Unfurl the curl

So, you've finally got the courage to ditch your weekly blowouts and make the ultimate commitment to get your hair chemically straightened. Both the Japanese thermal conditioning treatment and the newer European processes promise to transform your unruly curls. These pricey schemes have been a godsend over the past year or so for anyone who wanted to trade their corkscrew curls for sleek locks. For up to $1,000, you can get stick-straight hair — no flat iron required — for up to nine months.

But before you give up four hours at the salon (straightening is time consuming), hear this: You worked up the nerve too late! Wavy, curly, kinky, tousled hair is what's hot these days. At almost every spring/summer runway show, models tossed their messy tresses down the catwalk. Even those "blessed" with poker-straight hair were outfitted with curlers to achieve the voluminous look.

Not to be outdone by its chemical counterpart, and just in time to ride the trend wave, the perm has returned, too. Penned the Heat Wave, the new technique is softer and less damaging to hair than those tightly wound curls of the early '90s. Now those of you with pin-straight hair can experience what nature denied you. Just remember, it's called a permanent for a reason.

It's a fact: We all want what we don't have. Have you seen Lenny Kravitz's smooth new James Brown bouffant? He got what he didn't have, and I hope he regrets it as much as he will eventually regret his latest album. Some hair should simply be left untouched.

Unless you are 100 percent ready to make a potentially life-altering change, ignore the trends and embrace the hair you were given. Just invest in a flat iron, a set of curlers and some good styling products

If you have a tip or have noticed a trend you think our resident fashionista should know about, e-mail your comments to product@creativeloafing.com.