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FROM DRAB BOB TO CHIC BOB. See how to shake up your next bob seen YAHOO.

How my bad coronavirus haircut became the perfect choppy bob

I’ve always had a thing about layers – I don’t like them.

It all began in 2010 when I let a friend give me a ‘layered chop’, all the rage at the time.

The resulting mess is hard to describe, but it took around 3 years to properly grow out, given my hesitation to chop the hair up to above my ears where the first layer began, and I vowed never again to let the ‘L’ word into my hair care vocabulary.

My major hair trauma made me notorious among friends for keeping it very simple, very boring and very safe.

Imagine their surprise when about three months into lockdown I walked into my sharehouse sporting a thick, blunt fringe, two-layered Karen Brady haircut and a mad glint in my eye.

In a fit of lockdown cabin fever, I had gone absolutely rogue at the hairdressers throwing years of prudent trimming out the window in a bid to ‘try something new’.

What I ended up with, as one more honest friend pointed out, was more bad 80’s than chic 2020, with my unruly curly hair forced into unnatural angles by a layer that sat miles above my ear, and the world’s thickest, deepest fringe laying over half my face with about as much vivaciousness as a wet mop head.

After about a week during which, in some kind of fever dream, I convinced myself I looked Chic with a capital ‘S’, I came to the crushing realisation that I looked absolutely ridiculous.

Desperate to avoid the three-year growing period that had accompanied my last venture into ‘layer’ territory I reached out to the professionals for some much-needed help.

How I transformed my hair from ‘sheesh’ to ‘chic!’

Anthony Nader is an award-winning celebrity hair stylist and owns and operates RAW Anthony Nader, his salon in Sydney’s Surry Hills. He generously agreed to take a look at the situation and see if he could salvage it.

According to Anthony there were three major hair transgressions going on on my head.

First up, the ‘layer’ I had opted for was a one-step layer, meaning it took all the volume and texture from the ends of my hair and sliced it into two parts, giving me that Karen Brady effect that nobody wants.

Secondly, my curtain fringe had been cut straight across.

Anthony says the secret to a good curtain fringe is the ‘Hollywood sweep’ – a gradual decline on either side that gives your hair a mobile, draping effect.

My blunt cut was contributing to the mushroom quality of my fringe, with the extended sides dragging the fringe way too far across my face.

Finally, don’t do what I did and start your fringe from halfway back on your head.

If you have fine hair, a deep fringe is a great way to give your fringe more body, but if you’re like me and have thick hair it’s a one-way ticket to mushroom town.

Now, Anthony is at the top of his game and his haircuts don’t come cheap. I was a guest of RAW but one of his chops will set most customers back $350.

Despite his credentials, I was unconvinced – how could any stylist, no matter how good, fix this without giving me an above-ear bob which I didn’t want, and could it really be worth more than $300?

To say he proved me wrong is something of an understatement. Anthony managed to give me a chic, choppy bob and the sweeping Normal People fringe of my dreams, and proved that a good haircut is truly an art form worth paying for.

Here’s what he did:

First up he chopped off the dead weight and brought my lower layer closer to the top layer, giving it a ‘boxy’ and ‘blunt’ effect around the base.

Then, he set to work on it’s internal texture (the texture above the hair’s baseline).

This is where I learnt the difference between ‘layers’ an ‘texture’.

Meticulously following my hair’s natural direction, he cut in different lengths and angles piece by piece, bringing out my hairs natural movement rather than chopping it off.

He explained that it’s all about finding your hair’s flow and following it, no matter how long that takes.

When it came to the fringe it was all about getting that sweeping effect.

To do it, he took the middle of the fringe up ever so slightly, and worked down to the length of the sides.

The effect? It really – ahem – swept away that nasty mushroom effect.

I finally got the dramatic new look I had envisioned, and it wasn’t until I saw my hair looking good for the first time in months that I realised how bad my bad haircut had made me feel.

Of course it’s a minor, almost trivial blip in a world rumbling with change and disaster at the moment, but it’s the little things that can make a big difference sometimes.

We can’t all splash out on a pricey haircut of course, but what I learnt is sometimes a little bit of investment in you can make the world of difference.

