Yep, you read that right.

I got a perm. Let’s back up.

As you know, I’ve been waiting to grow out my pixie cut for over a year now. It feels like 5.  Although the plan all along was to grow my hair past the shoulders, I was fully aware that my hair, left to its own devices, looks better shorter. Although thick, my hair is fine and gets weighed down easily. The result: long, flat, limp hair. I’ve seen certain French starlets pull off this look but, needless to say, I lack the je ne sais quoi to do so. This probably explains why I always end up cutting my hair short every time it hits my shoulder blades; I’m not much of a ponytail person, and I’m also too clumsy and impatient to properly style long hair. So, with all this in mind, I knew that I wanted to do something different this time – after all, I am committed to sticking with long hair this time. At least for a while.

Enter the perm. I know what you’re probably thinking and let me tell you – I had one of those perms before. It was 2001, and I wanted the tousled, beach-waved bob of a Meg Ryan (remember when her haircut was all the rage?). Perhaps perm technology was not as advanced back then, or perhaps I had a miscommunication with my then stylist; either way, I ended up with a regular, tight spiral curl perm. It wasn’t as hideous as it sounds, but it was pretty bad.

The "gorgeousness" that was my first perm ...
The “gorgeousness” that was my first perm …

Since then, I’ve heard that there is a new type of perm in town, or at least a new way to do perms, that results in those still-coveted beachy waves. I’ve actually seen it. More importantly, my current stylist assured me that she knew the type of perm look of which I spoke – and that it could be done provided my hair was at least long enough to graze my shoulders. At that length, I wouldn’t have full-on mermaid-y curls, but my hair would have a wavy texture. Texture being the key here. Texture would keep my hair, as it continues growing out, from looking increasingly limp and lifeless. Texture would add volume and, more importantly, an element of fun to my hairstyle. I had briefly toyed with the idea of colouring my hair, as a way to inject said element of fun, but ultimately decided against it; I kind of like having “virgin” hair again after a decade of colouring it, and I figured that a perm would be less expensive to maintain over time than a dye job. [Also, because we are talking about a “loose” perm that would allow for new hair growth to blend in easily, it would only have to be re-done a couple of times a year, and therefore involve less exposure to chemicals.]

Ok, so rationale (and sundry justifications) aside … how does it look?

Bed-head hair … but in a good way?

Pretty good, if I say so myself! I love how bouncy and fun it looks … and feels. I can’t stop swishing my hair every chance I get.

Looking pretty good from all angles

Most importantly, it remains practical; I can still put it up in a ponytail, or pin it up for an updo, when I want the hair off my face. I can also straighten it if I feel like a sleeker do, but otherwise it’s wash ‘n go, baby! Just in time for, well, baby.


Most of the few people to whom I had disclosed my plans in advance were horrified by the mention of the “p” word. My husband has since recanted his previous objections, and says he loves it (to be fair, what else could the poor guy say?). Actually, the first thing he said when he saw my new ‘do was that it made me look more like this chica:

Obviously, it’s a superficial resemblance

And hey, let’s look at the bright side. Good or bad choice, it doesn’t matter … I’ll be home on maternity leave in no time, and then my hair will probably not see the light of day for months and months.

Just kidding!

4 Comments on The One Where I Get a Perm

  1. It’s really cute! I really like it. My hair does a bit of this kind of wave – but only when it’s longer (like it is now). At your length, my hair would just flip out at the ends and be straight everywhere else. I like the overall wave – and it’s probably easy to care for!

    • It has been so far! The hardest part is figuring out whether I need certain hair products and which ones. I didn’t use any before, and I have no idea what works for the kind of curl/wave I have now. Oh well, some experimenting is in order …

  2. I really like this look! May I ask what salon you went to? I am also from the Edmonton area, and I have been thinking of getting a wave perm for ages… I have just been too scared to beforehand, as I also had a poodle perm years ago!