Is it normal for a 3b couple to produce a straight haired child?

I have a cousin who has straight hair (really straight, like Asians), but both of his parents are about 3b in hair texture. Does this happen frequently? Can hair texture change that drastically in one generation?
How old is he, and how is his hair cut/styled? His hair may get curlier as he gets older, or his hair may be cut too short to show any curl...

But also, I'm pretty sure it's possible! Thinking back on what I learned in Biology classes, straight hair is a recessive trait and curly hair is dominant, meaning curly hair will show unless both parents have the recessive trait for straight hair (as in, they both had a parent who had straight hair and passed that along to them). SO, in the right situations, yes, it can change that dramatically -- the genes just need to combine a certain way.

Now, I could also be completely wrong here -- I haven't taken Biology in, um, 5 years lol So other curlies, feel free to debunk what I just said.
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No I think you're right. Like say the dominant curly gene is "C" and the recessive straight gene is "c" - and each parent carries two hair genes, one from each of THEIR parents. Mom's genes could be CC, Cc, or cc. For the recessive trait to show up (i.e, straight hair) both genes would have to be recessive. So the first two combos would produce curly hair and the last one would be straight. Dad's could also be CC, Cc, or cc. We know since they're both curlies, both parents have to be either CC or Cc. And since their kid is a straightie, we know both parents HAVE to be Cc, and had to have passed on the recessive gene from each parent to their kid. So the kid has cc hair.

That's a really basic example and that being said, I haven't taken biology in 10 years so I could be remembering genetics wrong too

ETA - I have a daughter with straight hair. I know I carry the straight hair gene from somewhere. My mom's hair was curly but my dad's I'm really not sure on, it's been really short my whole life. So I could've gotten it from any number of generations back. My daughter's father has straight hair. It's a less dramatic example as the OP, but I was for sure I'd have little curlies running around when I had kids and while my daughter's had a few spirals as a baby, it's pin straight now as she gets older.
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Last edited by lcl0706; 06-02-2012 at 08:04 AM.
My mom has wavy hair and my dad has curly hair and I was born with stick straight hair that didnt get curly until I hit puberty now it's 3a/b mixed


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My hair's a 3a/b mix, my SO's is at least 3c, heading towards a 4 something. We have one son with his dad's hair and another whose hair is basically straight, gets a bit wavy as it gets long, so yes, it's possible.
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Its normal if your dad and his mom had straight hair, the baby may get straight hair. You get your hair genes from your moms dad and your dads mon

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My Biology teacher told us not all genetic traits are as cut and dry as dominant and recessive. I had asked her why my skin color was neither like my mom who is extremely light or my father who is very dark. Im in between. She said skin tone was a trait that is different from the rest is that is can take on a mixture of both traits. Im guessing the same is true for hair patterns which means a 1 and 4 could make a 2.
well im not a 100% sure but i was born with curly 3b hair and both of my parents have veryyy straight hair. all of their sisters/brothers have straight hair.. so we have no idea how i was blessed (:
but i also didnt get my REAL curlys until after puberty.. so wait and see if they come
How old is he, and how is his hair cut/styled? His hair may get curlier as he gets older, or his hair may be cut too short to show any curl...

But also, I'm pretty sure it's possible! Thinking back on what I learned in Biology classes, straight hair is a recessive trait and curly hair is dominant, meaning curly hair will show unless both parents have the recessive trait for straight hair (as in, they both had a parent who had straight hair and passed that along to them). SO, in the right situations, yes, it can change that dramatically -- the genes just need to combine a certain way.

Now, I could also be completely wrong here -- I haven't taken Biology in, um, 5 years lol So other curlies, feel free to debunk what I just said.
Originally Posted by oh.hi.its.steph
He's an adult (21) and his hair is semi-long (~4 inch) but it still looks straight. He's not using any straightening products/tools because he had the same hair as a kid as well and as long as I know him.

