If you’re seeing more black guys with perms lately, you’re not imagining it – this trend is really taking off. Naturally coily or kinky hair is already blessed with extra volume, body, and shape, but perms really are a game-changer.
See how the right type of perm can help you reduce frizz, achieve more curl definition, get a larger or tighter curl, and make hair care 10 times easier in our guide. We’ll show you examples of black guys with perms of all shapes and curl sizes along with tips to getting the type of perm that’s best for you!
The Latest Trend: Black Guys With Perms
- Perms make managing naturally curly, coily, and kinky hair easy
- Choose from spiral, classic, partial, stack, and multi-textured perms
- Minimize frizz, enhance curl definition/pattern, and even out your texture
The number of black guys with perms is spiking lately. Wondering why? Curls of all shapes and sizes are trendy for men and women right now.
With a naturally curly, coily, or kinky hair texture, more and more black men are finding out firsthand that perms are the easiest way to rock those curls with a lot less hassle. Perms aren’t just for people with straight hair who want to achieve a curly texture.
They work great on naturally curly, coily, or kinky hair – minimizing frizz, enhancing the definition and pattern of your natural curl, and giving you a more uniform curl shape – and they just might be the style secret that makes hair care a breeze for you.
If you’re sick of keeping your hair short, wearing protective hairstyles, or dealing with painstaking natural curl styling, perms are a great way to simplify your hair care process. Learn about the different types of perms you can get and see examples of black men rocking perms below!
Best Types of Perms for Black Men
There are several types of perms out there, but some work better than others on coarse, natural hair. Most black men will find themselves choosing a “cold perm,” which uses a stronger chemical solution that’s able to set the hair into your desired curl pattern.
Cold perms are the best choice for black men and create curls that last for around 6 months. Beyond the actual type of perming solution used, there are few different types of curls you can achieve with a perm.
This will be based on the look you’re going for – how loose or tight you want your curls and how you’d like your curl pattern to be arranged. This includes:
- Spiral perms create corkscrew curls or coils that appear spring-like. If you want the most definition in your curls, a spiral perm is the choice for you. These perms are done by arranging the perm rods in a vertical pattern to create the signature spiral shape. You can opt for big, loose spiral curls (large rods), medium curls (medium rods), or tight, springy corkscrew spirals (small rods).
- Classic perms create tumbling or messy curls with a looping shape. If you want the most body and plenty of definition without your perm looking too perfect, a classic perm is a good choice. These perms are done by arranging the perm rods in a horizontal pattern across the head in sections. You can choose from big curls (large rods), medium ringlets (medium rods), or small, natural-looking curls (small rods).
- Partial perms leave sections of hair unpermed for a more natural look. You can use any pattern to achieve the look you want. Perm random areas through the hair to add pops of curl definition throughout without perming all the hair. Partial perms can also help even out texture in sections with a less-defined curl pattern. They usually cost less than classic or spiral perms.
- Multi-textured perms use a few different rod sizes to create different curl shapes and sizes throughout the hair. These perms create a very natural look and can be customized to create your desired look. They work well with a mix of loose and slightly tighter curls.
While there are other types of perms out there – like straight perms (relaxers), beach wave, body wave, and stack perms – these are the types that will be a great fit for most men with natural hair textures.
12 Black Guys With Perms We’re Digging
Want to see how some of the different perm types look on natural hair? Take a look below to see 12 examples of black guys with perms that range from classic and spiral curls to partial and multi-textured curls.
1. Tight Spiral Perm With Subtle Highlights
Small rods wind your perm’s curl pattern much tighter to create springy coils. This is a great option if you want a high-volume curl with lots of definition and bounce! Add subtle golden brown or caramel blonde highlights from midshaft to ends to accentuate the curls even more.
2. Ultra-Tight Corkscrew Spiral Perm
Use the smallest perm rods to get ultra-tight coils with a defined corkscrew shape. These small, tight curls are great for creating volume and structure in the hair. They’ll easily prop themselves up for quick styling.
3. Defined Mini Spiral Perm
Spiral curls have a great shape and lots of definition, two things most black guys with perms will be looking for. These mini spirals are tight but loose enough to clearly show off that winding shape and give you lots of volume for different styles.
4. Tight and Kinky Spiral Perm
Tight spirals mimic naturally kinky hair but keep frizz to a minimum while adding even definition. If you don’t want a super-curly, big-ringlet look, this kind of tight perm (using small rods) resembles type 4 naturally kinky hair and will be the perfect fit.
5. Multi-Textured Loose Ringlet Perm
Perms don’t have to be super tight and coily to look great. Why not try a looser ringlet perm on larger rods? These differently-sized curls take on a messy-yet-polished look and have lots of body and bounce. This is a great perm to pair with a two block haircut that’s shaved short on the bottom layers.
6. Natural Spiral Perm
Perms can help manage and define natural hair, but some guys want a more natural and less-defined look. A natural spiral perm lets your hair texture soften up the shape and structure of the curls for a more relaxed, natural curly look.
