Seeing lots of boys on Tiktok perming their hair lately? Ever since Koreans share their secret to looking like a K-pop star, more and more people have been jumping on the bandwagon to give the new technique a spin.
Did you know that not everyone is suitable for the perm?
We talk to Ken and Timz from Kenaris Salon, a salon highly sought after for both men's cut and perm, to share with us some criteria you should meet before going for a men's perm.
The process of a perm is the same, for both men and women. The perming lotion is applied, the hair is curled then the neutralizer is applied to set the curls.
As much as stylists are equipped with pin curls and perm rollers, your hair has to be of a certain length for them to curl it into the roller.
You don't have to wait for your hair to be this long though.
Our smallest rod can curl hair that is at least 5cm long but it will turn out to be very tight. Ideally, make sure your hair is approximately 8-10cm so we can have some allowance to cut and style it to your desired hairstyle. ~ Ken
A lot of people think that a perm is good because it makes you look like a K-pop star. Not true! A men's perm is amazing because it gives those with soft and straight hair, more texture so that it is easier to style! ~ Timz
Those of us with soft and fine hair will know how difficult it is to style our hair. No matter what wax or gel we use, the hair can NEVER stay in a pompadour because the texture is too... soft.
In the end, we end up leaving our hair long because that's the only decent hairstyle that actually sticks.
The greatest benefit a perm confers is therefore its texture. It adds waves into the hair so that the styling product actually has something to hold on to to achieve your desired style.
As Agent A will tell you, styling now takes barely 3 minutes, compared to 15 minutes and above previously (even when his hair was short).
He's not the only one.
Customer @kenzaizeng found it hard to style his soft hair prior to the perm.
After the perm though, the voluminous pompadour was a lot easier to achieve.
This does mean that men's perm probably work better for those with straight hair than those with pre-existing wavy hair since those with pre-existing wavy hair already has quite a bit of texture.
Many men have the misconception that men's perm help to make thinning hair look more voluminous. Unfortunately, that is not true - the perm is very likely to make the thinning hair puff up and make it look even more sparse than before. Hence, we recommend you to try Men's Perm when your hair is still voluminous for best results. ~ Ken
Some men brush off getting a perm, thinking that they can get a perm to make their hair look voluminous when they start getting thinning hair. Little did they know that thinning hair is actually not that compatible with men's perm; it exposes the sparseness of your hair even more.
So yes, go for a men's perm while you still have a full head of hair.
It will accentuate your volume and make you look like a Kpop star.
Leave it till your hair is thinning and you may just find that a perm makes you look worse.
Even though a men's perm can cut your styling time, you do have to blowdry and minimally apply some styling product for it to look good! ~ Ken
If you're hoping for a zero-maintenance hairstyle, a men's perm isn't it. You still have to spend some time styling for it to look good so if you are extremely lazy about styling, we wouldn't recommend you to go for a perm.
With a bit of effort, there are many ways you can style your permed hair. Perm allows you to be flexible with your hair and spot styles different from your normal. ~ Timz
While most will likely go for a work-friendly perm that makes styling easier, a twist perm can be a bold choice for those of you who are more adventurous.
Don't you think this brings you that much closer to looking like V from BTS?
While a perm process sounds long, it is actually much faster and comfortable than you may initially think. Follow Agent A to Kenaris Salon for his first perm to see how it's like!
Hello, I'm Agent A, a Financial Advisor from AIA.
I know that I look like a nomad here but I assure you, my hair is usually not this long.
COVID-19 and Zoom in 2020 however gave me a chance to experiment with a new hairstyle I've considered but never tried: man bun. My last haircut was in June 2020 and I consciously avoided the hair salon to see how long it'll grow.
And yes, this is the result.
You may be wondering, why would anyone trust someone with this hair with financial planning right? Well, most of my meetings were on Zoom so most of the time, I'll just tie up my hair and look somewhat Japanese with a man-bun.
But with more of us getting vaccinated and heading out, I knew this shaggy look wasn't sustainable.
I was due for a cut for sure - but my girlfriend had other ideas.
You see, even before I had hair that long, I've never been able to style my hair properly.
It will look like this when it's short (above) and when it's long, like this (below).
No matter how much styling product I use, the hair can never be styled into a pompadour or what you see on those Men's Hairstyle inspo.
To celebrate a year of having long hair, my girlfriend subtly dropped a suggestion for a men's perm. Happy girlfriend, happy life right? Not a salon type of person, I decided to ask my dear sister Agent C for advice. Based on Agent E's glowing reviews of Kenaris Salon, Agent C recommended me to try Kenaris Salon. Apparently, their men's cut here is amazing but more importantly, they've been doing a lot of men's perms lately - making them one of the best places to go for perm.
Not waiting any longer,
Kenaris Salon is located at Wheelock Place, which has a open-air carpark beside. I ride a motorbike so parking was really cheap and affordable for me. Despite being in town, Wheelock Place itself also wasn't too busy, something I appreciated especially during this COVID period.
I love that I didn't have to wait upon entering the salon. As I made a prior appointment, I was greeted by founder Ken when I first entered.
I didn't have a specific idea of what I wanted but I really didn't have to worry at all.
Ken already prepared some perm hairstyle photos so we went through them together before deciding on one that I think I can carry.
It's a surprise for now, so read till the end to see how it looked on me!
But first, a hair wash.
The assistant escorted me to the seat where she gave me one of the best hair washes I've ever experienced in the salon.
The pressure was just right and she made sure every part of the hair was thoroughly scrubbed... definitely a good start to the hair experience.
After the wash, Ken started by cutting inches off my hair.
As much as long hair is good for perms, your hair can't be too long for the hairstyle we chose. ~ Ken
Ken got rid of my mane with first a scissors, then with the more precise clippers for a graduated cut.
Ken was so meticulous, he even switched to a smaller clipper for the finer details.
Once he sculpted the back and the sides, it was time to cut the hair at the crown.
Never had a stylist cut like this before so I felt that this was pretty spectacular.
After that, Ken continued to trim my hair to achieve the desired shape.
Once complete, Ken started the perm by curling everything forwards.
I didn't know there was a difference but apparently curling my hair forwards vs backwards allows me to style my hair to the front or to the sides, making it a more versatile hairstyle.
The process works like this: Ken would separate the hair into layers, put the waxy paper above and below the section before applying the perming lotion and curling it in.
To make sure that the curlers will not leave a mark, the team inserted something a toothpick-like thing for extra space.
Then he started applying perming lotion generously to each curler, one at a time.
To accelerate processing, mild heat was applied via the machine above me.
Once done, I was escorted to the wash area for yet another wash.
Here, the curlers are removed and the neutralizer added.
Finally, the assistant gave my hair a light massage to relieve the tension from the perming process.
Back at the seat, Ken gently dabs my hair dry with a towel before using a Dyson hairdryer.
With my hair a little wet, Ken proceeded with the final touches as he trimmed a little bit off the crown.
Ready to see the final result?
If you didn't remember, my hair used to look really long, flat and straight.
but here's how I look now.
Seeing my new hairstyle, my girlfriend was elated.
Now you finally look like you're in your twenties!
Previously, I had people mistaking me for being 30+ with my long hair. But the cut and perm suddenly made me look younger and more trendy!
Thank you Ken, not just for the amazing perm and cut but also for going out of your way to show me different styles I can achieve back at home.
So glad I found someone I can trust to get me my dream hairstyle.