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The modern man's guide to perms - styling guide and expert tips

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The hair perm for men is one of the most iconic hairstyles. It first appeared in the 1970s and has undergone many iterations in the decades since.

But what exactly is a perm, and how do you style and maintain this trim for the ultimate look? Read on for our modern man's guide to perms, and check out our expert tips for perm maintenance in 2024.

Understanding the hair perm men style

What is a curly hair perm for men? Well, this style was popularized in the 1970s and 1980s and was originally a full, voluminous style for both men and women who wished to accentuate their curls.

Perm is short for permanent, and it's actually a chemical treatment that alters the structure of hair, resulting in “permanent” waves or curls, rather than a short-term style.

Today, the perm is extremely popular with men looking for a sophisticated, curly style that is fairly low maintenance and easy to style.

One of the reasons for the perm's enduring popularity is that it is great for all hair lengths. You can opt for a long hair perm men or a men's short hair perm, depending on your preferences.

Let's take a closer look at the process of creating a wavy hair perm for men, so you know what to expect from this timeless style.

How to perm men hair - the process

There are several steps involved in the perm process, and it's typically a hairstyle you must have done by a professional stylist. Here are the steps involved in the perm:

  • Wash: First and foremost, your hair will be washed to remove any build-up of dirt, debris, or product, as your hair needs to be fresh and free from dirt.

  • Dry: Next, your stylist will blow dry your hair until it is about 80% dry. The best stylists use an ionic, pro dryer - such as the Laifen Swift Premium - to dry your hair properly without risking damage or overheating.

  • Perm product added: With your hair washed and dried, it's time to add the perm product. It's a solution that softens the shaft of your hair, making it more pliable.

  • Perm rods used: The stylist will then use perm rods of different sizes to achieve the curl or wave pattern of your preferences.

  • Neutralizer applied: After a period of at least 30 minutes, the stylist will add a neutralizer to your hair to stop the chemical process. The neutralizer will also help to stabilize your new curls or waves.

  • Rinse and condition: The final step of the perm process is the rinse and condition. The stylist will rinse all the product out of your hair and add a leave-in conditioner for moisture. Finally, any styling product will be added to help accentuate your curls.

How long does a hair perm men last?

Men's perm hair is fairly durable, and if you have it styled at a salon, you can expect it to stay in place for up to 6 months. Of course, the quality of your perm and its durability depends on numerous factors, including how your hair grows, how you style it, and how you maintain it.

How to look after a perm?

Below are some expert tips from Laifen stylists to help you maintain your perm for maximum durability:

Give your perm time to set

One of the main mistakes people make is washing their perm too soon after its initial styling. You need to give your perm time to settle and set, so we recommend waiting at least 48 hours before washing your hair with shampoo and conditioner.

You should also let your perm flow, so don't keep it in a bun and pony for the first few days, as you might prevent the curls and waves from taking shape.

Choose the right shampoo and conditioner

As a perm is achieved via a chemical process, you need to be mindful of the chemicals you use within your shampoo and conditioner products going forward.

Avoid products with sulphates and parabens - Moroccan Oil is a great option, so consider investing in a bottle to wash your perm.

Avoid heat styling

Blow drying your hair on a hot setting can cause your curls to loosen. So, make sure you use a low heat setting when blow drying your hair. It's also a good idea to use a diffuser nozzle to evenly distribute the hot air throughout your curls.

The Laifen Swift Special is the perfect blow dryer for drying a perm, as it features adjustable heat settings and comes with a diffuser nozzle as standard for effortless blow drying.

Don't brush wet hair

You need to wait until your perm is dry before brushing or combing it. Brushing wet hair can cause damage and breakage, and it may also negatively affect your curls.

So, make sure your hair is at least 80% dry before styling your perm.

Recap - the perm men hair style

Whether you opt for a men's loose perm for long hair or a Korean men's hair perm, this enduring trim is a popular choice among style-conscious men in 2024. A perm is easy to maintain and style and can last for up to 6 months if you look after it.

We recommend speaking to a stylist about achieving a perm in 2024, as it requires a technical chemical process to alter the structure of your hair. You can then follow our expert tips to maintain your perm like a pro in 2024.

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