The word “perm” is enough to strike fear into the best of us. And you’d be forgiven for immediately thinking of hair nets, blue rinses and bushy retro hair. Best left in the past, ta.
As with any throwback trend, it needs a little modern spin, but we’re thinking; perhaps turning our noses up at a style that offers oomf alongside pretty texture isn’t so smart after all.
“You know when you find something in the back of your wardrobe that you loved but totally forgot about? You pop it on, add this season’s up-to-date tailoring or accessories and wham, bam, thank you ma’am – it looks as good as new. This is what’s happening with the modern perm right now,” say the hair heroes at Hershesons salon.
Alongside stretchy leotards and leg warmers, crispy corkscrew curls have been ditched in favour of a laidback technique which leaves things looking more natural and loose. Soft rollers have taken over from plastic rods and medium sized foam pads have even been introduced to achieve a wave rather than curls. For a nod to the trend, they’ll even plait your hair in the perm solution to give you a little movement and texture over anything too structured (note, the only people not suited to the perm solution – which can leave hair feeling slightly dry for up to three weeks – is those with bleached hair). But for fresh, juicy, bouncy curls, they have the tools for the job, too – different sized curls can be achieved with different sized rollers.
But, it’s not just a solution for straight-haired girls. Curly girls can implement it strategically in the form of a “placement perm” to give their hair uniformity, especially if their texture is frizzy in some sections, but beautifully curly in others.
There’s another reason modern perms are well worth a re-think and that’s because they’re kinder to heat-styled hair, and they’re effortless. “We wanted to give girls the type of hair where they can wet it down and let it dry,” explains the trends number one enthusiasts, Seán Paul Nother and Nick Latham (better known as The Hair Bros), who pioneered the New Wave Perm for Hershesons salon. It gives “natural beachy waves. No tongs needed for 5 months,” they say. Effectively, it’s a wake up and go situation that requires far less styling. “Ditch the tongs, the hairdryer and the round brushes, just tuck behind your ears and go,” they reckon.