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Return of Grease

May 14, 1987

Here's a hairy story: long, curly perms are back. But, before you get out your bell bottoms and your high school yearbook, here's the twist--you must wear all those curls globbed with grease!

"We're giving people both tight perms and medium perms," says Mitchell Field, owner of the Antenna hair salons in Reseda and Burbank. "But they're not like the old perms, because the look isn't frizzy. All that grease makes the curls look like little snakes. It's kind of a Medusa look. That's not a very nice term, but there it is."

Field thinks the squirming perm is popular because of the return to longer hair. "People are wanting to grow their hair out, and as straight hair gets longer, it's hopeless. You need to perm it."

And grease is the key. Put out by such hair product companies as Sebastian and Rusk, the grease is, well, just that--grease. "It's all petroleum based," says Field. "It comes in a little pot. It's more slick than gel. It has more hold on the hair. It gives it more shine." And makes all those ringlets snakier.

Field says this look is great for people with very fine hair, because "all of a sudden, this look gives you texture. Finally, you can wear your hair up--and it won't fall out all over the place."

Of course, for some people the permed look--sans grease--is as popular as ever.

"I had a guy come into the salon in Burbank," says Field. "And he said, 'Oh, well, yeah, man, I want to get your basic stupid, heavy-metal-type hairstyle.' So I gave him a combination of shag and curl. He had a big, permed look. He knew his hair was stupid--but he liked it."

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