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 long or short, curls are back in a big way.


Perms- Straight and Curly

“Perm” is an old school term that for a process that permanently changes texture, so a straightening relaxer is often called a perm too. We focus on natural texture, then decide what service best reaches the look you want. Since hair is always in a growth state, nothing is really permanent.

Why perms are less common. 

Perms dropped in popularity after the 80’s but all trends seem to return in some way.  Natural curl care for men and women is an area of salon work that we are certified for. Natural wavy or curly hair is also naturally inconsistent. Spot perms to treat a weaker curl areas can help create a consistent overall curly look. For our curly guests, that has always been offered as a curl support service. 

 Straight hair became popular in the late 90’s, and highlighted hair color did too. Perms went into decline because bleach used to lighten hair and the ammonia in a perm can be a bad combo for hair health. Haircoloring in general increased, so perms decreased and perms became less common in salons. That’s why it’s important to seek an experienced perm salon. 

Gemy's Dad

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 fluffy hair was part of the1980’s guy look and mullet’s were everywhere. My mom called my dad’s version “Little Lord Fauntleroy” because he looked like the Dutchboy paint logo.

Men complimented their majestic mullets with pleated pants and Members Only jackets. By the mid 80’s it was the hottest look for men and by the late 90’s, mullets became synonymous with rockers and muscle cars, hence Camaro Hair. Mullet nicknames followed for a decade but that’s the power of a trend, and trends always return.


2011-Retro Returns

A mini mullet made a small comeback around 2011. Combined with another retro hit, the mohawk, the 2011 version was shorter around the perimeter and faded to length on top. Men asked for the “Hosmer” cut daily in the salon and the new trend sparked a shift in our industry. Throwback barber shops that catered to men were soon everywhere. 


✂️ Stylist Versus Barber 💈

Barbers are licensed for some chemical services, but aren’t trained on it much in school. Barbering is more cut focused. I started out as a cutting specialist so I had expanded cut training, but though I’m an above average cutter- I can skin fade, but experienced barber probably do it better.  When seeking perms and color, cosmetologists (stylists) have more expanded chemical training, so a salon is best.

My perm fell out.

Something any stylist who starts doing perms will likely hear, but they don’t’ really “fall out”. The solution may have been too gentle (common mistake) or the rod was too big, or your hair just grew. All common reasons why this statement is said. For men, small rods are best because rods need to rotate a minimum of 3x. Sometimes, hair is resistant for no obvious reason. There may be some trial an error for solution & rods but perms are an old school service that have recently made a comeback. Newer stylists often don’t have a great deal of exposure to this service unless they’ve had perm focused education.

Perms For Women

When I was 8 years old I was obsessed with the hairstyle the actress Kelly McGillis wore in the movie Top Gun, starring Tom Cruise. It was an A shape curly, wavy bob and I had several perms from 3rd to 6th grade. Ironically the “A” shape is now something we avoid with curly hair. My fine blonde hair did not hold curl well, we had to do frequent perms. After a couple of years, I decided to give up my curl dreams. Fine hair can be difficult to perm because a gentle solution is needed to preserve hair health, so there can be no error on rod size. This is why we don’t recommend regular perms for women unless they want to boost natural texture, and do not get any color that uses bleach.


Young boy with perm.

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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