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8 Different Types of Perms for Guys

Are you tired of the same uninspiring look? You don’t have to restrict yourself to natural hair or traditional male hairstyles, try different types of perms.

A great way to enhance your appearance is to explore different hair textures and styles using perms. You can rock a 1980s perm or a modern version of this versatile hairstyle.

Don’t know where to start with perms for men? Read on as we detail different types of perms for guys.

Can Guys Get a Perm?

men with perm hair

Guys can also wear perms. You can rock them on short, medium, or long hair. You can choose from tight curls to loose waves, depending on your preference.

Perms are also versatile, as you can combine them with other masculine hairstyles to achieve a style that works for you.

Perming for guys works the same way as it does for women. Your hair stylist will apply curlers to your hair before applying the perm. This perm penetrates the hair shaft and alters its structure. After the perm breaks down your hair structure, your stylist uses a neutralizer.

The neutralizer helps restructure your hair following the shape and size of the curler in your hair. The perming process continues for the next few days, during which you shouldn’t wash your hair for the first least three days.

The good thing about wearing a perm as a man is the variety of styling options it gives you. With perm, you can add or remove curls from your hair. It also opens up endless styling opportunities.

For instance, you can shave sections of your hair and leave the middle part of the hair permed. Alternatively, you could grow out your hair and style it with the desired waves.

Different Types of Perms for Guys

Depending on the intended result, you can choose different types of perms for men. Perms are available in varying shapes and sizes and may differ in their application method.

All perms require the application of chemicals to alter your hair’s natural texture and install waves or curls in it. Some styles may or may not require heat during application.

Perm types that allow heat are known as hot perms, while those that rely solely on chemicals are called cold perms.

#1. Root Perm

root perm for guys
Root Perm, rivercompose/Instagram

From the name, a root perm gets applied to the roots on the first 2-3 inches of hair. This perm aims to provide volume to the base roots, especially for men with thin hair. Other than adding volume, root perms are great for touching already permed hair.

When you go in for routine perm maintenance, your stylist will apply a root perm to your new growth. The root perm will blend with the rest of the permed hair.

Root perms are popular for men with straight hair or slight waves, who want to lift their roots, but retain their hair’s natural texture.

#2. Stack Perm

The root perm focuses on the hair roots. On the other hand, the stack perm focuses on the middle and lower parts of your hair. Stack perm gets its name from the illusion of layers that this style creates. It is also one of the low-maintenance perm types for men and can last up to five months.

For the layering effect, the stylist will use different rod sizes in the middle and lower hair sections before applying perm.

#3. Spiral Perm

spiral perm for guys
Spiral Perm, shouta_1999/Instagram

A spiral perm has the appearance of a corkscrew. It gets achieved by rolling hair around a spiral rod held vertically in the hair. Spiral perms are a perfect choice for men with hair that is at least 8 inches long.

Spiral perms add volume to your hair. They can get made in various sizes by using spiral rods of different sizes. They also make your hair appear shorter as most of the length gets curled.

#4. Korean Perm

korean perm for guys
Korean Perm, yenny_hairprofessor/Instagram

The Korean perm creates natural-looking soft curls and is ideal for men with thick hair. This low-maintenance hairstyle works well with short to medium-length hair.

There are several types of Korean perms. One is the As Perm, where some curls cover the forehead, only revealing a small section. It is similar to the parting perm. The parting perm features voluminous bangs on either side of the forehead, showing about half of it.

Shadow perm is another type of Korean perm. In this perm hairstyle for men, the light curls lie on the forehead to give you a warmer look. Another popular Korean style is the see-through perm, with a thin layer of bangs covering the forehead.

#5. Pin Curl Perm

The pin curl perm is one of the types of perms for men with short hair. The perm creates tight and bouncy curls using pins and curlers. The chemicals used are less harsh, but the perm lasts about three to six months.

#6. Body Wave Perm

Body wave perm styles are perfect for men who want to give their hair loose, natural-looking waves. They give your hair a subtle volume. The hairstylist uses thicker curling rods for this perm type to achieve loose waves.

