How Do People Get Naturally Curly Hair?

Want to embrace your natural curls but unsure how they even came to be? Look no further! In this informative post, we’ll explore the fascinating question of how people develop naturally curly hair. Whether you were born with bouncy ringlets or are simply curious about the science behind those enviable waves, we’ve got you covered. So, let’s dig in and uncover the secrets of those gorgeous curls!

How Do People Get Naturally Curly Hair?

How Do People Get Naturally Curly Hair?

Curly hair is a beautiful and unique trait that many individuals possess. If you are wondering how people get naturally curly hair, there are several factors that contribute to this characteristic. From genetics to the structure of the hair, various elements play a role in determining whether someone will have curly or straight hair. Let’s explore these factors in more detail.


Genetics is one of the primary factors that determine whether someone will have naturally curly hair. The inheritance of curly hair genes from parents significantly influences the hair texture of an individual. While it is possible for two parents with straight hair to have a child with curly hair, it is more common for curly-haired individuals to have parents or ancestors with similar hair type. Variations in curly hair patterns can also occur, resulting in different types of curls, from loose waves to tight coils.

Structure of the Hair

Structure of the Hair of curly Hair

The structure of the hair plays a crucial role in determining its texture, including whether it is straight or curly. To understand this, let’s take a look at the three main components of the hair: the hair shaft, cortex, and cuticle.

Hair Shaft

The hair shaft refers to the visible part of the hair above the scalp. In individuals with naturally curly hair, the hair shaft has a distinct shape that promotes curl formation. Instead of growing straight, the shaft has a curvature that causes the hair to bend, resulting in curls.


The cortex is the middle layer of the hair shaft, and it is responsible for giving the hair its strength and elasticity. The arrangement of proteins within the cortex contributes to the curl formation. The more elliptical the shape of these proteins, the more likely the hair is to be curly.


The outermost layer of the hair shaft is called the cuticle. In individuals with curly hair, the cuticle is usually raised or uneven, which can contribute to frizz and a drier texture. Proper hair care routines, such as moisturizing and avoiding heat styling, can help manage the cuticle and enhance curly hair’s appearance.

outermost layer of the hair shaft is called the cuticle.

Hair Follicles

The hair follicles, located beneath the scalp, also play a role in determining hair texture. The shape and size of the hair follicles influence how the hair grows out of the scalp, which can result in curls. Individuals with elliptical or asymmetrical hair follicles are more likely to have curly hair compared to those with round follicles. Additionally, the curvature of the follicle can affect the angle at which the hair exits the scalp, contributing to the curl pattern.

Protein Composition

Proteins, specifically keratin and disulfide bonds, are vital for the formation of curly hair.


Keratin is the main protein found in hair, and its composition can differ between individuals. The presence of certain types of keratin, such as type II, is associated with curly hair. This type of keratin tends to form more disulfide bonds, influencing the hair’s structure and resulting in curls.

Disulfide Bonds

Disulfide bonds are chemical bonds that form between two sulfur atoms in the hair shaft. These bonds contribute to the hair’s strength and its ability to maintain its shape, including curls. The more disulfide bonds present, the more likely the hair is to be curly.

Hair Care Routines

Proper hair care routines are essential for maintaining and enhancing naturally curly hair.

Curly Hair Maintenance

Curly hair tends to be more prone to dryness and frizz. To maintain healthy curls, it is important to use products specifically designed for curly hair, such as moisturizing shampoos and conditioners. Additionally, regular trims can help prevent split ends and maintain the shape of the curls.

Hydration and Moisture

Curly hair requires sufficient hydration and moisture to prevent dryness and maintain its elasticity. Using leave-in conditioners and deep conditioning treatments can help keep the hair hydrated and prevent frizz. It is also recommended to avoid washing the hair every day, as this can strip away natural oils, leading to dryness.

Avoidance of Heat Styling

Excessive heat styling, such as using straighteners or curling irons, can damage curly hair and disrupt its natural curl pattern. It is best to avoid or limit the use of heat styling tools and opt for heat-free styling methods, like air-drying or using diffusers.

