This spring, you might start hearing the term "digital perm" more often. Is this new type of perm for you?

When it comes to getting curly, you may have thought hot rollers, tongs and traditional perms were your only option. But these methods may need to make room for the newest in technology originating from Japan: digital perm treatments.

How do they differ from traditional "cold" perms?

Traditional perms rely on chance and good timing, since perm lotion completely covers a tight coil of hair. As a result, the stylist has little control over where the solution falls, and hair can come out looking uniform and unnaturally bouncy. With digital perms, clients can get beachy waves that can begin at mid-length or at the bottom of the hair - think Kate Middleton's rolling waves instead of root-to-tip Shirley Temple springs.

How does it work?

First, hair is given a protective pre-treatment. Then, hair is wrapped in rods that are attached to the perm machine, which digitally controls temperature and how the curl is set. The perm solution is only added to targeted sections of the hair, resulting in a more natural look. Once hair dries, the stylist will apply a neutralizing solution before rinsing.

How long do they last?

Digital perms last for up to four months and can also relax a frizzy head of hair. Where can I get one? In Canada, digital perms are starting to catch on, right now mostly in Asian salons. Ask for it by name, and bring a picture of the look you want to sport after stepping out of the salon.