As the beatniks long ago learned, out there in America hair matters, and here we were in the land of the permanent wave.
early 15c., from Middle French permanent (14c.) or directly from Latin permanentem (nominative permanens) "remaining," present participle of permanere "endure, hold out, continue, stay to the end," from per- "through" (see per) + manere "stay" (see mansion). As a noun meaning "permanent wave," by 1909. Of clothing, permanent press attested from 1964.