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Why Did My Curl Type Change?

Posted on 16 August 2018

Have you ever woken up one day and looked in the mirror and realized that your hair is just...different? It’s hard to pinpoint when and where the change happened but you know you can’t be imagining it! Somehow your curls are looser, or maybe they're tighter? There may even be waves or curls where there’s never been before! 😱 Whether you are loving the change or you’re looking to get back what you had, we thought we'd delve into the mystery of why our hair textures change in the first place.


What Makes Curly Hair Curly?

To understand what could cause someone’s hair to change it's best to first know what gives curls their unique shape and texture!

Born This Way

This one is a no-brainer; genetics play a huge role in all of our physical attributes, and our hair is no exception. Whether you have a head full of luscious waves or lots of bouncy ringlets, you have genes to thank for that. So if your mom, dad, or grandparent has curly hair too, chances are they passed those genes on to you! Thanks, Ma!

Bent Out of Shape

Since genes alone can't fully explain the variations between different curl types, hair texture comes down to way more than just simple genetics.

The truth is that the shape of your hair follicles are the biggest factor in determining your hair texture. Your hair follicles are the part of your scalp that guide and grow hair fibres, so it makes sense that they could shape the way your strands look. Hair follicles that are circular and symmetrical produce straight hair, while oval shaped follicles produce hair that curls.

Building Bonds

But wait there's more! 😅 Curly hair also has a unique composition. Unlike straight hair, curly hair strands have an uneven distribution of keratin protein. These proteins form bonds throughout the hair shaft that contribute to the shape, size and tightness of each curl. When curly hair is chemically relaxed, these bonds are broken apart, and as a result, straightens the curl.

Unsolved Science

Even though it’s been determined for years that curly hair is a dominant gene, scientists admit that there is still no way to predict, the size, tightness, or overall behaviour of someone’s curls. Curly hair is just THAT unique.

Why The Change?

The Root Cause

Now that we know what a big role our follicles play in shaping our curls, it is likely that major changes in textures start at the root of your hair. That being said, it is possible for the shape of your follicles to change. Bodily changes like age, health, hormones, stress and diet are all factors that can impact the landscape of your hair.

Hormonal Hair

Believe it or not, major hormonal changes (like the kind you experience during pregnancy, puberty or even menopause) can actually affect and CHANGE the shape of your hair follicle as well as the size and thickness of your hair strands. So all the stories you've heard of hair changing (for better or worse) during pregnancy actually have some truth to them!

The 'D' Word

The dreaded 'D' word: damage. Damage doesn't come by flat ironing and straightening alone; there are many other factors that could cause damage to your hair, such as dryness. Your curls are the bounciest and healthiest when your hair AND scalp are moisturized. When they are dry, your curls can become rough, brittle and more susceptible to damage.

Another sneaky culprit can be over-manipulation. Detangling, pulling and brushing your hair back into buns, ponytails, and styles meant to stretch the hair can also affect your texture over time so be mindful of this if you're trying to bring some life back into your curls!

A Long Story

Long hair means more hair, and more hair means more weight. As your hair grows longer the weight starts to pull from the bottom up to your roots, resulting in your curl pattern being stretched and elongated. Sometimes a new hair cut can bring a little bounce back into your hair by using scissors to create varying layers and textures in your hair. Consulting with a curly hair specialist is the best way to figure out what kind of cut works best with your curl texture.

Curly Come-Up

Maybe your hair type hasn't changed (or at least not drastically), maybe you've just figured things out. A lot of us curly girls have spent a good portion of our lives not actually embracing our curls and perhaps you've finally figured out what works for you. We can't tell you how many times we've heard feedback from customers who are shocked at how a product can really transform your curl pattern.

Have you ever noticed a change in your curl pattern? Maybe you had an unexpected pattern spring up after pregnancy? Or maybe your kinks and coils are looser than they used to be after rocking a straightened look? Comment below and let us know!

 


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38 comments

  • Gwen: July 29, 2019

    When I was a kid, my hair was long, wavy with curly ringlet ends. And then puberty! I ended up looking like Gilda Radner in the 80’s. It was super thick and kinky curly. Of course we didn’t have any decent product available and my mom made me cut it short. It was supposed to be a “halo” but really just ended up looking like an actual birds nest. I decided to let it grow in high school and the curl relaxed again to a more manageable wave that held a curl for days, with little ringlets in front of my ears. Got mono in my early 20’s and lost about 1/3 of my hair thickness over all. Got my first perm ever in an attempt at curl/style control. Perm took so well I looked like Lucille Ball for a solid 3 months. That was back in the day of banana clips, but couldn’t control it otherwise. Continued to perm and grow long until mid 30’s and pregnancy. Curl came back in. Late 40’s and curl had relaxed again to uneven curls. Thought I’d perm it again for control. Big mistake. Haven’t permed it since and now early 50’s and found LUS. Using a Wavy and Curly mix to see what I can do with my curls and waves. Still experimenting with product combinations and amount of water. Haven’t hit yet on “the One” combination, but not giving up. I can say with going grey my hair is changing texture too so that LUS isn’t giving me the volume I’m used too and I cannot stand flat hair.
    My daughter seems to be following in my footsteps with the looser wave/curl I had as a kid and now at 14 she has super thick (thicker than mine was I think) and curly long hair. I think hers is even curlier than mine was at that age but hard to say since we have much better products now. She is using the Curly and still learning how to control her curls.

