A punch perm
is a type of tightly permed
male hairstyle in Japan that was popular among Yakuza
(low-level mafia), bōsōzoku
(motorcycle gang members), truck drivers, construction workers, and Enka
singers, from the 1960s till the mid-1990s. This hair style probably got its name from "needle punch carpeting," a type of floor covering with a short and tightly curled nap.
The punch perm began to fall out of usage as a result of its general association with the Yakuza, as well as normal fashion trends. These days it is extremely rare to find anyone with a punch perm, regardless of their affiliations.
A variation of the punch perm that is worn primarily by bōsōzoku
is called "aippa": both sides of the forehead are shaved to create a cross between widow's peak
, a flattop
and an exaggerated sculpted early 1960s pompadour
. It bears a strong similarity to the Quiff
hairstyle of 1950s British Teddy Boy
Another variant is the "iron perm." While a punch perm is created with rollers and chemicals, an iron perm is created with a heated curling iron. This hair style often involves singeing the hair.
- Photo of Bosozoku with punch perms, Leon Borensztein
- Photo of alleged Yakuza members with punch perms
- Mainichi Daily News
- Yakuza, David E. Kaplan and Alec Dubro, University of California Press