We’ve had many requests from men for perms! Pro athletes are sporting longer styles like Patrick Mahomes who was blessed with natural skill and curls. It’s no wonder young men want his signature look.😍
This picture was taken last year at Walk the Walk, teammate (and fellow hometown hottie) Travis Kelce’s charity fashion show for his foundation 87 and Running. Patrick’s hair is longer now, but whether hairstyles are worn long or short, curls are back in a big way.
Perms Can Be Straight or Curly
“Perm” is an old school term that means permanently change texture, so a relaxer to straighten is often called a perm too. We focus educating on hair texture because hair is hair. It is important for a stylist to be educated on texture first, then decide which approach is best for the desired look. The good news is, nothing is really permanent since hair is always in a growth state.
“Why don’t many salons do perms anymore?”
Ten years ago we took perms off which is common when a particular service has low requests. But that doesn’t mean we don’t do them, it’s just a “requested” service. However, we’ve brought them back because we do a lot of natural curl care for men and women. Curly hair by nature is inconsistent, so we’ve always offered spot perms. Spot perms are a mini perm focusing on areas where curls are weaker for a more consistent overall curly look.
Many salons don’t offer them because when straight hair was popular in the late 90’s, highlights increased. Perms went into decline because bleach and ammonia in perm solution make for a bad combo. As haircoloring in general increased, salons didn’t make perms a priority. So if you have hair color you’ll need a consultation so the right solution can be used. Since perms are less common than they were 30 years ago, few salons carry every solution, but we do!
Man Perms- Not Just for Mullets
Men have been perming for decades, depending on trends. My dad had a Miami Vice look in the 80’s. Not his best style moment but every dad I knew growing up had fluffy hair and a creepy mustache like Tom Selleck who was an 80’s style ICON. Thankfully my pops passed on the mustache but business in the front, party in the back was a real haircut. Mullet’s were everywhere and had many variations. My mom called my dad’s version “Little Lord Fauntleroy” because he kind of looked like the Dutchboy paint logo. Men completed this majestic mullet with pleated pants and Members Only jackets.
By the mid 80’s it was the hottest look for men. By the 90’s mullets became synonymous with can beer and muscle cars, why it’s also called the Camaro Hair. A plethora of mullet nicknames followed for a decade. By the new millennium, mullet memes filled our feed. Alas, the power of a trend! Like fashion, hair trends recycle and the mullet did return.
Return of Retro Looks
A mini mullet made a small comeback about 7 years ago like the Hosmer cut. Styles were combined with another retro hit, the mohawk. More conservative than the original mohawk, the 2012 version was shorter around the perimeter and faded to length on top. This was when men were asking for the “Hosmer” daily in the salon. This cut craze sparked a shift in our industry. Throwback barber shops that catered to men were soon everywhere.
✂️ Stylist Versus Barber 💈
I’ve been asked the difference between a barber and a stylist. The initial training, license and the clientele are the main differences. I do barber cutting and I’m a stylist, or CA which means “cosmetology all”. CA license includes cutting, chemical services, skincare and nails.
Barbering is a term for cut techniques for short hair. Barbers are licensed for some chemical services but aren’t trained on it much in school. I started out as a cutting specialist so I had expanded cut training, but it’s confusing to the public because there are different licenses for barbering and a cosmetology. When seeking perms and color a salon is the best place.
The length, desired shape and tightness of curl pattern is what determines what the rod size we use. If a more noticeable corkscrew curl is wanted, we use smaller rods. If open curls for body are wanted, we use larger rods. Longer men’s hair is usually 4-6 inches so we use a small rod so the curl doesn’t relax too soon.
If you’ve heard the saying “my perm fell out” that means the curls didn’t last long. This may occur if the hair was under processed, or the hair type itself was resistant solution.There are multiple formulas for multiple hair types but sometimes the hair doesn’t respond well with no obvious reason.
I was always one of those people because I begged my mom’s hairdresser for the Kelly McGillis curly bob from Top Gun.
I had several perms from 3rd to 6th grade because my fine blonde hair doesn’t hold curl. It didn’t stop me from trying. As a result, Nexxus conditioner was a staple because my hair was DRY.
What to expect with your perm.
The process of a perm is done in steps. Make things easier for your stylist by coming in with clean hair. Don’t overly scrub, you don’t want to irritate the scalp. Try to use good products always! If you have a waxy buildup on your hair from cheap products, the chemicals won’t penetrate well. In this instance we would need to do a deep cleansing treatment prior at an additional cost. This is another reason we recommend using quality salon (stylist recommended) products. It’s not that we are product snobs, we know it will save time and money in the salon for your services. Plus, it’s just better for your hair.
Chemical Perm Process
After a formula and rod size is chosen, we do a prep shampoo and then start wrapping the rods. Waving solution is applied and it can be a bit drippy and smelly because the active chemical is ammonia thioglycolic. Ammonia thio is what softens the cross bonds in hair protein to reset texture to the rod shape. Normally the solution is on for 10 to 20 minutes.
Stylists check the hair by unwrapping to check for an “S” pattern, then it’s time for a long rinse. Laying in the bowl can be awkward with perm rods but is important so hair can absorb the neutralizing solution. Blotting rods with paper towels to maximizes absorption of the neutralizer, which is hydrogen peroxide and some conditioners basically. Hydrogen peroxide recrystallizes hair protein to lock the new shape and voila…your crown of curls awaits.
We then style hair and go over products to use. Try to avoid shampoo for 2 days and skip products that have alcohol. Hair will be dry after any chemical service. Moisturizing products help recovery. The more hydrated curls are, the better they will look.
With the right salon, you can have the curls you want for the look you’re after!
Starting Prices For Texture Services:
- Mini Perm (Spot Perm) Or Man Perm- $90
- Medium Length Full Perm- $120
- Long Hair Full Perm- $200
- Mane Tamer Relaxer – $100 and up
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