This Secret Korean Perm Lotion can Perm Bleached Hair

Published on Feb 24, 2017

Vibrant Colours look the best when paired with curls. 

Unfortunately, bleached hair are often too damaged to be permed... until now!

Agent G found a hairstylist skillful enough to give her a low-damage perm after her recent bleach.

Read on to find out who this is!

I finally bleached my hair.

It was a big step for me because as I've previously mentioned again and again, I'm a big fan of perms. 

Still, I'm the Chief Editor of Beauty Undercover. How can I talk about bleach again and again if I've never tried it before? 

Against all my instincts, I finally took the plunge in December 2016. 

As much as I loved the colour, I felt really uncomfortable that my curls were gone. No matter how much I try to finger-swirl my hair and how much curling lotion I use, the curls just wouldn't stay in place. 

Truth is, my curls have loosened since my last perm in June 2016. The bleach however loosened the curls even further. 

Bleached and Loosened Perm

Application of olaplex home care does help. However, if I leave my hair unwashed for a day (like what I did above), the curls tend to be even more unsustainable. 

In my heart, I knew that I had to go for another perm.

But this time, with who? 

You see, I've spoken to MANY hairstylists since my last bleach.

Sadly, 10 out of 10 of them didn't dare perm my hair and instead, advised me to grow my hair out till the bleached hair is cut. 

You should know that perms look the best on virgin hair.Any hair that has been permed before or worse, bleached before will have curls that don't look as nice!

Fortunately the 11th hairstylist I talked to gave me a different answer. 

Don't worry, Agent G! Your hair is a little light but don't worry, I've permed hair that's worse than yours. 

That stylist is Joel Park, who is now at Pro Trim @ Ngee Ann City. Upon further discussion, he revealed that he brought in a secret perm lotion used by top Korean hair salons. That perm lotion is pH balanced and therefore deals minimal damage to the hair. With the right grasp of timing, he would be able to create the curls I've been desperately looking for. 

Super hyped, I made an appointment to see Joel early February 2017.

February 2017

Consultation by Joel Park at Pro Trim

During the consultation, Joel inquired about my hair history and my preferences. 

I explained that my previous stylist had very beautifully bleached the hair using the gradation method. I am a proponent of that method because it means that there won't be a clear line when the colour fades! 

However, this did made it even more challenging to perm my bleached hair because the hair is bleached to different levels at different parts of the hair. 

Despite the difficulty, Joel mentioned that he will do his best. 

His recommended plan of attack: 

1) Give the hair a powerful pre-treatment to prepare the hair for the perm

2) Use his Secret Perm lotion that deals minimal damage to the perm

I know that perming bleached hair has its risks but given his reputation as one of the best perm specialists in Singapore, I knew I could leave my hair in his hands. 

So I leave it all to him!

Step 1: Shampoo and Haircut

Hair Wash at Pro Trim

Joel left me in the hands of Junior Stylist Lily who gave me one of the BEST hair massages I've had in the past year. 

Firm and thorough, the head massage was absolutely phenomenal! I drifted off even though the shampoo and massage within the short few minutes!

Hair Wash at Pro Trim

My hair is blown dry before going ahead with the haircut.

Although I was not Joel's only customer, he proactively came over to help with the blowdry. This is how hands-on he is!

As many of his customers can testify, Joel is very conscientious. He isn't the type to leave everything to his assistant. Instead, he comes over every few minutes to make sure that every step is done well!

Hair Trimming at Pro Trim

Before he went ahead with the haircut, he doublechecked the length of hair I was ready to part with. 

As I was looking for a shorter perm, he cut quite a bit off!

Hair Trimming at Pro Trim

So he proceeded with the cut.

Firstly at the lengths.

Hair Trimming at Pro Trim

And then to the fringe!

I mentioned to him that I would like my hair to curl to the side and so he left sufficient length for that as well. 

Hair Trimming at Pro Trim

Even though there are occasional stray hairs, Joel will remove them with a sponge. 

Very considerate :)

As you can see, my hair looked very dry. Lily mentioned that this is because she intentionally did not use conditioner during the hair wash. This allows for better absorption of hair treatment at the next step!

Step 2: Secret Hair Treatment

Hair Trimming at Pro Trim

This Secret Hair Treatment is literally named Secret Hair Treatment. Although Joel didn't let me know the brand of this Korean treatment, he did mention that it contains 14 different types of Keratin to replenish what my hair lost from the bleach.

