Q: I am living in Korea for 2 months and am thinking of getting a 'Magic Perm’ done while I am here. Is this the same as bio ionic straightening? Is it safe? When the 'perm' is growing out is it
safe to use a straightener on my hair so the re-growth can be straightened to match the ends? I am little apprehensive about it as I can't find too much information in English on the procedure over here!
A: The “Magic Straight Perm” is just a generic term used for the now-standard thermal reconditioning (also called Ionic Hair Retexturing) procedure that is sweeping the planet. I’ll avoid going into my usual spiel
about how the plethora of different terms that are applied to the same procedures leads to this kind of confusion, and instead focus on giving you some information that you may actually find useful:
First, be sure that the salon to which you choose to go has someone available to you with whom you can clearly communicate. If you don’t speak Korean, and there is no one at
the salon who speaks English, then I recommend you take a translator and make sure they are able to stay nearby to you in order to allow you to ask any question you have at any time.
Second, be aware of the time commitment you are making. In most cases an individual with shoulder-length hair will spend around four hours having this procedure. This time commitment
increases depending on the density of your hair. The procedure is labor intensive as the hair is treated in varying stages with straighteners, cleansers, conditioners, and iron smoothing to create the perfectly straight finish.
Be sure to follow ALL the after-care instructions (this is also where you MUST have a means to clearly communicate with the stylist). Typically, this process requires that you not
wash, pin, clip, or otherwise secure your hair, for at least two days. It is also important to move your hair about as little as possible. This is to make sure the hair remains as “flat and smooth” as possible while
the hair’s internal chemical balance re-stabilizes.
Afterward, you should have no problem using a GHD iron to keep any new growth straightened. Just be sure to confirm that there are no special protective steps recommended.
Finally, many women who have the process done (or who merely look into the process) complain of the expense of this procedure. One young American woman in Korea had the process done
(with shoulder-length hair) for around $300. She was told by her Korean friends that she got a very good deal and that normally the procedure can cost $500 to $1000 or more.
If you are sure of what to expect from the process before you go into it, you will probably be like most of the women who have had this procedure and really love the results. This
type of straightening gives you very smooth, very sleek, very straight hair.