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What makes hair straight or curly?

Is there a way to get curls that last forever? Why is hair so different?

5182 day(s) ago

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Just a few short years ago, scientists believed that the hair itself is the only factor in determining if it will be straight or curly. Recently, scientists working for L’Oreal discovered that curliness was determined by the orientation of the hair follicle. As hair grows out of the follicle, it takes on the follicle’s shape to become either straight or curly. Depending on how much curve the follicle has, or how hooked the follicle is, the hair will be more or less curly. Of course, whether someone has follicles that create straight or curly hair is determined purely through genetics. People with parents who have straight hair are likely to have straight hair themselves, and people with curly hair are likely to be born with curly hair.

Curly hair and straight hair have different properties physical properties. Straight hair tends to be oilier than curly hair because the oil comes from the follicle and runs down the length of straight hair, whereas curly hair stops the oil from travelling the length of the hair. This is why curly hair tends to be dry, and it becomes frizzy and unmanageable in high humidity. The downside of having straight hair is that straight hair develops split ends faster than curly hair.

Scientists are studying ways in which the hooks can be added, lengthened, or removed from hair follicles to change the curliness of hair, but so far, no final solutions have been released to the public. For now, we must rely on either physical manipulation using heat from curling irons or straighteners for a short-term solution. For a longer-lasting solution, chemicals can be applied at a local salon that will last for the lifetime of the exposed hair. As the hair grows out, the new sections will grow back in their natural state.

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3751 day(s) ago
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