by Cleopatra Boudreau
As we get older, it’s normal to notice changes in our bodies. A wrinkle there, a freckle here. It’s all a part of the journey of becoming a wiser woman who knows what she wants from the world. When it comes to hair, many women start to notice that the texture goes from straight to curly hair. For some people the change is a surprising one, and though adding a little volume to previously pin-straight can be a fun boost, it may cause you to wonder why your hair has suddenly decided to take on a new shape.
Ah, hormones. Those funny chemicals that are introduced to us during puberty and haunt us from that point forward. For some girls, the change from straight to curly hair happens along with pimples and body changes. Though they may be more focused on whether or not their crush will ask them to slow dance with them at the winter formal, it can still be a bit of a shock to the system. Later in life, hormonal shifts continue to happen. Since hair changes often happen gradually, it’s possible you may wake up one morning and think - where did these sexy curls come from?
So to put it simply, the answer is - yes. Your newfound luscious curls are likely a result of hormonal changes, and they may be here to stay. We think that is a pretty exciting thing. If you hadn’t noticed, we're big fans of curly hair over here.
The Science Behind Texture Changes
Alright, I’m going to use some funky science words now, but I promise it’s interesting. The shape of your hair follicles is determined by genetics, and your physical makeup. Even though there are plenty of incredibly smart scientists that work to understand hair textures, there is no one conclusive answer as to why your hair may go from straight to curly. There are some very interesting theories though. Let me put my smart-girl glasses on and give you the basics.
Though you may first notice your hair follicles changing as you age, getting older isn't enough alone for hair to change from straight to curly. The main hormones that determine the nature of your hair follicles are Thyroxine, Triiodothyronine, androgens and insulin. A lack of Thyroxine and Triiodothyronine can make hair feel dry and brittle. Whereas an increase in androgens are more closely connected to affecting shape. A lack of insulin, on the other hand, is often connected to unwanted hair loss. All of these hormones are controlled by different regulators, and shifts in those levels cause changes throughout the body.
The genetic aspect of hair changes is fascinating. The gene that causes curly hair can actually be dormant until it’s activated (thanks Mom!). Remember those hormonal changes we talked about? Hair follicles in curly hair have a flatter shape, whereas straight hair follicles are round. When major hormonal changes happen, that previously sleeping gene is activated, which can cause your hair follicles to go from round to flat. Thus, a head full of waves or curls that you weren’t expecting.
Puberty, menopause and pregnancy all cause hormonal shifts that can make your tresses go from straight to curly hair. In fact, 40-50% of women experience major changes in their hair while pregnant or breastfeeding. In fact, one of those women was one of the founders of Royal Locks.
“Growing up I had medium thickness straight hair. Years later after having my first child and experiencing all the hormonal changes of motherhood, my hair became wavy! Although I loved my formally straight hair, I decided that this new wavy look seemed to express who I was: unique, approachable and fun. So, I decided to give it a chance.”- Casey Simmons, Owner of Royal Locks
Certain medications and vitamins also have the ability to affect hair growth, along with getting a chemical perm that changes the bonds in the hair follicles. People who survive cancer and undergo chemotherapy may also find that their hair grows back with a different texture than before treatment.
The same way that the texture of the cluster of grey hairs on your head may be different than the rest of your gorgeous locks, curly hair that develops after changes in the body can grow in their own unique patterns. If you’re curious to learn more about how to take care of your greys, along with your new curls, you can learn more here.
My Hair Has Gone From Straight to Curly Hair - Now What?
With hair, there seems to be a grass is always greener mentality for many people. People often state that they would love to have hair that looks like someone else’s. We believe that you can embrace your hair no matter what the texture. So, here comes the fun part! Learning how to style your newly grown curly hair. There may be a tad of a trial and error period where you learn what your hair needs to be styled in a way that you love. It’s all a part of your beauty journey.
Investing in a hair care routine that is specifically designed to nurture your curls can make a huge difference in the way they make you feel like the stunning goddess that you are. By using a system that promotes healthy growth and hydrated hair strands, you can give your curls the chance to thrive. Some people may find that they need to use a new batch of hydrating or moisturizing products to prevent their curls from feeling dry. A little love can go a long way when it comes to wavy and curly hair.
Your Hair May Keep Changing
Life is unpredictable in general, and your hair is no different. Many women find that their hair changes texture and shape throughout the course of their life. As your hair regenerates, and grows, it may decide to dance on your head in different ways. There’s beauty in rediscovering your hair as you unearth who you are.
Maybe your new curls will inspire you to try a new haircut. Maybe they would look perfect with a new hat that you spotted window shopping a little while ago. And maybe, just maybe - and what I would hope for you - the new curls that bounce on your head can give you a new strut in your step.
Your hair is a part of you. Just like everyday you adapt, evolve and learn - so does your hair. No matter if your hair goes from straight to curly hair, and then curly to straight, then wavy to straight again, embracing it is the key to loving every part of you.
Don’t know where to start? We’ve got your back. Whether you have newfound new waves, curls or coils, the Royal Locks Curl Quiz can help you establish your curl pattern, and give you the best routine for your hair type.