July 17, 2019

What Makes Hair Curly or Straight and How to Style Both

woman styling her curly hair

When it comes to hair, why is it that you always want what you don’t have? If you have curly hair, you fantasize about having sleek, straight locks, and if you have straight hair, you wish for a head of gorgeous curls.

Part of that universal hair frustration comes from not knowing the best way to style your own hair type, or why you were born with it in the first place. Once you understand the science behind your hair and the best way to care for it, you could have hair that everyone will envy—even you! Learn why you have your exact hair type, and then learn how to style curly hair and straight hair.

The Science Behind Hair Type

So why do some people have curly hair while others have straight hair? Ninety percent of the answer lies in genetics. Researchers have discovered that curly hair is a dominant trait, which means that if one parent has curly hair and the other has straight hair, their child is more likely to have curly hair. Some 90% of hair type can be traced back to genetics.

The shape of your hair follicles also determines how your hair grows. If you have circular hair follicles, then your hair will grow straight. But if you have follicles that are oval or asymmetrical, your hair will grow in a curly or wavy way.

One more science lesson: when keratin, the protein that hair is mostly made of, is distributed unevenly within the hair shaft, curly hair is produced. The more uneven the distribution, the curlier the hair.

Styling Curly or Straight Hair

On those bad hair days, when your curls frizz or your straight locks fall flat, you tend to wish more than ever for a different hair type. Take advantage of these styling tips, which play up your hair’s strengths:

How to Style Curly Hair

  • Use a sulfate-free shampoo, which creates less frizz, and always use conditioner.
  • Detangle your hair in the shower with your fingers or a wide-tooth comb. Outside of the shower, use a leave-in conditioner to better define your curls.
  • Let your hair air dry. If you’re crunched for time, use a blow dryer with a diffuser to minimize frizz and add volume.
  • Start brushing at the end of your hair and move up toward the rootsto minimize breakage—and pain—as you detangle any knots.
  • Try a layered look. Short, wispy layers or long, loose layers work best for curly hair as they create movement and volume and don’t require a lot of upkeep.

How to Style Straight Hair

  • Add volume to your roots with a quarter-sized dab of mousse. Work it into the roots when your hair is still damp.
  • Blow dry your hair upside down for extra lift at the roots. If that move requires too much flexibility, blow dry your hair in the opposite direction with a round brush.
  • Use dry shampoo in between washings to eliminate greasiness.
  • Be blunt. To add some dimension to your hair, try a blunt bob, a lob or some wispy bangs — styles that are also very much on trend.

Once you fall in love with styling your own hair, you may fall in love with styling others’ hair too. At Salon Success Academy, you’ll receive hands-on training in the art of cutting, coloring and styling through our Cosmetology program. Call 877-987-HAIR (4247) today to learn more.

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