Thursday, May 14, 2009

STI: Who's that curl?

May 15, 2009

Who's that curl?

Getting a Brazilian has a new meaning these days. KAREN TEE reports on the latest trends in perms


Say the word 'perm' and the image that springs to mind is probably that of a frizzy- haired auntie looking as if she has had an electric shock. But do not let that crimp your style. These days, it is trendy to put some bounce in your crowning glory.


The hottest look now is Korean-style curls - large, bouncy curls that doe-eyed South Korean actresses sport.


A new style that is gaining popularity is the Brazilian perm, inspired by the tousled waves seen on Brazilian models such as Adriana Lima and Alessandra Ambrosio.


You also get to choose from the vast array of perm styles available, from pin curls to body perms to ceramic perms.


It helps to know the perm terms that transform limp locks, so you know what result to expect.


In terms of basic techniques, there are really just two - hot and cold perms - explains Hazel Lim, educator of the professional products division at cosmetics giant L'Oreal Singapore. The company distributes professional haircare brands such as Kerastase and L'Oreal Professionnel.


With a hot perm, a perm solution is applied to the hair to break its naturally occurring bonds.


Your hair is then set in curlers and by applying heat, this reforms the structural bonds and creates those coveted curls.


A neutraliser is also added to make these newly-formed bonds last.


The two main forms of hot perms are ceramic and digital perms, giving bouncy and looser curls respectively (see other story).


If you want Brazilian-style waves, ask for a digital perm.


In cold perms, chemicals are added to hair to both break and reform bonds instead of using heat.


This technique is kinder to your hair because there is no heat that could damage strands, says Lim.


Another plus: You can also achieve a wider range of curl styles, she adds.


The main styles that result from cold perms are the pin curl, twist perm, body perm and classic perm.


The downside: Cold perms are not as long lasting as a hot perm. With proper care and maintenance, hot perms can last for up to six months or longer, while cold perms can straighten out after about three months.





The look: Depending on the size of the curlers (and your technician's expertise), this can be anything from soft, loose waves to tight, springy curls

The technique: Hair is wrapped in cold paper - the term for the tear-resistant paper used - then wrapped around curlers. Curlers of a small diameter are used to create tighter, more defined curls while larger curlers create larger, looser waves

Duration: Three hours

Best suited for: All hair types

Price range: From $80



The look: Bouncy, well-defined curls

The technique: Hair is wrapped around ceramic curlers and heated. As ceramic is able to heat up to a higher temperature compared to the plastic curlers used in a digital perm, curls tend to last longer. It is not advisable to perm your hair too often if you do a ceramic perm as your hair may not be able to withstand the intense heat

Duration: Three to four hours

Best suited for: Hair of at least medium length of a coarse, wiry texture

Price range: From $150



The look: Soft waves that give volume

The technique: Hair is wrapped around large curlers to create waves but not curls

Duration: Three hours

Best suited for: Short- to medium-length hair

Price range: From $80



The look: Tight, springy and small spirals

The technique: Individual sections of hair are twisted tightly before being wrapped around small curlers

Duration: Five to six hours

Best suited for: Medium-length hair

Price range: From $80



The look: Subtle, looser curls compared to a ceramic perm to give texture and body to hair

The technique: Cold paper is wrapped around small sections of hair to hold it in place. Each section is then twisted into a single loop and clipped up

Duration: Two to 21/2 hours

Best suited for: Short, limp and flat hair

Price range: From $80



The look: Softer curls compared to those from a ceramic perm

The technique: Hair is rolled around heat-resistant plastic curlers and then heated. The temperature varies, depending on how much heat is needed to set the curls. The size of the curls will depend on the size of the curlers

Duration: Up to four hours

Best suited for: Hair of at least medium length of a coarse, wiry texture

Price range: From $150

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