"Perms are apparently back and my curly hair couldn't be happier."

Hair may be easier to change than say, your face, but like a fashion trend, what’s “in” and “out” with the protein on your head changes season by season, year by year.

And it’s been a while since my natural hair, curls, were considered on trend. Since the eighties, to be exact. That’s almost FOUR DECADES ago. (I know, I know. I had to double check the maths too).

But in 2018, according to the experts, the ultimate curly-haired hairstyle AKA the perm is BACK.

Pinterest data released at the end of last year pinpointed perms has a beauty trend to watch in 2018, with saves for “wavy” up 166 per cent.


Emma Stone got one earlier this year, bestie Jennifer Lawrence followed suit with a curly haired style for the Oscars and just yesterday Blake Lively attended an event with wavy hair most closely resembling her natural hair than we’ve seen her wear in years.

Perm, short for permanent wave, uses heat and chemicals to change the hair structure.

The modern perm, like it’s predecessor, is about putting texture aka curls in the hair but with an important difference.

“This perm is a lot more mellow than the perm that flashes to our minds when we hear the word perm, yet totally customizable,” Stone’s hairdresser Mara Roszak told W.


“It is restructuring your hair to go from straight to wavy and you can control the amount of waves; you were just more limited with your options when the perm kind of first became a thing.”

You can opt for bigger curls or looser beach waves.

While those who had the OG tightly coiled perms may be cringing, as a woman with curls I couldn’t be happier.

To be clear, I don’t need the validity of beauty experts declaring my hair ‘on trend’, but you know what, it doesn’t hurt. There’s no denying that seeing more people with what you have naturally affects how you feel about it and yourself in a positive way. And right now, I’m enjoying the moment.

No filter, just happy I’m home! ???? (And yes, there is a Newark in California.)

A post shared by Elaine Welteroth (@elainewelteroth) on


I love my curls now but it wasn’t always like that.

I spent most of my teens wishing my hair was as sleek and straight as the celebrities I saw on screen and in magazines. All my friends had straight ‘normal’ hair. They didn’t have to worry about the weather making their hair twice the size or knots so bad they had to be cut out.

Before I learnt how best to deal with my hair – a process that’s taken years and many hairdressers who have no clue how to work with hair that’s not dead straight – I’d spend hours straightening my hair to pretend my curls didn’t exist.

Smiling about my curly hair... now. Image: Brittany Stewart

Or even worse, I'd spend an hour straightening my hair only to spend a further hour putting socially accepted curls - which were really more like waves - in my hair.

For the past few years we've seen carefully put in beach waves or the super long, super sleek straight styles inspired by Cher via the Kardashians dominate.


The shift back to embracing the hair you were born with has started and it's one that everyone, not just those with curls, should be glad of.

Oh and the best part? Less time spent on your hair means more time in bed.

"I'd like to see more natural hair again. If you are going to use a tong, I want to see irregularity, more imperfection," Priceline Hair Director Kenneth Stoddart told Mamamia at VAMFF last week.

"Because natural hair has imperfections, everyone is unique and everyone is trying to look the same, like Kim Kardashian. On the runways, we're seeing a lot more girls looking like themselves. That's the message."


Received loud and clear.


For more curly confessions and other beauty tips, follow Brittany Stewart on Facebook and Instagram. Don't follow her for directions though - she's rubbish at those.

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