And, as Fleabag said, ‘hair is everything’.

HOW DO YOU PICK YOUR NEXT HAIRDRYER? Anthony giving you the best hair industry insight, to what we look for when choosing our weapon of choice. Seen

How to pick the best hair dryer, according to a celebrity hair stylist

Look in any woman’s bathroom cabinet and you’re sure to find several universal items, one of which is undoubtedly a hair dryer.

A hardworking hair tool that creates voluminous or sleek hair at home, hair dryers are a non-negotiable addition to your hair styling artillery.

But with prices of hair dryers varying by hundreds of dollars, it can be difficult to know what to spend your money on. Anthony Nader, celebrity hair stylist and founder of Sydney salon Raw, says that once you have your budget sorted, there are several features to consider.

“Look out for one that has in-built ionic or tourmaline technology. This, in a nutshell, cuts down on the drying time so you’re not wasting precious time in the mornings and also works a treat for thick and frizzy hair textures for a smoother appearance,” Anthony tells

“You want your hair dryer to have some power as well so aim for a minimum of 1500 watts. Hairdressers mainly use dryers from 2000 watts upwards, if that’s any indication of how we get the perfect blowout.”

When it comes to blow drying your hair at home, Anthony says there’s one error women should avoid.

“I would say the biggest mistake is not using the right brushes and running a brush through their hair that has plastic prongs that really have no purpose,” he explains.

“For ultra-luxe smooth results I always use larger round brushes that have short and long 100% boar bristles. These babies are key for my blow dry to give the ultimate salon worthy campaign finish.”

Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer In Fuschia

Yes, we’re starting with the cream of the crop here. Dyson’s Supersonic Hair Dryer boasts airflow of 105 miles/hour, which means your hair will be dry quick smart. Plus, a special mention must go to the acoustic motor tuning that means it’s the quietest hair dryer experience you’ll ever have.

Parlux Alyon 2250W in Jade, $325

Parlux Alyon 2250W in Jade

The Parlux Alyson 2250W’s ionic technology means that your hair will dry speedily and minus the damage. With four temperature and speed settings and two included nozzles, you can pull off an array of different styles at home.

Drybar Buttercup Blow Dryer, $309


Drybar Buttercup Blow Dryer from Sephora

Featuring ionic technology that banishes frizz and promotes shine while you dry, this Drybar hair dryer is a stellar option. Plus its powerful 1875 watt motor, nine-foot long cord and customised nozzles mean it’s super user-friendly.

ghd Helios Hairdryer in Ink Blue, $290


Ghd Helios Hairdryer in Ink Blue

With airflow of 120 km/hour and ghd’s Aeroprecis technology, this hair dryer will not only dry your hair quickly, it’ll deliver shinier and smoother results. With a two year warranty, variable temperature and power controls and a contoured nozzle included, this is an brilliant option.

ghd Air Hair Dryer, $195 (down from $220)


Ghd Air Hair Dryer from Shaver Shop

With a 2100 watt motor, ionic technology to nix frizz and flyaways and several temperature settings, the ghd Air Hair Dryer is a do-it-all hair tool.

VS Sassoon Digital Sensor Dryer, $187 (down from $249.95)


With a digital sensor that maintains an optimal temperature of 70 degrees to ensure the hair fibre isn’t damaged and an airflow speed of 208 km/hour, this affordable hair dryer offers luxe effects for less.

Wahl Designer Hair Dryer in Pink, $89.95


Wahl Designer Hair Dryer in Pink

This pretty in pink hair dryer will dry your hair rapidly with its 2000 watt motor, three heat settings and tourmaline technology to reduce frizz and flyaways.

Flair Hair Dryer, $79.95 (down from $99.95)


Flair Hair Dryer from Shaver Shop

A 2400 watt motor, a cool shot button to instantly set styles and tame frizz and a three-metre cord make this hair dryer a winner.

O&M Pink Mini Travel Hair Dryers, $49.95


O&M Pink Mini Travel Hair Dryers

Small but mighty, this travel option boasts a 900 watt motor. An aesthetically pleasing hair dryer that dries hair speedily and fits easily in your travel case? Tick.

