What is Barely There Perm and the 5 Types of Women It is Best Suited For

Published on Apr 05, 2020

The new (barely-there) wave of perms

Just because you don't want copious curls doesn't mean you have to stay strictly on the straight and narrow. Perms simply change the structure of your hair, enhancing its volume and texture - there's even a straightening perm on the market for people who subscribe to that style. Yes, some perm-fans go for riotous ringlets, but if that's not quite you, you can still go for a subtle semi-permanent upgrade to even your unstyled mane with perms.

Trendy Barely There Wave

Introducing the increasingly popular Barely-There Waves. The above look can usually be achieved only via styling but if your hands are not that deft with a styling wand, we hear that stylists from Kenaris Hair Salon @ Wheelock Place came up with a perm to help you achieve the same. 

Here are the 5 types of ladies who are best suited for this new style of perm.

1. You're effortless cool


Even the most limply surrendering hair can be given personality.

There are two directions you could go in: Rebonding to take the existing limpness of your hair to the extreme of sleek stylishness, or a subtle Barely There perm for the waves that are there, but not there. 

Matched with alluring eyes that stare into the distance and a hint of a pout, the Barely There waves brings out the ethereal "I don't give a damn" look that just looks effortlessly cool.

2. Your limp hair does NOT do you justice


Perms change the structure of your hair cuticles which changes the texture of your hair, which in turn changes the perceived thickness of your hair. If you've previously groused that your hair looks too fine, flat and weak, beef it up quickly with this subtle perm.

Want a slightly more substantial head of hair to frame and flatter your face, making it look more slender? A perm is your best bet, whether a full-body perm, a root perm, or even a volume perm. Rest assured that perms don't have to mean curls if those aren't your thing  - just a fuller mane.

Perm for Fuller Hair

3. You're not that keen on using that styling wand every day


Yes, you can achieve those waves using styling tongs but do you want to wake up at least 30 minutes earlier each day to get your beach waves every morning... only to find that it disappears by midday?

Daily Styling GIF

4. You care about your hair health


While perms are chemical treatments that can make your hair dry, frizzy and damaged, the last 3 years has seen tremendous leaps in hair technology, bringing us low-damage perms as well as perm treatments that actually make damaged hair healthier than before. Kenaris' new perm is one of them: as it uses a cold perm process that doesn't require heat, it is kinder and lower damage than your regular hot perms.

As they also slather lots of serums, masks and treatments before, during and after the perm, you may actually find that your hair looks shinier than before... also possibly because any subtle waves added to your locks now create extra surfaces to slyly catch more light.

Healthier Looking Hair with Perm

5. You don't have time to waste


If you heard your friends complaining about spending 5 hours at the salon for their sexy hot perms, you'd be glad to know that this edgy cousin of a perm requires less than 2 hours to get you from zero to barely there with a process that is quicker and heatless!

Keen to find out how the Barely There perm process is like? We follow Agent M on her first perm experience at Kenaris Hair Salon @ Wheelock Place!

Barely There Perm at Kenaris Salon


Hello, I'm Agent M, an undergrad majoring in Finance at one of Singapore's local universities.

How I Look Before Getting Barely There Perm from Kenaris Salon

At the time of my visit to Kenaris, I was actually doing an internship at a bank. This explains somewhat of my more muted hair colours and style. 

How I Look Before Getting Barely There Perm from Kenaris Salon

My previous hair colour have already mostly grown out but TBH, I'm bored to death with my drab do.

How I Look Before Getting Barely There Perm from Kenaris Salon

Obviously, I can't go all loud and bright at my workplace (whether in person or on Zoom) so that got me considering perm.

I'm however worried about looking overdone... I do not want to look like an Auntie.

All my worries evaporated when Agent G shared with me about this newest Barely There perm by Kenaris Salon. It's there but it's not there kind of feeling got me interested! As they were looking for a hair model, I was all too glad to say YES!