As mentioned earlier, perms look the BEST on virgin hair ie. hair that has not been coloured, processed or previously permed. This is because normal  coarse healthy hair has a strong cortex to maintain its shape for a long period of time. As long as your stylist has good skill, the resulting perm that comes out will look great. 

If however you have bleached and damaged hair like mine, the shape of the perm is unlikely to turn out well because much of the cortex is now devoid of nutrients. This type of hair becomes frizzy as water enters and leaves the hair easily. 

A pre-treatment however can help to a large extent by swelling the cortex up with nutrients so that it can withstand some of the chemical damage later on and better sustain the shape that Joel will give me. A good pre-treatment is therefore the preamble to a successful perm, especially for bleached hair! 

After application, Lily combed the treatment through several times. 

Nanomist Machine at Pro Trim

To improve absorption of the Secret Hair Treatment, a special Nanomist machine is then used.

The nanomist particles will hit the treatment particles to further penetrate into the hair. 

Hair Wash at Pro Trim

Finally, the treatment is washed off. 

Step 3: Application of Perm Lotion

Application of Perm Lotion at Pro Trim

My hair is then blown dry and a pre-treatment applied!

As you can see, the Secret Treatment is really powerful. My hair seems a lot more moisturized and natural than before the treatment.

Application of Perm Lotion at Pro Trim

To prevent the perm lotion from touching any part of my face, I was given a visor to shield my eyes (and face!)

Application of Perm Lotion at Pro Trim

Joel then sectioned my hair and applied the perm lotion. The perm lotion will break the existing bonds in the hair so that it can be sculpted later one. 

This is a very important step for bleached hair as he has to grasp the timing really well to ensure that my hair doesn't get fried. It is made especially challenging as I had bleached hair at different levels so he also had to leave the perm lotion on for different lengths of time!

Application of Perm Lotion at Pro Trim

After about 15 minutes, he was satisfied with the progress of the perm lotion and sent me for yet another hair wash. 

Application of Perm Lotion at Pro Trim

With the head massage so phenomenal, I'm not complaining!

Step 4: Curling

After blowing my hair dry, Joel proceeded to ask:

Do you want strong curl or natural curl? Your hair is bleached so strong curls will stay on longer than natural curls. 

On one hand, I've always preferred curls which are more defined. On an another, I'm a little worried that my curls will turn out looking like an auntie! 

After giving it some thought, I chose... STRONG CURLS.

The reasons why I went for that were:

  1. My bleached hair will probably not hold curls for long. Even if it is strong curls, it will become more and more natural with each hair wash! I'm a person who go for the long term rather than short term beauty :D
  2. Digital perm is actually quite versatile. If I want my hair more curly, I should blowdry my hair to about 70-80% dry. If I want my hair straighter, I should blowdry my hair to about 90-100% dry.

As I find it easier to blow dry my curls straight, I opted for a more curly digital perm!

Hence, Joel used the smallest curling rod to curl my hair. 

Perming at Pro Trim Korean Hair Salon

This is how I looked like with my hair all curled and hooked up to a machine!

Perming at Pro Trim Korean Hair Salon

OMG did I make a wrong choice?

What if my hair turned out to look like a Korean obasan!

Perming at Pro Trim Korean Hair Salon

Next, Joel proceeded to iron my hair. 

Perming at Pro Trim Korean Hair Salon

This is his secret technique to avoid rubber band marks and make sure that the curls turn out natural!

Perming at Pro Trim Korean Hair Salon

Step 5: Apply Neutralizer

Perming at Pro Trim Korean Hair Salon

The neutralizer helps to fix the new shape that is created. I can only hope that it wouldn't turn out as curly as this!

Perming at Pro Trim Korean Hair Salon

Heat is applied at this step to accelerate absorption!

Step 6: Apply Colour

Hair Colouring at Pro Trim Korean Hair Salon

This is how my hair looked like after wash!

Very curly but not as bad as just now yah? 

As the perm would have caused my hair colour to fade more than before, the perfectionist Joel recommended me to go for a hair colour.

Since I had already bleached my hair, he recommended me to go for an ash brown hair colour with a tinge of blue! As my stylist had bleached my hair so beautifully previously, this one tone hair colour will also turn give a beautiful gradation. 

It didn't take me long to say yes!

Hair Colouring at Pro Trim Korean Hair Salon

As usual, heat is then applied to accelerate the process.

Hair Colouring at Pro Trim Korean Hair Salon

After my final hair wash, he applied a serum before blowdrying my hair. 

Hair Colouring at Pro Trim Korean Hair Salon

My hair is still wet but I can already see a tinge of blue in my hair!

