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Perms are back – here’s how to rock them


by Erin Lindsay
23rd May 2018

No, your eyes are not deceiving you. Perms are, in fact, back in fashion. I’ll give you a second to compose yourself.

All good? OK.

Perms, along with shoulder pads and vinyl trousers, are often cited as one of those 80s trends that time should really forget. Every woman of the decade went into the salon dreaming of Julia Roberts and came out looking more like Brian May. My own mother rocked a perm as best she could in the 80s and I don’t think she’ll mind me saying that it…wasn’t her best look.

But, just like shoulder pads and vinyl trousers, many 80s trends are clawing their way back into the fashion zeitgeist and now, perms are making their grand reappearance. And it’s not totally horrifying. The process has completely evolved since the harsh salon days of 30 years ago, and now, curly-haired inspo is everywhere, from top models to Insta cool girls. If you’re feeling the idea of a curly ‘do for the summer, but are worried that the perm will be obvious, fear not. Modern-day perms are not one size fits all – you can choose how tight or how loose you want your curl to be, and avoid the nightmare frizz that comes with too-tight styles.

The idea behind the 2018 perm is volume and movement – think effortless, summer-ready tresses. It all starts with perming solution and rods, which can vary in size depending on how loose or how tight you want your curls to be. These set the hair and the style lasts for three months, depending on the tightness of the curl, which means not having to grow it out like you would in the 80s. You can even straighten your hair if you fancy a change for a day, but be warned that this will decrease the shelf-life of your perm.

Think you’re ready to take the plunge? Just remember that perms need looking after. Remember to get a haircut before you get your perm, and have your hair as moisturised as possible heading in. Use products designed for curly hair but remember not to wash your hair for at least 48 hours after getting your perm (Elle Woods would be proud).

And then? Enjoy the summer with your new mane. But if anyone asks, don’t say it’s a perm – it’s a long-lasting curl.

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