Your hair is a unique component of who you are. While every person is a bit different, the biology behind why someone has curly hair, and others have straight hair is quite interesting. The follicles on your head determine what type of hair you will have throughout your lifetime. Hair is not just an aesthetic component of your look. Rather, it helps to protect your head by keeping it warm and blocks the sunlight from reaching your scalp. But what's behind the follicles that cause some hair to be straight and some to be curly?

What Is In the Follicle?

To better understand the differences between straight and curly hair, it is necessary to take a closer look at what is inside your hair follicle. It is quite a complex mechanism with multi-cellular compartments. It is well within the skin.

If your follicles are straight, your will have straight hair fibers. If your follicles are curved even a small amount, you’ll likely have curly hair. Hair fiber isn’t just straight or curly, though. You’ll also find it is present in various shapes, from crimps to waves.

While researchers are not sure what the underlying cause for curly and straight hair is, there are some speculations that can shed some light on this. Researchers believe that, during the development of the embryo, the shape of the hair is set. They do not know why this occurs, but those that have S shaped curly hair will have a follicle that has two bends in it. This type of shape is a permanent one – you will likely maintain curly hair throughout your lifetime.

The hair and follicle will undergo some changes throughout your lifetime. However, for those who have very curly hair, there is no likelihood that it will become very straight. During the resting phase of the hair growth cycle, the follicle will change in structure, shriveling up within the skin. This starts the process of new follicle growth.

Genes play a role in the production of curly hair. If you have family members with curly hair, chances are very good, you will as well. It is believed that a protein known as trichohyalin is responsible for this.
A strand of hair is very round when it is cross cut. When a cross cut of curly hair occurs, it will be more of an oval shape.

What Are Differences in Straight and Curly Hair?

There are some important changes in your hair from others. Here are a few things to keep in mind.

  • Many times, those who have slightly wavey hair or straight hair will have a higher oil concentration in their hair. That is because the national oils produced by the hair have a simple and faster time passing through the follicle’s shaft.
  • If you have straight hair, you may want to wash your hair more often to keep the high oily concentration to a minimum.
  • Those who have curly hair tend to have hair that is dryer overall. That is because there are fewer oils from the scalp. These oils cannot make their way down the hair.
  • People who have curly hair tend to need to add more oils to the hair.
  • If you have curly hair, washing and moisturizing with an all-natural shampoo will prevent stripping of those natural oils. Seeing a hair professional that can suggest the correct hair care protocol is key.

What’s most important is that hair needs to be cared for properly to remain healthy. That means paying close attention to your scalp and your hair to determine if you need to wash often or add oils to your hair.

For those who wish they had a different type of hair, it is possible to get this – straightening hair to create straight hair using heat as well as using chemicals and other processes to create curls. Yet, over time, your hair will continue to grow in the same way it has. If you have curly hair now, it’s not possible to get rid of curly hair. However, if you have straight hair, it is possible that, over time, your hair follicles will develop a few changes, including becoming a bit curlier over time.

To learn more about a hair care protocol based on your scalp type and hair texture, contact the team at Unique Hair Concepts for a complimentary consultation.