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The Most Requested Hairstyle for Men in 2022? Perms. But the Look Isn’t What You Think

If the defining hairstyle of the early aughts was the center-parted heartthrob look (i.e Devon Sawa and Leonardo Dicaprio circa Romeo and Juliet), the reigning style for many young men and boys in 2022 is the perm, popularized by K-Pop idols like BTS and EXO, and Timothée Chamalet (though we’re pretty sure his curls are au naturel).

From Digital to Spiral: Here's Your Official Guide to 11 Types of Perms


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Han Myung-Gu/GC Images

The #boyperm that’s making waves on TikTok and in salons these days is loose and more tousled than the tight ringlets our parents used to wear in the ‘80s (see V from BTS above) and in many cases, it’s paired with shorter or shaved sides for a sportier look.

There’s no doubt about it, the perm is the “it” style for men of all ages right now, but it’s an especially popular style among teens and students. As Gabriel Feliciano, a 22-year-old in Seattle who shared a video of his own perm to TikTok told TODAY Parents, “I went to a frat party not so long ago and so many people had the exact same perm as me.”

Perhaps the biggest draw of the perm for men is that it’s a style onto itself. Though a perm can take about an hour and a half to complete, once it’s done, you can enjoy the low-maintenance look for months (typically between three to six) before it grows out.

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Jeff Kravitz/Getty Images

For any perm newbies out there reading this: Note that the starting length is important when getting a perm. You want the hair to be at least an inch and a half long—at a minimum—so it’s long enough to be wrapped around a roller. You also want to account for the fact that adding any amount of curl to your hair will make it appear shorter, so take that into consideration before scheduling your appointment.

And as Elle Woods famously warned in Legally Blonde, “the first cardinal rule of perm maintenance [is] that you're forbidden to wet your hair for at least 24 hours.”