How to Tell if Someone Has a Perm?

The average American spends more than 60 dollars on hair products each year.

Keep in mind that people also spend money on hair stylists and more. Theres no doubt hair is a big deal.

Whats even more interesting is that theres a new kid on the block: the perm. It went away for a moment, but its back, and its taking the world by storm. Its no longer something that only women are interested in either as some might imagine.

Men are getting perms as well. With perms rising in popularity, its important to know what one looks like and how to make sure yours looks as natural as possible. Youll learn all that and more if you keep reading.

How to tell if someone has a perm?

The most obvious sign that someone has a perm is that the person didnt have that hairstyle before. Of course, you would have to know the person well enough to know their natural hair texture.

Those who dont know the person need to learn some additional signs that reveal the person has a perm. For one, a perm looks unusually uniformed, which is different from natural curls that are more random.

Permed hair may look a little dry or frizzy. That happens when the perm isnt taken care of or conditioned properly. If you spot that, then youve got someone with a perm.

When a perm isnt done right, which could happen at home if you dont know what youre doing or if you work with an inexperienced stylist, its telling. Youll see folds within the curls.

Natural curls dont have folds like that. Those bends are signs of damage.

While these signs are good indicators of a perm, they arent foolproof.

Keep in mind that most people will tell you that they have a perm. This isnt something people are trying to hide nowadays.

In the past, people didnt want anyone to know, but todays society loves transparency and loves to talk about the work theyve done as if its no big deal.

What is the difference between naturally curly hair and a perm?

As you can sort of tell already, there are a few differences between naturally-curly hair and perms. For one, a natural curl doesnt have folds. Now, this doesnt mean you will never see this on a natural curl.

Its possible the person slept on the hair without protecting it. Maybe the person with natural curls used a hair accessory improperly. There are many reasons you might see folds, but its usually just one curl thats damaged, not the whole head of hair.

Its easier to maintain naturally curly hair. They wont need hair products to keep their hair curly. Natural curls will also have a few imperfections.

Youll see some defined curls and also a few loose curls. This is more than normal, and it makes the hair look more attractive. A person with natural curls will also have flat hair near the cuticles.

When a person has a perm, the cuticle area is usually raised or puffed up a bit. You might not notice this difference all that quickly, but if you pay attention, its normally there. Sure, some skilled hairstylists might be able to hide this issue, but that takes a lot of work and patience.

Youll probably have to pay an arm and a leg to work with someone with so considerable skill. Still, if you want your curls to look natural, youll want that cuticle layer to stay relatively flat.

How can you tell if your hair is naturally curly?

There are many ways to tell if your hair is naturally curly. For example, if you have naturally curly hair, then your hair is going to get wild and hard to tame in humid weather.

A person with a perm wont be afraid of humid weather the same way you might. The reason for this is that the poor curls feel dehydrated. They are desperate for moisture when its humid, so they react to the atmosphere by getting a bit frizzy and swelling up.

Itll look like your hair is full of volume. You can do something about this phenomenon though. All you need to do is add extra moisturizer to your hair on humid days.

A person with natural curls will see waves and ringlets after washing their hair.

Water resets your hair, so youll see those curls when your hair is still wet. It should be pointed out that frizz and static are symptoms of natural curls.

Well, more specifically, they are symptoms of a person mistreating his or her natural curls. For some reason, naturally curly hair is dryer. It needs more moisture than straight hair, and if you dont give it that moisture, youll deal with frizz and static all of your life.

If youve ever attempted to straighten your hair and it only lasts a few hours or a day, especially when the weather is humid, then youve been given naturally curly hair that doesnt like to be told what to do.

How to let your perm look as natural as possible?

If you dont have naturally curly hair but want that, then you want to get that perm. The problem is that youve been reading all of this, and you know that your perm is going to look unnatural.

While its okay for folks to know that you have a perm, the last thing you want is hair that looks fake. You want it to look natural so that folks are impressed.

The good thing is you can get your perm to look as natural as possible. For one, youll have to make sure the cuticle layer doesnt puff out too much. The flatter it looks, the more natural your curls will look.

On top of that, you want to make sure the person you work with varies each curl, maybe even intentionally leaves a few loose curls in your hair. This gives your hair that natural bounce and beauty.

Its important to care for your perm, like making sure your hair is well moisturized. Be sure to pay attention to the way the curls come out. If there are visible folds, this isnt going to look so impressive.

If you see folds, you should consider having this perm redone by someone more effective and experienced.

How long is a perm supposed to last?

Youve spent all this time and effort trying to get your perm to look perfect. It took a long time, and you spend a lot of cash. You want it to last as long as possible. This is an investment after all, and you should treat it as such. Besides, you can hit every spot in town to show off the curls.

The good thing is there are a few things you can do to keep your perm looking great for a longer period. Some things are easy to do, like avoiding combing your hair within the first 24 hours. It may feel unnatural, but if you comb, your curls wont set as well.

The other thing that is relatively easy to do is avoid ponytails. Those things are curl killers. All that pressure on your delicate curls will begin to harm your perm. Dont do that to your curls, and itll last longer.

Other things are a bit harder to get used to though, like not washing your hair for two days minimum. If you can last longer, then do so. This gives your hair all the time in the world to set and gives you more time to enjoy the curls.

Now, just because you arent washing doesnt mean you shouldnt moisturize. Your hair is going to be dryer than normal. Folks with straight hair dont expect this, but now you know better. Moisturize your hair as often as possible. If you do this right, your perm may last six months or even longer.

Hopefully, this information helps you understand perms and curly hair better. If you want more info, talk to a hairstylist.

Further reading material

I hope that you liked this article! If you did and you want to learn more about perms, simply click on one of the links below!

Secrets for Getting the Perfect Perm
How do I grow my hair after the S-Curl perm?
How Soon Can You Color Your Hair After A Perm?

Joy-Lee Founder and writer of


Hi, my name is Joy-Lee and I'm the owner of As you might've noticed, I'm a true beauty lover, and made it my passion, my work and my hobby. I love sharing my thoughts and feelings on a variety of beauty aspects and want to thank you for reading!