Are Perms For Men Too?

Men have traditionally worn their hair short and styled it in certain ways based on whether they have straight or curly hair. Today, men are taking more control of their lives, including hairstyles, and doing things that have not been traditional. This leaves many wondering, “Are perms for men too?”

The answer is yes. A man’s hair is not so different from a woman’s as to make it impossible to use the same products and styling techniques. This covers all aspects of hair care and hair styling, including the application of perms or relaxers to the hair. The only limits on men’s use of perms are cultural taboos that are slowly being overcome.

Entertainers are often on the forefront of changing what is or is not accepted in terms of hair styles. What many do not realize is that most of them have professional hair stylists on call who apply perms, dyes, or anything else that is needed to produce the style the entertainer wants. More and more, men are beginning to see that many of the more popular hairstyles would be impossible without some help. They then become willing to consider getting their hair permed or styled professionally too.

Just as with women, a man who gets a perm and is not satisfied with the results can have it reversed and the hair straightened. It may be necessary to wait a few days because of the chemicals used and the risk of damaging the hair beyond repair, but when the time comes, the stylist can apply hair relaxers that will take the curl out again.

Choosing the degree of perm used in his hair is a man’s choice. They can be applied to hair as short as 2 inches to produce tight curls or longer hair can just have some body waves put into it. In other words, men have just as many options as women when it comes to their hair.


  • I am a mature, masculine man and have gotten many perms. I wore my hair about 4″ long in a soft affro and really liked that. As I have become older, I have become more courageous and let my hair grow to about 15″ long. My hair is thinner and does not grow as fast, so I am reluctant to use chemical processes. It has some irregular curl so can become chaotic when not styled. So I go to 1 of 3 regular salons, including the local beauty college, and get a roller set at least twice a week. I take my morning newspaper, and then go to my office.

    I have endeavored to communicate with other men who like to have their hair set, and believe me there are many who do and others who would like to have it suggested to them, but feel reluctant because they do not have the vocabulary to ask for what they want.

    If you are a stylist, listen carefully to what men say, and do not hesitate to offer to add a little curl. First ask permission to use to curling iron to “add a little lift.” If you get a positive response, depending on the client, age, etc. you might suggest a perm or a roller set.

    Men are usually more ready to get a perm, “so it will not be so tight and will be even.”

    Many men want it.

    • You are absolutely right on this.
      If a stylist suggested it, I’d jump at the chance.
      Thank you for giving voice to this.

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