Briana Dunning, a hairstylist at STRIIIKE Salon in Beverly Hills, is giving a whole new meaning to the ringlet-inducing perms your granny was partial to. Her speciality, The New Wave, uses soft curl formers and a less damaging formula to fashion perfectly air-dried beach waves, and, try not to squeal—a more manageable, frizz-free mane. Briana, who goes by @frizzy.b on Instagram, answered all our burning questions about the seemingly too-good-to-be-true treatment. Read on to find out how it works, whether you're a good candidate, and how long it lasts.
What exactly is the "new wave perm"?
The STRIIIKE Beach Wave is a super gentle treatment that we love using to create a variety of waves and textures.
Does it involve any chemicals or heat?
It doesn’t involve any heat and the only chemical is the super gentle waving lotion which has about the same effect as using color on your hair.
What tools are involved in the process?
We use soft curl formers to create a customized wave for each client. They’re these weird, bendy rods and you end up looking like an alien princess mid-process! Pretty cool! The entire thing takes about two hours.
Who’s the ideal candidate for a body wave perm?
The ideal candidate for a STRIIIKE Beach Wave is someone with healthy hair that wants to be able to air-dry and have amazing texture. The length should fall anywhere between chin and mid-back. Finer hair textures will get an effect like salt spray. Coarser textures will experience softening and manageability. As far as colored hair goes, people with single-process color are good candidates. For example, if you only color your hair to cover grays or slightly lighten/darken your hair.
Who is NOT a good candidate for a body wave perm?
The person who won’t be ideal for a STRIIIKE Beach Wave is someone with an all over bleach and tone, heavily highlighted hair or generally dry and damaged. We encourage these people to come in for a consult so they can find out how to become a good candidate in the future. Also, if you swim or surf on a regular basis, you’re probably not a good candidate.
What does a body wave perm do for frizz?
Let’s talk about frizz! Frizz is something that inevitably comes along with textured hair, I relate it to the personality of each individual’s hair character! I’d like to encourage people to embrace a certain amount of frizz! On frizzier hair, the STRIIIKE Beach Wave will actually calm down the frizz. On straight hair, there will be slight frizz that comes along with amazing texture!
If someone wants effortless, beachy waves, can they achieve them with only a body wave perm?
Absolutely! Most people should be able to get the STRIIIKE Beach Wave and literally let their hair air dry with a little product! If someone is into a more polished look, we recommend using a wand on a few pieces around the face when dry.
How much damage, if any, does it cause hair?
The reason we love this process is that it really leaves your hair more manageable. The amount of damage would be the same if you colored your hair.
What are some factors someone should consider before getting a body wave perm?
Do you want cooler, easier to manage hair? Is your hair in good condition? Do you get it cut and maintained regularly? If you answer yes to all these, then go for it! Always go to a qualified professional that you trust to keep the integrity of your hair! Fried hair isn’t cute!
How does a body wave perm differ from a regular perm?
There are many factors that make this different from a regular perm! First, the curl formers we use are soft and squishy, therefore don’t pull and damage your hair and create a really soft, relaxed effect—not the springy round curls from the 80’s! The treatment we use is actually based on a completely different ingredient than regular perms, therefore about 50% less damaging on the hair.
What products are best for maintaining it?
We like to use Davines OI Shampoo and Conditioner for coarse hair, and Christophe Robin Volume Shampoo and Conditioner for fine hair.
What ingredients or products should you avoid on your body wave perm?
Avoid anything too crunchy or drying. All you workout fiends, avoid excessive shampooing! If you feel tempted, use Analog by R+Co instead of shampoo, it won’t strip your hair of its natural oils.
How long does the perm last?
It should last around 3-5 months depending on your individual hair type and how often you are washing your hair.
How often do you need to get it re-done?
It gradually fades out, so you aren’t left with a weird line where your hair is growing, so you could do it once and not be committed forever. But people are obsessed and I’m seeing them come back usually in about 4-6 months when their hair starts feeling lifeless again.
How much does it cost?
We charge $450 but there is quite a range depending on where you are in the country and who's doing it.