Curls Week – Why did my hair change from straight to curly?

by Hair Romance on July 11, 2014 · 12 comments

in Curly Hair

Welcome to a week celebrating curly hair!

Curls Week - Hair Romance

Now you know why your hair is curly but what if your hair changes?

That’s exactly what happened to my hair.

For years I had long, straight hair. Maybe it was a little wavy, but never frizzy. Then one day it started to change.

All of a sudden I had curly hair.

And I had no idea how to style it.

It took a long journey of trial and error to work out how to style my curls. I slowly fell in love with my curls and they are the reason I started Hair Romance.

Now I know from your comments and questions that I’m not alone in this hair change and I have found some reasons why this happens.

Hair Romance - Why did my hair change from straight to curly

Why did my hair change from straight to curly?

There are several theories as to why hair changes texture.

Hormones, stress and ageing as seen as the common causes for changes to your hair texture and quality.

You’d think, with the size of the hair industry, there would be a conclusive answer to this question, but research is still underway and there are no decisive results.

One interesting fact about curly hair is that the gene for straight hair is recessive but that the curly hair gene is not completely dominant. That means you could have the curly hair gene but until it’s activated, your waves and curls will be dormant too.

The most likely theory, in my opinion, is to do with your hormones. Hormones are a possible trigger for the curly hair gene.

As well as affecting the quality of your hair, hormones can change your muscle tone too. This includes your scalp. The change of muscle tone could affect the shape of your hair follicles and their direction of growth. Straight hair follicles grow straight out but curly hair follicles have a hook shape.

With my hair, puberty was the when my curls decided to appear and this fits with the hormone changes. For many women, pregnancy and birth have a significant impact on their hair too.

So if you’ve noticed significant changes to your hair texture, check your hormone levels and talk to your doctor and hairdresser about it.

How to cope with the change to your hair

If like me, you’re finding your new curly hair difficult to handle compared to straight hair, help is at hand. Start here with my guide to styling curly hair and check out my other curly hair posts.

On the other hand, if you had curly hair and it’s starting to go straight, find out how to get your curl back.

Have you experienced a major change in your hair? Has your hair gone from straight to curly, or the other way round? Tell me about it in the comments.

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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Tracy July 11, 2014 at 8:46 pm

My hair changed when I was about 17, I always had wavy unruly hair with a permanent frizzy halo and my hair was shoulder length. I started to let it grow and begun to let it dry naturally as more time in bed seemed more appealing than time spent blow drying my hair and noticed that my hair was getting curly, and the longer it grew the curlier it seemed to get. My hair now sits just above my hips at this stage and I love love love my curls. I have always been fond of my curls as I have found they suited my laziness just having to wash and go but it’s only in the last 7/8 months I have fully got to grips with my curly hair and how to care for it properly (mainly since finding your wonder website) and I have noticed a massive difference. People even commented on my hair after I made the changes asking had a put colour in or had a new cut put into it because they knew it looked different. Ooh and I had been using a big t-shirt to dry my hair but needed to buy another and my mam suggested a cotton fitted sheet for a baby’s cot. So I bought a pair and they are great, with the elastic they are curved and fit snuggly around your head and all your hair gets gathered inside it too…brilliant!

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Kim July 11, 2014 at 11:18 pm

My hair was always so straight people would ask me how I got it so straight and smooth. Until I had a pulmonary embolism when I was 43. The stress of nearly dying made me lose a lot of hair. When it came back in it was curly. It continued to be curly for 5 years while I was on the medication warfarin. When I switched blood thinners, the curl went away. A few months ago I started taking warfarin again and the curls are back.

I think it was the stress of my illness plus the medication that makes it curly.

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Tasneem July 12, 2014 at 12:45 am

The hormones thing totally makes sense. My hair was pin straight til I started high school and became progressively curlier over the years. Then last year my hair started changing back towards straight (right now there is a soft wave, but lots of frizz) which coincided with my son’s birth.

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Charlette Smith July 12, 2014 at 4:56 am

I have curly hair, always have. And probably always will. (I am 52, 4 kids and waiting for the 10th grandchild, due any time)
But, I do know 2 women that had straight hair until they went through chemo. Once their hair started growing back, it was extremely curly.

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Roxie hunt July 12, 2014 at 4:01 pm

Great article. Thanks! #hormonesruleeverything # ihavecurlhair? #makeitwork #timgunn

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Anke July 12, 2014 at 7:51 pm

I had curly hair when I was very little. Then it got straight with slight waves on the bottom half of it. When I was 11/12 years old my curls came back. First waves, then full on ringlets. So the hormone thing makes sense. Unfortunally during my teenage years I got very sick. The medication I took made me loose a lot of my hair. When it grew back the bottom part was straight, so layering it was just looking weird. It was like Annie with a mollet (if thats how you spell that). Now I’m 26 my curls have loosened a bit to the point if people ask me if I had a perm and the bottom part of my hair is starting to curl again! Im very happy with that.

You’re website is amazing btw, keep up the awesome work!

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Teresa July 12, 2014 at 7:56 pm

It’s been the other way round with me. I used to have really curly hair, like angel curls and when I got 8 or so they turned straight. I still mourn for my curls ):

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Spoilt Hair Retreat July 27, 2014 at 6:10 pm

Great subject and one i hadn’t considered yet which is unusual as we have this conversation A LOT in the salon. Equally as popular is also curly hair gone straight due to over straightening, colouring, hot ironing etc or in Teresa’s case just outgrown with age. We so often have clients baffled as to where their curls have gone :-)

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Ashley July 31, 2014 at 12:40 am

My hair is the opposite. It was very curly when I was little, to the point no one believes that it is me when they see my baby/toddler pictures. By the time I was 5 or 6 it was completely straight.

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Elaine Larsen July 31, 2014 at 5:46 am

I side with the hormone crowd. I had straight hair as a child that went frizzy when puberty hit. Then I lost some curl with each baby that I had. I like my hair now, it’s a lot easier to manage.

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Trude July 31, 2014 at 7:11 am

My hair went from nearly stick straight to gradually getting curlier and curlier, starting when I was 28 (so after 10 years on the pill). I don’t get perfect ringlets naturally, but the top especially go very curly when I let it air dry with some product and scrunch. Your blog has been a lot of help! I just wish it wasn’t so frizzy, but so far haven’t found the perfect combination.

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Heather August 1, 2014 at 5:20 am

My hair was mostly straight as a child. Just a small amount of “flip out” at the back of my neck by the time I was 5. Then by high school I had weird sporadic waves, and by University it was fill on Shirley Temple! I loved my curls! Once I figured out styling it was wash and wear and I got compliments everywhere I went! Then during pregnancy with my first child my hair started going straight. By the time I delivered I had nothing more than a kink in my bangs, but not even diffusing would bring about wave! Now I’m pregnant with my second child, and my hair is still straight as a board. I’m hoping once I deliver this little one my curls will return, but in the mean time I’ve cut my hair short and I’m starting from scratch trying to figure out styling again. The good news is that I passed my curls on to my daughter who has a head full of crazy ringlets!

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