How the Broccoli Perm Became the Definitive Zoomer Hairstyle

“Our generation’s very easily influenced by social media and big influencers on these apps,” says Jayden Williams, a mop-topped 17-year-old from Toronto who permed his hair in high school. “If something gains popularity, we want to hop on that trend as soon as possible and as quickly as possible to claim it. A lot of people are kinda like sheep. We want to follow the trends.”

But Zoomer curl FOMO has led to a mass copy and pasting of the hairstyle, and the fact that every guy born after the millennium has the same veggie crown might explain why it’s become so memeable.

“It’s the new COVID. I travel all across the country and I see it everywhere,” says Bryan Torresdey, a New York-based comedian whose TikTok skewering the broccoli cut went viral.

V from BTS with a slightly shaggier spin on the Zoomer perm.

The Chosunilbo JNS/Getty Images

The haircut also tends to evoke a certain image of a vape cloud-blowing, floor mattress-sleeping, Jordan Peterson apologist. “It’s such a specific person who rocks it: the guy who’s chugging a Celsius while taking multiple selfies in the gym mirror,” says Torresday. “Superman now has a hint of young douche, which is really great. Maybe he’s just gonna bang Lois Lane and then ghost her.”

Still, Gen Z is supposed to be the most self-aware and chronically online of all generations. Surely, they’ve seen all the jokes about the florets fade. Zoomers contend the curly mop has evolved over the last couple years, moving away from the dense, broccoli-like curls seen in many of the memes towards a more relaxed flow.

“Nowadays it’s really about that loose perm, that fluffy hair that has more of a wave to it. It looks way more natural. The super tight, super curly look is not cool anymore,” says Kris Grippo, a shaggy-haired TikTok influencer from Switzerland. The 22-year-old, who boasts 8.5 million followers, thinks all the web zingers about the denser curls may have played a role in the style’s metamorphosis. “The broccoli cut became a meme. And after that, I mean, you don’t want to be a meme.”

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