It is the year 1987. Every radio station is playing Bon Jovi, “Dirty Dancing” is playing in theaters across the country, and the only thing fans want more than the names of Jon and Baby’s private choreographers are their curly perm haircuts. Today, the top 100 list, “cool” dance moves, and especially the state of the perm have all changed significantly since then. In actuality, the style is much more contemporary now.
According to Philippe Depeyrot, co-owner of Salon Bisoux in Washington, DC, “the original perm was done with bare tongs that fit together and were heated on the gas stove.” “The treatment has advanced significantly, going from protracted sessions on potentially dangerous machines to short and painless.
Now, the style is back and bigger than ever — but the techniques and formulations have been fine-tuned to make it easy to get whatever kind of curl you’re looking for: kinky coils, beachy waves, or even just some added body and bend. In fact, even people with the straightest or finest of hair can find a little texture in the treatment. Then, the biggest tweak in its comeback is its name.
A perm is a hair treatment that uses electric heat and/or chemicals to give the look of curls or waves in naturally straight hair.
“Manufacturing companies, however, are now facing a dilemma: the renaming of the perm,” he said. “They decided to rename the perm the form service and then reformulate the chemicals to make the process of this style safer and friendlier than ever.”
No matter what you call it — body wave perm, digital perm, S-curl perm, or what have you — we’ve got the answers to all your (not-really-burning-anymore) perm questions right here.