Desire for soft waves reignites a once-forgotten craze

In a recent article from the New York Times, salon professionals and patrons talk about the re-emergence of the perm among clients looking for a quick way to achieve natural-looking waves and the stigma that has followed both the treatment and the word through the decades. Here’s a short clip taken from the article talking about the curl-inducing treatment of today’s perm versus the perm from decades back.

The perming process has not changed demonstrably from 25 years ago (rods, chemicals running coolly and perhaps with a slight sting around one’s cotton-wrapped head, a little sitting in a shower cap and a lot of rinsing over a sink). But now stylists are paying more attention to timing (generally less), rod size (larger) and customized chemical combinations. For example, someone with highlighted hair might receive a treatment with very little ammonium thioglycolate, the active ingredient that renders hair mutable, which would be left in the hair for no more than 10 minutes. This is arguably peanuts compared with some formaldehyde-tinged straightening processes (cough, cough), like the much-maligned Brazilian or Keratin treatments, which can take hours and have raised health concerns.

Read more then tell us what you think. Are your clients requesting perms? Have you done any training on the new perming techniques? We want to hear from you!