Mermaid Wave Perm: The Effortless Way Chic Girls Get TikTok Curls Without Styling

Published on Oct 17, 2021

It's official. 

With #mermaidhair and #mermaidwaves coming up time and again on TikTok and Instagram, Mermaid Hair seems to be the newest ocean-inspired hairstyle to overtake classic beach waves. 

Whether it's Kim Kardashian, Kylie Jenner, Clara, Shay Mitchell or Lizzo, we're seeing them with the longer, wavier textured Mermaid Waves this year on socials and for Zendaya, even at the Oscars. 

But how do they even achieve it in the first place?

As TikTok will tell you, it can be as simple as getting one of those triple styling tongs. You can style it on your own... Especially if you are good at using one and have the time to do so. 

But I'll be the first to admit that I'm a newbie at styling. Give me a styling tong and you'll see me ending up with accidental burns and lopsided hair with asymmetrical curls rather than mermaid hair.

I've been thinking about it since my hair has grown quite long. But as you can see, it lacks shape and can look a little flat. 

Can I still get mermaid hair? 

If you don't have time to style every day right, why don't you go for a perm? You can immediately wake up like this... and most importantly, reduce hair damage as you don't have to subject your hair to such high heat every day ~ Sherlin, Be U Hair Design

Ever since I found Sherlin at Be U Hair Design during my first visit, I knew she was a gem. On top of her amazing hair colours, Sherlin creates amazing inner layers that make my hair feel light (without giving you too many flyaways) and contours my face perfectly. 

This was how my hair looked like before going to her:

Before Pink Hair Colour by Sherlin at Be U Hair Design

And after my first visit:

After Pink Hair Colour by Sherlin at Be U Hair Design

Can you see why I'm so in love now?

According to Sherlin, layering is also key to getting beautiful Mermaid Hair. 

To give off the long wavy Mermaid vibe, the Mermaid Waves has to be longer than bra length to give off the Mermaid vibe. Long hair will however add weight and make the crown of your hair appear flat. It is therefore important to make sure that your hair is cut in such a way that when you style or perm your hair, it still contours your face and looks good. Having some highlights is also important to make the waves come alive.~ Sherlin, Be U Hair Design

Seeing this new trend coming up fast and furious, Be U Hair Design has hence come up with a new Mermaid Wave Perm. This service includes:

1) Layered Cut 

2) Digital Perm

3) Highlights

That sounds like a complete makeover. 

I last coloured my hair in 2019, where I got a gorgeous rose gold hair colour from Sherlin:

My hair colour slowly faded, and I was back to my bronde balayage in November 2019.

Then, Covid hit and I couldn't be bothered to do anything to my hair. I decided to let it grow out and return to waist-length hair that I haven't had for over a decade.

Delicious food aside, this is how long my hair was at the beginning of 2021:

My Hair Before Mermaid Perm at Be U Hair Design

So good news, my hair is now long enough to do the mermaid wave perm!

The thing about Mermaid Wave Perm is that the waves are very customizable. Depending on the vibe you want to achieve, you can go for super romantic fantasy vibe with tight mermaid curls or a more relaxed beachy mermaid wave for the cool vibe that I think suit you better. Your personality is a bit stronger but I think curls can bring out the femininity amidst the strength. In chinese, we call it 刚中带柔.

OK, I'm sold. I've always loved perms but going for bleached coloured hair for the years before COVID-19 has made curls close to impossible. Now that my hair is now back to its healthier state, I'm hoping that the Mermaid Wave Perm can give me the boho-chic I'm going for.

Look at how flat it looks like now:

Want to know how the mermaid wave perm adds volume and style? Read on to find out.

Mermaid Wave Perm at Be U Hair Design


Getting to Be U Hair Design is a breeze - from Somerset MRT, you can either go to 313 Somerset/Orchard Central and cross the road to go to Centrepoint, or you can follow the underpass directions to Orchard Central, take the escalator down to Don Don Donki, then follow the signs to Centrepoint.

It was pouring when I went to the salon, so I was thankful for the underground access.

Soon after I was escorted to my seat, Sherlin came by for her consultation.

Just in case you didn't know, Be U Hair Design is well known for their very systematic and comprehensive consultation methodology.

Measurements at Be U Hair Design

See, I wasn't joking when I said that the consultation is precise. Sherlin will literally pull out the ruler and forceps to measure the length of my face and the width!

Hair Consultation at Be U Hair Design

As much as beauty is subjective, Sherlin found that there are objective measures that make most people look good in people's eyes and one of those measures is the golden ratio.

According to the golden ratio, a person is seen by most to be pretty / beautiful when their face is about 1.6x longer than it is wide.

Few of us can reach that proportion, but hairstylists can design the hairstyle to help more of us attain that proportion as much as possible.

Hair Consultation at Be U Hair Design

To balance the width and length of my face, Sherlin said she would add more volume to the crown of my head and focus on adding texture rather than curls to the ends of my hair to avoid adding width.

Ah this is the type of consideration I appreciate from Sherlin. I come to her not because I want to abide by any societal beauty standards but it is these seemingly small details that eventually determine how good the hairstyle looks on me.

Next, we started talking about the vibe I want to achieve. Given my carefree and a little badass character, she suggested a long but loose waves that looks more natural than structured.

