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January 6, 2012 / Happy Dietitian

Is Your “Grass” Greener on the Other Side? Digital Perms

By: Wendy Wu, R.D., M.S.

You’re all familiar with the saying grass is always greener on the other side. Well in this case, grass is the stuff that’s growing on top of your heads. People with curly hair go to the salon to straighten their hair while people with straight hair go to the salon to curl their hair. Do you know what I’m talking about? Are you one of those people? I know for sure I am.

Growing up I had the straightest, blackest, softest and silkiest hair I think a person could have. I remember if I tried tying one strand of hair in a knot, it would just swirl out of the knot by itself. What did I want to do with my hair you say? I wanted to damage it to the best of my abilities. At age 15, I dyed my bangs (with bleach I might add) blonde and shortly after I dyed them punk red, purple, and even blue. When I was done with my bangs, I dyed my entire head of hair brown with hightlights. This lasted until I couldn’t keep up with the roots growing out and discovered the world of digital perms.

You mean I can have curls all the time and I don’t have to stand in front of the mirror for half an hour tiring out my arms with a curling iron? I made my appointment, collected my $300 USD, and endured the process which takes about 4 hours. According to the stylist my hair was too healthy so it took longer to damage with chemicals. The first time perming turned out great! The big waves were what I’ve always wanted. I was hooked. Second and third time perming, I noticed very dry damaged ends. I was obsessed with cutting my split ends (I even carried around a small scissor). My hair would look great after I wash it at night but after waking up in the morning, the ends would almost stick together, look deformed and feel like hay. Word of advice from the experienced. Perm it once. Let it grow out and then decide if you want to perm it again. If your hair is as dry as mine, use deep conditioners often and use hot oil once a week.

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