Our curl patterns may change at various times throughout our lives. There are several reasons why this happens. I will talk about some of the top reasons hair can lose its curl as well as some solutions that may help prevent this.
Hormones can change your hair texture! As we go through different life stages, such as puberty, pregnancy or menopause, some women see changes in the amount of curliness their hair displays.
We have been unable, however, to source scientific studies that explain how or why hormones change curl pattern. It appears little research has been done on this topic. We only know, anecdotally, that hormones do change curl pattern.
And we also know that there's nothing we can do about these hormonal changes. Well, if you suspect oral contraceptives are altering your hormones, and therefore your curl pattern, you can choose to stop taking them.
Excess heat damage can kill curl pattern. If you blow dry with or without a diffuser or constantly flat iron your hair, over time your curls will suffer. This can be fixed in one of three ways:
Lay off the heat
Do a search on NaturallyCurly for " styles without heat" and you will find plenty of ideas for beautiful wavy and curly styles that don't require heat. If you really want your curl pattern to revive, stop using heat and stay far, far away. This will make a huge difference in getting your curl pattern back and allowing your hair to recover.
Deep condition like crazy
Babying your hair after heat damage will help the curl pattern come back and help the hair become healthier overall. Unless you are protein-sensitive, a combination of protein and moisture is ideal. Briogeo Don’t Despair, Repair Masque and Curls Blueberry Bliss Mask are two of my favorites.
Trim off the excessive damage
I will discuss haircuts in detail a little later on. But, for starters, trimming off ends that are excessively damaged by heat is a good way to improve the overall appearance of your hair.
Where you live can affect your curls! If you live in an area with hard water, you may find your curls are acting frizzier than usual, causing the curl pattern to not be as defined as it can be. Hard water can cause build up on the hair which can affect the hair’s health overall.
One solution is to install a shower filter to purify the water. Another is to use a clarifying shampoo, such as Briogeo Scalp Revival, on a regular basis.
If you are in the sun a lot, UV damage can cause your hair to become dry and brittle. To fix this, before going outside in the sun, don a hat or use a product with UV protection, such as Living Proof Restore Perfecting Spray.
Windy areas can cause curls to tangle, get knotty and dry out as well. If you don’t have a hat or scarf to wrap around your hair while out, carry a travel-size refreshing spray to instantly detangle and feed moisture back to your hair right away so the curl pattern can revive. The Witch I Love Your Hair Magic Mist is a favorite of mine thanks to all of the incredible essential oils inside.
There are countless techniques for applying products to curl hair. No technique is wrong or right; it really depends on your hair type and the end goal you are looking to achieve. If your curl pattern is not as defined or bouncy as you want it to be, you may reconsider how you are applying your products after the shower to see if a different techniques does a better job of enhancing your curls.
For example, some wavies find that raking or combing fingers through the hair to style is an absolute no. This separates the curls, ruins clumps and sometimes leave hair stringy. Smoothing products and scrunching can lead to better-defined curls. Others have embraced the Skip Curl method or the finger-coil method.
Also, more often than not I see other curlies say they have to apply products to soaking wet hair after the shower for optimal results, and I agree.
Paying attention to ingredients is so critical for optimal hair days. Again, everyone’s hair reacts differently to ingredients so trial and error and seeing what works best for your hair is important.
Following Lorraine Massey's Curly Girl Method and avoiding products with sulfates, silicones and parabens have made a huge impact in my own hair and that of many of my curly friends. The longer we go on the “CG Method,” the more consistent and defined our curls have become.
Something else to consider with products is the weight. If you have very fine hair that gets weighed down easily and you are using a product with butters and oils, this may be too much for your hair and can weigh it down, causing the curl pattern to stretch. Consider switching to lighter lotions and mousses.
How often one needs to get their hair cut is also a very individual thing and usually ranges from 6 weeks to up to a year, if your hair is really healthy. If you are applying your favorite products in the same technique as usual and notice your results are not as nice as usual, you might need a haircut. Even a small trim or dusting can make a big difference in putting bounce back into your curls if they’ve been droopy.
Relaxers and softeners will stretch out the curl pattern on purpose. This can’t be undone and these permanent relaxers must be grown out in order to get your natural curl pattern back.
Coloring curls can also cause chemical damage. Like relaxers, hair dye will affect the structural integrity of the hair. If coloring is not done properly, curls can be damaged and hair can even break off. I strongly suggest if you really want to get your curls colored, see a professional, make sure they use a bond multiplier such as Olaplex and understand that even in the best of practices, permanent haircolor may still change curl pattern. Be sure to deep condition and treat colored curls very well since they are extremely fragile.
I hope this article helped provide some solutions for when curly hair loses its curl. If you have any additional tips, please leave them in the comments section below.