Korean Magic Straight Perm

Who is the worst blogger in the world? ME!

The summer in Korea is brutal! It’s not hot; the average temperatures have been steadily in the mid-80s. It IS crazy humid though, making the mid-80s feel like upper 90s. Just standing outside for 5 minutes causes you to sweat.

My hair and humidity do not get along. I have naturally wavy and frizzy hair and I hate it sooo much. I never leave the house with my natural hair. I always run a straightener through it.

Korea’s humidity made using a straightener pretty pointless. I would straighten my hair in the morning, walk 5 minutes to the bus stop and already it was wavy again (though still much better than my natural waves). Straightening my hair in the humid weather wasn’t fun either.

So, I made the decision to get my hair permed straight.

It’s not the first time I have done it. I actually had my hair chemically straightened during college twice. Both times I had something they called the “Organic Treatment”. It was described to me as something between the Brazilian and Japanese straightening treatments. It was amazing. My hair was always straight and smooth. The thing I liked about the Organic was that it would fade, I wouldn’t have wavy frizz growing at my roots and straight hair at the bottom.

I went to a salon in Busan that I read about online, Hair by Na. I wanted to go somewhere where the stylist would be familiar with thinner foreigner hair and spoke a little English.

In the days leading up to my appointment I was having visions of my hair being fried off and ruined forever. I was extremely nervous about this new treatment.

The process took….wait for it…FOUR HOURS!!!! T.T The organic treatment usually took about 2.5 hours so I thought this would be similar, but I was wrong!! I was okay with it taking a long time. I just felt so bad for the stylist! He didn’t eat dinner and we finished after 9pm. I apologized a million times that it was taking so long >.<

Here were the steps (as best as I remember them…): Apply product. Sit under heat for 30 minutes. Wash. Dry. Straighten. More product applied. Heat for 10 minutes, no heat for 30 minutes.Wash. Dry. Straighten. Apply seal (?). Wash/Condition. Cut. Dry. Straighten again. Argan oil.


For at least 24 hours I could not wash my hair, tie it, or clip it. I was scared to wash my hair so I ended up waiting about 48 hours. On the second day (thankfully a Sunday) I locked myself in my apartment and didn’t leave. My hair was disgustingly greasy…greasy like I’ve never seen it before. This was most likely do to the fact that he put oil in my hair, including in my roots. Putting oil or conditioner anywhere near my scalp is always a huge no-no because it gets super greasy really fast. But the moisture is necessary since the hair has just been through a lot of chemicals and and frying.

The first time I washed my hair I was so scared I was going to get out of the shower and find it back in its natural  form. As I was washing my hair,  all I could smell was popcorn. Obviously this was actually the smell from the treatment. This smell was strongest in the first wash but disappeared after maybe three washes.

I remember the first few days I was like “whoa this is sooo straight” but it eventually got some it’s volume back at the roots.

Lastly, it has obviously saved me sooo much time! It used to take me about 45 minutes to get ready in the morning. Now only 15 minutes! Extra 30 minutes of sleeping!!! Yayyy!

Overall Thoughts and 6-Month Update

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Hair update: Its been 10 weeks since I got the #magicperm on my frizzy/wavy hair. This week I finally noticed that the texture has completely returned to its soft and silky self. The past weeks it was slightly rougher and knotted sooo easily. And as you can see, it's still very very straight! There are some places at my roots are starting to show my natural wave, but it's not noticeable unless I'm purposefully looking for it. Sooo happy with the results. The perm saved me from a long painful summer of dying in my bathroom straightening my hair and then walking out the door for two seconds and it returning to frizz and waves. #koreanhairtreatment #koreanperm #summerinkorea #koreanmagicperm

A post shared by Natasha in Korea (@natashainkorea) on

It’s been about 6.5 months since I got the treatment done. My roots are starting to show some of their natural waves, but mostly in the bottom layers. If I blow dry my hair they come out straighter, but if I let my hair air dry the roots are definitely wavy.

Getting my hair straightened was one of the best decisions I’ve made since coming to Korea. It has made getting ready in the morning sooo much easier! I will definitely get the treatment done again this summer.

2-Year Update

I’ve had my hair straightened three times at Hair by Na. Every time it has been a great experience! I tried to grow my hair out and let it go naturally for a while, but I got sick of it quick.

My hair doesn’t feel any worse than it ever did. Busan has really hard water, so my hair felt brittle since before getting my hair straightened.  We installed a new shower head with a filter, and my hair feels so smooth now!

The only effect I’ve noticed from straightening is that my hair color has changed. It’s a touch blonder. When my hair starts to grow out and I’m standing in the sun, it’s easy to see the line where the regrowth starts. It doesn’t bother me though since it’s not that noticeable most of the time.

If you’re interested in making an appointment at Hair by Na, check out his Facebook page and since him a direct message!


16 thoughts on “Korean Magic Straight Perm

    • Natasha in South Korea says:

      Kimberly, I didn’t ask! Sorry. I’ve never dyed my hair so it didn’t occur to me to ask 😦 You can send Hair by Na a message on Facebook and ask (even if you don’t intend on coming to Busan for the treatment)! He’s very quick to reply!

    • Nilda Alvarado-Kreiner says:

      I have dyed hair and it was fine. But they recommend not getting it done same day as a dye job because your hair texture but they will do it if you ask. It also depends on the hair stylist.

  1. Dee says:

    Hi there. What was the cost of the treatment? Your hair looks great! I need this asap to beat this humidity and get some extra sleep 🙂

    • Natasha in South Korea says:

      At Hair by Na it was 170,000 for long hair. Other places are cheaper, but I don’t mind paying extra for someone experienced with forigner hair…..and it’s still much cheaper than the $220 I paid in America for the Brazilian treatment which didn’t last nearly a second long as this! It’s definitely sooooo worth it! Not having to straighten or use a blow dryer in this humidity is sooo nice!

  2. Alexandra says:

    I’m planning on applying to EPIK for the 2018 fall intake! I’d really love to be placed in Seoul if possible (like everyone else haha), but just wondering if you heard of many people getting placed in the city if they only had an online TEFL? The in class portion makes the course about $1000 more in Toronto so if i can avoid it I will! Also wondering if you went through a recruiter and if you found it beneficial to getting your first choice. Love reading your blog – it’s super helpful when researching Korea 🙂

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