Seoul MyeongDong, hairstylist and owner of ParkJun BeautyLab in South Korea says the root perms first started gaining popularity in Korea about 10 years ago. But in the past few years, the hair treatment has been gaining more attention globally as more tourists visit the country and return with more voluminous hair.
Who can get a root perm?
Anyone who wants more volume at the roots. “It’s a versatile technique that can be tailored to different hair lengths and types, making it accessible to a wide range of clients,” says Tang. Those with fine or flat hair looking to add natural-looking volume at the roots will see the biggest benefit
MyeongDong does advise against getting a root perm if your hair is damaged from color or previous chemical treatment to avoid further damage.
What is involved in a root perm appointment?
A root perm appointment starts with a consultation. Tang recommends coming in with your hair air-dried so stylists can properly assess your natural texture. “It’s important to discuss how often the client is willing to maintain the hair, what their personal styling and hair-care routine looks like, and discuss realistic expectations for post-appointment maintenance,” says Tang. There’s no need to wash your hair before the appointment either; you’ll get a full wash and condition after the treatment
Once the client and stylist are aligned, the rest of the appointment follows these steps:
Step 1: Hair is sectioned and the hairstylist applies a specialized perming solution to the root area. The stylist determines the number of sections based on the density of the client’s hair.
Step 2: Once the perming solution has been applied to each section, the treated sections are wrapped around perm rods or curlers, with clips to secure them in place.
Step 3: The perming solution and rods are left on for varying durations of time depending on the desired level of curl or wave. The longer the solution stays in the wavier the results will be. The average time is about 20 minutes.
Step 4: The stylist removes the perm rods and rinses out the perming solution, then applies a neutralizing solution to set the new shape.
Step 5: Lastly, the hair is shampooed, conditioned, and styled.
Once you leave the salon stylists warn against getting your hair wet for at least 48 hours to avoid disturbing the results of the perm.
The stylists we spoke to highly advise against trying this treatment at home. Anytime you are applying chemicals to your scalp and hair, it’s best left to the pros. That said, you no longer have to catch a flight to get a root perm. Any hairstylist who does perms could do this treatment, but you’re more likely to see it on the menu in Korean salons for around $80 to 150. More and more of those are popping up across the country, especially in and around big cities.