Never did we think that 2017 would be the year that perms made a comeback, but Justin Bieber was right. Never say never. The iconic hairstyle of the ‘80s—the same one your mom cringes over when she flips through your baby book—is back and better than before. No one knows this better than celebrity hairstylist Ashley Streicher, a woman who works with stars like Mandy Moore and who we can confidently say will change everything you once knew about the hair treatment.
Along with her sisters Jenn and Kristie, Ashley Streicher owns and operates STRIIIKE, a hair, makeup, and brow studio in Beverly Hills, California. It’s at STRIIIKE that she has developed a modern perm treatment called The New Wave. Free of thio and ammonia, it’s a less drying and damaging version of the old school perm, and more importantly, it gives clients the kind of effortless and undone beachy waves that you always double-tap on Instagram. In fact, if you follow STRIIIKE on the social media platform, there’s a chance you’ve already seen the hair magic that The New Wave can create.
After spending time helping her clients learn how to embrace air-drying and their natural texture, she started searching for "a new age perm" that provided a more natural-looking permanent wave. "We were finding that the majority of our clientele wants to wear their hair with a more effortless natural wave, without having to take time out of their day or risk the damaging effects of heat tools," she explains. After attending beauty expos, she found and tweaked new techniques and solutions that could do just that.
"Many people have a pretty decent texture, but it's inconsistent, or they just want a little more UMPH, so we loved the fact that The New Wave gives texture, consistent wave, and body to the hair, so you can effortlessly get that undone cool girl wave without heat tools."
The first step in the treatment, which costs about $450 and takes two hours to complete, is washing the hair with a clarifying shampoo to cleanse of all buildup and to get it to its cleanest possible state. Next, bendable formers of various sizes are wrapped into the hair. "We wrap them to your desire fit, whether you want a more beach wave, more volume, less curl, and so on."
After that, a waving lotion is applied to each former and covering all the hair, and it sits for 20 to 30 minutes. After it’s rinsed, the formers are pat dry and neutralized—that sits on the hair for about five minutes. "Once that is rinsed off, we unwind each former and give it a good rinse. The treatment is done! We then follow up with a light detangled and styler and show you how to best let your hair dry naturally with your new texture!"
And remember what Reese Witherspoon's character in Legally Blonde, Elle Woods, said about perms and washing your hair? You can’t get it wet for 48 hours.
Streicher says that mostly everyone can experience it, except those with overly processed hair, but they confirm whether or not it's right for you through a consultation or an email questionnaire.
Like the vintange perm, it provides lasting results. You'll experience the texture for six to eight months, but she says it fades as it grows out, so you don't have to worry about dermacation lines. Both of Streicher's sisters have had the treatment done and have been featured on the brand's Instagram page as proof.
She confirms that she's done it for celebrity clients and it's definitely stirred up some buzz in the salon. And while some still have apprehension, she says that most are just generally excited to have the change in texture, especially in the summer. "We put them at ease by showing them all our great before and after photos—also Jenn and Kristie both have had it done so they are like walking advertisements at STRIIIKE."
Trust, after looking at the snaps, we were seriously debating on booking a flight across the country.