It’s true that more and more men are drawn toward that curled life. But how long does a man’s perm last?
A perm will usually last between 4 and 6 months. Factors that will allow a man’s perm to last longer include careful hair care within the first 48 hours, using perm-friendly shampoos, and avoidance of heat styling.
A perm that lasts longer saves you money and time. Read on to make it happen.
8 Ways To Make A Men’s Perm Last Longer
There are many simple ways to make a perm last longer. It’s definitely worth experimenting with the following to find the ones that work for you.
1. Good Initial Hair Care
The first 48 hours are especially important – you’ll want it dry and pretty much untouched. Your freshly-permed hair is especially delicate and you do not want to undo your stylist’s hard work.
Try your best to avoid combing or brushing it for the first 24 hours at least – but ideally 48 hours.
For these 48 hours, avoid washing it as well.
After this point, you can relax a little. The curls have had a good amount of time to set and you should be able to comb and wash your hair without much trouble.
But there are still general principles you can stick to and actions you can take to make sure you don’t need to pay for perms as often.
Let’s get to those.
2. Avoid Heat Styling
Heat styling devices like blow dryers should be avoided. When it comes to permed hair, it’s more than likely to lead to frizz.
It can also loosen the curls prematurely, causing them to lose their form and shape.
Air drying or towel drying is much better when the aim is trying to make a perm last longer.
If you do use a blow dryer, heat protectant spray is important to use. It’ll protect the hair and also minimize frizz in some cases as well.
In addition, attaching a diffuser to the end of a blow dryer is also helpful when you’ve got a perm. It’ll literally spread the heat evenly throughout the hair and it won’t target any specific areas for too long.
This makes it more likely that those curls can be retained without causing frizz. It isn’t a perfect solution by any means – you should still expect some frizz.
But if you are intent on using a blow dryer, popping on a diffuser and using a heat protectant spray are good habits to get into.
3. Shampoo Less
Perming can make the hair pretty dry in itself. The occasional shampoo is important for cleansing, but using it excessively can dry the hair out even more.
While greasy hair is not the look you want, curly hair copes with oils better than straight hair does. It’s less likely to look excessively oily as it spreads across the curls.
Shampooing too often can cause the curls to look drier, poorly formed, and more likely to get frizzy.
In addition, washing the hair daily – even with water alone – isn’t necessary when you’ve got permed hair. It’s probably going to dry it out.
Once again – curly hair is less likely to get that greasy look than straight hair.
So, try washing the hair every two to three days, and shampooing it once or twice a week at a maximum.
When you do use shampoo, try to make sure you’re using one that’s designed for curly hair. Sulfate-free shampoos are less likely to remove too much of those natural oils.
One of the mistakes that men with perms make is treating it as they used to back when they didn’t have curly hair.
A product like Aussie Miracle Curls Shampoo (Amazon Link) is specifically designed for retaining curls while minimizing frizz and reducing the risk of drying it out.
Their conditioner is also a great option for curly hair.
In general, after you’ve been permed, it’s best to use products that are meant for curly hair. Other than shampoos and conditioners, this could also include curl-friendly creams, serums, and mousses.
4. Go To A Pro
In general, expect it to cost anywhere between $30 and $120.
Although it’s possible to get it done pretty cheaply, expect to get what you pay for.
Yes, there are some great and relatively inexpensive stylists out there.
But overall, paying a little more to get the perm done by an experienced stylist is generally going to be worth it.
Although it may not sound complicated – applying the rods, the solution, and the neutralizer – a good perming technique can make the difference between an average result and an outstanding one.
In addition, it can make the difference between a perm that lasts 3 months and one that lasts 5 months.
You could even end up paying less overall by going to a more expensive stylist just because you need to get permed less frequently.
I’m not saying you should pay extortionate fees by any means.
But if you’ve done your research and found a stylist with rave reviews that you think you’ll be able to afford, strongly consider it.
