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

If one person tolled the death knell of the perm, it was Coronation Street's Vera Duckworth. After 20 years of peroxide frizz, she finally went on the straight and narrow this spring. If even caricatures have abandoned the perm, you'd think real people would have left it behind with the blue rinse or shampoo and set. But fashion in hair moves faster than the frock business. For this week at least, hairdressers have decided that curls are back.

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."

Sport
Tim Sherwood raises his hand after the 1-0 victory over Stoke
footballFormer Tottenham boss leads list of candidates to replace Neil Warnock
Arts and Entertainment
L to R: Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), Captain America (Chris Evans) & Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) in Avengers Assemble
film
News
Nigel Farage celebrates with a pint after early local election results in the Hoy and Helmet pub in South Benfleet in Essex
peopleHe has shaped British politics 'for good or ill'
News
news
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
Sport
Adnan Januzaj and Gareth Bale
footballManchester United set to loan out Januzaj to make room for Bale - if a move for the Welshman firms up
News
i100
Travel
Suite dreams: the JW Marriott in Venice
travelChic new hotels in 2015
Arts and Entertainment
Sink the Pink's 2013 New Year's Eve party
musicFour of Britain's top DJs give their verdict on how to party into 2015
Sport
Yaya Sanogo, Mats Hummels, Troy Deeney and Adnan Januzaj
footballMost Premier League sides are after a striker, but here's a full run down of the ins and outs that could happen over the next month
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Selby Jennings: VP/SVP Credit Quant- NY- Investment Bank

    Not specified: Selby Jennings: VP/SVP Credit Quant Top tier investment bank i...

    Ashdown Group: Senior Marketing Executive- City of London, Old Street

    £40000 - £43000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Senior Marketing Executiv...

    Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager

    £40000 - £43000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: An international organisa...

    Ashdown Group: Internal Recruiter -Rugby, Warwickshire

    £25000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Internal Recruiter -Rugby, Warwicksh...

    Day In a Page

    War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

    The West needs more than a White Knight

    Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
    Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

    'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

    Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
    Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

    Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

    Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
    The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

    The stories that defined 2014

    From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
    Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

    Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

    Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?
    Finally, a diet that works: Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced

    Finally, a diet that works

    Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced
    Say it with... lyrics: The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches

    Say it with... lyrics

    The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches
    Professor Danielle George: On a mission to bring back the art of 'thinkering'

    The joys of 'thinkering'

    Professor Danielle George on why we have to nurture tomorrow's scientists today
    Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

    Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

    Their outrageousness and originality makes the world a bit more interesting, says Ellen E Jones
    DJ Taylor: Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

    Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

    It has been hard to form generally accepted cultural standards since the middle of the 19th century – and the disintegration is only going to accelerate, says DJ Taylor
    Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's breakfasts will revitalise you in time for the New Year

    Bill Granger's healthy breakfasts

    Our chef's healthy recipes are perfect if you've overindulged during the festive season
    Transfer guide: From Arsenal to West Ham - what does your club need in the January transfer window?

    Who does your club need in the transfer window?

    Most Premier League sides are after a striker, but here's a full run down of the ins and outs that could happen over the next month
    The Last Word: From aliens at FA to yak’s milk in the Tour, here’s to 2015

    Michael Calvin's Last Word

    From aliens at FA to yak’s milk in the Tour, here’s to 2015