On the surface, hair textures are nothing to write home about. Some folks have sleek, straight hair strands, while others have waves or curls.
But when you hear that people with straight hair can suddenly start growing curly hair, things get a little hairy. Could that be possible?
Can straight hair turn curly with age, product usage, or over time? That’s what we’ll be covering in this article. By the end, you’ll know whether straight hair can turn curly.
Can Straight Hair Turn Curly?
Straight hair can indeed turn curly, but it doesn’t happen by magic. There’s usually a clear explanation for why it may have happened. We’ll cover several potential explanations below.
In case you weren’t aware, your hormones can affect the texture of your hair. Your chance of experiencing hormone-related hair texture changes increases during puberty, pregnancy, and menopause.
During puberty and pregnancy, it’s not unheard of for hair to suddenly become curly. But it’s not as common in menopause. Women are more likely to experience hair thinning than textural changes during this time.
Did you know that a select few medications can cause your hair texture to change? Medications intended to treat or cure seizure disorders, cancer, and bipolar disorder are most likely to have this effect.
If you take any of these types of medications and realize that your hair texture is becoming curly, this could be the culprit.
If you like your new curly texture, you’ve got no problem. But if you don’t like your new curls, talk to your doctor about changing your medication.
There are usually several treatment options for a given condition. After you stop the medication that is causing your hair texture to change, you may see your previous hair texture return.
The climate can have a dramatic effect on your hair. You may not have noticed it, but when it’s humid outside, there’s more moisture in your hair, and it responds by curling or waving up. So, if you’ve just moved to an area with a humid climate, this could be the reason behind your suddenly curly hair.
Stress is the culprit behind many bodily changes, like weight gain, sleep issues, and high blood pressure. But did you know it could also affect your hair’s texture?
It seems farfetched, but stress can alter how your genes operate, causing certain ones to switch on or off. This can result in a change in the genes of your hair follicles.
As time passes, your hair may change texture because of the aging process. What happens as you age is that your hair naturally loses its thickness, and consequently, some of its weight.
As a result, gravity doesn’t pull on your hair as much as it once did. Without this tension, any hint of a curl could become more noticeable.
If you have straight hair and one of your parents has curly hair, there’s a chance that your hair could go curly one day. Why?
Genes turn on and off as a response to various stimuli, and when that happens, your follicular genes might produce hair that you’re not used to. We can’t do anything to make certain genes activate, but this does offer an explanation for those who go curly randomly.
Chemical Hair Treatments
Perms are chemical hair treatments that reshape the hair into a curlier state. Contrary to their name, the treatment is semi-permanent, lasting only for a few months at a time.
But in uncommon instances, the chemicals can change how your follicles function and grow hair, resulting in a texture change. Most people won’t experience this issue, but it’s not unheard of.
How to Change Your Hair Texture on Purpose
If you have straight hair and want a taste of the curly life, you’ll need to take some purposeful steps to make it happen. There are a few foolproof ways to get curly hair, and we’ll tell you about them below:
Use a Curling Wand
With a curling wand, you can get curls of virtually any size in minutes. But, of course, your naturally straight texture will come out eventually as your curls fall or if your hair gets wet.
And there’s always a risk of hair damage when you apply heat to your hair.
So, every time you use a curling wand on your hair, you should use a heat protectant beforehand and try not to put heat on a single section of hair more than once in a curling session.
Braid Your Hair
This is another way to get temporary curls on straight hair. But keep in mind that it will give you more of a wave than a complete curl. Still, it’s worth a try if you want to see how things are on the other side (AKA the textured side).
All it takes is for you to separate your damp hair into several sections, apply a moisturizer or gel to each section, and then three-strand plait the section down to the ends.
If you suspect that your hair will start to unravel, wrap a ponytail holder or elastic around the ends of each braid. When your hair is dry, take all the braids down and enjoy your new curls/waves.
Get a Perm
We mentioned earlier that perms can leave your hair permanently curly (in rare instances). If that minute possibility doesn’t scare you and you’re looking for long-term curls, then we suggest you consider getting a perm.
It’s important to realize that this is a chemical process that can put your hair through the wringer. But if you get it done by a professional and take care of your hair afterward, you could end up happy with the decision.
Should Your Hair Care Routine Change if Your Hair Turns Curly?
It’s crucial to consider your hair care routine before deciding to change your hair texture. And that’s because your new curly hair texture could 100% require a change to your overall hair care routine.
There’s something that you should definitely know about curly hair – it is inherently dry. Hair that’s full of twists and turns inhibits scalp oils from traveling down the full length of the hair.
That’s why people who have the tightest curls have the hardest time keeping their hair moisturized. So, if you decide to get a perm, you will need to give your hair extra moisture on a regular basis.
And this means you’ll need to do more deep conditioning sessions.
Give your hair a few spritzes of a hydrating leave-in conditioner from time to time, change the way you detangle your hair, and switch out any harsh products you currently use on your hair for more gentle ones.
If you’re willing to do all these things, you shouldn’t have much of a problem making the switch. But if you’re more on the lazier side when it comes to hair care, your hair could quickly become frizzy and damaged.
And in the worst cases, it could fall out. So, we encourage you to think long and hard before you make a decision about whether you go curly.
So, to sum things up, straight hair can turn curly for one or more of the reasons mentioned in this article. But if you want to go curly, you’ll have to take action via curling, braid-outs, or a perm.
We hope you found all the information you were looking for in this article. And we wish you the best on your hair care journey, regardless of your hair texture goals.
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.