Popularized in the '70s and '80s, perms (or, permanent waving, if you're proper) have seen many forms over the years. Though the style is less prominent than it once was, there has been a resurgence in the demand for permanent waves recently, amongst a rather surprising demographic. Young men, from late teens to early thirties, are hopping on the trend that all of our grandmas can't get enough of.
What Is A Perm?
If you're new to the hair world, and you've never had to endure the pungent aroma of a perm, the concept may be foreign to you. Essentially, a perm, or permanent wave, is a chemical process that alters the bonds in your hair, and re-sets them, so that your hair will permanently take the shape of whatever sized curling rods they're wrapped around.
Why Are Guys Getting Them?
Back in the day, everyone had a perm; your mom, your grandma, your grandpa, your aunts and uncles, but as styles changed, it became something that was to be left in the past. OR SO WE THOUGHT. In recent years, with a major shift in the mainstream beauty industry toward more natural looks overall, more and more people are rocking their natural hair texture. However, the same shift that allowed for curls to make a comeback, has a brought along the "I woke up like this" mentality, hence the rise of services like eyelash extensions and microblading for eyebrows. I believe this is, in part, what inspired the rejuvenation of permed hair amongst young men; the desire for a more long-term style.
Another possibility is the recent popularization of, what has been dubbed by the internet as, the "Meet Me At McDonald's" haircut. It's unclear exactly why the cut has come to be associated with the fast food chain, but the style is essentially a haircut that is close shaven on the sides, and significantly longer and curly on top. The style is so popular, in fact, that a private academy in England included it by name on a list of banned hairstyles.
Whatever the reason, the Man Perm is back for the foreseeable future, so let's all strap in. Who knows, it could come with fries and a shake, if we're lucky.