Remington Aero 2000 Hair Dryer, $17


Remington Aero 2000 Hair Dryer

With a concentrated nozzle that helps to smooth hair and reduce frizz and a powerful 2000 watt motor, this Remington hair dryer delivers bang for your buck.


YOUR 5 TOP TIPS FOR WINTER DRY SCALP. Anthony comes clean with how to keep your scalp looking and feeling great in the cooler months. Seen Body + Soul

5 expert tricks to save your hair from winter dry scalp hell

Award-winning hair stylist Anthony Nader shares his best tips to salvaging your itchy, dry scalp.

Hear me out: I don’t think there’s anything worse than having a dry scalp. Firstly, you manage to turn heads – but for all the wrong reasons. Hello, snowflakes/chicken salt/or whatever you want to call that blanket of white dots on the back of your black top.

And then you have to deal with the absolute discomfort of attempting to sleep with an itchy scalp, which to be frank is the definition of a nightmare.

Having dry scalp is a nightmare! Image: iStock.

n an ideal world, we’d all have perfectly healthy and nourished scalps that were free from itch, dryness and inflammation 365 days of the year. But the reality is your scalp needs the same TLC that you give your skin. And winter is an especially prominent time for dry scalp to become a dilemma.

“At this time of year, everyone tends to experience a mild to moderate dry scalp,” celebrity hair stylist and owner of RAW, Anthony Nader, tells Body+Soul.


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Staying Safe / Still Open 💯 @rawanthonynader #HairSalon #Sydney

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“As the weather zaps the moisture out of our hair, skin and scalp, this is when we need to take more prevention before it’s too late.”

But because life gets in the way, your hair becomes the last priority and before you know it you have winter dry scalp.

The difference between ‘dry scalp’ and ‘dandruff’…

But wait, you’re probably thinking ‘mate, isn’t this just dandruff?’

Well, there’s actually a difference between the two.

“I know it can be misleading to narrow down on what the excess of ‘flakes’ shedding on your classic black cashmere turtleneck means, so here’s a breakdown for you,” says Nader.

“Dandruff and dry scalp have the same symptoms, which are falling flakes and an itchy scalp but they are two different conditions.

“With a dry scalp, the skin gets irritated and then flakes off. Whereas with dandruff, the cause is too much oil so the excess oil then causes skin cells to build up and then shed.”

Dandruff and dry scalp are actually different. Image: iStock.

Washing your hair in winter…

Okay, so you’re actually one of those people who take extra good care of your hair and scalp by washing it regularly – and yet, you still have dry scalp. RIP.

But the truth is your need to clean (which is a great quality, tbh!) is doing your scalp more harm than good.

“I believe that the Australian culture still shampoo their hair or two times too many throughout the week,” Nader says.

The culprit here is shampoo.

“You’re actually doing your hair and scalp more damage by shampooing too regularly. You’re washing away the protective layer of natural sebum, and natural shine as well.”

Nader recommends washing your locks a maximum of twice a week.

“If you have blonde coloured hair and want to keep the brassiness under control, use your cosmetic shampoo and conditioner once a week so your blonde will appear clean and bright again.

“The second time you wash your hair, you should use a prescribed shampoo and conditioner to tackle what your strands are lacking.”

For instance, if you have…

Fine hair: use a shampoo and conditioner to give you that extra lift.

Oily hair: use a sensitive shampoo and conditioner to keep the flakiness at bay.

Dehydrated hair: use a shampoo and conditioner that’s packed with moisture.


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Facing the weekend straight-on ⚡️ @rubytuesjacobs #EyeContact #HealthyHair

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Natural products to treat dry scalp…

While Nader recommends you book an appointment with a Naturopath to “get down to the nitty gritty”, he also admits he’s a big fan of Jojoba Oil.

“The properties of this oil have some great all-rounders like eczema, psoriasis and just good old fashion moisturising.”

We recommend: Calming Jojoba ($39.95 at The Jojoba Company).

Calming Jojoba ($39.95 at The Jojoba Company).