Hair Colouring at Pro Trim Korean Hair Salon

How did it look like after my hair was blown dry?

Before and After Korean Perm on Bleached Hair at Pro Trim Korean Hair Salon
Before and After Korean Perm on Bleached Hair at Pro Trim Korean Hair Salon
Before and After Korean Perm on Bleached Hair at Pro Trim Korean Hair Salon

Don't you think that the shorter perm framed my face better? 

I also LOVE the ash colour as it somehow makes me look less tired! 

Best of all, the perm was bouncy, voluminous and not as crazily curly as I saw earlier... whew! 

How I Look After Getting Korean Perm and Colour at Pro Tim Korean Hair Salon

Of course, the hair should look great on the day of the hair visit... how does it actually look like after a wash?

I took more photos back at home to show you how it looked like after. 

FYI, I tried to wash my hair every two days to prevent the perm and the colour from fading too quickly.

After 1st Wash

How I Look After Getting Korean Perm and Colour at Pro Tim Korean Hair Salon

As Joel promised, my hair would look similar if I blow dry my hair.

This is how it looks like after my first wash and blow dry two days later! 

I love that the curls are still strong but definitely not auntie-type maggie mee curls!

After 2nd Wash

How I Look After Getting Korean Perm and Colour at Pro Tim Korean Hair Salon
How I Look After Getting Korean Perm and Colour at Pro Tim Korean Hair Salon

#nomakeup for me today because I was going for a facial later on in the day. 

The blue is not as obvious after the second wash but the gorgeous ash colour is still in place!

Most importantly, my curls look just PURRFECT (to me!)

12 Days After 

I'm attending a friend's wedding tonight. 

Here's how my hair looked like after a wash and blowdry at home!

How I Look After Getting Korean Perm and Colour at Pro Tim Korean Hair Salon
How I Look After Getting Korean Perm and Colour at Pro Tim Korean Hair Salon

In regular light, the hair colour looks a bit more ash green, which is very beautiful I think!

Family Photo

During the wedding, it felt really good when I had friends coming up to me to ask if I went for salon styling before I came.

Glad to see how a simple blowdry at home + serum can make my hair look like its done at the salon.

(Thanks for the compliments, girls! You know who you are!)

2 Weeks Later

Family Photo
Family Photo

The hair colour also came just in time for a family photoshoot.

I just LOVE how the ash hair colour looks so good on the curls :D

Overall Thoughts

If its not yet obvious, I'm ECSTATIC to have my perm back! 

How I Look After Getting Korean Perm and Colour at Pro Tim Korean Hair Salon

People used to say that bleaching and perming are incompatible but it seems that even perm and bleaching technology have advanced so much so that whatever can't be done previously is now possible! By using Olaplex during bleach (by Joel's Secret Perm lotion that deals only minimal damage, colours and perms can now coexist. I hear that more of such perm lotions are coming out in the next few months so I expect more and more hairstylists to be combining these two services in time to come. 

For now though, Joel Park's EXPERT PERMING technique and Secret Perm Lotion has impressed me to no end. It is hard to believe how defined my curls are right now even though my hair is bleached! Despite the challenge that the gradation bleach posed, Joel Park was able to navigate through the difficulty to give me the perm I was looking for. 

(If he can do a difficult perm like this so well, I'm sure his regular perms look even more amazing!) 

It is no wonder why the salon is often full with Joel's customers looking for a natural perm and why he is so often invited to seminars to share about his technique! 

With an expert like Joel, I'll HIGHLY Recommend those of you who have just bleached your hair (once / twice) to get a perm here. The perm will add much dimension to your hair colour and make it MUCH EASIER to blowdry and style your hair before you leave your house.

Of course, you still have to take the time to do the usual maintenance e.g. use conditioner, use hair serum and blowdry your hair. In fact, the maintenance takes a bit more time than just the usual perm. However, the result is worth it as you get a perm that better frames your face and a colour that suits your skin tone. 

Do however note that Joel Park often has his schedule full. Even when you make appointments, you will realize that he attends to more than 1 customer at one time. Still, he is able to do a great job because he frequently checks on his customers and trains his assistants well. Therefore, don't rush and do cater at least 3-5 hours if you're intending to do a perm and a treatment here! 

For those who are interested the prices for the above perm is at $320 (Short), $350 (Medium), $380 (Long Hair) 

Special Promotion for Beauty Undercover Readers

20% off Secret Perm 

  • Valid from now till April 2017
  • Quote Beauty Undercover Secret Perm when making the appointment to be eligible for the above promotion

Related Articles