Did your girlfriend / wife want you to sport a hairstyle seen on Korean dramas or modeled by their favourite K-pop idols?
Yes, the Koreans already have thicker coarser hair but to be honest, it isn't just genes that have their hair looking so good.
Most Korean stars amp up the volume and shape of their mane with a technique that is by now an open secret: The Perm.
WOOT? Perm? Isn't that for girls?~ You
Other than a dapper cut and ash-brown hair colouring, Men's Perm is the ultimate secret weapon for guys to turn up their heat without letting the whole world know they've done something. Here are 3 reasons why:
We all know that a perm increases hair volume but the more importantly, it can actually contour the face.
What do we mean by that?
Taking Agent Y for example. Your facial silhouette can look rounder if your face is a little larger and your straight and limp hair exacerbates it.
As it increases your hair volume, a perm can change the shape of the hair so much so that it makes your jawline look sharper and face slimmer.
Men's Wave Perm by Zinc Korean Hair Salon
On the flipside, if your face is all length and angles, distinct curls can add much-needed softness to the overall look.
Many people has this idea that perms have to be very curly.
Men's Perm by Zinc Korean Hair Salon
While it can be, the most popular perm styles for men are more subtle.
Men's Perm by Zinc Korean Hair Salon
The above hairstyle, for example, is actually achieved via a cold perm.
The cold perm adds a certain softness that gives the wearer a suave makeover without actually using distinct curls.
Regent Perm by Zinc Korean Hair Salon
This regent perm also adds just the slightest hint of curls so that the hair is sculpted for the desired look.
So as you can see, there are many perm options that you can opt for without making it obvious that you've done something to your hair.
Subtle and professional enough to take you to any workplace, yet distinct enough to get the girls noticing, it is no wonder perms are being paraded by male stars the world over.
If it takes lots of time and finesse for you to wax your hair, you'll be glad to know that a perm can cut your styling time by half or more. With the hair permed in shape, all you need to do is to finger-dry your hair and apply just that bit of wax and you'll look ready to go in no time.
Keen to see the process of a men's perm? Follow Agent Y on his virgin Men's perm at top Korean Salon Zinc Korean Hair Salon @ Millenia Walk.
Hi, I'm Agent Y. I'm mostly behind the scenes so you may not have seen me, but I'm a member of the Beauty Undercover Team!
Some people may find me familiar as I also act on the side, appearing at times on several Mediacorp Dramas.
I think of myself as a fuss-free fellow, but as someone whose livelihood depends on appearing in front of the camera, my hair is expected to at least look neat and healthy. Unfortunately, in its natural habitat, I've been told it's pretty flat and limp, and requires extensive propping up with professional styling and products before being deemed worthy. I've wondered about changing things up for a while.
So when Agent G - Chief Editor of Beauty Undercover - told me that Zinc Korean Hair Salon @ Millenia Walk were seeking male hair models for their newly-launched perm and then looked at me meaningfully, I thought, maybe this is a cause I should lay down my locks for.
I've never done a perm before and thought it might be time for this new milestone.
(P.S. This was done before Circuit Breaker, which is why neither the stylist nor I had masks on)
Upon stepping into the salon, I noted its modern, clean and had an aesthetic colour scheme. While I'm not one for fancy salons, it was reassuring to know that my head was in the hands of people who had some sense of style.
I met my stylist for the day, the friendly Elin. She may look young but Agent G reassured me that her skills are solid!
From the details she go into during consultation, I understand why Agent G was so enamored with her.
Elin didn't just go into the hair service immediately but performed a few checks to understand my head shape and face shape.
She brought me a warm cup of tea with some snacks before having a deeper conversation with me about the different hair options.
To be honest, I hadn't thought much about it, but I'm really pleased that Elin was skilled enough in men's hairstyling to take the lead as she talked me through some considerations.
With all systems go, it was time to start.
The first step is the haircut. Elin explained that this is the most important part of the service as it sculpts the eventual shape of the perm.
