Manolo for the Beauty » Is the Perm REALLY Back?

Is the Perm REALLY Back?

By Glinda

Not too long ago, the New York times ran an article that said perms are back with a vengeance, baby.

Except they’ve been saying that since 2008.

And it still hasn’t happened.  I come in contact with more than my fair share of trendy, hip women and not one of them has a perm. 

It’s because we are scarred.

How could we not be?

I was a willing victim of the spiral perm in the late 80’s/early 90’s and I will never forget having to sit there, holding a strip of cotton in a death grip against my forehead, desperately hoping that the steaming, stinky perm solution wouldn’t run down my face and burn me. 

God, it was awful.

I can still smell it to this day.

But my hair has always been very straight and at the time, curls were where it was at. 

Supposedly the “new” perm is a softer, gentler sort of perm that leaves your hair looking more after-the-beach than anything else.

Call me cynical, but it seems that the looser the initial curl, the more quickly it will fall out?  That was why everybody loved those spirals because damn, it took months for that stuff to relax.  You felt like you were getting your money’s worth.  But I do remember it being hell to grow it out when I decided I was done with the permed look.

What say you? Are perms back or are they just trying to convince us they are?

4 Responses to “Is the Perm REALLY Back?”

  1. Aurumgirl Says:

    They are so not back. Unless you’re going to take those runway looks of overly distressed huge hair seriously, no one is lining up for a perm anywhere.

    That photo of Jennifer Grey? When she had her perfect real nose? She also had her own curly hair. I’ve got curly hair that defies all chemical compounds and every temperature, and no matter what the cost of the No Frizz turns out to be, it defies that too. Why would anyone pay for that kind of hair, when we all know we associate long, straight hair with patricians? People are putting formaldehyde on their scalps to straighten their hair (yes, formaldehyde). If you’ve got curly hair and you want it to be straight, start tithing out a portion of your income and your retirement savings to keep that look going–plus make sure you have a career that allows you a lot of vacation time, as you’ll need it. If you want curls, a few minutes with a curling iron and some holding spray will get you through an evening–but then you can wash it away and go back to “fashionable” in an instant.

    So I don’t buy the “perms are back” thing either.

  2. Jen Says:

    I have a perm. I have been getting it for the past few years, with breaks in between when I felt like chopping all my hair off. My hair is naturally VERY fine and brick-straight, and will never do anything. So right around the time Xtina got her curly hair on, I was doin’ it too. Now the perm I have is sometimes perfectly wavy like a flapper or forties pinup, and sometimes looks so spirally-natural that people have said they thought I’d been straightening my hair all those years! It’s easier to work with this way, and I can wear it straight when I want to. The KEY is to find a GREAT permist, and this is very hard to do. I lucked into mine and even though she’s not great at cutting my hair, she is the only one I trust to give me my glorious curls.

  3. Sarah Says:

    Ooo! I hope perms are back, because I have natural curls that look precisely like the old poodle perms, and would love love love to be hip (for once!) Stick straight hair had it’s moment in time and I say it’s time or a curly revolution!

  4. Evelyn Says:

    I don’t care if they do come back, I’m permanently traumatized from the ’80s perms. I looked like a poodle. god those high school photos are so embarrassing!

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