Are Perms Making a Comeback?

Hollywood stars are bringing this '80s trend back to life — but not how you may remember it.

It’s official, ladies and gents: Perms have made it back onto our radar. Now, before those terrifying childhood flashbacks of the crunchy ‘80s hairstyle begin to flood your memory, just know that today’s new and improved version is nothing of the sort. This new perm takes a much more subtle approach — and celebs like Emma StoneJaime King, and Olivia Munn are fans of its revamp. 

In late January, Stone and her longtime friend and makeup artist Rachel Goodwin hit up the Mare Salon in West Hollywood for a perm date. Goodwin shared images of the process on Instagram. "Some friends get tattoos, well we get perms! We’re here to tell you that they are BACK and they're not your grandma's perm!" she captioned the post.

Indeed, the ladies’ results were not your grandma’s perm. Instead of a super crunchy curl, both ladies ended up with natural looking beach waves. 

Recently, King also hit up the Mare Salon for a perm treatment — sharing the full play-by-play in a video post. While the actress’ end result was a bit more spiraled than Stone’s, it was still nowhere near that OG perm look. 

First perm since the 3rd grade! 💋

A post shared by Jaime King (@jaime_king) on

Now, Munn is the latest celeb to join in on the wave movement. Earlier this week, the actress and model decided to try this new perm style as well. The actress/model shared the full process, done by hairstylist Kiley Fitzgerald, on Instagram. 

So what exactly is different about the new perm technique? The technique that many celebs are turning to today is known as the "new wave." For the last couple of years, this innovative hair treatment has been popping up at top salons nationwide. According to Instyle, the "new wave" was popularized in 2016 by hairstylist and STRIIIKE salon owner Ashley Streicher, who was in search of a new way to create a permanent wave without the risk of heat damage. The treatment, which can cost up to $450, involves cleaning the hair of all build-up, applying a waving lotion (similar to a perming solution) on the hair, and wrapping it around curlformers. Then, the hair is detangled, styled, and left to air dry. 

Another popular method used to achieve similar results is the "digital perm" (aka the "digital wave"). As highlighted in USA Today, the digital perm was perfected in Japan and Korea. Like the "new wave" it also involves a thorough washing, and the application of a perming solution with rollers. However, unlike most "new wave" methods, this form uses a digital heating tool such as electric rollers or a digital iron to create custom waves. The treatment price can range from $150-$300, and is said to last up to six months. 

While every hairstylist has his or her own technique, there is one common factor that connects the perms of today: customization. According to Kérastase Celebrity Hairstylist, Jennifer Yepez this is one of the main reasons so many people are giving this hair treatment another shot.

"A lot more people today know how to apply it and customize it to each person, instead of a 'one style fits all,'" she explained to The Lookbook. "I think when women and men begin to have a better understanding and find the right person, they will be more willing to try it."

Today, the possibilities are endless when it comes to perm outcomes. As TRESemmé Global Stylist Justine Marjan explained: "We now have so much more advanced technology, new innovations, semi and demi permanent options, and larger, more natural looking wave patterns. Perms now are more gentle on the hair and can even be combined with hair color."

Tempted to give this classic trend another go? Before heading to the salon, Yepez suggests bringing your hairstylist a photo of the exact look you're going for to ensure the best results. Another thing to keep in mind before getting a perm is that you may end up needing a new styling system in order to maintain it.

"By changing the texture of your hair with a perm, you’ll need to invest in a hair routine to help you care and style. I love Kerastase’s Discipline Mousse Curl Ideal — it is great for wavy and curly hair and gives you nice shape and definition," she said. 

Hair can also become more prone to frizz after a perm. When it comes to keeping frizzies at bay, Marjan suggests using a diffuser to dry your hair. "Avoid touching too it much with your hands until hair is 100 percent dry as that can cause frizz," she shared. Once your hair is dry, Marjan recommends using TRESemmé Compressed Micro-Mist Hold Level 1: Texture to help maintain your waves.

We have a feeling there will be plenty more perm transformations to come in 2018 ... 

The Lookbook is Bravo's home for inspiring content and experiences that feed fashionistas with a steady diet of share-worthy styles, personalities, and industry news. Like us on Facebook to stay connected to our daily updates. 

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