Most of us associate perms with poodles, bad 80s fashion and Kylie- right? Granted, they don’t have the greatest reputation but it might be time for a change of heart…in recent years the permanent wave has had somewhat of a revamp and a fair few celebrities are now choosing to get on board with it. But what exactly is the modern day perm?
In case you didn’t already know, a perm is essentially a process that uses heat or chemicals to break down and reform the bonds within the hair’s structure. A hair dresser will usually begin by washing the hair and wrapping rods into it, then applying a re-agent or waving solution to achieve a curl. The size of the rod generally determines the size of the curl. The process generally takes between 1-2 hours in total (depending on how much hair you have) and lasts around 6 months. The actual perming process hasn’t changed since back in the day but the desired look has, a lot. Instead of the classic OTT, tight, frizzy ‘do that so many ladies used to love, women are now opting for more a subtle finish, tending to request boho beach waves instead. Think less Sandy from Grease and more Blake Lively.
So which celebs have been embracing the permanent wave of late? 90210 actress Anna Lynne Mccord has been a fan of the look for a few years now but opts for quite tight yet sleek curls as opposed to Julianne Hough who prefers a soft wave. Perrie Edwards of Little Mix fame also rocked a loose spiral perm recently which gave a lot of extra oomph to her usually straightened strands. Another famous face with a penchant for a perm is Halle Berry who has showcased various hair styles in recent years, from corkscrew curls to relaxed waves and everything in between. The Olsen twins are also rumoured to have had perms in the past but many are sceptical, suggesting that they just have naturally wavy hair.
It’s quite reassuring to know that the whole GHD-ed to death, poker straight look has had its day and the more natural, just-washed-my-hair-and-left-the-house look is back en vogue (especially for those of us who can’t really be arsed with high maintenance hair styling every day). If you have naturally straight hair and are keen for a kink or two then a perm could definitely give your barnet a much needed boost. It’s suitable for most hair types but hairdressers are often reluctant to carry out the process on heavily highlighted hair as it can be quite damaging and may result in uneven curls- not a good look. Despite this, Julianne Hough recently debuted the Olaplex perm on Instagram. It’s a revolutionary new way to perm bleached blonde hair without the damage so this could be an alternative if you do lighten your locks. It’s best to have a chat with your hairdresser before making any rash decisions though, that way you can get professional advice on how to personalise your perm to suit you!