Perms and jumpsuits

It’s Summer Productivity Week around here – in other words, the week that the boys are in karate camp. THE HOUSE IS SO QUIET, YOU GUYS. I am getting so much done!

Yesterday I went to the hair salon, despite this being the kind of thing I can easily do with the kids at home. They like to be left at home for short periods to showcase their responsible sides and also make milkshakes without my policing them on the amount of chocolate syrup utilized. But it just so happened that my five-week-old grey roots – and the rest of my hair – was due to be coloured yesterday.

Back in the day, I used to be able to go eight weeks easily between colours, sometimes even nine. Now, five weeks is the absolute maximum, and I’m considering using those home touch-up kits because it’s pretty bad. I think the worst thing about grey/ white roots, other than the Cruella DeVil look, is that when I pull my hair in a ponytail, the roots match my scalp which makes me look like I’m balding. This is not a good look for me.


Before colour. Also before washing hair.


After. A rare straight-hair sighting.

My hair therapist likes to give me a sleek look, which is nice, shiny, and makes me feel on-trend, which is a rare occurrence.


Back to my bouncy self.

While I was at the salon, I flipped through Flare magazine and found an article devoted to that staple of 80s hair style: the perm. The perm! Apparently the perm is making a comeback, which made me tilt my head and stare blankly at the magazine for a while. I asked my hair therapist if this was true, if she still actually gave people perms, and she said she only really permed older ladies’ hair, which is what I would have expected. I wonder if this article is going to start a trend?

Sheep 001

Is this coming back in style?




Honestly I find it quite entertaining to see what comes back into style. Acid wash jeans are definitely making a comeback, as are high waisted denim “booty shorts” which really flatter no one, but which I too wore back in the day. At the mall a few weeks ago, I saw three separate instances of jumpsuits making a comeback, and by this I don’t mean I saw them on a display. I actually saw three separate young women wearing them. One had sleeves and was a light peach material, one was sleeveless and turquoise, and one was full-on denim.

Whatever floats your fashion boat, I guess. The big problem with jumpsuits – as I see it – is using the washroom. It’s also the reason I don’t like one-piece bathing suits: I do not like stripping down to go to the bathroom. It just feels awkward. Plus, if you are in a public washroom, you have to worry about the top part of your jumpsuit accidentally touching the floor, and we all know that the floor of a public washroom is writhing with terrible things. At least the bodysuits of the 90s had snaps so that this problem was avoided, although re-snapping the bodysuit was often problematic, especially if you were at the bar drinking $6 jugs of Long Island Iced Tea. Or so I hear.

I don’t know, maybe I’m just turning into a fashion curmudgeon, or maybe I was scarred from the pale pink velour jumpsuit I had in 1984, that was strapless and therefore terrifying to wear lest it fall down during any kind of physical activity. To this day I dislike strapless things, although I freely admit the strapless look is a glamourous, sleek look on the right person.

But I digress. The woman who wrote about perms viewed it as a bit of a feminist issue, in that instead of spending 30 minutes on her hair every day, she simply washed and went, with her new curls bouncing behind her. She said that she was using more of her day to just DO things of importance, rather than fussing with her hair.

To be honest, I always find this kind of reasoning a bit depressing, because I do spend time every morning doing my hair and putting on makeup. It’s not a HUGE time commitment, but it is still time that I am committing to my physical appearance, rather than cultivating my inner self and/ or doing something useful. And yet, shameful as it is, I am not going to change my behaviour any time soon. And I’m not planning on getting a perm either, even if Julia-Roberts-in-Pretty-Woman hair comes back in style. I have my limits.


Rocking the spiral perm and thick eyebrows before it was cool.


  1. Besides, as I remember it, perms were MORE work, not less. They had to be picked rather than brushed. The hair dried out and needed hot oil treatments. They also went hand-in-hand with feathering and bagel bangs, which required much fussing, and much touching-up in the bathroom between classes.

  2. Strapless velour jumpsuits! ERMAHGERD.

    I had completely blocked out the strapless terrycloth jumpsuit I was forced to wear as a wee child, in the summer. It was dull yellow and had white straps that tied around my neck, and my hair would always get caught in the knot, and if the straps were tight enough to hold the jumpsuit up they cut into my neck but if they were loose enough to be comfortable the whole thing fell down.

    WHY 80s. JUST WHY.

  3. Poor wee Hannah! But SO MUCH YES to this post. I can’t believe the things that are coming back in style. My 12 yo bought acid washed jeans last weekend and she really wants a romper (jumpsuit with shorts). I need to point out the part about getting undressed to go to the bathroom. I did have some bodysuits with the snaps and at some point I realized they were like adult onesies.

  4. I like you with your bounce.
    Your face in your childhood perm pix looks so much like your boys, except you know, a girl.

  5. I hate that I’m so late to this post because it’s relevant to my interests as they say. My entire preteen and teen years were in the 80s and yet I avoided getting a perm until 1988. Man, what a mistake. I thought it was going to make my straight hair wavy and curly and bouncy like my friend who had naturally curly hair. Instead it made me look as if I’d stuck my finger in a socket and left it there for 5 minutes while a live current went through me. Never again. Stupid 80s.

  6. I admitted on my blog that I permed my hair for years, and I still think it looked good, although trying to sell it as a feminist act is just silly – sitting in the salon for three hours radiating eye-watering fumes is not a feminist act. Now I have a Mira-curl which I also love. I hate it when my stylist straightens my hair – it makes me look like a triangle. But I like how she cuts and colours it, so I grit my teeth and bear it. I also rather think I rocked the strapless terry-cloth jumpsuits as a kid, but I will never ever wear a one-piece outfit other than a bathing suit (because two-piece? Me? No.) again. Never ever ever. Ever.

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