Punch perm

Punch perm

A punch perm is a type of tightly permed male hairstyle in Japan that was popular among Yakuza (mafia), Chimpira (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 subculture.

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.

External links

* [http://www.renabranstengallery.com/Tribe_BorenBikers.html] Photo of Bosozoku with punch perms, Leon Borensztein
* [http://www.retroklang.com/img/2005/20050456.jpg] Photo of alleged Yakuza members with punch perms
* [http://mdn.mainichi-msn.co.jp/waiwai/archive/news/2002/06/20020629p2g00m0dm999000c.html Mainichi Daily News]
* [http://www.ucpress.edu/books/pages/8278/8278.ch10.html "Yakuza"] , David E. Kaplan and Alec Dubro, University of California Press

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