Air Wave vs. Digital Perm: 4 Differences You Need To Know

air wave vs digital perm

Perms allow you to transform your sleek straight hair into voluminous wavy looks. Typically, when you think of a perm, the first thing that comes to your mind is those bouncy ringlets. But it is not always the case because airwave and digital perms get you more natural-looking curls, even for your thin and fine hair.

However, when you compare digital and airwave perm, both are pretty different in their mode of action and the life of the curls you get with them.

Digital perm employs chemicals and heat to produce loose curls on your hair. On the other hand, airwave perm doesn’t make use of the heat to add curly definition to your manes. Instead, it works through consistent air circulation into your hair strands wrapped around the perm rods and forces ozone into the hair cortex to set curls.

There is much more for you to know about the differences between air wave perm and digital perm. So, let’s dive further into the article to find out which of these two perms you might want to get in the future.

Key Differences Between Air Wave and Digital Perm

While both digital and airwave perms employ chemicals to reconfigure the structure of hair strands, they are different when it comes to setting the final curls. Digital perm operates with the heat of 100 to 120 degrees, while air wave perm uses air to insert ozone in the hair cortex and produce loose waves.

We will explain a few primary differences between digital and airwave perm in the following.

1. Spendings

Compared to the airwave, a digital perm is an investment on different scales. It takes more than three hours to produce perfect curls on your hair and involves a lot of effort where the stylist has to give attention to every hair strand.

Digital perm employs heat rods that are controlled digitally. Once done relaxing the hair with perm solution, the next step in digital perm is to rinse off the relaxer and wrap hair around these heating rods.

A lot goes into wrapping hair strands on the perm rods, where stylists use endpapers and heat protectant sheets. A digital perm is on the pricy end because of the effort and tools used. It costs anywhere between 300 to 400 dollars.

On the other hand, an airwave perm takes less time and is slightly cheaper than a digital perm.

2. Results With Air Wave vs. Digital Perm

All of the hype around digital perms is because of the results they produce. If you want a natural-looking, voluminous look with a perm, you should go for the digital one.

The lasting loose curls you get with a digital perm appear as if you have spent hours in front of the mirror using various curling irons. It will be tough for someone to know if you have a perm or gorgeous natural curls.

The airwave perm produces a bit more tight curls, but they look similar to those you would get from a digital perm. The main difference in the results of both perms is the volume. The digital perm produces fuller and bouncy waves, while the airwave perm gets you slightly tighter but less voluminous curls.

So, if you have Asian hair and want to add volume through loose and more natural-looking curls, the digital perm is your buddy.

3. Everyone is Not a Candidate for Both Airwave and Digital Perm

The digital perm has been designed keeping straight Asian hair in mind. Therefore, if someone already has some extent of curly hair and wants to shift to those soft, bouncy curls, this perm might not work for them. The same is the case with airwave perm. It works best for straight hair.

Moreover, the digital perm lasts for 8 to 12 months. So, if you are to change your hairstyle and texture again in the next few months, you might want to consider a conventional perm and spend less money.

Or, the airwave perm can be a good choice because it lasts only a few months and costs less.

The hairstylists strongly recommend against getting digital or airwave perm on your bleached or highlighted hair. Your hair strands would have high porosity and may suffer extensive damage from the heat and chemicals used in both of these perms.

4. The Maintainance

If you are thinking of getting a digital perm, you may need to know that it requires extra care than the airwave perm. It can last for almost a year if you pay attention to some of its particular aspects.

First, your hair may need extra moisture and hydration after the digital perm solely because it has lost the essential oils during the perming process due to heat and chemicals.

When you spend about 400 dollars on a perm, you want the final look to last as long as possible. Therefore, you will need to determine how you detangle or dry your permed hair while not ruining the curls.

The airwave perm requires less maintenance because your hair hasn’t suffered much damage as it would with the digital perm.

Wrapping Up

While both airwave and digital perms get you some excellent, loose curls, choosing the one that gives you a more natural look and stays longer can be crucial. When looking into the details of both, we found that digital perm has the edge over airwave perm because the curls you get with it look way more natural than those you achieve with airwave perm.

However, digital costs you a bit more and might cause damage to your only because it employs heat to set the curls.