Hair Goes Over the Top

Get out your hair spray and your teasing combs, ladies.

After a long period of flat, pin-straight locks a la Gwyneth Paltrow and Jennifer Aniston, hairstylists are proclaiming that “the iron age is over."

But have no fear: This isn’t '80s hair.

“It’s teased hair. I wouldn’t call it big,” said Glamour executive beauty editor Mary MacLean. “It’s wavy, it’s curly, it’s not super straight where you could cut paper on it. It’s more natural.”

Voluminous hair, however, has taken on an extreme form in the resurgence of the full-on pompadour, a highly constructed "front" reminiscent of the Elvis 'do. This look, popular among hip young men for a while but still cutting edge for women, was seen at the recent New York fashion shows and is popping up in Versace ads and on celebrities.

"The 'wall' thing is a throwback to the ‘80s — very Adam Ant," said MacLean. “At the MTV Video Music Awards, we counted five women with that particular hairstyle — [including] Gwyneth, one of the announcers outside and Ashlee Simpson."

Celebrity hairstylist Mark Garrison (search) said the teased-up "wall" is a push-the-envelope look making waves among the rock 'n' roll/Paris Hilton/fashion forward set.

“The pompadour, where you cut the sides really short and jack up the front — a Mohawk interpretation — that’s becoming popular now. That’s almost from a men’s hairstyle — fauxhawks we call them now. We’re seeing them with the women now. They slick the sides back and work that middle section."

But as far as "real women" are concerned, MacLean said the look may have a little height, but is generally more natural.

“I’ve been seeing a lot of women lifting up the fronts a little bit, but wavy hair is a real phenomenon," she said. "People got tired of super straight. Some [of the treatments] are a little bit damaging. People are just softening up. They're tired of high maintenance."

MacLean said the low-maintenance hair also goes with the current "ladylike" trend in clothing.

"There are looser, more flowy shapes in fashion, more prim, not as sexy or revealing. People are very pretty, more feminine, not all-out sexpots."

Garrison, whose clients include Scarlett Johansson, Marisa Tomei and Sandra Bullock, said Jessica Simpson's fluffed-out hair has been a big influence, along with supermodel Giselle's waves. Even two icons of super straight — Gwyneth and Jen Aniston — have been spotted with cascading waves, and Hillary Duff and Jennifer Lopez have gone for the fuller look, too.

That said, MacLean is not urging anyone to go out and get spiral curls.

"You'll see the next level of perm — softer, bigger rollers, less damaging, very, very soft and changeable — not stuck. There are creamier gels, curling milks."

Garrison, who performed two perms last week, agreed that flexibility is key.

"The '80s thing exaggerated shapes and glued them in place. Now shapes have softness and movement."

FOX News entertainment reporter Lisa Bernhard, who got the hugely popular Japanese (thermal) straight perm (search) over a year ago, said she wouldn't do it again, even though it made her locks shiny and manageable.

"It was astoundingly, shockingly straight. I like having a bit of body back," she said.

And after years of daily battles with the hair dryer, New Jersey resident Lauren Commette, 26, said she's letting a little curl out now. But she won't return to the days of perms, hair spray and curling irons.

"I can't really imagine going back to that, no matter what the trend. It's very time-consuming."