With so many perms in the market, it can be hard to choose one that is most suitable for you. Thankfully, we managed to speak to seasoned stylists and found out the key differences among Singaporean, Korean and Japanese perms, hot and cold perms, and other various low damage perms.
There is however a NEW low-damage perm in town that claims to double up as a hair treatment, reviving damaged hair that's been through multiple chemical treatments while giving you the Korean waves you dream of. Sounds too good to be true?
We get stylists who've given it a try to tell you why THEY are so excited.
To understand why Advante Perm is so innovative, you have to first understand how a normal perm works. All hairs are made up of its cortex and covered by a layer of cuticle sealed by human hair lipids. The cuticles protect it from UV rays as well as other pollutants in the external environment. In order for the stylist to create a curl in your hair, they have to first apply a perm lotion.
Most perm lotions use a reducing agent, an alkaline solution, which is often Ammonia or Ammonium Thioglycolate. Once the cuticles are open, the perm solution will break the bonds within the cortex. The stylists will then modify the hair structure by heat and styling before re-forming the new bonds with application of the neutralizer.
As much as the new curls are pretty, the damage caused to the hair cuticles is pretty much irreversible. Once hair cuticles are opened chemically, the lipids are lost and the damage cannot be reversed as hair does not heal by itself.
Advante Perm is so revolutionary simply because it does not require the cuticles to open in the first place. Instead of using Thioglycolic acid to open the cuticles to break the bonds within, Advante uses glyceryl mono thioglycolate (GMT). GMT is a very special ingredient because it is able to do the same job of breaking down the bonds within the cortex under low pH.
To give you an idea of how unique Advante is, Shiseido, L'Oreal Extenso, Arimino Cosme and other well-known perm lotions can only work at high pH of above 7.5 to 9 to open the cuticle. Advante, on the other hand, works at only pH 4-6. This means that it can modify the hair structure WITHOUT opening the hair cuticles, resulting in less damage and softer perms that will NOT become frizzy over time.
In fact, those who've tried Advante will tell you that the hair looks smoother and shinier after the perm than before thanks to the low pH used in the perm.
In case you may not know, regular perms often require us to heat your hair up to 180 degrees Celsius to set your hair in shape.The Advante perm is special as we can reduce the temperatures to as low as 65 degrees when used with the Paimore machine, so damage is truly minimized.~ Kai from Branche Japanese Hair Salon
The lower temperature minimizes damage to the hair while enhancing the look of your curls because the machine can control the temperature very accurately and steam hair the way rice is steamed; temperature gradually rises until the specified temperature before decreasing again. The controlled oscillation allows hair texture to be modified at lower temperatures while keeping the hair moist. While Advante perm lotion can be used on its own, combining it with this machine, allows for optimal perm results at the lowest temperature.
A low damage perm that uses low heat and a process that doesn't open your hair cuticles, what more can you ask for?
Advante Perm at Picasso Hair Studio
Well, it seems as if the Advante Perm is the gift that keeps giving. Normal perms tend to open the cuticles and make your hair appear more frizzy afterwards due to the high pH of 7.5 to 9. The low pH of the Advante Perm (pH 4-6) actually closes the cuticles and make the hair smoother than before the perm. The Advante perm itself also includes patented treatment ingredients such as Erucalactone. Found only in the newest Japanese treatments, Erucalactone is the revolutionary ingredient that penetrates the cortex and helps the hair repair itself upon application of heat. It also seals the hair cuticles even further to protect against Singapore's humidity.
That may be why customers' hair still remain silky smooth for up to 6 weeks after the perm!
One frustration we have as stylists is the homecare after the perm. Sometimes, the hair looks gorgeous on the day of the perm but it starts to frizz days as customers neglect the use of conditioners for their newly permed hair. With Advante Perm, we don't face this problem as the manufacturer includes a travel-size treatment mask for use back at home. It can last you for the first couple of weeks so we don't actually get any queries about frizz after this perm!~ Emiko, Room Japanese Hair Salon
Homecare is often just as important as the perm itself. Those who've permed your hair before may notice that your newly permed hair start to frizz days after... IF you don't use conditioner after the perm.
With Advante perm, you don't have to worry. The perm itself includes a complimentary travel-size treatment mask that includes key ingredients from the Advante Treatment to repair your hair and tame any unruly frizz. That's probably why those of us who get to try Advante Perm early will find that our hair remains smooth and shiny even months after the perm.
Agent A's Advante Perm at Room Japanese Hair Salon
(It's 6 weeks and counting for Agent A and about 8 weeks for Agent G now)
No matter how skillful a stylist is, a simple application process is always appreciated as it reduces the margin for error.
To make sure that the perm comes out perfect, regular perm lotions require us to section the hair and separate application of perm lotions ie. longer time at the roots and shorter time at damaged areas for best results. Due to the lower damage sustained as well as the characteristics of GMT, this is no longer necessary as the low level of damage make over-processing much less likely.~ Oscar from Chez Vous Hideaway
Not needing to segregate the timing makes the perm somewhat idiot-proof, so instead of spending time on sectioning your hair, your stylist can focus their efforts on designing the right perm for you with the right haircut.
