For beautifully straight and silky hair that styles itself, a straightening perm is the way to go. In most countries these are very expensive, up to hundreds of dollars. In Viet Nam you can get your hair professionally straightened for as little as NZ$35, which will last for months.
Here’s a ‘selfie’ of me getting my hair straightened at a salon in Ho Chi Minh City recently. The process can be lengthy depending on how many applications of the perm solution the stylist thinks your hair requires. In the case of my most recent straightening perm, I only needed two applications, which meant only a couple of hours in the salon all up.
The process starts with the stylists carefully applying the perm solution to your hair. They then let it take effect, whilst checking your hair strength every 15 minutes or so to ensure it’s not breaking. Your hair is then washed, blow dryed and straightened with heat.
To care for your hair after a straightening perm, use a good quality salon shampoo and conditioner. Blow dry it lightly after washing, then add a little styling cream, if you need it, followed by some shine giving gel. You’ll love it. Your hair will look so silky – just amazing.
Viet Nam has some fantastic hair stylists and salons. The price probably varies according to how much they cater for foreigners.
On this occasion I went to My Thuat salon in Phu Thanh district in Ho Chi Minh City where my hair straightening perm and cut cost NZ$68. It was quite nice to be out of the hustle and bustle of the centre of the city, and the salon was fairly modern. I loved the super comfy chair/beds where you get your hair washed. There was unlimited free wifi, friendly stylists and the main stylist, who is apparently very popular, was very confident in styling my hair and communicating with me. They didn’t speak any English, which thanks to my family accompanying me, wasn’t an issue. The down side was the pile of hair and rubbish that sat next to me in the corner for the duration. The team didn’t seem to worry about it, and watched television in their spare time, between customer appointments.
Take a book, smart phone or tablet with you to your hair straightening appointment, for something to do.
If the stylist offers you a cotton bud to clean your ears during your appointment, it’s because they want to ensure that the perm solution didn’t get in your ears.
Getting your hair washed and blow dried is a good way to refresh yourself in the heat. Some salons go overboard in shampooing, and can spend 30 minutes or so just shampooing your hair. It actually looks quite funny – a salon full of ladies with their hair piled up with suds sitting in front of the mirrors.
As a service, some salons will wash your face when washing your hair. This is quite refreshing, but obviously if you have sun screen or makeup on, and you don’t want your face washed, just gently let them know.