Top 5 tricks for saving your hair from winter dry scalp

If you’re a victim to winter dry scalp, you can stop stressing because Nader explains there are simple ways to both salvage and prevent your scalp from itchy woes…
1. Turn down the heat in the shower and go a few degrees cooler if you can

The cooler the temperature, the more your skin and hair will behave for you in these cooler months.
2. Check the ingredients

Use a moisturising shampoo and conditioner that’s super low in alcohol and sodium laureth sulfate. These two properties can case your scalp some grief if you’re not careful.
3. Lay low on styling products

Don’t be excessive with your styling products as this will in a way, coat your scalp and hair strands over time.


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#Smile ….cause it’s Friday arvo 😃 @raerodriguez_

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4. Treat yourself to a weekly moisture masque

A masque is higher in concentration with the moisture content compared to a regular conditioner, so always keep this in mind when you want more hydration for thirsty strands.


Brush, brush and brush again. It’s an oldie but a goodie.

Think of this as a massage for your scalp and it’s now sighing with relief and praising you for this wonderful moment. Ensure you’re using a 100 per cent boar bristle brush as this is gentler and will remove any knot easily.

We recommend: Mason Pearson Pure Boar Bristle ($165 at RAW).

Mason Pearson Pure Boar Bristle ($165 at RAW).


WHAT’S YOUR WINTER BOB? Seen Harper’s Bazaar

The 6 Bob Hairstyles That Are Trending For Winter 2020

What is about the bob hairstyle that gives it such eternal allure?
Season after season, trending cuts and colours rise in popularity and then fade into oblivion (pardon the pun), but the bob haircut’s ‘cool girl’ factor somehow remains.
Perhaps its magic lies in its seemingly effortless aura, its relaxed ‘I woke up like this’ aesthetic (though we all know that’s not necessarily true) and ability to complement any and every sense of style.
Regardless, winter 2020 has certainly succumbed to the bob’s charms, with jaw-skimming coiffures and shoulder-grazing chops becoming some of the most asked for post-quarantine cuts in salons across Australia.
Considering a cut of your own? Scroll on to see the reigning bob hairstyles of winter 2020.
**THE 'UNDONE' BOB**<br><br> **Anthony Nader, Salon Owner and Creative Director at [RAW Anthony Nader](|target="_blank"|rel="nofollow"):**<br><br> "[Taylor Hill's textured bob](|target="_blank") ticks all the right boxes. It's still long enough to whip up into a fun hair shape if needed, or kept down to play around with different hair textures with your hot appliances or, of course, air dry to your happy strands' content."<br><br> *Image via [@taylor_hill](|target="_blank"|rel="nofollow")*


An Expert Guide To Recreating Kate Middleton’s Latest Blow Wave Style

Just when we thought we could file Kate Middleton’s glossy tresses under ‘perennially polished albeit somewhat predictable’, the Duchess of Cambridge decides to prove us all wrong.

In fact, Middleton switched up her signature cut (swapping long length for a collarbone-grazing chop) and her colour (going from a cool-toned cocoa brunette colour to a sandier, warmer chocolate-and-caramel blend) in a matter of months.
The Duchess has also begun switching things up in the style department, choosing to embrace more modern styles as she attends virtual engagements via Zoom amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
Though while the sleek, straight strands she sported recently were certainly a chic departure from the bouncy blow-dry that has become her beauty signature, it’s still hard to top her trademark cascading curls.
They also, however, have undergone an update in recent weeks, with Middleton opting for contemporary flowing waves from roots to ends, rather than her classic ‘volume up top, curls down the bottom’ aesthetic.
Via: Getty Images and Instagram/@kensingtonroyal
Here, celebrity hairstylist and RAW salon owner Anthony Nader tells BAZAAR exactly how to get the look, whether at home or in-salon. Your mane will be looking Middleton-esque in no time.

How does this style differ from Middleton’s classic blow-dry?

“This updated blow dry is definitely more fun and modern compared to her previous style, which I felt was more highbrow with that added volume on the crown area,” says Nader. “Middleton’s newfound voluminous waves exude shine and a healthy wellbeing. I’m a fan.”
Middleton's updated blow-dry style Via: Instagram/@kensingtonroyal

What are the pros of this kind of blow-dry style?

