Goodbye Perm, Hello American Wave

Celebrity hair stylist Nick Arrojo and his team have created an alternative to the perm. The New American Wave system creates body and soft curl in the hair without damaging hair bonds like the old-fashioned perm.

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Nick Arrojo and his team have created an alternative to the perm. The New American Wave system creates body and soft curl in the hair without the damaging effects of a perm. The process starts with clean, healthy hair.
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Hair is shampooed and cut while wet to prep for the wave, which is available in three styles: the Beach Wave (a tousled look, demonstrated here on model Erin Nicole Hansen), Expanded Curl (more full curl pattern), and Style Support (adds volume to limp hair).
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Hair is set on foam rollers to replicate a curling iron. With a New American Wave, bone-straight hair can be curled and curly hair can be softened.
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“I think we’re going to see movement for the next 20 years," says celebrity hair stylist Nick Arrojo. "We’ve spent so much time on making hair smooth, now the trend is going to be how to make movement in hair."
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The roller size determines how loose the hair will be and how much movement it will have.
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The process takes two hours (so it’s a great excuse to finish off that September issue and get started on October). Bring your smartphone too so you can catch up on current fashion trends to go with your new 'do.
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The waving lotion has a neutralizer and deodorizer so there’s no harsh smell like the chemicals from an old-school perm.
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Editorial stylist Amanda Jenkins creates a Beach Wave, the most popular of the three New American Wave options.
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Applying the waving lotion while hair is set on sponge rollers is the main part of the process.
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Hair is shampooed for at least 10 minutes to thoroughly wash out all the waving lotion, then rinsed with warm water.
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After hair is rinsed thoroughly Amanda uses a delicious-smelling conditioner to make hair manageable before blow drying.
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A great blow dry and styling complete the look. You can even wave on top of wave without damaging hair, but Amanda makes her clients wait at least three weeks. “I’m always for keeping the integrity of the hair,” she explained.
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The New American Wave gives hair a different texture without exploding hair bonds like a perm. It creates a textured wave that can last up to four months before fading out. The New American Wave costs about $400 (price can vary dependent on hair type) at Arrojo Studio at 180 Varick St. in NYC.
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