From the crowded 313 Somerset, I made my way to the roomier Centrepoint, took the escalator to the 4th level and found Zinc Korean Hair Salon at a cozy corner, mostly out of sight of normal customers. It was before noon but Zinc was already packed. Talk about a hidden gem!
Soothing Korean music greeted my ears as Nicky ushered me into a seat and decked me in layers of protective covering.
Rena, a senior stylist, came by to give me a drink while Nicky checked through my hair condition, length and texture.
“Today, I will give you Digital Perm . Digital Perm is better for you because your hair is very layered and not long enough for Ceramic Perm. This means your hair ends will have looser curls. Your hair ends is dry so we will moisturize it more before beginning the perm. If you wish, you can also get root perm; it will increase the volume of your hair at the top.”
I'm glad that Nicky is not the type of stylist who will ask me 10,001 questions before he begins. His confidence and clear recommendation was highly reassuring for me.
Nicky tested for water temperature and proceeded with the Purifying Shampoo and application of Keratin treatment. If you remember, the purifying shampoo as explicated in this article, helps to clear away all the chemical gunk from my hair (chlorine, dead skin).
Back in my seat, Matilda and Nicky applied a Protein treatment and then a hydrating Low Protein Peptide treatment to strengthen, moisturize and protect the hair from excessive damage.
With the pre-treatment done, Nicky began with the root perm – applying perm lotion and rolling a section of my hair on the top of my head. Skillfully, he applied heat to the specific section. Seeing how expertly he created volume amidst the smoke was definitely an interesting experience.
A hair wash later, Nicky and his hair assistants applied the perm lotion carefully to my hair. As I had dry ends, additional moisturizing hair essence is used before the hair is rolled up and heated. Perm lotion was also applied in two parts to prevent excessive damage. First, the perm lotion was applied only to the section after my ear and about 2-3 inches before the hair ends. 10 minutes later, the perm lotion is then applied to the hair ends.
Thumbs up for the effort they take to protect my hair!!!
Once my hair is all rolled up, the rollers are then connected to a special machine which controls the heating process! You won’t feel much of the heat although your hair may feel a little heavy.
I almost fainted when I saw my hair immediately after the rollers are removed.
OK, I’m never going for a Twist Perm look.
Luckily this is just temporary…
Matilda, the hair assistant, gave me a green tea hair shampoo, Japanese hair treatment a really good neck massage right after the wash.
Whoa she’s so good, she can probably open a massage salon with her skills!
After the hair wash, Nicky did the final blow dry.
I just couldn’t stop touching my hair and looking at my new look in the mirror! The hair treatment made my hair SOOOO Soft … and my oh my, look how my hairstyle changed my overall look!
The increased hair volume made my face shape look sharper, the curls added a more feminine touch and somehow, I look brighter and more attentive with the perm.
Really very thankful to Nicky and his team for helping me achieve this hair makeover!
Nicky mentions that the perm can last for 3-6 months depending on your hair condition and how well the aftercare is performed. Regular use of light conditioner and moisturizer is essential as it closes your hair cuticles and protects your newly permed hair.
To recreate the curls, however, it is necessary to blow dry your hair correctly. Blow dry from back to front, flipping the hair in a circular motion (outside in) for best results. Note however that you should only blow dry till 85% to 90% dry to prevent frizz and split ends.
Time Taken: 4 hours
I highly recommend Zinc Korean Hair Salon for perms due to Nicky and his team's extensive experience with perms! Everyone knew what they were supposed to do and the result was highly satisfactory for me, even weeks after the perm! Experience overall was great as well - soft Korean music, cup of beverage served + a pillow to make me feel more comfortable. The therapists are not the chatty types so you don't have to worry about making small talk. There is no hardselling and it is easy to tell that these therapists are more interested in caring for your hair than make you spend that unnecessary dollar. Hence, this is a place I would recommend for both first-time perm customers or perm aficionados!