Middleton’s latest style works wonders for lifting and framing the face, Nader explains: “Having a few shorter face framing layers will always add softness, whereas when the hair is kept at one length, it will close in your delicate facial features and also appear heavy.”
It wins in the longevity and versatility stakes, too. “When you have layers cut throughout the style you’ll also have all that extra body which will give you the longevity for your defined waves to last,” Nader explains. “Another positive with Middleton’s new hair shape is that she can wear her part line in the dead centre for a contemporary feel or switch it up to a deep side part for more of a fun one.”
Middleton's classic blow-dry style Via: Getty Images

What is the best way to have your hair stylist recreate this blow wave?

“It’s very easy,” says Nader. “Show your hair stylist any one of these images of Middleton’s hair and they will get it ‘straight away’; or should I say ‘wave away’. (Sorry, I couldn’t resist).”
Don’t have a reference ready? “Some key [terms] or ideas that you should verbalise would be ‘loose but textured vertical waves’ and to ‘keep the ends wave free and more on the straight side’,” he explains.

How can you recreate the look at home?

“On freshly washed strands, use a dollop of volume foam to give strands more va va voom from roots to ends, then shake out excess moisture to [eliminate] at least 80 per cent,” Nader shares.
Southern Belle Volume-Boosting Root Lifter by Drybar, $41 at Sephora
“Section hair up into four even parts, [as this will] make it easier for you to whirl your medium sized brush [in order to create] smooth waves. Start with the two back sections, then unclip the front sections, place in your desired part line and blow-dry your waves away from your face,” he says.
“Once dry, go back and [divide hair using] the same sectioning pattern, then grab your tong and wind in a vertical manner rolling into the centre of the head.”
Curve Soft Curl Tong by ghd, $245 at Raw Hair
“Repeat this technique all the way down, but be sure not to roll your hair up too high [toward the roots when clamped in the curling tong], as you want to leave the area on top more flat. Just pop the slightest bend in the ends, if any, then rake through your waves with your fingers,” he advises. “[Finish with a] texture spray if you feel the need for more ‘grab’.”

Does the style work on all lengths?

“The more length you have, the more vertical waves you’ll end up with, but be mindful that you need to make sure you ask your hairstylist for some layers cut in [to achieve the face-framing effect],” Nader explains.
“The shorter the length, the less wave and texture you’ll have. Middleton’s below the shoulder length is on point and perfect for the next high tea moment.”

WHATS YOUR POST LOCKDOWN HAIRCUT GOING TO BE? Anthonys latest haircuts for new beginnings seen Marie Claire magazine.

Bobs Are The Post-Lockdown Hairstyle Everyone Is Craving Right Now,0.5

Bobs are back and it’s not just fun to say, it’s true.

Although if you ask us, chic short hair is always in style and taking the plunge to transform your lengths with a signature chop can be a truly defining moment – just ask Karlie Kloss, Cara Delevingne and Ruby Rose.

In the past, we’ve seen longer lobs and structured bobs take centre stage, but this season, award-winning hairstylist Anthony Nader says, “the interior of the bobs have been shaken up a fraction. If you want to wear a more textured or wavy bob, you have those shorter layers in the haircut you can play with.”

Through the doors of RAW Anthony Nader (Nader’s salon in Surry Hills); “I am also finding curtain fringes are big for this season, more than ever – my salon clients want to show that they’ve had an actual haircut, rather than something that is more grown out and one length.

But if you’re not ready for something shaggy, a traditional bob is just as bang on. Specifically, “bobs that are definitely shorter in length and more precise and showcasing nice healthy, blunt ends”, says Nader.

“What I am gauging from my salon clients is the shorter the better as they want a complete change.”

Feeling the same? Here are more bob styles to inspire you…

jenna dewan bob

Collarbone bob

This borderline lob look features longer layers towards the front that rest at collarbone length. It’s a great transition cut for those who are tempted to go short but are unsure if it’ll suit them.

jourdan dunn bob

Glass bob

Sleek, glossy and slightly curved inwards, the glass bob is a glamorous choice for those who prefer straight styles and weaves. Shine spray at the ready.

