CHATTANOOGA, Tenn – “Everything old is new again,” etc., etc., whatever.

I’ve heard this phrase a thousand times from various people in my life, and especially from my mom. She’s consistently aghast to find me spending $60 at a vintage clothing store for Jones New York dresses and Cold Water Creek fringe jackets she owned in the ‘80s and ’90s (and probably paid half the price for).

If you’re a regular here in the world of fashion magazines, the concept that trends are cyclical is probably obvious to you. But there’s one exception to the idea that everything that goes around, comes back around, and it’s straight hair.

Straight hair’s reign as the default style — the end result of every makeover montage in every ’90s and ’00s teen movie — has been long, and mostly unchallenged. But today, it’s no longer the de facto example of “professional” or “appropriate” or even “neutral.”

So, that must mean curly hair is the new black, right? Er, kind of. Read on to find out what the experts have to say about the hair revolution we’re in the midst of, and the final frontier of hair trends.