As you said I think it's probably a rare genetic recombination thing.
My Biology teacher told us not all genetic traits are as cut and dry as dominant and recessive. I had asked her why my skin color was neither like my mom who is extremely light or my father who is very dark. Im in between. She said skin tone was a trait that is different from the rest is that is can take on a mixture of both traits. Im guessing the same is true for hair patterns which means a 1 and 4 could make a 2.
Originally Posted by adthomas
This is exactly the answer. Its called co-dominance. Most traits are not so easy to define as dominant and recessive. I just finished a genetics class and you wouldnt believe how complicated that stuff is. Basically there are several genes that control hair and unlike dominant/recessive genes that show either one trait or the other, co-dominant traits show a blend of both. The example out teacher frequently cited was snapdragons. A red snapdragon (flower) and white snapdragon will have some pink "babies" along with red and white. The traits blend together.
Yes, absolutely possible. Also equally possible that the child's hair will change to curly at puberty.
My mom (native american straight hair) and curly dad had:
One lifelong wavy (me)
and 3 with stick straight hair as children, who turned curly as teens.

But I think the good analogy is skin tone, like a previous poster noted. Curly + Straight can = Wavy sometimes; and there can be throwbacks, so Wavy + Wavy can = straight and/or curly haired children as well as wavy haired kids.

In complexion this works the same, my man and I are both fair-skinned, but because my heritage is mixed, some of the kids are not. Straight hair can 'hide' like that too

But your kid? I'd put my $ on curly at puberty, personally.
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My hair was straight when I was a child and my dad has 4c hair. I am not into curl typing but just to give you an idea....he has very tiny curls. My mom has straight hair naturally. It did get curly as I grew older. My son's hair is also straight and when it had a bitmore length to it it was still straight unlike my daughter...her hair has a bit of curl and wave to it on the ends. With scrunching she has 2 type curls.
Very normal.... My mom's hair was super straight and her parents had curly hair
Totally possible. It's funny because I have curly hair, my hubby's is stick straight, and our son's hair was curly as a baby, but stick straight now (he's . I'm hoping the curls come back as he gets older, they were so adorable!
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It's definitely possible ... it could turn curly too. Mine was straight until I was 13!
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My aunt has 3b hair. I am not sure if her exhusband had straight, wavy hair. Both have extremely thick hair. My cousin was born with straight, thin, baby fine hair. Her hair was so thin that her scalp was visible with certain styles and my aunt would keep her hair into a chin length bob because anything longer didn't look good. Once puberty hit, my cousin became a 3a. However, we have all found it strange that my cousin has thin hair since both her parents and their families have such thick hair. Genetics are strange, and I second the co-dominance theory.

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Off topic, but not at the same time. I have dark brown eyes. I figured most of my children would too. They don't. My son has my eyes, my oldest daughter has green eyes, and the youngest has blue eyes. I know I carry a recessive gene and my husband has green but still.

Their hair is all like mine LOL, but my son look likes a carbon copy of his father except the hair and eyes. You never know what you will get.
My aunt has 3b hair. I am not sure if her exhusband had straight, wavy hair. Both have extremely thick hair. My cousin was born with straight, thin, baby fine hair. Her hair was so thin that her scalp was visible with certain styles and my aunt would keep her hair into a chin length bob because anything longer didn't look good. Once puberty hit, my cousin became a 3a. However, we have all found it strange that my cousin has thin hair since both her parents and their families have such thick hair. Genetics are strange, and I second the co-dominance theory.
Originally Posted by multicultcurly
You sure all the grandparents, great aunts, great uncles and all the parents' siblings have thick hair?

There are likely to be one or more relations who if you look at their hair closely enough don't actually have thick hair.

People with naturally thin hair learn how to disguise it. None of my thin haired friends' have had their own hair long from their teenage years.

A lot of people over the years have made presumptions of what my hair should be like. It doesn't help that my siblings have thick hair.

I have a nephew and niece with different parents who also have thin hair.

My nephew's parents saw me a lot so when my nephew was born with thin hair it wasn't an issue. It became an issue for my nephew when he was 13 for a couple of years as he was experimenting with hair styles.

There as my niece's parents only noticed that it was an inherited trait when she was about 5. My sister-in-law sat close to me one day and noticed my thickness hair wasn't like my brothers' or sisters'.

My niece's dad (my brother) was nearly an adult when I was born, my other siblings have similar hair to him and the adult women around them used to wear wigs and hair pieces often.

It also doesn't help that people assume older women have thin hair due to hormones etc when their hair has always been like that and there is actually nothing wrong. My mum and some of her female relations had thin hair. I was born when my mum was in her 40s and all these relations were older as well.
Yes everyone else either has a medium amount of hair or super thick. She is the only person with thin hair. I figure that there has to be a recessive gene somewhere that she inherited. Since her hair became curly, it has more body and she can where more styles of varying length.

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