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The Bubble Perm Is Trending: How to Get Carrie Bradshaw Curls If Your Hair Is Naturally Straight

And just like that: the bubble perm is back.

From Bella Hadid to EmRata and Katie Holmes, it seems many with naturally straight hair can’t resist the nostalgic pull of the ’80s classic. In fact, according to Google Trends, in the last 12 months, worldwide searches for “bubble perm” are up by over 350 percent, with many looking to channel their inner Carrie Bradshaw as everyone’s favorite single gal returns to our screens.

As someone whose hair is naturally wavy, I’ll never forget the iconic scene at the end of Sex and the City season two, where Carrie is nursing a Cosmo at some bar just around the corner from Mr Big and Natasha’s engagement brunch, comparing her situation to that of Barbra Streisand’s character, the “c-c-c-curly-haired Katie” in The Way We Were.

“Maybe some women aren’t meant to be tamed,” Carrie muses, her wild ringlets blowing in the wind, as a horse inexplicably neighs nearby. “Maybe they just need to run free until they find someone just as wild to run with them.” I felt seen. Two decades on, big bouncy curls are back.

Here’s everything you need to know about the trend.

Why are bubble perms trending?

“Bubble perms are making their comeback due to how fabulous and easy to achieve they are,” says celebrity hairstylist Andrew Fitzsimons. For those whose hair is naturally straight, thin or generally lackluster, it’s a great way to spice up your look. Just think of all that movement. Compared to the classic wave, which feels beachy and relaxed, the bubble perm is not for the fainthearted. It’s big, it’s bold and it’s bouncy. A high glam polished look, full of volume from the roots to the tips, it’s more disco diva than surfer chic, making it the perfect party look this summer. “This is such a bold hairstyle,” says Fitzsimons. “As people are getting more creative and edgy with their styling choices, bubble perms are the perfect choice to create a unique look.”

How do you create the ultimate bubble perm?

It depends on your hair type and length. For shorter hair, try roller sets; for longer lengths, use tongs or skinny wands. What you want is to create perfect, voluminous curls in various sizes. “Get your tong heated up and nice and hot,” says Jonathan Eagland, senior stylist, John Frieda salons. “Section by section wrap the hair around the tong, being careful not to burn yourself. You can prepare the hair with products that will give you added volume, but I always prefer a more natural base. Once you have completed the whole head, drag a wide toothcomb or brush through for a more modern take.”



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