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It’s no secret that the ‘80s have been making a comeback in the beauty industry (we’re looking at you, rocker makeup look). And while our blast from the past has mainly been powered by ‘80s makeup ideas, one popular hair trend is making a comeback of its own. That’s right—the curly hair perm from back in the day is actually a hairstyle trend for 2019, and it’s the perfect way to add texture and volume to your mane. Curious about hair perming? Below, we’re sharing what a hair perm is, how to take care of permed hair, and hair perm styles—from short hair perms to long hair perms—for you to try for yourself.
Hair perming chemically alters the hair fibers, according to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD). This alteration restructures your strands to create texture and body, even for those who have thin or fine hair. Of course, hair perming isn’t a one-size-fits-all kind of deal. There are various techniques that can result in different looks, from spiral perms to multi-textured perms. Do your research on the style you like best, then turn to the pros at your favorite salon to get the look. Keep in mind that similar to coloring or relaxing your hair, hair perming can be damaging and require special care. The AAD recommends only having one service done—color, perm, or relaxer. Speaking of hair perm hair care…
So, you’re sold on the idea of hair perming. That’s great! Just make sure you keep these hair care tips in mind to keep your perm looking its best.
You (hopefully) know all about the importance of sun protection for your skin by now, but did you know your hair requires sun protection of its own? To keep your permed hair on fleek, the AAD recommends wearing a wide-brimmed hat or using a leave-in conditioner that contains zinc oxide when in the sun.
Conditioner is a must when you perm your hair, as your strands tend to be on the dry side post-perm. For some extra TLC, use a daily deep conditioner, like the L’Oréal Paris Elvive Total Repair 5 Rapid Reviver Deep Conditioner after shampooing. Leave it on for just one minute, then rinse thoroughly.
Just like with any hair process, you’ll eventually be in need of a touch-up. The AAD suggests stretching the time between touch-ups, primarily during the winter when the air is dryer. They recommend waiting eight to ten weeks, or longer if possible.
To keep your curly hair perm looking its best, swap your usual shampoo and conditioner for a line that’s formulated to hydrate your curls. Give the L’Oréal Paris EverCurl HydraCharge Shampoo and L’Oréal Paris EverCurl HydraCharge Conditioner a try.
Ready to style your permed hair to perfection? We’ve put together a list of a few of our favorite hair perm styles for you to try for yourself.
Like to keep your mane short? No problem! Take your pick from the following short perm hairstyles.
This chin-length cut pairs perfectly with a loose perm. It’ll give you a messy, carefree, beachy vibe!
Rather than perming your entire mane, consider getting a root perm if you have short hair. This style of perm will add volume to your roots and give your overall style more life.
Another variation of your favorite shoulder-skimming hairstyle, a stacked bob involves plenty of layers to really amp up the volume and texture of your permed mane.
Those with medium-length hair should consider one of the following perm hairstyles.
Shrinking curls are just what you'd imagine—curls that start larger towards the root and gradually shrink to tighter curls at your ends. This is a great option for those with medium hair as it creates depth and volume!
Shorter in the back and longer in the front, this side-parted ‘do allows your curls to frame your face without hanging down your neck!
Love the look of tight curls? Look no further than S-shaped curls. These spiral curls will add some serious texture to your medium-length mane.
Editor’s note: A spiral perm on short hair can be super cute, too!
Have long locks? Here are a few long hair perms to try.
If you have longer hair, consider rocking a beachy perm by pairing one with shaggy layers. You’ll be left with a seriously rad mane.
A wind-swept perm is all about loose, messy curls that add a crazy amount of volume to your mane. It’s perfect for those who want a natural, carefree head of curls.
Not all perms involve tight, spiral curls. If you have long hair, consider opting for a loose perm. This long perm style involves large, loose waves throughout your mane that add natural-looking volume and movement.
And that’s a wrap on your intro to hair perming! Next up: The 30 Best Protective Hairstyles for Natural Hair.