Korean Perm vs Japanese Perm vs Digital Perm

Korean Perm vs Japanese Perm vs Digital Perm 2022

Korean perm vs Japanese perm vs digital perm, which one should you choose? Learn about the different types of Korean perms and how they differ from cold perms. 

I’m sure that most of you have heard about the trending Korean and Japanese perms, as compared to the many other types of modern day perms available to style your hair with.

But how do you choose between these two types as to which one is better for you to get? Can you consider the Korean perm more suited for you than the Japanese perm?

Well, how about we talk about each type in detail and then maybe you can make your decision as to which type will suit you the best.

Related: Piggyback Perm Vs Spiral Perm

Related: Best Shampoo For Permed Hair

What are perms?

Perms are hairstyles that use chemical perming solutions along with perming rods in order to alter the structure of the hair strands permanently. 

A perm can last anywhere between four to six months depending on the person’s hair maintenance.

Perming is usually done using two methods: hot perming (also known as digital perming) or cold perming (which is also known as the traditional method of perming).

Well, before I get into the details about Korean Perms and Japanese Perms, let’s talk about digital perms and how it is different from Korean and Japanese perms.

What is a Digital Perm and how is it done?

how to do a digital perm
Source: Instagram@ hairstylist_kinson

A digital perm is a technique or method of hair perming just like cold perming. Therefore, Korean and Japanese perms can be created using the digital perming technique.

A digital perm is not a hairstyle, but the method used to create different types of perm hairstyles.

Digital perms are done using heat treatment (hot rods) and chemical perming solutions that alter the look of the hair permanently, by changing the structure of the hair strands.

Korean Perm vs Japanese Perm vs Digital Perm

Now that we have got that out of the way, let’s get into more details about the Korean and Japanese perm types and how they differ from each other.

What is a Korean Perm?

I’m sure you might have watched a few K-Dramas or seen popular K-Pop Idols sporting their luscious hair that looks absolutely stunning and natural. 

The Korean perm hairstyle is typically done using two different types of perming styles which create perms that look more like waves than the traditional curls. These wavy perms look very natural, while still making the hair look voluminous.

How is a Korean Perm done?

Korean perms are done using two main perming types:

1. The Korean S-Shaped Perm:

korean perm vs digital perm
Source: Instagram @ liekuang

This technique is used to create more volume in the hair by creating S-shaped curls that do not follow any particular direction in order to get the voluminous look.  This type of perm doesn’t require a lot of maintenance. They make the hair look very natural.

Very often the Korean S-shaped perm is often confused with the Korean Body Wave perm hairstyle because of the way the perm looks by its appearance.

In both these perming types, the S-Shaped pattern is seen, but in the Korean body wave perms, the ‘S’ shape is bigger in size and flow in the same direction, as compared to the Korean S-shaped perm hairstyle.

2. The Korean C-Shaped Perm: 

korean wave perm
Source: Instagram @ hairvoicefactory

The Korean C-shaped perm is another commonly used Korean perming hairstyle. This perm creates C-shaped hair strands that look very subtle and face inwards. This hairstyle specifically creates the C-shaped curls at the bottom portion of the hair.

How Long Do Korean Digital Perms Last?

Korean perms look more pronounced and do not require a lot of maintenance, while they even last quite long for around 6 months or more. 

Korean perms are mostly visible towards the ends of the hair strands, giving the hair a bouncy and voluminous look.

What is a Japanese Perm?

The Japanese are very subtle when it comes to perming their hair, in the present day. 

Unlike in the earlier days where the “perm” was very noticeable with the curls it came with, in the present day, the Japanese perms are more like waves. 

This makes the Japanese perm different from the other types of perms because it makes a very slight change to the hair, making it look very natural as if your hair has been untouched by any type of hairstyling.

How is a Japanese Perm done?

The Japanese Perms are done in three different types:

1. The Japanese Digital Perm:

japanese digital perm
Source: Instagram @ japanese.salon.defi

If you are looking to gain more hair volume, then a digital perm is the right pick for you. 

