It’s widely believed that if you’re born with curly hair, you’ll have curly hair forever. But that belief has been challenged on countless occasions by those who say their curly hair follicles have straightened either suddenly or over the years.
So, can curly hair turn straight with age or naturally on its own?
If you have curly hair and are wondering if it can turn straight, this article will be a monumental help. In it, we’ll reveal the answer to the title question, and we’ll answer any other side questions you might have.
Table of Contents
- 1 Can Curly Hair Turn Straight?
- 2 Can Your Hair Be Curly and Straight at the Same Time?
- 3 What If You Have Curly Hair and Want Straight Hair
- 4 How to Keep Your Curls Tight and Defined
Can Curly Hair Turn Straight?
Curly hair can turn straight. The degree of straightening will depend on the situation. You could experience total straightening of your hair or a partial reduction in your curl pattern. Either way, this only happens under certain circumstances. In this section, we’ll reveal several causes behind curly hair that’s turned straight.
Excessive heat damage can cause your hair to straighten. The heat depletes the hair’s moisture, weakens it, and disrupts the shape of your curls.
Over time, continual heat will cause your curl pattern to straighten out. To prevent this from happening, avoid styling your hair with hot tools. And whenever you do, apply a heat protectant beforehand.
Genetics also play a role in the straightening of curly hair. If one or both of your parents had wavy or straight hair, it could be the reason why your hair has straightened over time.
Also, one thing that most people don’t know is that genes can turn on and off randomly. So, if your curly hair gene turns off, your hair will grow straighter.
Some medications can cause your hair to suddenly straighten. If you’ve recently started taking a new medication and noticed an alteration in your curl pattern, this could be why.
In such cases, speak with your doctor about alternatives and other treatments that won’t affect your hair. Beta-blockers, acne treatments, and antidepressants are just a few of the medications that could cause your curly hair to straighten.
Mechanical Damage to Your Strands
Mechanical damage refers to physical damage to your strands. The structure of curly hair (or any hair at all) can be disrupted easily if it’s handled too roughly.
If you’re using styling tools like combs and brushes, make sure they’re designed for curly hair. Also, don’t brush your hair too often, as this can cause mechanical damage. Instead, finger-comb it or use a wide-toothed comb.
Using too many products or not washing them out effectively can lead to product buildup. This is when your strands become coated in product over time.
Product buildup can inhibit your strands’ ability to move freely, causing them to look stiff and lose their ability to curl.
To prevent product buildup, only apply what’s necessary to style your curls and use a clarifying shampoo now and again to give your hair a clean slate.
Increased Hair Length and Weight
When your hair is long, its weight can pull down and visibly straighten out your curls. This type of straightening will be more noticeable if you have fine curls.
If this is why your hair has straightened, the best remedy is to have it cut shorter to maintain its curl pattern. If you don’t mind your curl pattern stretching out as your hair grows, you don’t have to do anything about it. It isn’t a problem in itself.
Hormonal changes may also be to blame for curls going straight. Some of the most common hormonal changes that can affect hair include puberty, pregnancy, and menopause.
When you go through any of these changes, your body produces more or less of a particular hormone.
This can make a big difference in how your hair grows, especially if you have curly hair. Many times, after your hormone levels adjust and go back to normal, your hair will return to its curly state.
Can Your Hair Be Curly and Straight at the Same Time?
Yes, it’s possible for your hair to be both curly and straight at the same time. Most people have multiple curl patterns on their head, so some strands may be curly while others are straight.
This is completely normal and nothing to worry about.
In cases like this, you may have to choose one texture (e.g., straight, wavy, or curly hair) and style your hair to favor that texture.
If you want to preserve the health of your hair, use heatless methods to add curls to the straighter areas rather than straighten the curly hairs to match the straight ones.
What If You Have Curly Hair and Want Straight Hair
Having curly hair can be both a blessing and a curse. It takes a lot of time and effort to cleanse, detangle, style, and grow out.
For those reasons, many with naturally curly hair want to straighten their locks for a sleeker, more polished look and an easier haircare routine.
So, what can you do to get straighter hair?
However, these treatments can be damaging to the hair, so it’s best to seek professional advice beforehand.
It’s also important that you take good care of your hair afterward and use the right products to avoid further damage. The right way to straighten your hair will depend on the type of curls you have and how much damage you’re willing to accept.
How to Keep Your Curls Tight and Defined
Natural curls hold their shape really well when they are adequately nourished, moisturized, and cared for. Here are some tips to keep your curls tight and defined:
- Deep condition your hair regularly. A deep conditioner is essential for curly hair since it helps replenish the moisture balance in the scalp and hair. Most deep conditioners only require a few minutes of your time, so it’s a quick and easy way to get healthier, more defined curls.
- Use natural oils for extra nourishment. Natural oils such as coconut, argan, and avocado oil can help seal moisture into the hair shaft. As a result, your hair will maintain its shape and stay bouncy and healthy. As a plus, natural oils keep your curls from becoming frizzy.
- Use a leave-in conditioner or curl cream. These products help to define, shape, and nourish each curl. They also double as protectants, given that they tend to leave a film on the hair, shielding it from outside influences.
- Air dry your hair or use a diffuser. This will help to keep the curls intact and reduce frizz. Avoid using a blow dryer on medium or high heat, which can destroy the structure of your hair and cost you your curl pattern.
- Use sulfate-free products. Sulfates can strip away the natural oils from your hair, leaving it brittle and dry. Instead, opt for sulfate-free products to ensure optimal care for your hair.
- Trim your hair regularly. Regular trimming is essential for keeping split ends away and maintaining a healthy curl pattern. You should only need to take off 1/4 of an inch every 6 to 12 weeks. But if your hair is visibly healthy, you can trim your hair even less often than that. And don’t forget to use hair-cutting shears.
- Can Straight Hair Turn Curly?
- Why is My Hair Curly Underneath but Straight on Top
- My Hair Used to Be Curly
- How to Get Your Natural Curls Back After Straightening
In conclusion, curly hair can straighten for many different reasons, such as genetics, medications, mechanical damage, product buildup, increased length and weight, and hormonal changes.
Unfortunately, many influences that lead to straight hair are unpredictable or even undesirable. To get straighter hair without a ton of damage, you could try temporary styling methods or seek professional advice on chemical treatments.
We hope you found all the information you needed on this topic, and we wish you the best with your hair.
Kenneth Byrd holds a BS in Accounting and Management Information Systems and an MBA from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. He is a serial hair blogger that has been writing about hair care since 2008, when he co-founded Curl Centric® and Natural Hair Box. Curl Centric is a website operated by a husband and wife team that encourages healthy hair care. At Curl Centric, we aim to help our readers take control of their hair care journey and make good decisions about products, hairstyles, and maintenance techniques. We also have strict editorial integrity; here’s an explanation of our editorial guidelines and how we make money.