Why Does My Hair Curl When Wet?

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Curly hair is difficult to manage for many people.

Some individuals have frizzy hair or hair that becomes dry, hard, or unmanageable when wet.

Whether you sweat, go swimming, or the weather changes and it starts raining, the odds are that your hair might curl.

And here the question arises, why does my hair curl when wet?

Keep reading to discover all the different causes and how you can prevent hair from curling when wet.

What Can Cause Hair to Turn Curly?

Curly hair is a type of hair texture that has natural waves that flow in many different directions.

Curls are also typically tighter than other types of hair such as wavy and straight.

Curls typically form around the circumference of the head but can be formed in any direction depending on your style.

With that in mind, here are 5 main causes that make hair turn curly:

Aging

One of the most common complaints from people who age is that their hair begins to curl at the end and they don’t know how to stop it.

When people see this happening, they often think that their hair is no longer healthy. The only option they see is to shorten it and start over.

Aging can cause your hair to become weaker and more prone to breakage which in turn creates frizzy hair.

Hormone Levels Changes

There are a few different things that can cause your hormone levels to change.

One is stress. If you’re under a lot of stress, it can cause your body to produce more of the hormone cortisol.

Cortisol can make your hair follicles shrink, which makes your hair weaker and more likely to break.

It can also make your hair follicles produce less oil, which makes your hair dry and frizzy.

Another thing that can affect hormone levels is pregnancy. During pregnancy, estrogen levels rise sharply. 

This can make the hair follicles grow larger, making the hair thicker and shinier.

Hormones can have a big impact on your hair. When hormone levels fluctuate (during puberty, pregnancy, menopause, etc.), it can sometimes cause hair to become curly.

Climate Changes

Whether it be the result of hair products or the weather, hair can vary in appearance throughout the day.

A new study conducted by an international team of researchers has found that climate change is also affecting the texture of hair.

The study concludes that as global temperatures rise, hair becomes curlier, more frizzy, and less manageable.

Hair Follicles Changes

Many people think that hair curling is a natural process. However, this is not the case.

Hair curling is the result of the shape of your hair follicle.

Hair follicles consist of layers that resemble scales in an onion or peeling skin; they curl to create a curl pattern on the shaft.

The size, shape, and orientation of these scales affect how thick or thin your hair appears, and whether it will have a wave, curl or kink.

These hair follicles can alter their shape due to many factors like aging, medicine, etc.

Damaged Hair Shaft

Another common cause of curly hair is damage to the hair shaft.

This can occur from over-processing with chemicals or heat styling.

When the cuticle is damaged, it allows the inner cortex of the hair to unravel, resulting in a spiral shape.

Damaged hair shafts can be caused by many things, including over-processing with chemical treatments, heat damage from styling tools, and even physical damage from brushing too hard.

Why Does My Hair Curl When Wet?

Why Does My Hair Curl When Wet?

Curly hair is more prone to frizz, so it often seems wild and uncontrollable.

The reason for this is that curly hair reacts differently to humidity than straight hair.

When your hair gets wet, the water molecules are attracted to the oppositely charged ions on your hair strands.

As the water evaporates, it draws some of the natural oils out of your scalp, causing your hair to curl at the end especially if the air is dry.

Why Does My Hair Get Curly After Swimming?

Why Does My Hair Get Curly After Swimming

Many people have a question that has plagued them for years: why does my hair get curly after swimming?

Many potential causes can contribute to this problem, from high chlorine levels to the texture of your hair.

People with naturally curly hair will often notice their hair becoming curled at the end when they swim in pools.

And that’s because chlorine from the chemical that keeps pools clean can react with hair, giving it a curly appearance.

Chlorine is also known to be damaging to hair due to its chemical properties.

To limit this damage, it is important to wash your hair following swimming and use a sulfate-free shampoo.

Why Does My Hair Curl When It Rains?

Why Does My Hair Curl When It Rains

The weather is changing and so are the seasons.

The leaves on the trees are already changing colors, warming up for their fall release.

But what about your hair? Does it change too? Have you ever noticed your hair curling when it’s raining?

This is because the water droplets that form in the air are tiny magnets for each other.

Hair can act as a magnet, and this attracts water droplets around it.

The water droplets then stick to the hair, which is how curly hair forms.

Our hair is like tiny magnets – we might not know it but we curl our hair naturally by attracting water droplets to it!

Hair is made up of the protein keratin.

Keratin is composed of long chains of amino acids which create a coiled shape.

Curls form when the molecules are wet, but when they dry, they uncoil and become straight.

So when it rains, your hair curls due to the water on your hair causing the keratin molecules to clump together and create a curly feeling.

Why Does My Hair Curl When I Sweat?

Why Does My Hair Curl When I Sweat

Many people tend to notice their hair curling when they sweat, but this is a natural process you don’t need to worry about.

This is because the salt and other minerals in your sweat trigger natural oil production on your scalp and create a shiny look.

Curls are caused by the cuticle of your hair closing due to high humidity levels in the air.

When you sweat, your body releases moisture and the cuticle closes again.

The moisture then evaporates and your curls return to normal.

How Do I Stop My Hair from Curling When Wet?

Let’s say it’s summertime and you’re at the beach.

You’ve just taken a dip in the ocean and your hair has become soaked in saltwater and sand.

So, how do you get your locks to behave?

Many people dread the curls that form when their hair becomes wet because they take so long to dry, and curly hair is not easy to manage.

The good news is that there are some things you can try to get rid of those little curls.

Here are 3 tips to stop hair curling when wet.

Styling Your Hair in The Opposite Direction

If you’re looking for a quick fix for end curls, this might be the right solution for you.

Simply brush your hair in the opposite direction that it wants to curl and “straighten” it with your hands as it dries.

Start in the middle from the back neck area and pull it forward while sandwiching it between your hands and straightening it over and over until it dries.

It’s super tedious work but it seems to work for many people!

Use an Anti-Frizz Hairspray

You can stop frizzy, curly hair with an anti-frizz hairspray, I recommend this one.

This type of spray will control the curls when wet at the end, but it will also provide other benefits such as shine and hold.

Use Heavy Styling Products

When you want to keep your hair from curling when it gets wet, you need to use heavy styling products.

The best way to do this is to apply the product to your hair while it is still damp.

You should start by applying the product to the roots of your hair and then work your way down to the ends.

Once you have applied the product, you can either let your hair air dry or use a blow dryer on a low setting.

This will weigh down your hair and add an extra layer of protection from humidity.

Curly Hair When Wet – Conclusion

Hair has a natural tendency to curl when it becomes wet.

This is because curly hair has been conditioned, on a microscopic level, to repel water that would otherwise cause the hair to become straight.

When the hair dries out from being wet, this effect reverses itself and the natural curls resume their original positions.

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