Nader’s top tip: “I’m a complete lover of applying a serum or a shine spray on damp hair, as this absorbs into the hair far better than on dry hair. Blowdry into the hair if time permits as this will give strands more sheen without out making your hair look like it is oily. This is especially vital for blondes where they put on these products on dry hair blonde strands tend to look dirtier quicker.”

side swept bob

Side swept bob

The side fringe of the 00s is slowly creeping back… and we don’t mind it. Particularly when paired with an above-the-shoulder bob.

yara shahidi bob

Curly bob

Curls can embrace the shorter style too, as seen here on Yara Shahidi. A look like this relies more on styling than the cut and where the hair is parted.

julianne hough shaggy bob

Shaggy bob

Layered, textured and just the right amount of swish. The shaggy bob looks great paired with a curtain fringe, or flipped to one side.

Nader’s top tip: “Even though curtain bangs are kept on the longer side and grow out faster, this is key for making sure your curtain bangs appear lived-in and sexier, rather than having it cut too short above the eyebrows, [which takes it] back to preschool days. Keeping length longer is more French girl inspired.

emilia clarke bob

Shattered bob

No blunt ends in sight. The shattered bob is all about choppy layers, adding movement to limp and lifeless hair types.

michelle williams bob

Structured bob

Blunt, even ends and not a hair out of place. The structured bob compliments a platinum colour perfectly.

kerry washington bob

Textured bob

Those with thicker, wavier hair can also nail a cheek-grazing cut. Just consult with your hairdresser before getting your heart set on a length, as your curl pattern and the amount of volume you seek will determine where it lies.

Regrowth – Rewind It Between Salon Visits!

Regrowth’s a curse, isn’t it? Especially when you can’t get to the salon to disguise it. The only person it possibly has ever looked good on was Lady Gaga in the Netflix documentary Five Foot Two.

If you’re finding it hard to get into Raw Hair for your regular colour touch up, don’t despair. Our online store has just the trick to tide you over.

Oribe’s Airbrush Root Touch Up Spray, available in six hot hues for all shades of strands, will brighten lacklustre locks and all but eliminate those sneaky greys. And it does it all in less than 30 seconds.

You simply spritz into the root section of your hair ‘et voila’ – instant shine, colour and gloss! You’ll love it so much you may even ditch your boyfriend for it.


Rewind regrowth for brunettes with either light brown or dark brown  depending on the depth of your colour.

If you have black hair, your grey strands are likely to be more evident, because #contrast. In this case, you should reach for  Oribe’s Black Spray.

The micro fine pigments blend seamlessly with your current colour and will save you in between your salon appointments.


Red heads are always ‘head turners’ and total glam babes, however the curse of this colour is that it fades fast. The molecule is smaller than most and is easily leached from the hair strand. This means more frequent visits to your colourist. So clearly, you’ll adore Oribe’s Red Airbrush Touch Up, as it will keep your mane full bodied, shiny and voluptuous between visits!


Perfecting platinum blonde between visits is easy with Oribe’s  platinum while those with flaxen locks, reminiscent of the Californian sun, will lap up  Oribe Airbrush Touch Up Spray in Blonde.  These two sprays work a treat on camouflaging regrowth on light to medium natural bases. They’re also perfect for neutralising brassy tones that somehow always seem to sneak through.

How To Use

These sprays are so simply to use it’s not funny. Simply follow these steps: 

– Hold the tip of the nozzle approximately 10 centimetres away from your part line. Spray a fine mist, in a line beginning at the front of the hair and finishing at the crown. Do this in one clean sweep to ensure an even result.

– Repeat this process again, but this time, mist along the part line about one centimetre on each side from the first line.  

– Don’t forget to give a light spray around the hairline framing your face.

– Finish by lightly combing or brushing the product through the hair. We love Mason Pearson Styling Comb for this, as it evenly distributes the pigment without messing with your ‘do.




We do it most days but could we be blow drying our locks more efficiently and effectively? Let’s all learn something new from a true master of the blowout, Sydney hairstylist Anthony Nader, who’s worked the tresses of supermodels Gisele Bundchen, Karlie Kloss and Miranda Kerr. His insider tips will take your DIY version next level.

  1. DON’T OVERLOAD YOUR STRANDS. This is vital for a longer-lasting blowout as too much product will weigh down your strands. Your hair will become dirtier much quicker, too. Less is more.

