How to Tell If Someone Has a Perm?

All secrets that will help you define who has a perm and who doesn’t

Written by Kate Holmsy. Updated on How to Tell If Someone Has a Perm

For some reason, those who have naturally straight hair always dream of curls and wavy strands. This is probably one of the reasons why people get a perm so often. And with the help of modern techniques and products, it is possible to get ideally curly hair quite easily!

But since perm curls can be so naturally-looking, you might want to know how to tell if someone got a perm.

Why would you need that? Well, just to satisfy your curiosity!

For example, when you see someone with perfect curls, you might start wondering whether they are natural or not. And instead of chasing that person to ask about it, you will be able to figure it out yourself.

In this article, we will tell about the difference between perm and natural curls, and also, you are going to find out about several tricks that will help you define what curls are natural and what curls are definitely salon-made!

How to Know If Someone Has a Perm?

You might want to be aware of whether someone has a perm or not because of different reasons. For example, you saw a person with fabulous and perfect curls and you liked them so much that you also want to get the same ones now.

Looking for Curly Hairstyles? Thinking of Getting a Perm? Know more about Perm Types and Curly HairLooking for Curly Hairstyles? Thinking of Getting a Perm? Know more about Perm Types and Curly Hair

Or you might just see someone walking down the street, having that ideally curly mane, and it made you wonder whether those curls are natural or perm.

Either way, you can tell if someone has perm or naturally curly hair by looking at the uniformity of curls. The curls or waves that are produced with a perm will always be of almost identical size and shape, and they have a uniform direction. When you take a look at such hair, you see that it looks perfectly styled.

On the other hand, if you take a look at the naturally curly hair, you can notice that it is not so neat, and its curls will not be of a single and uniform pattern. You may notice that it has irregular loops and random hair strands are curlier at some points and straighter at others.

Of course, these are just some common things that can tell you someone has perm curls. If you want to know more about how to define perm curls more professionally, check out the following tricks and tips.

Perm Produce Uniform Curls

As we have already said above, a perm is known for being able to produce uniform curls (of course, when it is done professionally). If you ask people who have naturally curly hair, they will tell you that their original waves lack uniformity and evenness. This is why they go for a perm!

It is very easy to notice the uniform curls, especially if someone has long hair. That’s because the short hair doesn’t have much spare surface to make those perm curls noticeable for a viewer.

Some of you may now be curious about what uniform curls mean exactly. Well, they mean that your curls spread evenly all over your hair. As a result, your hairstyle becomes single-shape and flawless.

However, it is not going to be like that with natural waves! They are not consistent and sometimes may look weird and randomly arranged. Someone with natural curls can have too tighter one at some hair strands and the looser at other.

Perm Produce Uniform Curls
IgorVetushko via VistaCreate

With A Perm, You Get Single Shape and Pattern Curls

Naturally curly hair is less likely to have a single or particular shape. Perms, on the contrary, are available in various shapes. They can be spiral, body waves, root, partial, or beach waves.

This is why, when someone gets a professional perm, all the curls will be of a particular shape. However, when trying to guess the perm, you will need to know about a few of its common shapes or styles.

With A Perm, You Get Single Shape and Pattern Curls
AlexFedorenko via VistaCreate

Perm Gives Almost Single-Size Curls

Everyone knows that perm curls look ideally the same. But do you know why they are like that? That’s because curling hair this way involves the rods on which hair strands are wrapped.

This technique helps to produce consistent, single-size, and uniform-shape curls. This is also the reason why the spirals or waves from the regular perming procedure are of even size.

On the contrary, natural curls can be of both sizes simultaneously. Thanks to that nuance, they are easily distinguished from the waves people get with a perm.

Perm Gives Almost Single Size Curls
IreneShy via VistaCreate

Permed Hair Is Straighter At Roots

The hair roots are difficult to wrap around the perm rods. Therefore, in most cases, an inch or more of hair at its roots remains straighter with the perm.

Also, the hair curls from a perm solution stay on your hair for about four to six months. This is why, if you got a perm a month ago, your hair will grow out straight from the roots.

And naturally, it will be easy for you to detect the difference between curls in the middle or end of hair and the hair an inch or two above the scalp.

As for the naturally curly hair, it curls from its roots to the ends all the way down. The spirals at hair roots can be less tight, but they will be noticeable, unlike those from a perm.

Permed Hair Is Straighter At Roots
IreneShy via VistaCreate

Natural Curls Are Not Perfect

It is obvious that natural curls or waves can’t be perfect! All natural things always have a slightly raw look.

Natural Hair Vs. The PermNatural Hair Vs. The Perm

So, if you see someone with perfect curls on their hair every day, the only possible reason for this is that the person has a perm. At this point, you should note that other hair curling techniques (for example, flat irons) are not able to produce uniform and single-pattern curls.

So, now you know how you can define whether a person has perm curls or natural curls. But if it is pretty easy to tell the difference visually, it might not be so easy to figure out what makes natural and perm curls differ on the other levels.

