Since redheads are basically live mermaids, most of us long for mermaid-y, beach-y waves. Are you wondering how you can get gorgeous waves without a curling iron? A perm can solve all of your problems. Unfortunately, perms have a bad wrap thanks to the 1980’s, but with the right hairstylist and the right technique, you will be getting the following comments: “Get out! It’s a perm?!” “Really? It looks so natural! It’s not all kinky curly at all! Wow!”

We spoke with Margie Billian, the mastermind behind The Studio of Colour and Design in Maryland. “First things first. When a hairstylist works on someone with red hair for a perm, the first thing they need to ask is if it is naturally red,” says Margie. “And, the client must be truthful or else the hair can turn into a melted mess.”

We take an indepth look into the entire process. After reading, tell us before if you will be getting a perm this winter!

BEFORE GETTING THE PERM:

“Once you find the right salon and make an appointment, condition the hair for 2-3 nights in a row,” Margie recommends. “Do your research and pick out a bunch of photos to show your stylist how you want to look. Then, bring a picture of what you DON’T want the hair to look like.” She does suggest that a good stylist will know how to get your desired look by figuring out the rod size and the right kind of perm.

DURING THE PERM:

“I always recommend that my stylists use a conditioner while perming the hair, especially if it’s a ‘by choice’ redhead or if some of the hair is more fragile,” says Margie. “It keeps the hair from drying out. Share this tip with your stylist!”

In the 1980’s and to this day, traditional perms line up hair rods to create that kinky, curly look that many women run from. “If you see a hairstylist doing this, do not walk away, RUN! You want the perm to look free and wavy. I actually will bob my comb up and down as I work, and never use straight lines. I put the rods at all kinds of angles all over the head.”

Margie understands that most redheads yearn for those loose, non-frizzy curls and wants it to last for months at a time. “After the perm is done, I let my client sit for a good half an hour after I have rinsed, rinsed, rinsed and blotted them. That is the trick to having it really last a long time.”

AFTER THE PERM:

“Make sure to use a good quality shampoo and conditioner, it will keep the curls looking wonderful.”

CAN THIS BE DONE AT HOME?

“This is definitely NOT something I recommend doing at home ever. Those store-bought kits have pretty crude chemicals that do the trick, but are awfully damaging,” says Margie.

Get researching for the right salon in your area and Rock it like a Redhead! 

Photo Credit: Sara Salvitti