It is a perm technique used all around the world in order to make the hair have distinct and well-defined curls, altering the way the hair looks completely. 

For example, if you had straight hair, it will be very well noticeable that your hair has been permed because of the loose curls.

What makes the Japanese digital perm different from the other types of digital perms is the fact that they create less hair damage because of the low temperatures they use during the perming process.

2. The Japanese Cold Perm:


digital perm near me
Source: Instagram @ andy_salon_spa

If you are looking for a natural look, but you do still want a certain amount of curls, then it is always best to pick the middle option right? 

In this case, the middle option is the cold perm. It is a commonly chosen perming hairstyle in Japan because the cold perm does give the hair a natural look, but with considerably defined curls.

3. The Japanese Airwave Perm:

types of korean perm
Source: Instagram @ edi_unisex_salon

Like I mentioned to you earlier, the Japanese airwave perm is one of the most trending perm hairstyles in Japan at present, because it doesn’t alter the hair’s look as much as the other perms would. 

This type of perm makes the hair look very natural. This is because the “curls” are very subtle and are more like waves that aren’t very distinct.

This type of perm doesn’t damage the hair to a great extent and it is best suited for those who have thin hair with less volume.

Trust the process! Creating Japanese digital perms can look really scary but they give beautiful results!

What to Know About Japanese Digital Perms?

It is obvious that perms are formed by using perm rods and a chemical perming solution on the hair in order for the perms to form. Due to this, there is a possibility that there can be a considerable amount of hair damage.

Well, out of all the different types of perms, getting a Japanese perm can be the least damaging to the hair because of the perming solution they use. 

The perming solutions made in Japan are not harsh and are considered to be gentle on the hair, thereby also less damaging.

Like I also mentioned before, Japanese hair stylists use lower heating temperatures during the hair perming process, making the hair damage much lesser during a digital perm.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) are Korean and Japanese Perms

1. Which perm lasts longer between Korean and Japanese perms?

Korean perms are known to last longer than Japanese perms, especially if they are well maintained. They can even last around 6 months or more.
This is because Japanese hair stylists focus more on the hair and hair health and therefore, do not use very harsh chemical perming solutions and neither do they use high temperatures during the digital perming process. 
This makes the perms last for a shorter time.

2. Which out of the Korean and Japanese perms is safer to get in terms of hair damage?

Well, it is a known fact that any type of perm will cause a considerable amount of hair damage. 
But that being said, Japanese perms are safer to get in terms of hair damage because the Japanese perms are done with consideration to hair health. 
Therefore, even though the digital perming technique is used, the temperatures used are low and the chemical perming solutions are gentle, so that the damage to the hair is lesser.

3. Can I get either a Korean or Japanese perm if my hair is color-treated?

Yes, you can get either type of perm done on color-treated hair provided the perming is done after at least 2 weeks of the hair being coloured.

4. Which type of perm requires low maintenance between Korean and Japanese perms?

Well, both Korean and Japanese perms are known to require low maintenance, but definitely require to follow the basic perm maintenance if you want to make your perm last long.
– Let your perm rest for at least a day or two before washing it, after your hair has just been permed.
– Sleeping on a satin or silk pillowcase (in order to avoid the perm getting ruined due to friction between the hair strands).
– Avoiding brushing of the permed hair too often.
– Avoiding the usage of heat styling tools.
– Keeping the hair sufficiently moisturized.

The Final Takeaway About Korean Perm Vs Japanese Perm Vs Digital Perm

Since the Japanese perming techniques take hair care and hair health into consideration during the perming process, they focus on gentler perming solutions and lower temperatures for heating. 

Therefore, the Japanese perms may not last as long as other types of perms.

Korean perms are those that require less maintenance as compared to other perms and last pretty long on the hair. It also makes the hair look sufficiently voluminous, by just adding subtle waves to the hair.

Well, these are some things you need to consider when you choose what type of perm you want to get!

Also Read:

Top Alternatives To Hair Perm