ISO - Innovative Styling Options

ISO texture is the perm solution I use on my clients and unlike the perms of the past, today's perms have the ability to deliver sexy, fashion-forward texture without sacrificing the health of your hair.

This award-winning professional perm system completely free of thio (ammonium thioglycolate), the damaging activator found in many traditional perms, and also available in four unique formulations for different hair types and desired results.

Along with a great solution comes new rod wrapping techniques that gives your hair a fashion forward look that is seen on the runways. Regardless, if you like a the traditional wrap or a fashion forward wrap, the health of your hair will maintained.

Not Your Mother’s Perm

New texturizing solutions for clients with limp locks from the September 2010 edition of Modern Salon.

According to Darby Shields, associate artistic director for ISO, there are two four-letter words in hairdressing: bang and perm. When it comes to perms “we now say ’body’ or ‘movement’ or ‘texture,’” explains shields. Whatever you choose to call them – texturizers, waves or perms – the technology has come a long way.

Accommodating the Curl Craze
Demand is on the rise as texture has become increasingly fashionable.

The whole process of creating curl has changed dramatically from the days of strong chemicals, perm rods and end papers.

In 1938, Arnold F. Willatt invented the cold wave. It used no machines and no heat. Hair was wrapped on rods and a reduction lotion containing ammonium thioglycolate was applied, breaking open the disulfide linkages between the polypeptide bonds in the keratin (the protein structure) in the hair. The disulfide bonds give hair its elasticity, and can be reformed with chemicals. Next, an oxidation lotion was applied, (hydrogen peroxide), to close the disulfide bridges again and the hair was reformed to the shape of the rod. The entire process took six to eight hours at room temperature.

A Kinder Gentler Perm
The new generation of perms are much gentler, with lower pH and low ammonia. ISO’s Option Wave, for example, is completely free of thio, the activator found in many traditional perms, and also has a damage-free, low-ammonia formulation. The application also has changed dramatically from perm rods and end papers. Today’s tools are flexible and soft or no tools at all.

“You can make pin curls and process, that, if you want,” Sheilds says. “You can do just about anything you want.”

“There is so much variety now, and that carries over to the textural spectrum,” says Steve Goddard, president and founder of Pravana Naturceuticals, the company that created the Beach Wave. “It’s not just about different cuts today. It’s about different textures”

A Perm Primer
Need to brush up on your perm terminology? Here’s a quick guide to the lingo.

Root Perm
The root perm adds volume at the root of the hair to give lots of body. It’s also perfect for already permed hair that’s looking for a little pick-me-up. Because only the roots are treated, ti saves the rest of the locks from another treatment.

Body Wave Perm
Creating big, bouncy curls, the body wave is for curl lovers who want a more modern look. Because this perm uses larger perm rods than traditional perms, the length of your client’s hair will determine how curly it will be: the shorter, the curlier.

Weave Perm
Because you're curling only partial sections of the hair, the weave perm will give your client a fusion look with both textured and straight pieces in her hair.

Stack Perm
The stack perm is made for women who have a one-length cut. The treatment creates soft, layered curls for a natural look and is achieved by the use of differently sized rollers to the middle and bottom sections of the hair. The top is typically left flat to look more natural.

Acid Perm While it sounds harsh, the acid perm is actually gentler than the traditional alkaline perm as it has a lower pH level. It is specifically made for those with sensitive, fragile, or damaged hair.

Exothermic Perm
Referring to the gentle, internal heat that is characteristic of this treatment, the exothermic perm speeds up the processing time. The heat allows the lotion to absorb quickly into the hair, conditioning and strengthening the cuticle from the inside.

ISO Remains Number One!

IN THE NEWS: ISO Option Waves Win 9th Consecutive Stylist Choice Awards. You can't argue with a professional, and for the ninth year in a row, professional stylists have selected ISO Option Waves as their all-time favorite permanent wave. The announcement was made recently at the 2009 Stylist Choice Awards, sponsored by, an online community for professional hair stylists. BTC members vote for their favorites in a range of professional categories in an online poll prior to the awards. Option Waves has completely shut out the competition since the inception of the SCAs nine years ago.

The exclusive, patented, formulas in the ISO Option Waves collection utilize Isoamine, a naturally derived waving agent which penetrates more deeply and evenly into the hair without aggressively lifting the cuticle. Since the internal structure and integrity of the hair is not disrupted, there is no need for conditioning additives that can hinder the perming process. The result is resilient curls, waves and volume and healthy hair.

The awards were announced June 7 2009 at the annual Stylist Choice Awards ceremony, hosted by and held in Orlando, FL.

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