You’ve probably come across many people who have straight hair and want curly hair. Then there’s another group that has curly hair but enjoys straightening it out. However, for some people, hair changes its texture and shape on its own – and it’s not just because of frequent styling or weather changes. So, if you’re wondering why your hair texture has changed from curly to straight or vice versa, a few different factors may have come into play.
Your hair is primarily composed of amino acids that make up the protein, keratin. Depending on how these amino acids bond, the bonds between them determine how your hair will bend. If a hair follicle is thick and round, amino acids called cysteines, have a lower chance of coming together close enough to create tight bonds. This results in hair that’s likely to be straight.
If a hair follicle is thinner and flat, the cysteine molecules have a much better chance of bonding together and creating ringlets in your hair. Think of how you wrap a present. If you use a flat ribbon, you can easily stretch it and shape it into a curl. On the other hand, a round string will be far less malleable and will be better kept straight.
Your genes have a definite role in deciding the shape of your hair follicle, which determines the straightness or curliness of your hair. However, numerous factors can affect how your hair grows. Although scientists aren’t sure why this happens, experts believe it could have a lot to do with a combination of genetics, body chemistry, and hormones.
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During periods of tremendous hormonal shifts, such as puberty, pregnancy, and menopause, a multitude of odd things occur in the human body. Your skin may feel completely different. You may have trouble losing or putting on weight and sometimes. Changes in your hormones can alter your hair completely – making curly hair straighter and straight hair, curlier.
The following are some hormones that may be responsible for your curly hair suddenly going straight:
These are hormones produced by your thyroid gland. According to a study published in the journal, Dermato Endocrinology, researchers have observed that changes in hair texture and volume are commonly linked to hormonal imbalances from thyroid abnormalities, such as hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism.
According to the study, individuals with hypothyroidism may experience slow growing, dry and brittle hair. People with hyperthyroidism may notice that their hair is oilier, thinner and more brittle.
Androgens are male sex hormones that are responsible for the maintenance and development of male characteristics. However, androgens aren’t only present in men. Androgens increase in both boys and girls during their puberty. These hormones can increase body hair in both males and females, and cause balding in males.
High levels of androgens in women may change the shape of their hair follicle. This may result in changes in hair texture from straight to curly and curly to straight.
Insulin is a hormone produced in the body to regulate blood sugar levels. However, a study published in the European Journal of Preventative Cardiology finds that insulin resistance may be significantly associated with androgenic alopecia or severe hair loss. Both can result in changes in hair texture as hair grows back.
We all know that hair turns gray with age. However, did you know that it may also undergo a plethora of subtle changes that may lead to one giant change? Keep reading to find out what may have caused your hair to become straight, according to your age.
Your hair starts as tiny bulb-like hair follicles. Believe it or not, all of us are born with the same number of hair follicles on our scalp, around 120,000. This means that the bushy-haired child of your friends has the same number of follicles as any fine haired child. Furthermore, how a baby’s hair looks now gives a poor prediction of how their hair will look in the future.
However, note that the number of hair follicles in your scalp never changes. The type of hair produced does differ, according to the effects of hormones, diet, and aging.
Hair is made of a protein called keratin, which gives your hair strength and structure. During your teens, the rush of hormones that accompany puberty causes the hair to grow faster and thicker than any other time. However, hormonal changes during puberty also trigger your sebaceous glands to produce more sebum, creating that greasy, dull hair that many teenagers suffer from. Oily hair can weigh your hair down, thereby giving rise to fewer, or “flatter” curls.
During this stage, children with lighter hair may experience darkening of their hair. This results from hormones stimulating the melanocyte cells in hair follicles. Melanocytes insert more colored pigment called melanin in every strand, causing hair that is darker. At this age, children and teens may benefit from using shampoos designed for oily hair.
During your early 20s, your hair is fuller and more lustrous than ever before. However, a few things can change this.
Heavy periods and strict diets cause a depletion of B vitamins, which are vital for healthy hair growth. Also, lack of iron in the diet can significantly slow hair growth and cause hair to look thinner and flatter. Your hair will thin at a rate of 3% every year after the age of 20, but you’ll only notice a difference after you lose about 15% of it.
Also, excess sun exposure can damage your hair, especially during your 20s. Your hair has 18 different amino acids, and about five of them are sensitive to UV light from the sun. Spending too much time in the sun without proper protection causes these amino acids to break down, resulting in hair that’s weaker, more brittle, and much more susceptible to breakage.