Sounds exactly what I want, so let's go!

Step 1: Hair Wash and Cut

Sherlin's preferred cutting style is a wet cut so a hair wash is often the first process I go through here.

Hair Wash at Be U Hair Design

I always enjoy the hair wash here as the assistants are very good with the hair massages and never fail to give me a relaxing time.

Haircut at Be U Hair Design

Back at the seat, Sherlin cut off two inches of my hair. Other than trimming the hair ends, this helps to get rid of the layered ends to avoid making the perm looking too thin and limp. Sherlin then gave me a U-shaped cut and regular layers for a fuller shape.

Haircut at Be U Hair Design

20 minutes later, I was done!

Step 2: Application of Pre-Treatment

Sherlin is in no rush though. Before starting the perm, Sherlin applied a pre-treatment - the L'Oreal Inner Logic to protect and strengthen my hair during the perm and subsequent hair colouring.

Application of L'Oreal Inner Logic Pre-Treatment Before Mermaid Perm

This treatment is a reconstructive treatment that uses Ionene G products to protect sensitized hair during chemical service. It also contains Bio-Mimetic Ceramide to strengthen the hair cuticles!

Application of L'Oreal Inner Logic Pre-Treatment Before Mermaid Perm

After application, she sprayed water onto the hair while an assistant helped to comb the treatment evenly throughout.

Application of L'Oreal Inner Logic Pre-Treatment Before Mermaid Perm

My hair is ready now!

Step 3: Application of Perm Lotion

Now for the main star of today: the perm lotion!

Application of Perm Lotion for Mermaid Wave Perm at Be U Hair Design

Sherlin applied the perm lotion on the second half of my hair and left it on for 20 minutes while the perm lotion processes.

Application of Perm Lotion for Mermaid Wave Perm at Be U Hair Design

She rolled only one section of my hair as a test.

Application of Perm Lotion for Mermaid Wave Perm at Be U Hair Design

After the requisite time has passed, Sherlin unrolled that section and tested the elasticity of my hair. It's looking good so it's time to head for yet another wash.

Hair Wash at Be U Hair Design

Back at the seat, my hair is ready to be curled.

Sherlin made sure to section my hair properly before rolling them up.

Getting Mermaid Wave Perm at Be U Hair Design

She used a variety of big and medium-sized rollers to give it a more natural look while ensuring that the curls will end up looking more like huge waves.

Getting Mermaid Wave Perm at Be U Hair Design

Once all of the hair has been rolled up, she connected the rollers to a heating machine.

Getting Mermaid Wave Perm at Be U Hair Design

The heating process itself takes 12 minutes or so.

Getting Mermaid Wave Perm at Be U Hair Design

Once the time is up, she removed the rollers and replaced them with a clip instead.

A neutralizer was then applied to my hair to set the perm.

Getting Mermaid Wave Perm at Be U Hair Design

Step 4: Highlights

After 1.5 years of not doing anything to my hair, my hair is dark as night. To make the mermaid hair stand out a little, Sherlin suggested during the consultation to add highlights after the perm to accentuate the curls.

Hair Highlights at Be U Hair Design

So that's what she did. Sherlin selected a few sections, applied bleach and then mild heat afterwards.

Hair Highlights at Be U Hair Design

Step 7: Wash & style

Finally, it was time for a wash. The assistant brought me to the washing area where he washed my hair. Knowing how tired I was from sitting down, he gave me a glorious head massage too.

I definitely felt rejuvenated and invigorated after that.

Once the massages, shampoo and conditioning were done, I was led back to my seat where he blew my hair dry. 

Blow Dry at Be U Hair Design

Sherlin blow-dried my roots to give it some volume, then used another hairdryer to blow my hair dry with warm air. When my hair was 90 per cent dry, she used the Oway Curly Potion to scrunch my hair and define the waves - and that's it!

Blow Dry at Be U Hair Design

Keen to see my transformation? Here's how my hair used to look before:

And now after:

What do you think of my mermaid curls?

How I Look After Getting Mermaid Wave Perm and Highlights at Be U Hair Design

I was a little worried that the perm would turn out too girly, but I'm glad that it's so natural and effortless!

Sherlin understood me perfectly and gave me the ocean waves I've always wanted.

How I Look After Getting Mermaid Wave Perm and Highlights at Be U Hair Design

The problem with Korean perms (to me) is that it looks good on the day of the perm, but the curls just don't look the same back home–especially if you're someone like me who doesn't style your hair.

Not Sherlin's Perm - look at how amazing the curls look on me after I got home? All I needed was to air dry my hair and scrunch it with some curl cream.

How I Look After Getting Mermaid Wave Perm and Highlights at Be U Hair Design

So much more volume, texture, and just look at that 'money piece' that frames my face?

Most importantly, my hair still feels soft and healthy thanks to the treatment she included. That's probably why the perm wasn't as drying as I expected it to be.

Update one week later

Same top, different day.

And yes, it's still as easy to dry and style!

How I Look After Getting Mermaid Wave Perm and Highlights at Be U Hair Design
How I Look After Getting Mermaid Wave Perm and Highlights at Be U Hair Design

What do you think of my mermaid perm?

Tried Mermaid Waves Before?


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