hair perm

In the vibrant fashion landscape of Singapore, the debate of Korean Perm vs Japanese Perm is more relevant than ever. These two unique hairstyling approaches, each with their unique charm and characteristics, have captivated those in pursuit of their ideal look. This article aims to unravel the differences between Korean and Japanese perms, offering insight into which style might best suit your personal aesthetic. Join us as we explore these popular hair trends, helping you make an informed decision for your next salon visit.

What is a Korean Perm?

Korean Perm vs Japanese PermImage via ph.galtri on Pexels

Korean perms, a trendsetter in the hairstyling world, are known for their diverse and dynamic styles, just like the dramatic looks seen in Korean dramas. These perms are acclaimed for creating voluminous waves that offer an effortlessly chic appearance, perfect for those seeking a style with a blend of elegance and flair.

How is a Korean Perm Done?

The process typically involves two key styles: the S-Shaped and C-Shaped perms. The S-Shaped Perm offers tighter, more spread-out curls for an effortlessly wavy style, while the C-Shaped Perm focuses on creating waves at the hair ends, enhancing the hair’s organic movement and contours, particularly flattering for bob hairstyles. After the perming solution is applied, the hair is carefully treated under a digital perm machine, which precisely controls the temperature, ensuring even curl formation and minimising potential heat damage.

How Long Do Korean Digital Perms Last?

Korean perms are known for their durability, typically lasting about six months or more. The longevity is partly due to the focus on the lower half of the hair, which helps maintain the structure of the curls over time. Proper care and minimal use of harsh hair products can also extend the life of these perms.

What is a Japanese Perm?

Korean Perm vs Japanese Perm

Image via George Milton on Pexels

Rooted in centuries of tradition, Japanese perms represent a mastery of hair styling, balancing the need for style and health. Evolving from the days of creating pronounced curls, modern Japanese perms focus on natural, softer waves, catering to a preference for hair that looks stylish yet almost untouched. This technique, characterised by its soft, flowing waves, achieves an elegant look that harmonises with the hair’s natural texture, making it a favoured choice in Singapore.

How is a Japanese Perm Done?

Japanese perms offer a variety of techniques, including Digital, Cold, and Airwave perms. The Digital Perm creates defined yet natural curls using lower temperatures, the Cold Perm offers gentle curls with a faster process, and the Airwave Perm adds volume while respecting hair’s natural texture. These perms are applied with a solution followed by specific rollers or rods, then gently heated to set the curls with minimal hair damage.

What to Know About Japanese Digital Perms?

Japanese perms stand out for their focus on hair health, using milder chemicals and lower heat settings. This approach is particularly advantageous for those with sensitive or treated hair. As a result, Japanese perms yield healthier, bouncier curls with a natural sheen, often incorporating more layers for added texture and volume.

What are the Differences Between Korean and Japanese Perms?


Understanding the key differences between Korean and Japanese perms is essential. These popular styles, while similar in some aspects, offer distinct results that cater to varied aesthetic preferences. Let’s explore these differences to help you make the best choice for your hair.

General Price in Singapore

In Singapore, Korean perms typically range from S$120 to S$480, reflecting the intricate technique and products used. Japanese perms, offering a more subtle styling approach, are generally priced from S$88 to S$480. This price variation can depend on the salon’s reputation, the stylist’s expertise, and the specific hair requirements

Curl Intensity

Korean perms are known for their pronounced curls and waves, providing a more dramatic and voluminous look. In contrast, Japanese perms are celebrated for their subtle, natural-looking waves, giving an impression of gently styled hair.


Korean perms are renowned for their low maintenance, retaining their shape for up to six months or more. Japanese perms, although also low in maintenance, may not last as long due to the gentler perming approach.

When it comes to maintaining both Korean and Japanese perms, regular salon visits are key. Act Point Salon, renowned for its expertise in hair care, offers personalised care and treatment tailored to your specific hair type and perm style. Regular visits to such salons ensure that your perm remains in optimal condition, preserving the curls’ integrity and volume. 

Personalised treatments can include trims, hair therapies, and specific products designed to extend the life and quality of your perm. Consistent care, especially at a salon like Act Point, plays a crucial role in keeping your perm looking fresh and vibrant.

Hair Health

The health of your hair after a perm depends on the perming method. Korean perms often use stronger chemicals and higher heat, which can lead to more hair damage. On the other hand, Japanese perms involve milder solutions and lower heat, reducing damage risk. While all perms change hair’s natural structure, choosing a method that minimises damage and following up with nourishing hair care is crucial for maintaining healthy hair.


Korean perms excel in adding volume, making the hair appear fuller and more bountiful. On the other hand, Japanese perms aim to maintain a more natural hair volume, focusing on enhancing the hair’s existing texture.

Curl Pattern

The curl pattern in Korean perms includes a variety of styles like S-shaped or C-shaped curls, offering versatility in the final look. Japanese perms, however, are known for their more uniform, wave-like patterns that blend seamlessly with natural hair.


In conclusion, the choice between a Korean and Japanese perm is more than just a decision about curls; it’s about selecting a style that aligns with your personal aesthetics, lifestyle, and hair health. Korean perms, with their bold curls and voluminous style, cater to those seeking a dramatic, low-maintenance transformation. Japanese perms, on the other hand, offer a subtler, more natural wave, ideal for those prioritising hair health and a more understated elegance. Understanding these nuances empowers you to make an informed choice that not only enhances your style but also maintains the integrity of your hair.

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