Furthermore, this is the time most women are likely to have babies, which can also affect hair. Hair feels thicker and more lustrous during pregnancy because the hormonal changes slow down your hair’s shedding phase. However, as your hormone levels return to normal after giving birth, your hair may begin to fall rapidly, resulting in thinner hair with possible bald patches.
Around six in ten women will have some gray hair when they hit their 40s. This is mainly because your melanocytes begin to wear out with age. Even if your hair doesn’t turn white, your melanocytes aren’t working correctly, which means that your hair will become paler over time.
You may have noticed that grey hair isn’t going to be as bouncy. It tends to be wiry. Melanin is a conditioning agent that also protects your hair from the sun. Without its protection, your hair can become coarser and more brittle.
Hair also becomes straggly during the 40s because of slow metabolism and stunted cell turnover.
Hair generally grows at a rate of half an inch per month, but it may grow half this rate as you age. Moreover, specific medication can change your hair texture dramatically. To reduce the effects of aging on hair, try keeping up a healthy lifestyle with foods rich in B vitamins, healthy fats, protein, and iron. It also helps to be physically active as it may help reverse the effects of medication and stress.
Your hair texture changes during menopause. It occurs around the age of 51 on average and may be the cause of your hair turning straight from curly. This is mainly because some women are genetically predisposed to be sensitive to 5 alpha-reductase, an enzyme found in hair follicles.
When estrogen levels drop during menopause, the testosterone that remains in the body reacts with this enzyme, forming DHT. DHT shrinks hair follicles and makes hair appear finer. However, unlike men, women’s hair doesn’t thin around the crown or hairline. They generally experience overall thinning of the hair. This is the main reason women notice their curly hair becoming straight during menopause.
Hair that was once curly and bouncy appears straightened, especially around a woman’s sixties. Hair that looks wavy is shaped by the strands next to it. Hair strands work in harmony to produce volume and bounce. However, as hair thins, strands become further apart. This prevents your hair from holding its spiral shape and creating movement.
To prevent your hair from changing, consider maintaining a healthy diet with a high protein intake. According to a research published in the Journal of Nutrition Health and Aging, our diets become more carb-based as we age. This is mainly because older people find it easier to prepare, chew and process these foods. However, it is critical that you keep your intake of high-quality protein, from eggs, poultry and fish high as protein makes the building blocks for healthy hair.
The unfortunate reality of curly hair is that preventing it from losing its spiral pattern is much easier than returning it to its original state. Many sources claim that restoring curls, whether it’s from hormonal changes or heat damage isn’t possible.
Luckily, just a few changes in your hair routine can help your natural hair and any new regrowth to spring back to life.
Whether your hair has been damaged by bleach or heat, broken from styling or altered with age, giving it moisture religiously can make a massive impact on how it looks. Water-based products, such as fresh aloe vera gel is an excellent way to add some moisture, without weighing your hair down.
Changing your style from blow-dried hair to wash and go can help retain the moisture in your hair and prevent it from drying out. Tie your hair in a loose braid to conceal wet hair and give you a fresher look. Avoid tying your hair back too tightly and changing up your style on a daily basis to maintain your curls as much as possible.
Choose products that are creamy and contain emollients to help reduce frizz. Be sure to test the product on the back of your hand before purchasing it. If it feels sticky after a minute, it probably contains alcohol. Alcohol is notorious for zapping your hair’s moisture and giving you limp hair or crunchy curls.
Keep away from gels and mousses and choose creamy curl enhancers, such as the Aveda Be Curly Curl Enhancer. Don’t be afraid to ask for testers while product shopping, as you have no idea if it will work. Most salons are happy to hand out little testers for you to try the product at home.
It’s also important that you wait at least two weeks to see if the product works. This gives your hair enough time to adapt and get used to the new product.
And finally, try using moisturizing products while your hair is soaking wet. Although most products recommend use in towel-dried hair, waiting too long can allow frizz to develop.
You saw this one coming. It’s easy to tell when your curls have undergone heat damage. Your bouncy curls appear drier, looser and more brittle. They look fried because they literally are! If you suspect that your curl pattern has been altered from excess use of heat, understand that your hair is damaged – not changed.
Therefore, if you want your natural curls back, you need to put down your flat iron, curling iron and blow dryer. Consider divorcing all of them. And no, keeping tools at low temperatures will not reverse the damage.
Allow your hair to air dry and use a cotton t-shirt to dry it. This helps create curls and prevents frizz. It’s also gentler on your hair. You’d want to avoid hairstyles that cause excess tension in the hair, such as tight ponytails. You want your hair to become curly again, stretching it is not going to help.
