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Why Is My Hair Curly Underneath but Straight on Top?

5 mins

Angelina Wells

Having different textures of hair in different areas of the head is not an uncommon or abnormal problem. Even your hair texture by addressing the underlying reason.

Is it possible to have hair with two different textures on a single head? It may sound strange, but one can have hair that is curly at the bottom but straight upward.

Love those curls swaying to the breeze as you move? Well, curly hair has its own charm and style.

But if your curls are not curly throughout, then don’t worry: it is not uncommon. There are more reasons for your curls to straightening at the top. From genetics to changing hair follicles and hair damage, find out the reason behind your curls becoming non-curly and straight.

Table of Contents:

  • Why is your Hair Straight or Curly?
  • Reasons for Straight Hair Growing Curly Underneath
  • Heredity
  • Weather
  • Styling your Hair Frequently
  • Overexposure to Chemical Treatments
  • Unhealthy Hair Habits
  • Longer Strands
  • Lack of a Good Haircare Routine

Why is your Hair Straight or Curly?

What gives hair its shape?

Research shows that hair derives its form from two elements – the hair follicle and the hair shaft. The shaft is the visible part of a hair. The strands that run from the root to the tip are the shafts. 

Hair follicles are part of the hair anatomy that lies beneath the scalp. They function as anchors, ensuring that hair stays in its place.

The shape your hair carries depends on the shape of the hair follicle. If the hair follicle is round, then the hair is straight. A follicle with an elliptical shape results in curly hair. An oval follicle gives wavy hair.

The hair shaft also contributes to the shape of the hair. The way protein builds up in the shaft determines the shape of the strands. Keratin – the key protein for the hair structure and growth – and other proteins exist unevenly in the shafts of curly hair. These proteins build up at the curved portion of curly hair, which makes strands even curlier.

Why Is My Hair Curly Underneath but Straight on Top

The extent of curliness also depends on the angle at which hair grows out from the scalp. Straighter strands emerge vertical from the scalp. Curly strands, on the other hand, come out at an angle from the scalp.

This hair angle is also responsible for the non-oiliness of curly hair. Natural body oil finds it difficult to travel through the strand at an angle. Oil passes through straighter strands more easily.

People with straight hair may face the need to wash their hair often due to excess oil. Curly-haired people are more prone to dandruff and scalp irritation. The scalp and hair need natural oil to stay moisturized and healthy. When the oil does not reach them, they tend to become dry and unhealthy, which causes scalp issues, dry hair, and dandruff.

As the hair follicle plays a major role in determining the shape of your hair, any alteration to the follicle can result in a change in hair shape.

For example, some drugs and treatments, such as those for cancer, can affect the hair follicle by inhibiting receptors on the follicles. Given this reason, it is not uncommon for people that have undergone chemotherapy to grow hair that is different in shape. An individual with straight hair may notice curly hair after treatment.

Reasons for Straight Hair Growing Curly Underneath

Did you know that even humidity can cause your hair to become curly? Know about the other reasons that can give you curly hair at the bottom and straight hair at the top.

  • Heredity

To a large extent, heredity determines whether your hair should look curly, straight, or both. You may inherit a combination of your parents’ hair textures, forming a unique texture on your own.

heredity and hair, mother and daughter hair

If you have a mix of curly and straight hair, it could simply be because your parents have the same.  

It is not uncommon to find people with different textures on various parts of their hair. For example, some people may have wavy hair at the bottom while tight curls adorn the top. Genetics makes it all possible, and such differently-textured is quite normal.

  • Weather

Harsh weather, including heavy heat and bitterly cold conditions, can damage your hair. The greater the exposure to such conditions, the more extensive the damage. The hair on top of the head is most exposed to heat and cold. As a result, damage in this area is more.

Prolonged exposure to the sun can cause UV light to alter the texture of your hair. Intense heat and the intensity of UV light cause serious hair damage, including altered texture.

