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The classic perm has come a long way since the '80s. Just ask Eli Hofer, Los Angeles-based influencer and a recent subject of Refinery29's YouTube makeover series, Hair Me Out.
In this episode, Hofer makes an appointment at West Hollywood's trendy Mare Salon where she meets with resident hairstylist Kiley Fitzgerald to experience the studio's signature 'Mare Wave' texturising treatment. A far cry from the big and fluffy perms of the '80s (á la Chutney Windham in Legally Blonde), this new approach to semi-permanent texture promises a loose wave — as if you styled it with a 1-inch wand.
In Hofer's case, she hopes the Mare Wave treatment (co-created by Fitzgerald and the owner of Mare Salon, Mara Roszak), will breathe new life into her long, long hair. "I haven't cut my hair in 11 years," Hofer explains, adding that she loves having hair that skims her waistline, but wishes she inherited a curl. "I've always wanted to have wavy hair like my mum — she has thick and luscious waves — so I want to see if I can get that look."
According to Fitzgerald, the wavy perm will give Hofer exactly what she's looking for in terms of texture. She begins the chemical-treatment process by shampooing Hofer's hair until it's squeaky clean, and then she sections her damp strands and wraps each one around a flexirod. She then douses the tightly-wrapped sections of hair with a liquid wave lotion, which will sit in the hair for about 20 minutes. "The Mare Wave treatment typically takes about two hours from start to finish, depending on how long and thick your hair is," Fitzgerald explains. "The results will last around five months and will grow out really nice and soft."
Following the cardinal rule of perm maintenance, Fitzgerald tells Hofer she will need to keep her hair dry for the next 48 hours. "Today, your hair will look really tight and curly," she warns, before unrolling the flexirods to show Hofer her still-damp mermaid curls. "But in two days, you'll shampoo your hair at home, and you'll have this very soft, gentle wave. Then to keep your hair healthy and boost the wave, I suggest using an oil, like the Davines OI Oil and then maybe add a beach spray."
Cut to Hofer in the mirror two days later, and she's thrilled with the results. "This is much better than my wildest dreams," she exclaims, running her hands through her still very-long hair, now with luscious (and semi-permanent) waves. "This look boosts my confidence one-thousand percent."