Proper Brushing and Detangling

Curly hair is more susceptible to tangling, so it is important to use wide-toothed combs or brushes specifically designed for curly hair. Brushing or combing the hair while wet or damp can help prevent breakage and maintain the curl shape.

Environmental Factors

Various environmental factors can influence the appearance and behavior of curly hair.


Humidity levels can significantly impact curly hair. When exposed to high humidity, curly hair can become frizzy and lose definition. On the other hand, low humidity can cause the hair to become drier and less voluminous. Using anti-frizz products can help manage the effects of humidity on curly hair.


Exposure to extreme temperatures, such as excessive heat or cold, can affect the health and appearance of curly hair. Heat can cause dryness and frizz, while cold temperatures can make the hair brittle. Protective hairstyles and the use of heat-protectant products can help minimize damage caused by temperature extremes.

UV Exposure

Just like skin, hair can be affected by UV radiation from the sun. Prolonged exposure to the sun’s rays can lead to hair damage, including dryness, color fading, and weakened strands. Wearing hats or using hair products with UV protection can help shield curly hair from the harmful effects of the sun.

Water Quality

The quality of the water used to wash the hair can also impact its appearance and texture. Hard water, which contains high mineral content, can leave deposits on the hair, leading to dryness and dullness. Using clarifying shampoos or installing water filters can help improve the water quality and maintain the health of curly hair.

Hormonal Changes

Hormonal changes in the body can influence the texture and behavior of the hair, including curl patterns.


During puberty, hormonal fluctuations can affect the hair’s structure, resulting in changes in texture, including the development of natural curls. It is not uncommon for individuals to experience a shift in hair type during this stage of life.


Just like during puberty, hormonal changes that occur during menopause can also impact the hair. Some women may notice changes in their hair texture, including the development of natural curls or changes in curl patterns.


Pregnancy hormones can also have an impact on the hair. While some women may experience thicker and more voluminous hair, others may notice changes in curl patterns during pregnancy.


The texture and behavior of hair can change with age, including curly hair.

Hair Changes with Age

As individuals age, hair strands naturally become thinner, drier, and more prone to breakage. This can affect the appearance and texture of curly hair. It is important to adapt hair care routines to accommodate these changes and provide the necessary moisture and nourishment to maintain healthy curls.

Curly Hair in Infants and Children

Some infants and children are born with naturally curly hair. However, it is not uncommon for the hair’s texture to change as they grow older. Babies with curly hair may end up with straighter or differently textured hair as they transition into childhood and adulthood.

Chemical Treatments

Chemical treatments, such as permanent waves, relaxers, and coloring and bleaching, can alter the natural texture of the hair, including curl patterns.

Permanent Wave

A permanent wave, also known as a perm, is a chemical treatment that alters the hair’s structure to create curls or waves. This treatment involves breaking the disulfide bonds in the hair shaft and reforming them in a curved shape. Perms can provide long-lasting curl patterns for individuals with straight or less curly hair.


Relaxers, also called hair relaxers, are chemical treatments designed to straighten curly or kinky hair. These treatments weaken the disulfide bonds in the hair shaft, allowing it to be reshaped into a straighter form. However, it is important to note that repeated or improper use of relaxers can cause hair damage and breakage.

Coloring and Bleaching

Applying hair color or bleach can also impact the curl pattern. While color treatments alone may not significantly alter the hair’s texture, bleaching processes can weaken the hair strands, resulting in looser or straighter curls. It is crucial to choose professional coloring techniques and follow proper aftercare routines to minimize damage.

In conclusion, naturally curly hair is influenced by a combination of genetics, hair structure, hair follicles, protein composition, hair care routines, environmental factors, hormonal changes, age, and chemical treatments. Understanding these factors can help individuals embrace and care for their curly hair, ensuring it remains healthy, beautiful, and full of life. Whether you were born with curls or have acquired them through other means, remember to love and embrace your unique hair texture!

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