Step 1: Consultation 


Kenaris Salon is located on Level 5 of Wheelock Place. At that time of the visit, COVID-19 had already made the news... even though there were no guidelines or requirements to wear masks then, I'm glad to see that the staff at Kenaris had already taken the initiative to provide hand sanitizers and also wear masks at that point in time. 

Hair Consultation at Kenaris Salon

I must be super lucky to have Aris, the co-founder of Kenaris Salon, to attend to me. She didn't just go into the hair service immediately but chatted with me about what suits me and what to expect for the day. I shared with her about my desire to keep my long hair as well as my desire to have just a bit of volume and waves without looking auntie. 

The very professional Aris listened to what I had in mind and gave some suggestions; she won't be changing my hair length much but will need to trim a little to give my hair some shape. She also explained that the whole process will take about 2 hours with haircut included and also what to expect afterwards. 

Once I'm alright with everything, we proceeded with a hair wash. 

Hair Wash at Kenaris Salon

I love this part of the process as the assistant was very good with head massage!

Step 2: Haircut


Back at the seat, Aris got to work with the scissors.

Haircut at Kenaris Salon

I'm no expert but her deft movements and confident strokes hint at her extensive skill and experience.

Haircut at Kenaris Salon

Agent G also shared with me that how good a perm turns out often depends on the haircut. So I am really looking forward to the end result!

Step 3: Perm


Time to start on the actual perm! 

Curling Process of Barely There Perm at Kenaris Salon

As Aris was going for the Barely There look, sections of my hair were curled using large rollers.

Curling Process of Barely There Perm at Kenaris Salon

WIth the help of an assistant, she speedily repeated the process to get the rest of my hair in curlers.

Curling Process of Barely There Perm at Kenaris Salon

They were on a roll, and in no time my locks were also in their rolls.

Curling Process of Barely There Perm at Kenaris Salon

Perm lotion was applied directly onto the rollers. Usually, this step happens before putting the hair in rollers, with the lotion left on for 15 to 20 minutes and washed off before the rest of the perm process can continue. I was really happy that this particular perm combines steps to accelerate things, because nobody really likes sitting immobilised in a chair with cable ties on her head.

Interestingly, Aris also reveals that a secret ingredient was added to the perm lotion to make sure that the perm lotion stays on the hair and gets penetrated for a longer period of time. It is this secret ingredient that makes this perm possible (difficult to achieve by other stylists!)

Curling Process of Barely There Perm at Kenaris Salon

After 20 minutes, the setting lotion was applied to lock those waves in.

Curling Process of Barely There Perm at Kenaris Salon

Time for the final wash! As you can see, my hair was washed through the rollers to give each lock maximum curling time.

Step 3: Styling


Even back in my seat, Aris blowdried my hair with the rollers still in place.

Curling Process of Barely There Perm at Kenaris Salon

This allows the heat to further seal in my hair's new structure.

Blow Dry at Kenaris Salon

Only when my hair was semi-dry, were the rollers removed, and the blowdrying completed.

Blow Dry at Kenaris Salon

And that's it!

Ready for the big reveal?

How I Look Before Getting Barely There Perm from Kenaris Salon
How I Look After Getting Barely There Perm at Kenaris Salon

I'm in love.

How I Look After Getting Barely There Perm at Kenaris Salon

My hair now frames my face better,

How I Look After Getting Barely There Perm at Kenaris Salon

and while it used to be limp and lifeless, it's now packed with personality.

How I Look After Getting Barely There Perm at Kenaris Salon

And multi-faceted shine!

How I Look After Getting Barely There Perm at Kenaris Salon

The perm may be barely there, but I think it's given me much more legendary hair.

And with that rhyme I leave you.

Thank you, Kenaris Hair Salon!

Update 1 Month Later


1 Month After Getting Barely There Perm at Kenaris Salon

Look, my Barely There waves are still going strong :)

Related Articles