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Great Styles for Permed Hair

By: Jennie Kermode - Updated: 23 Dec 2010 | comments*Discuss
Permed Hair Curls Curled Mousse Style

If your hair has always been straight and flat, getting a perm can feel like getting a new hairstyle in itself. You may find, however, that your old cut doesn't really suit it any more. To make the most of your curls, you'll need to think afresh about your styling options. Permed hair is more fragile than naturally curly hair, but there are many great styles that can protect it as well as showing it off.

Things to Consider

Something that people are often unprepared for when they get their hair permed is how much shorter this makes it. Your hair may end up only half as long as it used to be, completely changing the way it frames your face and shoulders. Any new style will need to take this into account and shape it to suit different aspects of your appearance.

Permed hair often suffers from being dry or brittle. You can mitigate this by using gentle, moisturising shampoo and conditioner, or by supporting your curls with mousse, but it's still important not to put too much strain on it. This means making sure you don't tie or clip it too tightly, and aiming for simple styles that won't require a lot of combing to undo.

Frame Your Face

Curls around the face create a much more dramatic effect than straight hair, especially where they come to an end. A bob cut with a fringe and kiss-curls at the sides will make your eyes look bigger and add definition to your cheekbones. Lower-hanging curls can also have the effect of softening the jaw.

For a more assertive, businesslike look, let longer strands of hair hang in waves down the sides of your face beneath a feathered fringe. The feathering will make the curls in your fringe look tighter and more striking, emphasising your gaze.

Try an Up-Do

The added height offered by curls is one of the most striking ways in which they can alter your appearance. To emphasise this still further, why not try and up-do? There are several ways to approach this. The simplest is to lean forwards and sweep your hair from the nape of your neck towards your face, securing it at the sides of the forehead with clips. Boosted with a little hairspray, this will give you an elegant profile with a spectacular pile of curls above your eyes.

For a more elegant look, draw up your hair onto your crown and secure it with a wide clasp. You can spread out the curls that fall from this so that they scatter light around your face, or you can fold them into a bun and let just a few loose strands of curls tumble down across your cheeks.

Lift and Lengthen

The problem with wearing permed hair loose is that it can easily overwhelm your features. It can also be a nuisance, getting in your eyes and mouth. For this reason it's best to shape the hair by lifting the portions rooted beside the face and drawing them upward to secure them with clips, or fastening them into a scrunchie. The layered appearance this will give your hair will emphasise its length and the shape will be more flattering to your face.

Because permed hair makes the face look wider, it can sometimes make your features look broader and more coarse, but tying your hair back in a pony tail will reduce this effect. If you tie it loosely and then tug forward strands at the sides of your forehead, you can make your cheekbones look wider and more impressive without overemphasising your lower cheeks or jaw.

Discovering the possibilities offered by your newly permed hair can be fun as well as challenging, so don't be afraid to experiment and see what works for you.

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