5. Deep Conditioners
Deep conditioning two or three times a month is another great way to keep the curls moisturized and less likely to become dry.
This reduces tangling, frizz, and lax curls. It also has restorative effects on damaged curls and restores natural oils that may have been washed away by shampoos as time has gone on.
Yes – regular, daily conditioners also do this too, but at a much more surface level.
You’ll notice that a deep conditioner has a thicker, more paste-like consistency and usually needs to be left on your hair for a longer period of time than a normal, daily conditioner.
Overall, the effects of a deep conditioner can not only make permed curls look more impressive, but they can also make the perm itself last longer.
Aussie makes a pretty popular deep conditioner you could check out on
6. Sleeping Habits
Sleeping with your carefully permed curls wrapped in a silk scarf may sound over the top, but never underestimate how effective it can be.
It can reduce frizz and tangling overnight, potentially even more than the other tips in this list would.
Men with previously straight hair may find this unusual and something they definitely aren’t used to, but it’s something worth trying.
A silk pillowcase is also often helpful. This is especially the case if you’ve got pretty long curls.
Sleeping with long hair is never fun, but sleeping with curly long hair is often a recipe for frizz and tangles.
Silk pillowcases are slipperier than cotton ones, allowing your curls to slide effortlessly across them without tangling or getting too roughed up.
One thing to note is that silk anything can be pretty expensive – satin is a more affordable alternative that achieves similar effects.
7. Regular Haircuts
Once you’ve had a perm, you may be tempted to delay your haircut due to the added cost.
You’ve dished out a decent number of dollars for those curls – now you need to get them trimmed too?
In general, delaying haircuts will make the perm look worse over time and also more likely to frizz and tangle up.
These are common reasons for a perm not lasting quite as long.
Even if it’s just a case of skimming off the split-ends, try to get your haircut at least every 2 months.
If you’re going for a shorter length in any case, you may even need one a little more often than this.
Curls become less defined and shapely as the hair grows longer. So, don’t neglect your barber/stylist.
Get regular haircuts to keep the perm looking sharp until the perm itself is next due.
8. Don’t Dry Brush Or Comb
Curly hair is delicate – brushing or combing the incorrect way can lead to unnecessary damage, frizz, and loss of curl structure.
It’s absolutely necessary to brush and/or comb to get rid of those tangles, but do so the right way.
In general, it’s accepted that dry brushing curly hair is not a good idea. It’ll disrupt the curl pattern and also lead to frizz – often, quite a lot of it. Plus, you’ll probably notice more split-ends as a result of it too.
So, what should you do instead?
Using a wide-tooth comb to detangle while conditioning in the shower is a popular option.
If you aren’t a fan of shower grooming, at least try to brush or comb while the hair is damp and just avoid doing so while dry.
Also, be careful what you use to actually do the job.
Nylon/synthetic brushes and combs can often lead to static which in turn leads to frizz.
A hand-cut sandalwood wide-tooth comb, for instance, will reduce the risk of static, frizz, and disruption of the curl pattern.
How Long Does A Perm Take To Do On A Man?
A man’s perm will generally take two to three hours but can be up to five hours if the hair is especially long.
As you’d expect, a man’s perm won’t necessarily take any longer or shorter than a woman’s – it really just depends on the length and texture of the hair.
It’s a long process due to the many steps involved, including the actual curling with the rods, application of the perming solution, and then the neutralizing solution to set the curls.
Perming regularly can be a significant time commitment.
This does put many men off from getting repeated perms, often choosing to go for a perm once in a while or for special occasions.
If you do get regular perms, follow the tips listed earlier in this article to make them last longer.
Needing to get them less often is a good way to minimize the impact they’ll have on your time going forward.
There you have it.
You now know how long you can expect a perm to last, as well as some tips on how to make them last longer.
Hope you found it useful.
Ready Sleek founder. Obsessed with casual style and the minimalist approach to building a highly functional wardrobe. Also a fan of classic, vintage hairstyles.