Advante Perm by Chez Vous Hideaway
Due to the more straightforward application process that already includes treatment, all you need is 2.5 hours for the entire hair wash + haircut + Advante Perm + blowdry. This compares to the regular perm which takes 3.5 hours and an additional 1 hour for treatment.
Imagine saving yourself about 2 hours each time you perm your hair!
Advante Perm at Picasso Hair Studio
If you have non-processed, healthy hair, your curls will very likely look great when you perm it the first time. Go for a high-damage perm the second and the third time and you'll start to find that your curls lack volume and definition thanks to the damage sustained over time.
With Advante perm, you won't face that problem. Right from your first perm, chemical and heat damage is kept to a minimum with your cuticles closed. Hence, your hair is well protected, making it look healthy and bouncy even on your fifth perm.
For perm connoisseurs who can't live without curls like Agent G, Advante is possibly the best investment you need to make to ensure that your current AND future perm turns out amazing!
Given the lowest level of damage thus far among all the perm lotions available in Singapore today, Advante is the clear choice for ladies who've coloured or even bleached your hair before. On top of the fact that the perm is less damaging, the strong curling power means that the curls will also last longer on bleached hair... which is a current problem with many of the perm lotions today; the curls just can't stay on bleached hair!
Advante Perm on Bleached Hair at Koinonia Salon
There are many perm lotions out there but so far, Advante Perm surpassed all that we've previously tried.As you can see, the curling power of this low-damage perm lotion is so strong that the curls appear bouncy even on the above hair which has been bleached 2-3 times. This is the first time such a feat is possible for such highly bleached hair, so I'm really excited to share it with my customers!~ Shua from Koinonia Salon
Some people have the misconception that low-damage perms don't last as long as normal perms. But this certainly not the case for Advante Perm. So far, all the customers who've tried Advante had amazing feedback about how it looks natural and yet lasts really long.~ Jesly, Picasso Hair Studio
This was how the hair looked immediately after the perm.
This is how it looks like 1 week later.
2 weeks later
And 6 weeks later.
The perm did loosen from Week 0 to Week 2 but has pretty much stabilized into the big loose waves Agent G could only dream about. Even at Week 6, the curls are just as defined as in Week 2.
One reason why some people shy away from perms is because of the usual pungent smell associated with Ammonia. Advante Perm is specifically designed to exclude Ammonia as well as other harmful chemicals such as formaldehyde, so you don't get that smell. This also makes it suitable even for ladies with sensitive scalp with its zero-formaldehyde and zero-ammonia formula.
We fell in love with Advante Perm the first time we used it.Other than its low-damage formula, it reminds us of traditional onsens back in Japan with its woody scent.~ Keisuke from COVO Japanese Hair Salon
Advante Perm at COVO Japanese Hair Salon
Keen to try the Advante Perm after hearing about it?
You're not the only one.
After Agent G heard about this perm, she made an appointment with Picasso Hair Studio immediately to find out if the perm is really worth the hype.
Keep reading to see how her hair turned out.
Hello, this is Agent G, Chief Editor of Beauty Undercover. Having permed my hair for almost 10 times at different salons with different stylists in the last 10 years, I count myself somewhat of a perm connoisseur.
2019 however turned out to be a blip in my perm resume.
You see, earlier in 2019, Jesly from Picasso Hair Studio started raving to me about a new perm she recently tried, one that doesn't even open the cuticles during the perm process and yet is capable of strong defined curls that can last for months. The end result was so smooth that she simply couldn't stop thinking about it! It isn't often that I hear Jesly raving about a perm lotion so much, so when she actually says something like that, I listened.
At that time, she wasn't sure when the perm lotion will be released.. but I wasn't about to perm my hair and miss this revolutionary new perm.
So here I was... waiting and waiting until one day, the text came in June 2020.
THE PERM IS HERE!
I waited for this perm until my neck (and my hair) grew long. Incidentally, my hair also became straighter which also made my face look bigger :( Thinking back, this may be a blessing in disguise since I've got people commenting that I look younger :D
Back to the topic at hand, I was excited to try the new perm, not just because of the new Advante perm lotion but also because it is Jesly who will attend to me. Just in case you didn't know, Jesly is a LEGEND among hairstylists in Singapore particularly for perms. Regardless of your hair texture, Jesly is probably the best person in Singapore to get that curl / wave you've been dreaming of thanks to her solid perming skills, use of only top quality perm lotions and matching of the right perm lotion to your hair texture and desired look. Jesly is also very passionate at what she does and will only recommend what is necessary, making her a trusted stylist whose calendar is almost fully booked weeks in advance.
Luckily for me, a slot opened up at the last minute, allowing me to experience this revolutionary perm with one of my favourite stylists of all time.
Every time I go to her, I get reminded of the many reasons why I love her.
