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In the era of bouncy, billowing Korean-style waves, we’ve become a little obsessed with everything “perm”.

There are digital perms, ceramic perms, root perms, C-curls, and S-curls – just to name a few – in our perm vocabulary that it’s getting hard to figure out what exactly we want.

When it comes to the perm in question, ceramic perms, what you might already guess from its name is that it uses ceramic rollers to reshape your hair into tumbling curls, but that’s not all there is to this classic perm technique.

Before you rush down for your next hair appointment, read on for nine things you need to know about ceramic perms!

It’s a Perm Technique More Than a Style

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Ceramic perm. Photo source: 99 Percent Hair Studio

More of a perm technique than a style, a ceramic perm involves using chemicals to break the hair’s bonds and rollers made of ceramic to reshape the strands.

Wrapped around the hot ceramic barrels, the hair is shaped into highly-defined curls that last for a longer time.

It Creates Tighter, Defined Curls

ceramic perm

Photo source: Spade Hair Studio/Facebook

The ceramic rollers’ high temperature is why ceramic perms allow for tighter curls, and it’s also the reason these perm hairstyles commonly feature long hair with defined S-curls at the ends.

Some stylists describe these as “wet curls” because the definition of each curl creates a “just out of the shower” wet look that you don’t get with looser, billowing curls.

It Makes Hair Shorter and More Voluminous

Ceramic perm. Photo source: Spade Hair Studio/Facebook

If there’s anything characteristic of a ceramic perm, it would be the high heat of the ceramic rollers and the tighter, well-defined curls it creates.

And, if there are two things you should consider before you get a ceramic perm, it’s that the defined ringlets can make your hair appear shorter – but also more voluminous – compared to other types of perms.

Best for Those With Thicker Hair

Hairstylists share that ceramic perms are better for those with thicker, more resilient strands, as the high temperatures involved during the perming process can cause more heat damage to strands!

Getting a Ceramic Perm Takes About 3 Hours

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Photo source: hairengineersby_caden/TikTok

The process of getting a ceramic perm at the salon takes about three hours, depending on your hair’s length.

Usually, a session at the salon begins with discussing the perm style you want – the hairstylist will assess your hair’s condition and advise you on the best perm technique to achieve your desired ‘do.

If a ceramic perm is suitable for you, the hairstylist will proceed with applying chemicals to break your hair’s bonds, wrapping your hair around hot ceramic rollers, and, finally, applying a chemical neutraliser to fix your newly-defined curls into place.

It Lasts Longer Than Other Perms

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The high heat of ceramic rollers creates curls that last for a longer time – between three to six months, depending on the perm hairstyle and how well you care for your hair.

Modern Korean-style perms that feature long straight hair from the roots to the mid-lengths and S-curls at the ends tend to last for a longer time, as the hair can grow out naturally without changing the shape of the curls at the ends of your hair.

When taking care of your freshly permed waves, you want to condition, condition, and condition! The high heat from a ceramic perm will cause some damage to your strands, and conditioning can help to keep your curls looking healthy instead of frizzy.

You should also avoid blow-drying your hair as the heat can cause your curls to relax, ruining the high-definition of your ceramic perm. If you have to, turn your blow-dryer to the cold or lowest heat setting.

A Ceramic Perm Is Not Quite the Same as a Digital Perm

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Photo source: aquakhs/Instagram

Hot perms, cold perms, digital perms, ceramic perms – there are so many types of perms to get at the salon that it can be difficult to differentiate between them!

When it comes to the two of the most popular perm techniques, ceramic perms and digital perms, you can think of them as sister perms: they both use similar techniques but achieve different results.

A digital perm uses digital rollers at lower temperatures, resulting in curls that are larger and looser. A ceramic perm, on the other hand, employs high-heat ceramic rollers, which produce curls that are tighter and more defined.

It Can Be Used To Create a Korean Perm

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Korean-style perm. Photo source: Usfin Atelier

Typically, both digital and ceramic perm techniques are used to create Korean perms, depending on the type of K-perm you’re going for.

However, Korean perms today can feature everything from loose C-curls and relaxed S-curls to defined S-curls, which is why we can’t say what the perm technique is for achieving these trending wavy styles.

Leave it to your hairstylist to advise you on a suitable perm technique for your desired ‘do, and you’ll walk out of the salon with billowing curls that bring volume and texture to your lifeless locks!

You Can Get It Done at These Salons in Singapore

A ceramic perm isn’t as popular as a digital perm in Singapore, but you can still get it done on our sunny island. Check out these best salons in Singapore for a ceramic perm!


Related read:17 Hair Havens To Visit for Expertly Crafted C-Curl Perms and Korean-Inspired Permed Hair

Featured image credit: 99 Percent Hair Studio, IVY Omotesando/Hot Pepper Beauty