men's hair perms

Men’s Perms: Everything You Need to Know


When you think of perms, do you think of big 80s hair? Then you may find it hard to believe that perms are trending again. But this time, guys are opting for a more modern twist on the classic look. A men’s perm is a hairstyle that can add texture, volume, and definition to men’s hair. Before getting a men’s perm, let’s discuss several factors, including hair type, length, and thickness.

But before diving into the world of men’s perms, let’s start by answering a fundamental question: what is a perm?

What Is a Perm?

A perm, short for “permanent wave,” is a chemical process that alters the hair’s protein structure to create curls or waves that last, well, permanently (or until the hair grows out). Perms were originally popularized for men and women in the 1980s but have evolved over the years. 

Can a Man Get a Perm?

Absolutely! Men can definitely get perms. If you’ve always wanted curlier hair, a perm can help you get a more wavy look without curling your hair after every wash. Perms also add natural-looking texture and volume to straight, fine, or thinning hair.

What to Consider Before Getting a Men’s Perm

  1. Hair Type – Generally, perms work best on hair that is not overly coarse or resistant to chemical treatments. Hair that is naturally straight or slightly wavy (1A to 2A) is ideal for the perm process. 
  2. Length – Shorter hair can be permed, but longer hair holds curls and texture better. 
  3. Thickness – Thicker hair can create more defined curls, while thinner hair may produce looser waves. 
  4. Hair Density – Perms can dry out and damage hair, leading to breakage. Though perms can make hair appear more voluminous, they may also be too damaging for individuals with low-density hair. Your hairstylist will be able to examine your hair and advise whether a perm is appropriate. 

How Long Does a Perm Last for Guys?

How long a men’s perm lasts depends on a few factors:

Hair Length – As mentioned before, the hair that receives the perm treatment will stay wavy until it grows out. But if your hair is very short, that hair will noticeably grow out more quickly. 

Hair Growth Rate – The speed at which hair grows varies from person to person. But on average, hair grows about half an inch per month. The more quickly your hair grows, the less long your perm will last. 

The Tightness of the Curls/Waves – The initial tightness of the perm’s curls or waves may relax over time and gradually fade. Using perm-friendly hair products and avoiding excessive heat styling can help maintain curls. 

To maintain their perms, some individuals get touch-up perms or re-perm their hair every few months. If you wish to keep your perm, your hairstylist can advise you on how often to get touch-ups. 

How Much Do Perms Cost for Guys?

The cost of a perm for men can vary based on several factors like location, the type of perm, and hair length. A men’s perm can range from $50 to $200+. Higher-end salons with more experienced stylists tend to charge more for their services. But since perms can damage your hair, it’s wise to do your research and look for salons or hair stylists who have good reviews for this type of service. Also, check their social media to ensure their results align with what you’re looking for. 

Do Perms Damage Your Hair?

Perms, like any other chemical hair treatment, have the potential to damage hair if not performed and appropriately maintained. Perms involve applying harsh chemicals to the hair that alter the hair’s structure. If the chemicals are left on the hair too long, they can leave hair dry and brittle. So make sure you choose a hairstylist who is experienced with this treatment and has good reviews. 

Another point to consider is chemical sensitivity. For example, some individuals may be allergic to the chemicals used in perming solutions. 

Finally, it’s imperative to follow aftercare instructions to maximize the health of your hair and the duration of your perm. Your hairstylist will advise you on the best aftercare practices for your hair, but in general, these tips may include:

  • Using sulfate-free shampoos and conditioners formulated for permed hair to maintain moisture and preserve the curl pattern. 
  • Minimizing heat styling and using heat protectant products. 
  • Regularly hydrating your hair with deep conditioning treatments
  • Avoiding excessive brushing or combing. 

If thicker-looking hair without damage is your goal, try Toppik Hair Building Fibers. These keratin fibers cling to existing hair with an electromagnetic charge, making each strand look thicker. Toppik is virtually undetectable and lasts until your next shampoo. So everyone will notice; no one will know!

Men’s perms are a trendy solution for getting “I woke up like this” voluminous curls and waves. While they may not be appropriate for every hair type, they can be the perfect solution for guys looking for low-maintenance waves. 

Would you ever get a men’s perm? Let us know in the comments!

Colleen Welsch is a freelance beauty writer and blogger specializing in hair care, hair growth education and beauty.

Leave a Reply

Toppik Privacy Policy