Trend in Japan Web Japan
Business and Economy Lifestyle Science and Technology Fashion Arts and Entertainment Sports People
Innovative Perms Spark Craze for Wavy Tresses (October 27, 2006)

Applying a hot perm at Beauty Park Salon Shiseido (Shiseido Professional Inc.)
Curly hair is back in style. Women from their teens through thirties are styling their tresses in big, soft waves an effort to duplicate the cute, feminine hairdos currently featured in the fashion magazines, including on popular model Ebihara Yuri. The initial inspiration for this trend was the "Kobe curl," the traditional style of choice for the well-bred young women of that cosmopolitan port city. In 2002, a style known as the "Nagoya curl," favored by the privileged lasses of central Japan's industrial hub, reached Tokyo. Now the curly theme is being played out in a growing number of variations, such as inward vs. outward curls.

Advances in Perm Technology
This craze has prompted the emergence of innovative home perms and hair-care products that let women create just the waves they want. Meanwhile, at the salons, hot perms are the latest thing. Also known as digital perms, they promise to deliver the kind of bouncy curls and waves previously achievable only with the use of curling irons or hot rollers. After shampooing and drying, the curls appear as if by magic. Although salons are rushing to acquire the equipment to offer this service, hot perms are so popular that demand is outpacing supply. Also popular are curling irons that emit negative ions, which reduce frizz and make the hair soft and silky. The smaller models are so light and compact that some women carry them around in their purses.

Ebihara Yuri's curls have inspired many women to emulate her. (Jiji)

Shiseido Professional Inc. sells a hot perm system under the name System Qurl. This is a brand-new system in which the hair is curled by rods known as "Qurlers," which steadily warm the hair. Because the hair "remembers" the waves, simply brushing through the hair with your hands is enough to bring the curls springing to life.

Manufacturers of hair-care goods are coming out with a dizzying array of styling products. In a major reversal of the straight-hair trend that ruled the streets for so many years, a growing number of companies are putting out more curling products than straightening products. New perm technologies and hair-care products are lowering the barriers to curly hair. Beautiful curls once achievable only with a salon hair-setting, or by spending hours in front of the mirror with a blow-dryer, are now within reach of the do-it-yourself stylist.

Hair and Fashion
Hair and fashion trends are closely related. When casual fashion is in, women tend to opt for short hair, ponytails, or other hairdos that go with an active lifestyle. Conversely, feminine fashion typically ushers in a vogue for elegant hairstyles: long hair, perms, or sobaju (from the French word sauvage: a soft, delicate perm applied just to the ends).

During the bubble economy years of the 1980s, fashion trendsetters cultivated an upscale adult look by wearing imported labels or DC brands. ("Design and character" brands are designer brands with a slightly quirky edge, such as Comme des Garçons and Pinkhouse.) During that period, long sobaju hair was all the rage, and many college women adopted this hairstyle.

The current curly-hair trend is part of a feminine fashion reaction to the jeans and other casual wear that held sway in the 1990s. All dressed up in those elegant, pretty dresses, blouses, and skirts, girls are naturally clamoring for curls.

 Page Top

Copyright (c) 2006 Web Japan. Edited by Japan Echo Inc. based on domestic Japanese news sources. Articles presented here are offered for reference purposes and do not necessarily represent the policy or views of the Japanese Government.

Drop Us a Line
Your Name

What did you think of this article?

It was interesting.
It was boring.

Send this article to a friend

Go TopTrends in Japan Home

Go BackFashion Home