7. Medium Ringlet Perm With Short Sides
Want a bigger curl with a little more body? A medium-sized perm rod will give you exactly that. Ringlets are a little bouncier, bigger, and have a more pronounced S-shape than coils. We love how this perm adds definition and texture to the longer top in this haircut.
8. Partial Spiral Perm With Multi-Toned Highlights
Leaving some sections out of the perm gives the most natural look and costs a little less than a full perm. This partial spiral perm creates tight corkscrew curls that have plenty of bounce and definition while the unpermed hair gives the overall style a more natural look.
9. Corkscrew Coily Perm With Frosted Tips
If you’re worried about your perm curls being less noticeable with dark hair, frosted tips could work for you. Tight corkscrew coils are wound on small rods to keep the curls compact and springy. With a high fade, they’ll stand out even more!
10. Spirals With Highlights
Tight corkscrew-shaped spiral curls have plenty of structure and definition to hold up in even the thickest head of hair. We really love how this type of perm shapes longer hair and keeps frizz to a minimum. With dark blonde highlights in the tips, the curls really pop.
11. Long Partial Spiral Perm
Partial perms are a great option if you don’t want your curls to look too perfect. Here, every other section is permed on medium-sized rods to add lots of definition without making every curl perfectly sculpted. It’s a more natural look if you want to avoid looking “permed.”
12. Ultra-Tight Corkscrew Spiral Perm
The smallest rods are key to nailing ultra-tight spirals that have less body but lots of definition. Keeping the top longer will make the structure and shape of the spirals more apparent while managing frizz and volume.
Tips and Things to Consider
What else should you know before getting a perm on natural hair? No matter what type of perm or curl you’re thinking about getting, it pays to learn some tips and tricks beforehand. We’ve got some helpful tips and things for you to consider below!
- Follow the perm aftercare directions exactly. Perms are chemical processes that will only create lasting curls if you follow the aftercare directions exactly. That means you can’t wet your hair for at least 48 hours after getting a perm. You shouldn’t use any hair products or braid/pull up/brush your hair for a few days. If you keep your new perm dry and avoid anything that will tug or loosen the curls, you’ll have at least 6 months of perfect curls.
- Know that perms damage your hair. Naturally coily or kinky hair is coarse, but also quite fragile and susceptible to damage. Getting a perm, whether it’s a relaxer or curly perm, is going to damage your hair in the process. You can minimize the damage by ensuring you only perm healthy, unprocessed (no recent relaxers, bleach, or color) hair and follow up with extra moisture – go heavy on the moisturizing products and seal it all in with oil – after the 48-hour waiting period.
- Getting a perm isn’t as permanent as it sounds. Perm is short for “permanent curl,” but the truth is, your curls won’t last forever. Expect your perm to last for about 6 months (with a recommended cold perm) before your roots are grown out to the point you’ll need a touch-up. If you decide the permed look isn’t for you, you can forgo the touch-ups and get a haircut to remove the curliest sections.
- Make sure your hair is long enough. Your hair has to be long enough to wrap around the perm rod fully at least once. For classic perms, that means you’ll need at least 2 inches of length when your hair is stretched out. For spiral perms, you’ll need a little more length – the longer, the better – since the rods are wrapped vertically.
- Get the right cut with your perm. We see a lot of different haircuts on black guys with perms today. Some of the most popular are high top fades and tapered afros that perfectly show off the defined curls. All types of fades can work well with perms, and if you’re letting your hair grow long, make sure to taper the sides to keep it from being bottom-heavy. See more hairstyles for black men here.
Black Guys With Perms – A Trend to Try or One to Skip?
We’ve looked at the trend of perms on black men and covered it all – what a perm can do for your hair, the types of perms that work best for black mens’ hair, examples of different perms on natural hair types, and a few extra tips to get the look you want.
So what do you think? Is this a trend you’ll try or one you’ll pass on? On one hand, this look is definitely popular and looks great on everyone.
As long as you settle on the curl type you like best – big, loose ringlets, natural-looking medium curls or spirals, or tight, defined corkscrew curls – there’s no doubt you’ll love the results. You’ll deal with less frizz, more definition, a more uniform curl pattern, and easier styling that makes caring for your hair a cinch.
But on the other hand, perms do cause damage to hair. Since your strands may be fragile in structure, it takes a serious commitment to providing extra moisture to your hair in the months after your perm to keep it healthy and strong.
And while you can customize your perm to get the kind of curls you like best, it’s possible to end up with curls that are too tight, too perfectly defined, or too loose and messy for your liking if your stylist or barber doesn’t use the right rods or rod placement.
To get the best results, show your stylist photos of the kind of perm and curls you want (along with photos of your preferred cut if you’re going for a full change-up).
And if you decide this trend is one you’d rather skip, no harm done – wait another 6 months or so, and there will be a new trend to try out if you’re game. Who knows — maybe this will be your “forever hairstyle!”