Spiral perms

Spiral perms

Fashion Synopsis

As if burning your scalp with chemicals wasn’t enough, now you could hang a few dozen rubber weights from your head in addition to the searing sensation, all in the name of beauty.

Spiral perms were the wave of the future, and the sweet sausage curls of Shirley Temple’s youth could be had again for a small price: a few hours in the beautician’s chair and a high tolerance for pain. By the end of the 80’s, big hair had calmed down, but body was still the crowning glory. Instead of over-dyed, teased and sprayed fullness, a perm was the easy way to wake up looking bouncy.

The spiral perm guaranteed a fluffy mane of perfect curls, day after day. The spiral curl perm differed from the traditional curly, poodle style, by altering the way in which hair was wrapped around the rods. Instead of traditional short curler rods, the spiral rods were bendable tubes that allowed the hair to ‘spiral’ down in ever-smaller circles to create a corkscrew curl.

The spiral perm’s best accessory was the scrunchy hair band, which tamed the wild mane into quiet submission. But too much of a good thing just can’t last, and perms went the straight-away by the mid 90’s, when the super-sleek ‘Rachel cut’ replaced the curly-Q quest.

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