Extreme cold conditions deplete the moisture in the hair. Deprived of moisture, strands find it difficult to stay hydrated and healthy. Prolonged exposure causes hair to become dry, brittle, and lifeless. Dry hair is also difficult to style. This could be a reason for your hair being curly at the bottom while straight on the top.

cold weather affect on hair
  • Styling your Hair Frequently

Heat styling tools are great to give your different hair textures temporarily. You can curl your hair with curling rods or straighten them with straighteners. But when you keep treating your hair frequently, damage in the form of altered texture occurs.

It is often the top part of the hair that is subject to deeper treatment. This is because the top of the hair is the most visible part, and everyone wants this area to look perfect. So, whether you are straightening or curling, this portion takes the most damage.

Over time, constant styling treatments can alter hair texture. If you notice your hair being curly underneath but straight on the top, then this could be due to too much styling.

  • Overexposure to Chemical Treatments

You may be an ardent fan of coloring, bleaching, or lightening your hair. Coloring is great because it allows you to experiment with different styles. But, exposing yourself to intense coloring treatments frequently can cause hair damage.

cheamical treatments and hair care

The coloring process is hair-altering for chemicals penetrate deep into hair shafts and open up cuticles to embed new color or lighten the existing color. The chemicals alter your natural hair color to impart a new coloring effect.

Such a deep hair-altering process can alter your hair texture as well when performed frequently. Consequently, you may witness an uneven texture with some parts curly and other parts straight.

The point is, you can color your hair, but do not overdo it. Follow up your coloring treatments with a healthy haircare routine using natural haircare products.

  • Unhealthy Hair Habits

You may be doing damage to your hair with habits that you may be unaware are harmful.

If you sleep with your hair tightly tied up or uncovered, then this habit can cause hair damage.

Turning and tossing during the night causes friction, which leads to damage. If you are regular with this habit, then the damage can lead to your curls straightening up on the top.

If you are among those that over-brush their hair, then you need to stop this practice. Brushing to remove tangles is fine. Brushing twice a day should be enough to detangle your curls. It also allows natural oils to pass through the strands, making them strong and healthy.

combing hair

But when you keep brushing even when there are no tangles to remove, you are causing irreparable damage to the hair shaft and cuticles. Over-combing may not transform your hair into straight strands. But it can alter your curls to such an extent that you may be unable to associate them with curls.

  • Longer Strands

Sometimes, some strands may be longer than others. The problem with longer strands is that they tend to become heavier as they grow longer. Heavier strands tend to curl less. Shorter strands, on the contrary, retain their curliness more efficiently.

If you have longer and shorter strands, then you may have straight hair on the top while hair at the bottom retains its curly shape.

  • Lack of a Good Haircare Routine

Regular shampooing and conditioning products are critical to managing your curly hair. Avoid products with harsh chemicals as they can damage your hair further.

In addition, use a wide-toothed comb to detangle your hair. Remember not to towel-dry your hair with intense rubbing of strands against the towel. Use a microfiber cloth instead.

wow hair care

Create a haircare routine with WOW Skin Science haircare products. These products are vegan and dermatologically tested. They are made without sulfates, parabens, silicones, and mineral oils.

Formulations contain plant extracts and ingredients that have been proven to be effective and healing since ancient times. These are also scientifically-backed ingredients. Discover shampoos, conditioners, hair masks, and other products with hair-benefitting herbs and extracts.

Having curly hair at the bottom of your hair and straight hair on the top is not an abnormal condition. You can identify the reason with the tips mentioned above. You could also visit your hair stylist or dermatologist for further advice and guidance.

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Angelina Wells

Angelina Wells is not new to the world of glamour and style. After all, she has been working as a beauty guide for a few decades. She imparts her expertise to style lovers across the globe through her blog. Stay up-to-date on the latest and the best in beauty and wellness with Angelina.

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Angelina Wells

Angelina Wells is not new to the world of glamour and style. After all, she has been working as a beauty guide for a few decades. She imparts her expertise to style lovers across the globe through her blog. Stay up-to-date on the latest and the best in beauty and wellness with Angelina.
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