh new curls!


6 Do’s When Going for a Salon Perm

Now that you know how perming works, let’s move on to the six things that you should do before and during your session at the salon:

1. Identify Your Whys

There are so many advantages to getting a perm. Obviously, the main one is that you get to have shapely curls without too much work in the mornings. Ask yourself: what do you want to achieve with salon perming?

  • Is it about adding volume to your crowning glory?
  • Are you someone who loves tousled curls but was not naturally blessed with them?
  • Do you want to save your tresses (and yourself) from the pains of daily styling?

If you’ve said yes to any or all of these, then going for salon curling is definitely the right choice for you. The important thing is to be sure. At YOON, you can ask your stylist for their opinion to help you make that final leap. And once you’re certain, be confident in your choice! Rest assured, perming is the quickest way to achieving your dream style.

2. Keep The Length First

Prior to your appointment, you are going to want to grow out your precious locks since it is bound to get shorter when shaping it. Keeping your crowning glory as long as possible will definitely give you more style options to choose from. Longer hair also gives your stylist more room to play with and easily create a style that frames your face well. Conversely, chemically shaping choppy and layered or short, cropped tresses will add too much volume close to your face. This may not look as flattering. Growing out your tresses will maximise your chances of getting the perfect waves.

3. Know Its Condition

Get familiar with your tresses. This means knowing the natural type, texture, density, porosity, and strength of your crowning glory. Natural type refers to the hair type you are born with. There are four main types: straight, wavy, curly, and coily. If you are here, this would fall somewhere between the first two. Texture tells you the thickness of your strands, ranging from fine, medium to thick. Most Asians have very fine and fragile hair, which, in turn, influences the kind of perm you should go for. Density indicates how much volume you actually have and curling it will add to that volume. Porosity refers to how porous or open your cuticles are, which can determine how well natural oils and hydration can pass through your strands. Lastly, strength points to how strong or fragile your strands are. Curling your tresses can increase one’s porosity and affect its strength if not done properly. Knowing more about its condition will guide you towards selecting the perm styles that are more appropriate and designed for it.

4. Do Your Research

With so many styles out there, you won’t be doing yourself any favours if you go for your session not knowing what you want. So, take the time to do your style research. Figure out what you really fancy. Now that you’ve done your research, be sure to bring what you know to your stylist. With photo references of your dream style, your stylist can quickly understand what you’re looking for. Clearer communication will omit any room for error.

5. Come Prepared to Relax

Remember to bring something to do while you are in the chair. This professional process can take up to two hours. While the experts work on glamming your hair up, take this chance to turn this into a full relaxation session. Download episodes of the latest drama you want to watch, queue up podcast episodes to catch up on, or read your favourite ebook. Make sure your devices are fully charged and bring along a juiced-up power bank just in case.

6. Complement With the Right Haircut

Your new curls won’t be complete without the right cut. The stylist may suggest gentle layers to really bring out the fresh texture. This style can complement your wavy look by adding the effect of cascading waves down your back. Other than layers, your stylist may simply opt to trim the sides slightly to add to the roundness of your tresses. This works very well to complement the way your ends curve inwards if you have chosen to go for the C-curl style.


6 Don’ts To Avoid When Going for a Salon Perm

Conversely, here are six things you should avoid when it comes to getting a salon perm:

1. Don’t Skip Your Style Consultation

Even with all the information out on the internet, nothing beats getting professional advice in person. Take the time to schedule a one-on-one consultation with your stylist before deciding to move forward. Plus, as industry experts, they would know all about the latest trends in curling styles and techniques. A thorough consultation will allow them to check your hair’s current condition, learn more about your salon treatment history, and advise you on your best options. It also ensures that your session is bespoke to your tresses’ needs. This way, you can be sure of great hair by the end of your session.

2. Don’t Mess Up The Next 48 Hours

What you do in the next 48 hours after your appointment will determine how long your amazing look will last. The golden rule: avoid getting your new waves wet. Be it a shower, a quick swim or even your own sweat, do your best to prevent your tresses from coming into contact with any kind of moisture. The new structure needs time to fully set in place. Any moisture within the first two days, and you may run the risk of loosening your well-shaped coif. Worst case scenario? Your perfectly arranged tresses will devolve into frizz.

3. Don’t Go Without Deep Conditioning

Perming can be a lot for your hair to take. Whether you opt for cold waving or digital perm, you can’t run away from the fact that the process will always involve some kind of chemical solution. And these chemicals can be really harsh. They can strip the outermost layers of the strands of their protective natural oils and nutrients. That’s why our next tip is to never go without deep conditioning your mane. Deep conditioning is the way to restore balance and rehydrate your tresses. Including such a treatment into your routine will take your hair care to the next level. By amping up the hydration for your curls, they’ll stay looking fresh and in tip-top shape.

4. Don’t Skimp On Aftercare Products

Your wavy look isn’t going to stay pretty for long if you skimp on your daily care products. Chemically treated hair needs shampoo and conditioner brands that have been formulated to boost the hydration of your mane. Avoid products that list sulphates, silicones, and short-chain alcohols in their ingredients list. If this is all too confusing for you, just ask your stylist for their advice and recommendations. Having worked on your mane, trust that they know exactly which aftercare products would be suitable for its specific condition. They have your best interests at heart and want your crowning glory to stay looking good just as much as you do.

5. Don’t Use Heat Styling Tools

Now that your hair has undergone salon styling, you won’t need to use your usual heat styling methods. Your tresses will stay in the curl style even as you go through the usual home hair care. Moreover, heat styling tools can risk damaging your mane that has just been treated with salon curling solutions. Keeping your home curling iron away will help protect your fresh tresses for longer.

6. Don’t Colour-Treat Too Soon

Another way to protect your perm is to stay away from colour treatments too soon after. Your precious curls need time to set. You also need to give yourself time to find the right aftercare products for your new post-treatment routine. Opting for a new colour may disrupt the new cuticle structure and risk dehydrating and weakening them. It’s perfectly fine to experiment with your tresses — there are new possibilities every day! Just space out your chemical treatments to avoid going bald or thinning out your hair prematurely.



Whether it’s to change up one’s style or simply add volume to our tired old tresses, you can never go wrong with salon curling. Just heed these tips, and you can be sure to have a smooth curly-girl experience. With many years of experience under their belt, you won’t go wrong with YOON’s team of professional stylists. Once you’re ready to transform your look, be sure to book your first session with us!