If your hair is damaged by heat, protective styles might help save you. During the stage of bringing back your curl pattern, it may feel difficult to add variety to your styles.
Protective hairstyles, such as box braids, Marley twists and two strand twists, allowing damaged ends to grow out. In between changing styles, it’s critical that you see a stylist to trim your ends. This will help cut out damaged hair and split ends and encourage healthier new growth.
Many people underestimate the power of effective home remedies while restoring curl patterns. One popular trick is to make a homemade moisturizing protein treatment using one egg, one teaspoon of olive oil and a couple of teaspoons of mayonnaise to restore hair curls. Mix all ingredients together in a blender until smooth and slather all over hair and scalp. Increase the quantity of the ingredients if you have thicker, longer hair.
Avoid using this treatment on a work day as it takes at least one hour before the smell of mayonnaise fades away after washing. If heat damage has also thinned your hair, applying castor oil from your scalp to tips at least thrice a week, can help encourage your fallen hair to grow back.
Another excellent remedy that boosts shine, strength, and bounce is an avocado and egg protein treatment. You’ll need 1 egg, ½ an avocado, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, 1/3 cup of coconut milk and a few drops of eucalyptus essential oil. Mix all ingredients in a blender and apply all over scalp and hair to moisturize hair follicles and revive your curls. Keep the pack on for at least 30 minutes or longer and rinse well.
Rosemary oil (not essential oil) is another ingredient to add to your hair care crew as it does a wonderful job strengthening hair and promoting healthier growth.
If you haven’t figured it out yet, curls love hydration. However, modern styling techniques have reduced the moisture content in our hair and have made it drier and more brittle than ever before.
Shampooing every day is not recommended while bringing back your curls, but there are a couple of ways you can still feel clean. Our favorite solution to skipping shampoo is using apple cider vinegar. Apple cider vinegar rinses are amazing for maintaining healthy pH levels in your hair and encouraging healthier growth.
Simply mix a couple of tablespoons of apple cider vinegar in one cup of water (or more, depending on your length) and wet your strands from scalp to tips. You can mix in a few drops of your favorite essential oils to mask the pungent smell of apple cider, but the vinegary smell generally wears off within 30 minutes.
One of the best ways to restore your natural curl pattern is to trim damaged parts of your hair. However, in some cases, it may also mean that you have to cut off large sections of your hair. This may scare most people, but the reality is that your hair will grow back. In fact, it will grow back faster, curlier and healthier.
Do not let your damaged hair weigh your hair down. Sometimes it just helps to start over with a brand new hair routine. Trust us, you’ll be whipping your curls back and forth in no time!
Since curly and wavy hair types are more prone to drying, heat styling and sun exposure can cause a complete host of problems, from frizz and breakage to hair straightening unexpectedly.
To fix this, make sure you deep condition every week. Pour your deep conditioner in a cup and microwave it for a few seconds till it becomes warm. This makes it easier for the hair to soak in the moisture and nutrients. Apply all over damp hair and scalp until they are fully saturated. Keep the deep conditioner on for 30 minutes or longer and wash off with a sulfate free shampoo and conditioner.
If you feel your hair is damaged from heat styling or regular coloring, consider a salon protein treatment that will fill the cuticle gaps in your hair and allow it to retain moisture more effectively. It is much more difficult to bring your curls back if your hair is damaged. You can also use protein-rich products such as the Aphogee Keratin 2 Minute Reconstructor.
Remember the time when you’d let your dry overnight and wake up to beautiful, natural curls. If you feel your hair still has the potential to curl, try diffusing your hair while it is just damp. Note that it does take a while to get used to it but watching a few tutorials on YouTube and trying it out may be your saving grace.
While slathering on your curling products, try scrunching your hair to coax your hair into curling. Curly and wavy hair can be easily weighed down by products or by just taking a shower, so if you’re using a creamy product, it’s important to counter the weight by scrunching your hair in an upward direction. This will also prevent your curls from looking crunchy.
Be sure to be gentle while applying the product as pulling the curls apart too rigorously may cause frizz and flat curls.
It takes a little more than patience to win at your natural hair game. If you have been chemically processing your hair for a long time, understand that it takes time to bounce back.
The internet is flooded with helpful tips and tricks to improving hair health and revitalizing curl patterns. Be sure to keep yourself updated with plenty of YouTube videos as you wait for your natural curls to return.
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