Confession. I had Olivia Newton-John inspired ringlets back in the 80’s. They paired effortlessly with my twisted neon headband and tall socks, which I proudly wore paired together to each and every roller skating venture.

I absolutely thought I was like the Coolest. Thing. Ever.

Looking back at old pics, I really wasn’t. In fact, my personal style was so flat out terrible, it’s embarrassing.

My hair was my least attractive trait, and those tight little curls looked even worse come summertime, when the sun and the mass amounts of Sun-In I sprayed into my hair to make it even lighter, turned my hair into a funky and frazzled mat.

It was frizz city back when I wore a perm, and so I absolutely understand how no women would dare venture back to this old hair trend, willingly.

But now Lady Gaga has gone and done it, and so it’s true. The perm is back. In a not so BIG way. Here’s what you need to know about the Curly Q trend.

Truths About the Modern Perm

Curls today are meant to add body and texture to fine and straight hair types. While ringlets are still an option, the modern perm is about getting those sexy and tousled waves seen allover the lingerie runaways.  They’re soft, touchable, and sexy as hell. If you spend your mornings trying to add texture with a curling iron or a round brush you might be better off with a perm instead.

Fact: Not every stylist can do perms

No matter how loyal you are to your stylist and salon, you might need to shop around to find someone who can actually do a perm.

Since they are a passe hair service, modern cosmetologists just don’t have the experience to do them with confidence. And let’s face it, they are deathly afraid of perm rods. For good reason.

Perms were absolutely the worst part of beauty school, besides finger waves. Manipulating the direction of hair takes talent and skill and it’s not something every stylist can master with just a basic cosmetology license. You’ll want to seek out a veteran stylist for the best perm result.

Don’t mix color with chemicals

Since perms are, well, permanent, they do damage hair. If you have fine or color treated hair you may not be the best candidate for curls. It’s best to choose between color or perming rather than try to do both. If your hair is previously damaged the perm will not take evenly and curl will be compromised.

Embrace new perm techniques

Not all perms are created equal (thank goodness). Today, perms and their techniques vary considerably. A mix of different rod sizes can create a natural and loose wave. You can even keep hair flat on top and start the perm mid-shaft to create a hip and modern variant that would work perfectly with reverse ombre while adding striking texture.

While you might have your own flashback story of perms from the 80’s, it’s safe to say that the modern perm is a far cry from what you remember.

So, if you’re ready to venture into the world of permanent texture, my best advice is to ditch the pick, ditch the hairspray, and by all means, do NOT curl your bangs. Because you know…(live and learn).


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