There are several hurdles to getting a good perm. A lot of men don’t know what to expect when it comes to the cost of salon treatments. So, how much does a men’s perm cost?
The average men’s perm will cost around $70, although the price can range anywhere from $40 to $150. The exact cost of the perm will be influenced by the hair length, the type of perm, the salon’s location, and the experience of the stylist.
Although that’s the gist, I wanted to dig deeper and give you some specific examples of why some perms cost more than others.
Remember, there should be no real difference between the cost of a man’s perm and that of a woman’s.
Hair is hair, after all.
Let’s go through 7 factors that could reasonably impact the amount you’re going to pay for those gloriously curly locks.
7 Factors That Affect How Much A Men’s Perm Costs
The reason this is important to understand is that overpaying for a perm is never fun. But it’s especially tragic when you overpaid due to a lack of knowledge of perms in general.
How they work, how there are different types, and what you should expect.
Let’s get to it.
1. Hair Length
This is, by far, the most important factor.
The longer the hair, the longer it’ll take to perm.
The perming process involves manually coiling the hair over perming “rods”, applying the perming solution, and then finishing things off with a neutralizer to set those curls in place.
As you’d expect, long hair will require more rods and more perming solution/neutralizer to get the job done.
More equipment + more time = more money.
Hair length is probably the first thing a stylist will look at when determining how much they’re going to charge for your perm.
They’ve probably got a range of prices – one for “short”, one for “medium”, and one for “long” hair. What they see as “short” vs “long”, is up to them.
Although men’s perms are no different to women’s perms in terms of technique, hair length is possibly the only relevant factor when it comes to difference in cost.
Don’t get me wrong – there are plenty of long-haired men out there. But on average, men’s hair is generally shorter than women’s hair.
This is really the only reason why the average man’s perm will cost less than the average woman’s perm.
It’s just down to hair length. A man and a woman with equal hair lengths should expect to pay the exact same amount for the same perm at the same salon and shouldn’t accept anything else.
2. Cut And Finish
Most men that get a perm will probably get a haircut at the same time (either before or afterward).
If you’re looking to remove length and weight, it’ll probably happen just before the perm. If all you want is the removal of the damaged/split-ends, they may just do it after the perm.
A perm does look more impressive once the hair is trimmed and shaped the way you want it.
Fewer split-ends, less frizz, and easier to style.
But not all men will want this. Some men are perfectly happy with their hair’s shape, style, and length, and simply want it permed and nothing else.
In these instances, you can expect to pay between $10-20 less than a man who gets a cut and finish with their perm.
It makes sense because overall you’re taking up less of the stylist’s time and you should get a concession for that.
3. Full Vs Partial Perm
A “partial” perm is exactly what it says on the tin. It’s where only part of the hair is permed, while the rest is left untouched.
There are plenty of men who may go for this option because they don’t want all of their hair coiled and curled during the perming process.
They may just want parts of the hair permed because they look flatter or thinner than the rest of their already curly hair.
It’s very common for hair to look off-balance because of flatter areas. It can be annoying because there’s not much you can do about it, even with styling habits.
But perming these areas will give them lift, bounce, and curled fullness.
It’ll probably make the entire head of hair look fuller and more balanced, even if it’s just a case of focusing on the few areas that are causing trouble.
Because only a few areas need perming, the stylist will need to use fewer curling rods, less solution, and less neutralizer.
All of this leads to the desired outcome of costing less money.
At least compared with a full perm, that is.
4. Digital Perms Cost More
The type of perm you get will also impact the price.
Digital perms are a new trend that originally came from Japan and has gradually made its way to the West.
They’re still pretty hard to come by and still aren’t as common as traditional perms.
Digital perms are different to regular perms in that the curling rods are heated, with the temperature regulated by a machine with a digital display.
But other than the process itself, they’re also different in the type of curled finish they produce.
Normal, “cold” perms make the curls most obvious and wavy when the hair is wet and loose when it is dry. That’s why allowing the permed hair to air-dry once washed will usually make the curls look most prominent.
Digital perms, on the other hand, lead to curls that are most obvious and wavy when the hair is dry. This is why they’re generally more appropriate for blow-drying than normal perms – they’re more likely to retain the curls.
Digital perms also generally produce a fuller and more natural-looking finish than cold perms do.
This may be appealing to a lot of men.
But let’s talk about the cost.
Digital perms are, as you’d expect, more expensive. The additional expertise required to perform them, as well as the equipment required, will hike up the price of your perm.
Once again, the price will vary according to your hair length, as well as the other factors on this list.
However, on average, you could expect a digital perm to cost somewhere between $120 to $200.
As you can see, there’s a very significant difference in price between normal perms and digital perms.
Because of this, it’s important to think long and hard about whether it’s worth the cost. For most men, it probably won’t be worth it.
But it’s worth considering if you’re after a more natural-looking curled finish.
5. Root Perms Cost Less
While basic spiral perms and body wave perms would most likely cost you the average amount, root perms will usually cost you less.
Root perms involve using the curling rods, perming solution, and neutralizer to curl the roots of the hair. In other words, only the parts closest to the scalp.
It would usually only be worth doing for men with longer hair.
But it’s a great way to infuse some volume into the hair by curling the bases and adding fullness from the bottom up.
The fact that not all of the hair is permed all over – just the roots – means that less solution/neutralizer is required to get the job done.
It takes up less time and requires less equipment.
Because of this, root perms cost less than other types of perm.
So, if you’re a man with long hair and you’re looking for some added volume and waviness without the need for widespread curls throughout, consider a root perm.
You’ll probably save some cash to boot.
6. Geographic Location
Put it this way.
Getting a perm done in Manhattan is going to be more expensive than most other places in the country.
As with most other services, getting a perm done will vary according to where you happen to be.
If you live in a less expensive area or simply a more rural area, getting a perm done may well cost you as low as $40.
But in major cities or popular areas, that perm is going to cost you more.
7. Stylist’s Experience
Although it isn’t always the case, in general, you’ll get what you pay for.
If you want that perm done by the best, you’ll have to pay for the privilege.
Perms are pretty technical and can be messed up. You’ll want to make sure you’re going to a reputable salon.
Check the reviews and ask around. If you’ve got a trusted friend that raves about it, it’s a good sign at the very least.
But do your research and make sure you’re happy with the one you choose.
Perms last a while. Usually around 3 to 6 months.
A bad perm can be tough to live with for that period of time. This is an important reason for making sure you’re getting it done by someone that knows what they’re doing.
In general, the more experienced the stylist or the more reputable the salon, the more you can expect to pay for the perm.
This should come as no surprise.
But I included this here to ensure you’ll factor this into your decision. Often, it isn’t necessarily the best idea to go for the cheapest option.
Sure – there are plenty of salons that are both good and reasonably priced.
But if you know you’ll get a better outcome with a slightly more expensive salon or more experienced stylist, it’s probably worth the additional $10-20 you may need to pay.
Just don’t fall for anything extortionate.
Use the average prices listed in this article to decide whether you’re paying the correct amount for your hair length, the type of perm you’re getting, and your geographic location.
A perm is likely to be more expensive than your previous visits to the barber or salon. The process is more involved – it takes more time and requires more equipment.
But men often find the experience worthwhile, even if they don’t get it done that frequently.
Hopefully, this article has given you a little more insight into the process – more specifically, how much you can expect to pay based on your specific circumstances.
Hope you found it helpful.
Ready Sleek founder. Obsessed with casual style and the minimalist approach to building a highly functional wardrobe. Also a fan of classic, vintage hairstyles.