This terrible hairstyle from the 80's is making a glorious comeback

This terrible hairstyle from the 80's is making a glorious comeback

There are a few things being recycled from the 80's right now – high-waisted "Mom jeans" paired with bodysuits, big earrings and chunky jewellery, as well as most of what was blasted through portable boomboxes at the time thanks to the Stranger Things soundtrack.

And now, there's something else making a comeback that you never would've imagined: the perm.

Yup, the corkscrew curls that bobbed around the heads of Kylie Minogue, Barbara Streisand, Meg Ryan and Baby from Dirty Dancing are back. We've seen the hairstyle on the "new" Taylor Swift, but if even her most recent do makes you cringe and hear Mia Thermopolis's voice saying "I look like a poodle" in Princess Diaries 2, then here's the good news: The perms that are currently in vogue don't necessarily have to look like the 80's kind.

There's new technology around nowadays which means that the only option isn't just a full-on perm circa Cher's If I Could Turn Back Time. In fact, it's time to unlearn everything about what we thought the perm looked like, because it's had a seriously chic upgrade.

As dramatic as it is, most of us would prefer more of a low-key look. Which is totally possible thanks to something called the New Wave perm. Think soft beach waves that the average surfer sports so effortlessly, rather than tightly coiled curls.

While the New Wave, also known as the Digital Wave or a Hot Perm, is less in-your-face, the perms are still, well... permanent. And especially for girls with super straight hair that's kinda flat and boring, this modern-day perm adds volume and texture. The result is a gentle wave that looks natural, with loose curls to keep things interesting.

"You don’t have to think of the old frizzy 80s perms, there’s also soft beachy waves," says stylist and colourist Mia Loughnane. "Consult with your stylist on this as the size of the perm rod will ultimately be the end result of your curl. A larger rod will give you that soft tousled look."

It works by putting the rods/rollers (which are usually heated) into freshly washed hair, before a special lotion is applied. After letting the lotion set into the hair, it is rinsed out. The whole thing usually takes between 2-4 hours, and your hair can't be washed for one or two days after the treatment. But Legally Blonde already taught us that.

legally blonde elle woods perm Credit: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

legally blonde elle woods perm chutney Credit: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

But if your hair is extremely thin or isn't looking particularly healthy RN, then think twice about getting a perm. For the results to look good, your hair can't be damaged or recently dyed and should be looking lush (i.e. use lots of conditioner in the weeks leading up), otherwise it won't be worth it.

Celebrity stylist George Papanikolas, who's worked with everyone from the Kardashians to Megan Fox says, "It’s a great look to get an air-dried finish and a great way to give straight hair a soft bend and movement without additional heat and styling time."

"There are also modern techniques where it can be straighter at the top half with the bend in the hair starting at the mid-length and ends. We’ve also seen a big shift away from the overstyled curling iron waves to a more natural air-dry texture."

Time to book an appointment?