Style police: Curls on top
Not in our lifetime, we thought, but incredibly, the perm is back. This time Kristin Scott Thomas and her ringlets are the inspiration, says James Sherwood
Sunday 11 May 1997
The man most people hold responsible for the curl renaissance is Guido, creative director at Tony & Guy. When styling Kate Moss for Versace last season, Guido crimped - and the crimp begat the curl. "Romance is the key this season," says Guido. "This is a very modern, structured approach to hair styling but using old-fashioned techniques." Roughly translated this means Kristin Scott Thomas in The English Patient rather than Julie Walters in Educating Rita. The look may be Forties, but the feel is not hermetically sealed with lacquer.
The softness of the new perm curls are the chief selling point. Hairdressers are really on a mission to erase La Duckworth's perm from our collective memory. "Forget about your granny and her tight curls," reads the Tony & Guy promo. My granny (Hilda Sherwood), who eschews tight curls of any description, was a hairdresser in Sheffield when the perm was born. "I went into business in 1930, at the time when perms were done by machine," she says. "The Rolls-Royce of perm machines was the Eugene." The Eugene, patented in the Twenties, was not unlike a basketball hoop with wires hanging from it. The hair was wound and inserted into the loops before an electric current ran through the circuit. The perms we have today are descended from the "cold wave", a chemical rather than electrical perm that was invented in the Forties. The Eugene may sound like an ancient instrument of torture, but the cold wave can still strike terror into Nineties women.
"Actually, clients can't go wrong with the new perm," says a L'Oreal technical adviser. "With the old perms, you left the salon feeling as if you'd been through an acid bath. Now, the solutions are much more gentle on the hair. With our Duclia Tonica, curls are painless."
So, they don't need a health warning but are perms a fashion hazard? This season's fashion is undoubtedly romantic, with floral chiffons, Eastern sarongs and simple shift dresses all signature pieces. Soft, waving curls cascading around a face complement the look perfectly. In conclusion, Style Police says, "Don't panic Vera! You've still got Volume."
Life & Style blogs
Who is Teresa Fidalgo? Debunking the fake ghost story that's got Instagram spooked
The 10 Best juicers
Boxing Day sales: From Asos to Harrods, the best fashion deals
The 10 Best food processors
Health: When masturbation can be fatal: The practice of auto-erotic asphyxia is often concealed by a coroner's verdict. Monique Roffey looks at a lethal taboo
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
Ukip member gets into Christmas spirit with Union Flag plea to Santa 'for our country back'
Immigrants make UK racist, says Ukip councillor Trevor Shonk
BBC director Danny Cohen: Rising UK antisemitism makes me feel more uncomfortable than ever
Katie Hopkins speaks out on childhood obesity: 'Parents of fat children should be prosecuted for child cruelty'
- 1 Exclusive: Abusers using spyware apps to monitor partners reaches 'epidemic proportions'
- 2 Margaret Thatcher 'expressed fears of Asian rising' at Anglo-Irish summit in 1984
- 3 The 'Black Museum': After 150 years, public set to see exhibits from police’s grisly crime museum
- 4 Sussex couple die in suspected Christmas Day 'suicide pact'
- 5 The Unluckiest People of the Year 2014 (and one very unlucky giraffe)
Not specified: Selby Jennings: VP/SVP Credit Quant Top tier investment bank i...
£40000 - £43000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Senior Marketing Executiv...
£40000 - £43000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: An international organisa...
£25000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Internal Recruiter -Rugby, Warwicksh...