  • Cathleen Henrikson: August 14, 2019

    My hair started to change after my divorce in 2012. In my youth I had relatively fine but thick dark blonde hair. There was a bit of wave underneath and it had a lot of body, and in some layered cuts I’d get a bit of loose curl at the end/long areas but that’s it. When I was 37 I had my second child and my hair seemed to get thicker so it was pretty straight until after the divorce, almost 20 years later.

    I was post-menopausal and started taking some meds for HBP and my hair started thinning a bit. That’s when the curl started to emerge. I was able to get my BP under control naturally so my hair started thickening up, not as thick as in my youth but definitely “normal”. Now my hair is definitely a 2B or 2C with volume and bend on the top, loose curls in the middle and what can be thick ringlets at the ends. It’s kind of funny – I look like a middle-aged Goldilocks sometimes but I really love it! I used to perm my hair in the ‘70s to get a curly look – who would have thought that I’d have it naturally now…? :-)

  • Cassandra: July 29, 2019

    Up until my mid to late 20’s I had a slight wave in my hair but no curls. I would curl my hair and by the time I got from one side of my head to the other the curls had already fallen. Then I started noticing my hair starting to curl around the hair line and eventually my hair became curly all over. Both of my parents have curly hair and I always wondered why mine was so straight. I guess I just had to wait a little bit for genetics to kick in :-)

  • Morena: April 18, 2019

    I always had beautiful long curly hair, which I was able to styled anyways I liked to: curly, straight, up, or down. My nightmare started the summer of 2014 when my hair did not curl it was just straight with no life at all, it looks totally dead. I’m hoping to at least get some waves back as I miss my curls so much.

  • Samantha: April 18, 2019

    Hey! Firstly just want to say i used to absolutely love using LUS brands products and really miss using them!
    My hair is naturally extremely curly but my pregnancy changed EVERYTHING! I knew that it could potentially make my hair thicker or cause hair loss but i never expected what i had and after reading this article, it’s honestly the first time I’ve seen anything noted about the hair style changing as a result of hormones/pregnancy etc. My hair completely changed its texture and started growing through dead straight. 9 months post part my curls are only just growing back through my roots and i have about 6 inches of straight growing out. Yay. Since this happened I stopped using any hair products (quite the change from spending most of my paychecks on products :p) and either plait my hair or tie it in a bun so that no one can see the mess i’m walking around with every day. I’d welcome any advise on using LUS products again having two completely contrasting styles in my hair xx

  • Amanda L Pennington: November 15, 2018

    As a child, I had loose curls. As I neared puberty, my hair turned into the tightest, most beautiful perfect spirals. After my first child, my curls relaxed to almost straight. I was devastated. Time passed and my curls came back some. Now, age 42, my hair will dry to pretty curls but not nearly like they used to be.I have to use gel and a diffuser to get the curls. And by day 2, it’s just wavy at best. I would give my right arm to have my beautiful curls come back.

  • Tippy: November 15, 2018

    I’ve always had curly hair. I laughed when I read your descriptions b/c I have all those types of curly hair on my head lol – frizzy, wavy, curly q underneath and at my front temple. I’m turning 50 this year so I’m starting to lose my hair and it’s getting more frizzy. I’m hoping this product will help me get more curl or at least allow me have less frizz.

  • Laura Bachmeyer: October 30, 2018

    I was born with straight hair with cowlicks. I always could curl my hair with a curling iron and it would stay until the next day. After my 1st pregnancy, my hair had a 4" wave down the back only…what??? 6 years later after my 2nd pregnancy, my hair became curly all over, but the sides are looser. I’ve tried everything to make my hair appear more even curled all over, but I had given up. I’ve been using your products for 2 months now & I’m loving it!!! I’m no longer trying to straight style it, so less heat = less damage & less frizz. I try to wear my hair down on most days, except during exercise, too help keep the curls fresh. Thank you for your products.

