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October 14, 2010

I Got a Body Wave

Yesterday I went to Spalon Montage in Edina to get my hair colored by master-stylist-meets-mother-earth Tusi Tuaolo (because I thought THAT would make a good story), and I came out with a BODY WAVE. It was the single most unexpected, amazing moment in my hair’s life.

I went in looking like this:


As you can see, I have long, fine, relativity straight hair. I’m pretty good with a curling iron, but mostly blow it out with a round brush. It’s healthy and pretty, but nothing glamorous. Tusi took one look at it and said “Let’s give you a body wave.” This I had not planned for. A body wave sounds like a perm, and takes me right back to the one I had in middle school. Which resulted in a hot, crimped, frizzy mess. But when Tusi showed me a photo of Blake Lively-esque bombshell waves, I said: “Do it.”

Now, you might recall our conversation a few months back about the body wave trend. The only one I’d seen was on my friend Phoebe, and it was pretty darn curly. Super-cute on Phoebs’ bob, but not for my long locks. So I started to panic when I saw the rollers. They were small, orange, and they covered my entire head. I envisioned myself sitting under one of those driers, hair wrapped in a plastic bonnet. Oh. God. Before I could really freak out, Tusi explained that while a body wave uses the same technique as a perm (and smells just as bad—we can put a man on the moon but we can’t come up with an alternative to ammonia??), she customizes the roller size based on hair length and coarseness (this is key), as well as the neutralizing step—which determines the “hardness” of the curls. So, as with most beauty treatments, the body wave comes down to the skill and experience of the service provider.

After Tusi removed the rollers, my hair looked like a wet poodle. Again with the panic. But as she started to blow-dry, using a little smoothing serum and her fingers, the curls turned to loose waves. When my hair was about 90 percent dry, she started round-brushing it. This was the finished product:

No volumizer. No curling iron. No hairspray. If you have big hair you might not fully appreciate this, so imagine if waking up with 20/20 vision if you wear contacts, or a 36C if you’re flat-chested. This is what I’m saying! Here’s another angle (clearly taken with my iPhone):

“Just the way nature intended,” is how Tusi describes my new ‘do. Because it’s my hair, only better. The morning after, it’s still full and bouncy and smooth. It also FEELS thicker, and that’s an amazing thing. The honeymoon should last 3–4 months, until the wave gradually relaxes and disappears. I love that. But am not looking forward to the day I wake up with my hair hanging limply around my sad face.

FYI – The best candidates for a body wave have a lob or longer, that’s straight or slightly wavy. If this sounds like you and you want to turn up the volume without completely changing your look, then the body wave is totally for you. If you’re in the Twin Cities, go see Tusi. Mama doesn’t mess around when it comes to her hair, and I wouldn’t have entrusted just anyone to give me a perm. From $100 at Spalon Montage, Edina, 952-915-2900

  • Elizabeth Dehn
    Born and raised in Minnesota by surprisingly low-maintenance parents, beauty writer and lifestyle editor Elizabeth Dehn (aka Bets) spent her awkward years buying Mood lipstick and whipping up DIY face masks before founding Beauty Bets in 2009.
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