My Digital Perm Experience

Ever since high school, I’ve always wanted to get a digital perm after learning about them from the Soompi forums. (I spent a lot of time on Soompi back in high school.) But as a non-working high schooler, it was way out of my budget and when college rolled around, I completely forgot about it.

Then a few months ago, I was watching Alice Gao’s Instagram stories and I saw that she had been getting a digital perm with short hair. In the past, I had always assumed that a digital perm would only look good with long hair, and at this point in my life, I’ve come to terms that I do not like dealing with long hair.

I really loved how Alice’s hair looked, especially since the curls add so much volume. I really love having my hair on the shorter end, but one thing I’ve always had an issue with is how flat and thin it is. I’ve had super thin, straight hair my entire life and sometimes hair stylists ask me if I’m balding because my hair is so thin and lacks volume 🙁

After doing some research on salons in New York City, I made an appointment with Haruka at Hayato Salon in Flatiron. Since Haruka is at the director level, the price of the digital perm at the time of writing this blog post is $240 + tax and gratuity. I also got a haircut, which was included in the price.

The heat process of the digital perm!

Getting a digital perm is a very involved process and long process! I arrived at 11am and we didn’t finish until 1:30pm. The first step was getting my hair washed and cut. Then a chemical was applied to my hair and I had to wait a little bit before getting my hair washed again. Then a heat protectant was added and my hair stylist and her assistant wrapped my hair in the rollers.

Haruka did warn me that it would be a little heavy because of all the things they were putting on my head and it was definitely a noticeable amount of weight. They let the machine turn on and heat for 20 minutes and it was really hot. There was steam coming from my head, but Haruka and her assistant did a good job with adding cushion so that it wasn’t too uncomfortable. Fortunately the 20 minutes passed by quickly and after they unrolled my hair, they then sprayed down my curls with another liquid. After one more washing and blow drying, the perm was done!

A view from the front
A view from the side.
Yes I know, I have a lot of white hair.

I am in love with my hair and how the digital perm turned out! I love that my hair is short and now also has volume and texture. I can’t wash my hair for two days, so I’m currently not sure how time consuming or how much effort the maintenance and care will be, but I’ll put together another blog post for that.

Hayato New York
125 East 23rd Street, 2F
New York, NY 10010


Leave a Comment


  1. I haven’t even heard of digital perm before but it sounds like a healthier option than the standard chemical one. I like how it looks on your hair. It does add volume and it reminds of vintage hairdos, the kind that were popular in the roaring twenties.

    Posted 1.20.19 Reply
  2. I’ve heard of digital perms but didn’t know how they work. That’s a pretty interesting process and the lovely volume and texture added to your hair certainly looks worth it 🙂

    Posted 1.21.19 Reply
  3. have a lovely week ahead!

    Posted 1.22.19 Reply
  4. Panty Buns wrote:

    Experiencing all the weight on your head and the twenty minutes of high heat while getting the digital perm sounds unnerving, but your hair came out looking very pretty!!!

    Posted 3.9.19 Reply
  5. Really appreciate you sharing this blog post. Thank you! Keep writing. Cheers!

    Nahid |

    Posted 3.30.19 Reply


  • Last week I turned 29 😱! Instead of doing anything big or going anywhere, I had a nice dinner and spent the weekend with my family in Virginia.

When I was young, I thought I’d be married with kids by 25, have a house with a nice yard, and have my own cubicle. I’m not married, I don’t have kids, I can’t see myself buying a house (maybe a condo), and I can’t believe my vision of success back then was to have my own cubicle 😂 (tbh, open offices aren’t great, so I wouldn’t mind my own cubicle now). Maybe I haven’t achieved my old version of success, but what I have now is so much better than what I would’ve ever been able to imagine for myself. I’ve lived in Japan, I live in New York City, I get to travel the world with family, I run marathons, and most importantly, my relationship with my family is the best it’s ever been.

I used to think 29 was old, but it feels like my journey has just begun ☺️
  • Happy Mother’s Day to the most badass woman in my life. No amount of words can fully portray how much love and respect I have for my mom. My mom has sacrificed so much and worked so hard to raise me into who I am today. When I was a kid, my uncles told me to grow up and marry someone rich. My mom, on the other hand, told me to become rich myself. Don’t worry mom, I’m still working on it.
  • Forever a wallflower 🌼
  • We went to Ashikaga because it’s always been my mom’s dream to see the wisteria gardens in Japan. We went to Kawachi Fuji Garden last week but we were a bit too early since they weren’t in full bloom yet. Fortunately, we got a second chance today at Ashikaga! This park was gorgeous, so be prepared to be spammed with a ton of photos from there *_*
  • Feeling like royalty at the Osaka Castle
  • Celebrating six years of friendship 🤗! It’s amazing to see how much each of us have grown since we first met. We might be getting old, but we’re still young at heart. (The picture on the right is us from six years ago 😂🙈)