#7. Straight Perm

straight perm for guys
Straight Perm, godhands_salon/Instagram

Most men go for perms that introduce curls or waves to their hair. However, if you’re a man who’s tired of your natural curls, you can choose the straight perm.

This Japanese-style perm uses chemicals and heat to straighten hair. A straight perm makes your naturally curly hair more manageable and easy to care for daily. You will need to refresh it every six to seven months.

#8. Digital Perm

Digital perms are an example of hot perms. They create soft, loose waves using hot rods. These rods are attached to a machine that regulates their temperatures.

Digital perms produce prominent waves that are more dramatic when dry – similar to those created with curling irons. This type of perm is considerably expensive and takes longer than most types of perm.

Things To Consider

Choosing from the different types of perm for guys can be exhausting. If you haven’t had a perm before, here are some key things to consider before you get a perm.

Hair Length

things to consider about perms for guys

Hair of any length can be permed. However, some perm types for men are better suited to people with either long or short hair. For instance, the spiral curl works better with long hair, while the Korean perm works well with short or medium-length hair.

That said, your hair needs to be long enough for your chosen style. All types of perms for guys use styling rods. Therefore, your hair should be capable of wrapping around the rods.

Hair Strength

Perming is a damaging process. It uses chemicals that break down the structure of the hair, leaving it prone to breakage and dryness.

Before you perm your hair, you must determine whether it is healthy enough to stand perm treatment.

Develop a hair care routine for at least a month if you have damaged hair. During this time, assess the damage done to your hair and use various hair repair treatments and moisturizers to improve your hair’s health.

Previous Hair Treatments

Chemical hair treatments like lightening and bleaching can determine whether you get a perm. Hair styling experts discourage perms on bleached or color-treated hair since these chemicals damage hair.

Applying a layer of perm product will compromise already weakened hair and could cause it to fall out. If you must apply perm on chemical-treated hair, use a clarifying shampoo to clean your hair. Your stylist will also do a strand test to determine whether your hair can withstand the damage.


perms for guys

Perms are a time-intensive process. It can take about four hours or more, depending on the type of perm you’re getting. When you get to the salon, the hairstylist starts by evaluating your hair and preparing it for the process.

Once permed, you must also wait for the rod installation, perm application, processing, and neutralization.

So, if you’re getting a perm, ensure you have enough time to dedicate to it. You’ll also need to maintain your perm or touch up your roots every 4 to 6 months.


Expect to pay between $40-150 based on the type of perm, the salon, and your location. That will be a recurring cost two or three times every year, depending on how healthy your hair routine is.

You’ll also need to purchase curl-specific and perm-friendly products. So, before you jump on the trend, evaluate your budget to determine whether you’re ready for the commitment.

Hair Routine

Getting a perm will change your hair care routine. It will change the products you use and your activities. For instance, you’ll need to wash your hair less to avoid drying it out.

You’ll also need to replace your products with perm-friendly ones. These products should also be curl-friendly to help you maintain your curls, moisturize your hair and reduce frizz.

Are Perms Permanent for Men?

Perms aren’t entirely permanent. Most men’s perm lasts between 2 and 6 months, depending on your hair type and hair care routine. Most people will need to re-perm their hair every four months.

While you cannot control your hair type, you can control how well you care for your permed hair to prolong its life. Use these tips to lengthen the life of your perm.

  • Don’t style your hair for about a week after perming. Your hair is still not fully set. Using styling tools, including hair brushes, at this stage will interfere with your new style
  • Detangle your hair gently with your fingers
  • Don’t wash your hair for three days after the perm
  • Get your perm done professionally. You may have seen some successful perms done at home. However, it’s best to work with a professional who knows what they are doing
  • Incorporate perm-safe products after the process
  • Do not heat-style permed hair to prevent frizzing; a towel or air dry your permed hair
  • Use deep conditioners generally, especially if your hair is weak, damaged, or dry
  • Sleep on satin pillows or pillowcases as friction ruins your permed hair