pravana beach wave

Foram before her Beach Wave, and after.

I’ve always had straight hair. Not kind of straight hair or slightly wavy hair—really straight hair. It’ll occasionally kink out if I sleep with it or tie it up wet, but other than that, it’s pretty boring. I use a flat iron to get it pin straight for special occasions, but I’ve been lucky enough that I can wear it out naturally sans product for everyday activities. It’s also super thick and pretty healthy because I don’t treat it with a lot of heat or product. So, I guess there are some benefits to it.

My mom always forbade me to do anything with my hair because it was so naturally healthy. So, until I was 19 years old, the most I did with my super straight hair was cut it—even that was every 6 months or so. Needless to say, the routine was pretty monotonous.

A couple of days ago, I was given the opportunity to be a guinea pig and receive the new Pravana Naturceuticals Beach Wave Perm. This isn’t our moms’ '80s perm. With no thioglycate, a relaxing agent, it’s a lot safer for your hair than the traditional perm. It also works with a Kertain Restructurizing Fusion Serum to protect your hair by infusing keratin and silk amino acids, which also add shine to your locks. The outcome, of course, is the biggest difference. Rather than giving you tightly wound, defined curls, the Beach Wave Perm gives you soft, natural waves. Think effortless, sensual, summery. I was, of course, more than willing!

I was sent to Trashy Roots Salon in Round Rock, Texas, for my makeover. This edgy-chic salon with Barbie-pink walls and skull-numbered wall clocks is one of the few offering the perm, as it’s relatively new. (Salons started offering it February 1, 2010.)

My stylist and Beach Wave perm expert, Sara Sanchez, walked me through the process. She told me that I was actually a perfect candidate for the perm because there are 2 big factors to consider before you sign up for the service: whether your hair has been highlighted and is healthy enough, and whether your hair is at least shoulder-length. Highlighted hair can be damaged, and not strong enough to take the formula, Sara said. The perm is not a good idea if your hair is too elastic. Also, if your hair is shorter than shoulder-length, it’s almost impossible to roll up, which obviously would make the perm a futile effort. Luckily, my hair was a few inches past shoulder-length and in good condition.

To achieve the soft, natural waves, Sara rolled up my hair in 3 large sections. A traditional perm, she told me, works in 7-9 smaller sections. Additionally, with the Beach Wave, hair is rolled up with sponges rather than perm rollers. How tight the stylist winds the sponges determines how tight the wave will be—giving you some options. Since my hair is so straight, I told Sara to go ahead and make mine tight. Why not? It should be a nice change!

After my shampoo, Sara rolled my hair up in about 30 minutes, after which she saturated my hair with the treatment. While I waited, I was offered some wine—what awesome service! She checked on me after 5 minutes, and then again after another 10. When my hair had finally taken to the treatment, Sara applied the keratin serum and shampooed me. The entire process probably took about 2 hours. She told me that, like with the traditional perm, I had to wait at least 48 hours before shampooing it again, so as not to relax the curl.

During this time, Anna Craig, the owner of Trashy Roots, came in. She walked over and introduced herself. Just as punk-glam as the salon itself, I could definitely see where the inspiration had come from.

After a quick trim, Sara was nice enough to curl my hair with a hot iron and put it up in a simple up-to because I had a formal event to attend that night. I received the star treatment that day!

When I was all finished, Anna graciously sent me home with a goodie bag of Pravana products to keep my snazzy new hair in sparkling condition. The salon also offers spa treatments, waxes, and other hair services. Definitely a cool, rockin’ place to get a new 'do without having to make a trek downtown!

It’s been a couple of days since I got the perm done, and so far so good. Because I couldn’t wash my hair, my styled hair stayed pretty much in the same shape as when Sara styled it! I was amazed since my hair won’t curl worth a dime, except when I use steamed sponge rollers. After I shampooed my hair with Pravana’s sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner, I sprayed some of the leave-in conditioner and Beach Wave Mist I received from Anna. A little scrunch here and a little twirl there—and my look was complete! The best part was that my hair didn’t feel crunchy or sticky—something I was really worried about. The process was easy enough even for my extremely low-maintenance routine. Anna told me the perm should last me about 2-3 months. Perfect for summer! Overall, I’m really happy with hair! Thanks to Anna Craig and Sara Sanchez at Trashy Roots for my new look and my awesome experience!