  • Margaret B: October 30, 2018

    Tight, almost pincurl type curls at birth and babyhood, very thick. Later, during early teens, I tried to straighten with large rollers. Then, went back to short. My wave pattern is EXACTLY like my father’s was! Now, at this point (70), after about 10 years of longer, blown dried hair that actually would “mushroom” in moisture, in my very late 50’s, and after moving to the perennially humid (humid hot or humid cold, but always HUMID), I cut it short again. It again took on the old wave pattern. As it has begun greying as a mixed brown/grey all over with temple areas more grey than Brown, it is much curler than in years and is very easy to manage with a good cut. It still has a “mind of its own,” and the back is straighter on the left than the deeply waved right, but I have embraced my curls now since 2008!

  • angela: October 30, 2018

    my hair was always straight until i was about 12 i begged my family to let me get a perm… turns out i had “natural body wave” lol yeah gotta love the 80’s
    so turns out i have natural spiral waves or curls .. jut needed to know how to work them. little mouse or gel and scrunch. that was when i was 12 now at 40 it’s curlier than ever and well that is due to amazing moisturizing products and curl activators
    i have very long, thin hair but lots of it lol love my curls and i have never ever straightened it..

  • Mikaila Olinger: October 30, 2018

    My hair has been frizzy, curly, wavy all my life… i got married 2 years ago and moved a hour south of where i had lived my whole like. this last year all of the sudden my hair became pin straight i miss my curls so much. I’m thinking its from hormones.

  • Julie Hammond: October 30, 2018

    I had stick straight hair till I had my 2nd Back Surgery and they put a Titanium Cage in back…now I have Coily Hair which i love but its super fine so its kinda see through when its long…with product and time i can get it to look pretty good but if i don’t plaster it with spray..its frizzy with in a couple hours

  • Katie: October 30, 2018

    I’ve always had fine hair, but lots of it, and until pregnancy it was super curly. I learned how to embrace it in my late teens, and loved that it would easily straighten, or I could just throw product in it and air dry. I learned to love the versatility of my hair. But after my first pregnancy everything changed- all my beautiful curl fell out, and I was left with weird and uneven waves. The left side of my head was stick straight! I prayed it would come back after my second pregnancy, but it hasn’t. I also lost a TON of hair, and now not only is it fine, it’s lost so much of the body that it used to have. I’d not give up my babies for anything, but I really do miss my curls!

  • Shane Crites: October 30, 2018

    Straight hair my whole life. Did the 80’s hair perming. I have always had fine hair but ALOT of it. Now at age 55, my hair is curly. Menopause is all I can figure. The curls really happened over a year period. A friend recommended her curly hair specialist and I have been embracing my lovely soft curls the past 9 months.

  • Michelle : October 30, 2018

    Going under general anesthesia for surgery can also affect your hair. Mine went from dead straight to super curly. The next surgery, they loosened up a bit. I learned this from my stylist. Verified it with an anesthesiologist out of curiosity.

  • Karen : October 30, 2018

    My daughter (17) recently began embracing her beautiful curls. She used to LOVE bone straight hair. However gave the flat iron a rest over the summer (great) and let it air dry. Recently we noticed parts of her hair have lost their curl pattern. Looking for the right products for her hair in general. HELP.
    Thanks,

  • Desireá Tucker: October 16, 2018

    My hair was straight and long till I was twelve. I cut it to my ears and it grew back kinky/coily!! I didn’t know what to do with it but cry and process it to death! After 20 years of straightening, I am lucky to be left with a nice beach wave, and I miss my kinky coils! But thanks to this product I’m loving my waves!! No crunch, no drying!! Love love!

  • Marie-Josee Michaud: October 16, 2018

    When I was a kid, my hair was so straight, my cousin would work an hour with the curling iron just to get the ends to curl under, and it only lasted for one hour after she was done. At 13 years old, I got a perm and my hair never got straight again! So yeah, hormones are quite powerful. My mom often jokes saying I got the strongest perm that ever existed, lasted all my life! 😂

  • Becky: October 16, 2018

    Yes! This post totally helped reinforce my belief that my hair is a living, changing thing with a mind of its own! I had stick-straight hair as a kid and by the time I was 18, I was a solid 2-C. Over the years, I’ve seen how stress, hydration (or lack thereof), and other bad habits have really impacted my hair and my curl pattern. I just finished a super-stressful 3 years of law school and I’m prepping for my wedding, so I’ve really been giving myself some extra TLC by drinking a ton of water, abandoning my daily shampoo and ponytail ritual, and stepping away from the flat iron. Spoiler alert- my curls are looking better than they ever have!

  • Jessica Boland: October 16, 2018

    my grandma had the same curls as my son and I. Hers were red curls and we have brown curls. Same shape and texture. Both my son and I had curls as small children, then they went straight, then one day around 13 for both my son and I poof curls. My daughter how ever had very fine soft banana curls as a child . Until 10 and it started to change. Its very corse , dry and very tight curls , like drink straw round. We love your products ! They have helped all of our curls.

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