The hair industry lost its largest earnings when permanent waves or “perms” came off the salon menu. They were thought too old fashioned a method for the younger generation. It worked for many decades as a curl and body builder and then becoming more modern in volume to hold a hair set on rollers. But it could break the hair if the hair was wound incorrectly on the plastic curlers that held to the head with a strip of elastic. The elastic was sometimes pulled too tight and marked the hair so badly that it left a ridge and hair would snap off at the bend. Younger hairdressers could not cope with this method of curl, as breakage came in, as did the bad winding, and gradually the perm died from salon service by the year 2000. The perm was wonderful while it lasted and worked for many years for many people and had a wonderful run. The European salon company S&L would do 30 or 40 perms a day in their salons and with over a hundred salons just in Germany alone that was a lot of curl walking out of salons.
So in the early years of the perm, hair breakage was about in salons. I personally saw many bad results as clients came back into the salon and you could see the healthy hair growing through. Ask your grandparents, I am sure there will be many stories for them to tell.
In the mid-sixties many methods and lotions were used for long hair and ‘stack winding’ came in, taking hours for long hair to be curled and costing far too much money. When the rock musical, “Hair,” debuted, the natural Afro style came in, too, and it remained a fashion cult style for many seasons.
Since around 1986, hair products have grown their own importance in the beauty world and are so much part of today’s fashion and hair looks for the hairdresser and the consumer, making life easy as great products made hair that much easier to handle.
Hair color came in a big way as highlights/frosting and high and low lights came into the hair color spectrum and took over. Sassoon being the early leader along with Annie Humphries, the best colorist between the UK & USA, soon colors ranged from blue to green and red to yellow. ‘Crazy Color’ was created by Renato Brunas which was perfect for the punk movement. I launched this color image in London ‘Salon International’ at the Airport hotel in Heathrow because in the early 1960s, anything went!