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Best Wavy ’Do

70 E. 55th St.

The trend toward loose, unstructured waves reminds us of just how easy we had it back when straightening irons were all the rageóbut perms, with all the chemicals, damage, and attendant frizz, are less than appealing. The Thermal Wave Machine at Ishi looks like a weapon from a fifties sci-fi movie, but it’s really quite gentle on the hair, using mild chemicals and heat, and starting the curl lower on the hair shaft to avoid frizz at the roots. The process, which lasts up to six months, costs $500 to $700 and takes three to four hours, but, as anyone who has struggled for years with hair texture will tell you, it’s worth the wait.

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