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Believe it or not, here @ OSA we have never stopped perming. We have studied perming continually and are enjoying the period of renewed interest in this fascinating world of reshaping hair. On this page we will tell you about how perming has changed and how you can avoid the problems of  the old days


Perming is said to go back to ancient Egyptian times. Ok maybe not as refined but never the less humans have always found it impossible to just accept their hair as it is. So we spend much time devising ways of changing it to the way we want it.
Because the art of perming was so huge in the 70’s and 80’s it was bound to go out of fashion at some point.
In the 90’s it started to go into decline and so did the technicians. At a later date the educators decided that perming was no longer going to be taught to young hairdressers. Of course the older ones did less and those of us who were still interested started to pick up work from other salons who had thrown away the perm rods.

The  companies that produced perm lotions declined and and so did the technological advancements. So perming pretty much stood still for a long time. Then we heard about the digital perm and started to research it. With a regular perm the hair is wrapped around rods and then a perm solution is applied. This can be anywhere between very gentle and very strong depending on the type of hair condition and result required. After the bonds that hold the hair in its shape have softened enough the hair is rinsed of all chemicals and then the  neutraliser is applied. This reforms the hair into the new shape,(the shape of the perm roller). The downside of this type of working is this: When you put the lotion on it goes onto all the hair. You cannot choose where it will go so it goes on roots to ends.

Now the digital perm is very different. The lotion is in a cream form so you can place the lotion exactly where you need it for the style you want to achieve. Moisture and protein lotions are used to help protect the hair during the process.  After the hair bonds are softened enough then the hair is rinsed of all chemicals and more conditioning and protein products are added . Then the hair is wrapped around curlers much bigger than traditional perming rods (as in the picture) and a protective heat resistant material is placed around the roller.  Each roller is then attached to the digital curling machine which digitally controls the heat directed to the rollers.  As the rollers heat up the moisture and protein products are steamed through the hair and the curl is set in the new shape ( the shape of the curler). Now the neutraliser is added to fix the hair into the new shape.
So as you see there are some similarities between both types of perming. So what makes Digital curling even better is the amount of opportunities the technician has throughout the process to add moisture and protein products to add condition and strength to the hair.  So instead of the process taking a chemical toll on the hair it actually makes it better. If the hair is frizzy it will make it smooth but in a new shape of waves or curls.

Now we have the choice of so many treatments to keep great condition and control the way in which the hair reacts during the process. Traditional or cold wave perming has the advantage that it can go close to the root. Digital perming cannot go as close to the scalp because of the heat required to set the curl memory. Traditional perms tend to be a harder curl and digital is a softer more natural curl.  
Here at one step ahead we are very lucky to be involved in this exciting and developing area. While it is true that Digital perming has come from Japan it has also been redeveloped for the European market. Our hair is very different and therefore reacts differently to this type of process. If you notice how things are changing with clients wanting a more natural curl.  Movement and volume are preferred and in many types of hair the perming process means this can make life much easier. Curls that are put into very straight hair using a wand or flat irons do not hold as well as curls put into wavy or curly hair. So you may just want support for your style or maybe you want to remove the frizz and and have smoother hair but with volume. Either way it is all possible now. Contact us for more info

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