She started with scissors on wet hair to get rid of some length,
Then she used a shaver to give me a slick, sharp hairline.
Some hair will inevitably land on the face but I'm really fascinated by how she actually use a soft sponge to dust off the stray hairs and keep me comfortable.
Pre-perm, a plastic visor was attached to my forehead to prevent any hair or liquids from touching my face and irritating my eyes.
I've never had a stylist treat me with so much attention before so I guess you do get what you pay for.
Then, it was time to start the curling. To all those people out there, who like me, have no idea how perms work, here's a quick demo:
First, my hair has to be coated in the perming solution that breaks down the existing bonds to allow the structure of my hair to be changed from it's limp, super straight natural state.
The solution is then brushed to all the way to the hair ends to ensure each strand is completely coated.
Then, my hair is sandwiched between two thin pieces of perm paper, after which a roller is used to secure that sandwiched section, to literally make waves.
Rubber bands are used to hold the hair and rillers in place.
To make sure my entire head of hair is curled, that process is repeated about 20 times.
Larger rollers were used for my fringe so the curls there would be looser and more natural, instead of being tight ringlets.
When all my hair was rolled up, a plastic sheet was placed over my crown to trap heat and speed up the perm process.
I don't think my head has ever been this colourful in my life.
Then, my multicoloured plastic-littered head was placed under an ultra-modern steel heating device for about 20 minutes, to help break disulphide bonds in my hair and allow new waves to take shape.
Once the timer sounded, Elin started removing the rollers.
She removed the curlers from my fringe first, since as mentioned, that was one part of my mop we definitely didn't want to look too curly. For somebody who has always been extremely minimalistic with styling, seeing those swirls was properly eye-opening.
The hair on the sides of my head were next for the reveal.
She produced this exciting water gun-looking contraption that contained neutraliser, a liquid that is used to set my hair structure by balancing the PH level on my hair, fixing the perm in place.
The solution was applied directly to my hair and before I knew it, she was done.
Finally, it was time for one last wash before my final form was revealed.
Elin examined how my hair looked fresh out of a wash - that would be how it would fall naturally from then on - and added some final touches.
She trimmed my sideburns and the hair on the back of my head for an even cleaner look.
Elin also showed my how to effortlessly style my hair by gently scrunching it. I'm not in the habit of using hair product, and it was a relief to know that it the perm made it idiot-proof to achieve a fresh-out-of-salon look even by my lonesome!
I thought that was it... but to my surprise, Elin took an eyebrow trimmer to start shaping my eyebrows!
For the first time, I'm getting my eyebrow trimmed... at a hair salon!
No matter how nice your perm is, you can't look good with your brows messy!~ Elin, Zinc Korean Hair Salon
Apparently, she does this for all her customers, if she isn't too busy.
Ah with this level of detail, I know why Agent G likes her so much!
So this is it.
Ready to see my hair transformation?
I'm really quite loving the hair. I had some reservations when I said yes to having my hair permed, and whether it would be too loud and cringey but this styles me up at a level that is just right.
First impressions are so important in castings and I suspect that my old hairstyle may be the main reason why I've been type-casted into specific roles e.g. students..
Hopefully, this perm, along with these sunnies, can change up my image somewhat so that I can go for different roles I haven't tried before.
I don't know if you can tell but I'm really happy with this new look. It changed my look without going too much out of my comfort zone.
My styling time is also reduced from about 10 minutes to 5 or less - perfect for freelance actors like me! As we sometimes have to go to various sets and castings in the same day, the ability to style the hair in different ways quickly really helps!
The experience at Zinc Korean Hair Salon was also top-notch. Elin was very professional and attentive throughout the experience, even providing free eyebrow trimming near the end! I also liked it that she didn't require me to chat too much I was able to just sit back and relax.
I like the experience (and the perm) so much that I'm coming back on my own to get my hair cut and permed with Elin from now on.
So don't be surprised if you see me at Zinc Korean Hair Salon the next time!