Below, we recommend you read about certain factors that make these hairstyles distinct by their nature.

Perm Curls vs Natural Curls. What Is the Difference?

As you can tell already, there are a few external distinctions that can be found between naturally curly hair and perms. Thanks to them, you can relatively easily tell what curls are natural and what curls are not.

Is it Natural or a Perm 5 Spotting Secrets

However, there are a few more factors that make natural waves and perm curls distinct.

Perm Curls vs Natural Curls. What Is the Difference
DmitryPoch via VistaCreate

No Folds On Natural Curls

First of all, natural curls don’t usually have folds. Of course, this doesn’t mean you will never see folds on a natural curl! It is possible the person slept on the hair without protecting it.

Or, maybe, the person with natural curls used a hair accessory improperly. Nevertheless, it would just be one curl that’s damaged, not the whole head.

No Folds On Natural Curls
Volurol via VistaCreate

Natural Curls Are Simpler to Maintain

This is probably the reason why the owners of perm curls envy those who have naturally curly hair! Unlike a common belief, it is much easier to maintain naturally curly hair since they won’t need hair products to keep their hair curly. Also, no regular upkeep procedures are needed for keeping your curls in an ideal state.

Of course, natural curls will have some minor imperfections. For example, you might see some defined curls and a few loose curls. This is absolutely normal, and it makes the hair look more attractive.

Since now you know more about perm curls and you can define them in a single glance, let’s find out how you could define natural curls, and what features you should pay attention to for doing this.

Natural Curls Are Simpler to Maintain
ArturVerkhovetskiy via VistaCreate

How to Tell If Someone Has Naturally Curly Hair?

There are many ways to tell if someone’s hair is naturally curly. For example, if you have naturally curly hair, then it is most likely going to get wild and hard to tame in humid weather. Unlike you, a person with a perm won’t be struggling with untamed curls because of humid weather.

Why would someone with natural curls suffer like that?

Real or Fake Curls 4 Surefire Perm Spotting Tips

See, the reason for this is that natural curls feel dehydrated. They are craving moisture when it’s humid around, so they react to the atmosphere by getting frizzy and swelling up. This is why it is recommended to add extra moisturizer to your hair on humid days.

We should also point out that frizz and static are common symptoms of natural curls. For some reason, naturally curly hair is dryer. This is why it needs more moisture than straight hair.

If you don’t give it that moisture, you will have to deal with frizz and static all the time! So we would say that frizz is more like a sign of improper hair care for natural curls.

How to Tell If Someone Has Naturally Curly Hair
Gartmanart via VistaCreate

How Long Is a Perm Supposed to Last?

When people get a perm on their hair, they expect this awesome effect to last as long as possible (ideally forever). But the reality is that even professionally done perm curls will not be eternal!

The good news is that there are a few things you can do in order to keep your perm curls looking great and extend their lifespan.

Try to avoid combing your hair within the first 24 hours after the perm procedure. It may feel unnatural, but if you comb, your curls won’t set as well

Avoid ponytails. Those things are known as curl killers! If you make a ponytail, all that pressure on your delicate curls will begin to harm your freshly made perm. Don’t do that to your curls, and your perm will last longer

Also, it is not recommended to wash your hair for two days minimum after the perm procedure. By avoiding washing your hair, you will provide your hair with enough time to help it set and thus, it will give you more time to enjoy the curls

However, note that just because you aren’t washing your hair, it doesn’t mean you should not moisturize your mane! After the perm procedure, your hair is going to be dryer than normal.

Usually, people with naturally straight hair don’t expect this, and then they have problems when they skip moisturizing their strands. You should moisturize your hair as often as possible! If you do this right, your perm may last six months or even longer.

With all these tips and life hacks regarding perm curls, you will be able to keep your newly done hairstyle in great condition much longer, saving money and time on its refreshments. And in addition, you are now aware of a few simple tricks that can help you tell the difference between natural curls and perm curls.

How Long Is a Perm Supposed to Last
Milkos via VistaCreate


Frequently Asked Questions

⭐What happens if you perm curly hair?

If you get a perm on your naturally curly hair, a perm will swell the hairshaft, which can cause already-porous curly hair to become dry and frizzy, the opposite effect of what a curly intended

⭐How to make permed hair look naturally curly?

If you want to relax a perm, wash your hair with Color Protecting Shampoo and Conditioner to help relax your curls. Apply a deep conditioning treatment or hot oil treatment, cover your curls with a shower cap, and leave on for several hours.

⭐How to prove you don’t have a perm?

Take a shower and then take a picture right when you get out to show that it’s still curly. Naturally curly hair will be curling into waves and ringlets even when it’s soaked with water.

Written by
Kate worked in "The Fashion Magazine" for four years as a freelance writer and loved to consult and help people with their style. How to create your own style, how to look beautiful, and select trendy colors for your hair - these are just a few of many issues Kate will happily explain in Beezzly Beauty blogs!
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