  2. ATTACH THE NOZZLE.  It will give you a more polished and professional finish. The narrow nozzle targets the airflow to sculpt your strands perfectly to your brush size.

  3. GO EASY ON THE SERUM. I always apply on damp hair strands and then blow-dry in. This absorbs far better than on dry hair and in turn, the sheen looks more red carpet-worthy which is always key.

  4. TAKE A SHORT CUT. We all love a short cut and most importantly saving time. So, to fasten up your drying time, shake your hair dry at least 80% with your hairdryer before you start your brushwork. Your arms will be thanking you as well.

  5. A SAFE SPRAY.  When using hairspray apply just a little to give your hairstyle a punch of staying power. Stay clear of a heavy lacquers ladies or otherwise you could end up looking more “Helmet Head” than natural.

WHY DOESN’T ANYONE GETS PERMS ANYMORE? Check out what one of our hot barrel tongs gets the trophy for emulating natural waves to die for. Seen WHIMN

So, Why Doesn’t Anyone Get Perms Anymore?

An investigation.

It was once the look du jour, but nowadays rolling your hair up and setting it is all but a relic.

One of my earliest beauty memories is watching my nanna, Elizabeth, propped up at her dressing table and dutifully wrapping her hair in hot rollers each morning.

Always the first order of the day, she sat there and meticulously tended to her chocolate brown bob, sectioning and pinning each strand into a perfectly curled bouffant.

Regardless of where she’s going or what she’s got on, still to this day, she sets her hair (and mine too on the odd occasion).

Nanna, setting my hair in hot rollers. Image: Supplied

“Why bother if no one is going to see you, though?” I’ve queried on several occasions as I schlep around in yesterday’s clothes during my visits. “Because it’s nice to look nice, darling,” is her usual reply. Right you are then.

This daily preening is punctuated by her bi-monthly trip to the hairdressers for a perm. Every second month she sits still for three hours while a stylist covers her head in a mixture of what sure smells like poison before plonking herself under a spaceship looking apparatus, to ensure her curls are on point.

It's a lengthy process. Image: iStock

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Alas, she is one of the few people still getting perms, with the treatment all but a relic of styles past. So what gives? Did women all around the world just wake up one day and decide curls were out of vogue? For something that was once so popular, it seems strange that almost overnight salons stopped offering the service.

Well, according to stylist, Anthony Nader, it’s a twofold answer: hot barrel tongs were invented and no one could stand the strong smell of perm solution any longer (the fact that perming treatments have been dropped from the compulsory hairdressing curriculum in recent years speaks volumes too).

“It depends on who you ask of course, but times have changed basically. I’ve owned my salon for 23 years now and haven’t even had the slightest whiff of alkaline or an acid perm box in that time,” he explains.

For the uninitiated, perms were all the rage back in the 1950s. A chemical process that turns straight hair curly, it basically involves dousing your hair in chemicals (namely thioglycolic acid, which smells like rotten eggs) to break and reshape the bonds of your hair.

I mean just LOOK at that volume. Image: iStock

As you can imagine, the hours long process isn’t exactly kind to your strands, with the perming solution notoriously drying.

“They definitely had a place in the market for the person that wanted low maintenance hair, the perm won big points here. I mean you’d have all that extra body and volume that made you feel like a rock start for at least five to six months.”

Fast forward to today, however, and the hair industry has such a variety of hot tongs on offer that Nader queries why anyone would need a perm.

“When you put a bend (I don’t ever say curl) in your hair that’s generally all you need. It gives you that extra texture you’ve been after and only gets better and cooler as the day goes on.”

If you do want to enhance your natural curl though, the right haircut helps.


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“Firstly, it all begins with your haircut. Soft layers are key for performance and longevity of shaking up your hair shape and giving it that extra volume.”

From there, you can play with a hot barrel tong and wind your hair in different ways depending on the look you’re going for, before giving your new found texture some extra miles by using a dry shampoo or texture spray to maximise your strands.

“Spray it on the roots and mid lengths and massage in and you’re good to go for the day,” advises Nader.

And if you’re still hell bent on a permanent curl solution, I can always give you the number of my nanna’s stylist – just so long as you’ve got three hours to spare.