Kristen our Curl Whisperer and Owner & stylist here at The Mane Room, gives you an inside look at some of our passions on permanent waving. Join us for this 2 part blog on some exciting points of view and some insight on a new product line we are thrilled to introduce you to!
"I love working with all the tools our trade has to offer. Combining technique or thinking outside of the box, having to know the rules to break the rules. Thinking back to the end of the 90's, sitting in my best friends kitchen with grocery bags over our heads for processing. I remember nights watching her braid with speed like no stylist I'd ever seen. Going to bed with braids and wishing my hair could stay the way it was once I took them out.
We'd go through magazines cutting out pictures, circling stuff we'd dream of having. I'd find styles I wanted but when I'd bring them to a salon alot of the time I'd get the old "Honey, your hair wont do that" It's so disappointing having your heart set on something to be told no because your hair pretty much sucks. Looking back, my hair totally would have been able to do a good 90% of those styles with some texturizing shears, a good product and in some cases a perm.
Coming from a family who all has strong texture of some sort, I was intimidated by curly hair when I was a new stylist. However, I was strong suited in thick, coarse hair. I spent alot of time and thought on texture. I pushed myself to get comfortable with curls to the point of understanding so now working with curls and texture is one of my absolute favorites.
The absence of texture makes styling hard for some while too much texture makes it hard to style for others and what they're shooting for. If only I could reform peoples hair for them......whaaaaat?! A perm you say? Oh the flash backs of Mrs. Sandy Hoffman watching me clip my last roller only to elegantly but strictly say "again". I had to retrain my mind on the thought of a perm. I just couldn't get excited about it. Then years later, enrolled in another beauty school, Miss Lori gave us an assignment. 'Set a perm with anything not meant for a perm'. I used a ruler. When I unrolled the set, my mannequin was zigzagged in such a high fashion. I was obsessed. I wanted to break and reform ALL the bonds I could.
I see so many people cringe at even the thought of a perm, so many predispositions. I suppose when something has that big of a footprint, being such a large percentage of a certain era or trend, it would only makes sense to stick out in our minds the way it does. But permanent waving is one of our greatest tools as stylists, one of our most broad and comprehensive services. It just so happened to be a huge convienence to all those 80's heads and classic roller sets needing that extra structured hold. Having two bursts of fame, thats all the perm got. Metaphorically speaking of course, This service had its two bouts in such a distinct spotlight, it had a hard time finding anything more than a few gigs here and there. The perm was deemed no longer of any use, redundant if you will.
'But Daaarling, you've got to be MAD out of your mind to turn this fella away, How do you not see it? Look at that face, see!'
Oh but the things you could do with a perm. So many people spend every day using heat and other techniques to add texture to their hair, often to droop within hours leaving the hair damaged and unruly. So many people love their curl but wish it was more consistent. Then some people are overwhelmed by their texture and want it loosened up a bit. A perm can do all these things.
The way perms work is by breaking the bonds of your hair to soften it and make it pliable and open to being manipulated. That's OUR cue! We set the hair to the texure or shape you want and then its neutralized to harden and reform to the new shape. We know this is where some of you will be triggered, can you feel the water spraying all over the place?!
We've gotten pretty good at controlling the rinse but you can only lean back so much with rollers tugging at your neck hairs. The water tends to dry in your mind once we unveil the end result of what a perm can do and I've been able to share my excitement with quite of a few more clients than I could have in previous years but even in all the perms versatile glory we can prove to you, if only there were a better way. Something to kill the stigma, something to make this easier and more desirable. While the perm has been rediscovered by a few good times we'd love something to give it a chance to prove itself, that boot back into the spotlight.........le sigh.