Chief of all, is really her passion for hair. She may be in this industry for many years but she's still as excited about new perm lotions and new hairstyles today as she was years ago. The LOVE for what she does shows through, not just in the conversations with her but also in the way she does hair.
Testing the health of my hair to determine length of time for softening
This may be her 100,000th time perming someone's hair but she never fails to do a thorough consultation and all the necessary checks to ensure that the customer gets the best result.
After checking that my hair is suitable, we're all ready to start.
Jesly doesn't only have my hair in mind though. This meticulous stylist also makes sure that my stomach is well taken care of with that tray of snacks and a bottle of water always refilled.
Now, its truly all systems go.
As Jesly likes to tell me, a great perm always starts with the right haircut.
To create the texture she's looking for, Jesly gave my hair an angled cut to remove the damaged ends and give it more dimension (helping it look less flat).
Then she gave me a quick wash to get it ready for the next step.
She even made sure I changed into a disposable mask before the perm so that the chemicals would not accidentally get onto my mask.
So thoughtful, isn't it?
While I was back at the seat, Jesly took some time to prepare the star of the day: the low-damage Advante perm lotion.
To ensure that I get the best result, Jesly used a scale to measure just the right amount of perm lotion that my hair needs.
With her deft strokes, Jesly applied the perm lotion onto the second half of my hair.
Soon, the perm lotion was all ready and the processing begins.
To speed up penetration, she applied mild heat with this machine.
Barely 15 minutes later, Jesly paused the machine to check if my hair is sufficiently softened.
You see, Advante doesn't open up the hair cuticles due to its low pH. While this is a GREAT thing since it reduces hair damage, it can be difficult to tell visually if my hair is softened enough. Hence, Jesly came up with her own check by curling a few strands of hair before processing and checking when the time is right.
Looks like we are all ready to go!
Jesly didn't go straight to curling my hair though.
Seeing that some parts of my hair was a little frizzy, she got rid of the frizz by straightening the hair closer to the roots.
Then she started curling my hair. Jesly made sure that every curling rod was done exactly the way she wanted, with each rod in the right direction and with the right amount of tightness.
She then connected the rods to a digital perm machine for heating.
I noticed that the Advante Perm requires a much lower temperature - it felt way more comfortable doing this perm as compared to regular perms.
My tight Goldilocks curls after the rods were removed
No, I did not ask for an Ajumma perm but don't worry for me, the final product looked nothing like this.
To fix my curls in place, she then applied the neutraliser.
She gave my hair a final check and my perm was done!
Yes, it was that quick.
This is one of the biggest advantages of the Advante Perm. With other perms, Jesly would have had to segregate application of perm lotion, leave the lotion on for longer at the roots and shorter at the damaged ends. This is not necessary when doing the Advante Perm as hair will not be over-processed, allowing it to soften to the right level without excessive damage.
By removing unnecessary steps, the perm process was significantly quicker.
Ready to see how my perm turned out?
Soft and silky... my hair actually felt healthier after the perm.
I really love this perm!
I'm glad that the Advante Perm worked on my hair, even after all the different chemical treatments I've put it through over the years. Not only did it give me the curls I want, the Advante Perm also made my hair smoother after, thanks to its nourishing properties.
I basically got a perm and a treatment at the same time. The best part: I got exactly what I wanted in such a short time.
It usually takes me more than a month after a regular perm session before I start falling in love with my new curls but this was different. I loved the results IMMEDIATELY.
This is shaping up to be my favourite perm thus far!
Just to let you know how it looks like back at home, here are some photo updates.
Week 1: The curls were defined and still feels soft to the touch.
Week 2: Can you see that the curls have started to loosen?
SOOOO in love because this is the perfect type of loose curls I've always been dreaming about!
Week 6: Guess what, it stays even after 6 weeks!
6 weeks into the perm, my hair remains bouncy with the loose wave still in shape.
People used to think that perms are high-maintenance and difficult to manage but with the advances over the years from Tokio Sinka and now Advante Perm, that is no longer true. Particularly with Advante, the damage caused to your hair is SO LOW that the treatment actually feels more nourishing than it is damaging. In fact, my hair feels softer after, rather than before the perm.
More importantly, maintenance is kept to the minimum; all I needed to achieve the above looks was to use the complimentary treatment mask provided and blowdry my hair after every wash... THAT'S IT. I didn't even have to apply any oils (oops!).
THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU Jesly for giving me this gorgeous new perm!
Thanks for telling me about the perm and also for giving me the type of curls I thought I could only dream about. I loved my last perm but honestly, the new Advante perm just blew away all my expectations with how soft it looks and how easy it is to maintain months after.
So yes, I think I found my new favourite perm here at Picasso Hair Studio.
Eager to try the new Advante Perm?
We'll be gifting TWO of you with a complimentary Advante perm if you do the following before 30 September 2020.
The two lucky winners will be selected on 1 October 2020 for a complimentary Advante Perm at one of these top salons:
All the best and have a happy September!