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#BTBYC The Science Behind Curly Hair

Tags: hair

I, like many others, have tried numerous lotions and potions all in an attempt to tame, de-tangle, soften, promote growth and reduce breakage. I had found so many products disappointing, all promising to give my Hair the world but none worked and my hair was beginning to feel weighed down!

I found it so stressful trying to sift through all the marketing [email protected]*%!, to try and discover what might actually be worth spending my hard earned money on. I only, very recently, decided to engage the academic hidden deep inside me and do some research.

I wanted to try and understand the scientific make up of my hair and use that knowledge to better understand what my hair needs to be as healthy as possible. After doing some reading, I am able to share my discoveries! 😉

What causes your hair to curl?

This is down to your genes which determines the shape of your hair follicles, asymmetrical follicles create hair that curls and symmetrical follicles creates hair that is straight.

What is your hair composed of?

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The hair fibre is made up of three things, the cuticle which is many layers of thin, flat cells. Your cuticle cells act as protection for the cortex element of your hair fibre. It protects the hair cortex from heat and other harsh elements whilst allowing moisture in. Curly hair is more likely to get cuticle damage due to its structure and having lower amounts of internal moisture.

The cortex is the middle layer of the hair fibre. It is the hair fibres primary source of strength and water retention. The cortex also contains melanin, which determines the colour of your hair. Without moisture the hair can start to thin and become more prone to breakage and damage. 

The medulla is the innermost layer of the hair fibre. It is the marrow of the hair fibre and is almost invisible. 

How does this effect how I look after my curly hair?

  1. Protect your hair by sleeping with a headscarf, this will help prevent friction in the night causing hair to frizz and lose moisture. You can also use a leave-in conditioner before going to bed to help keep your hair and scalp moisturised. 
  2. Air dry your hair after washing or use a towel or t-shirt and be gentle. Try to avoid electric hairdryers as they tend to stripe your hair of all moisture which can lead to increased breakage when brushing and styling.
  3. When styling, use a spray bottle full of water, your hair will thrive with the added moisture and while make your hair easier to manage when brushing.
  4. Use a pre-wash conditioner, such a coconut oil; decent ones can be quite hard to find but it will provide added protection before your normal hair washing regime.

Turns out, a lot of what is needed for curly hair care is in behaviour changing and not that we need a lot of heavy products- as I had once thought. Also, understanding a bit more- even if on a basic level- about the composition of my hair has made me have more respect for my natural hair and feel a little more empowered in looking after it.

Do you have any tips to share on caring for curly hair? Or have you tried any of the above and would like to share your story?

Peace out,


This post first appeared on Being The Beautiful I Choose, please read the originial post: here

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#BTBYC The Science Behind Curly Hair


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