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Curly hair, with its unique texture and structure, has long been a subject of fascination and, at times, frustration for those who embrace its natural beauty. One common issue that many individuals with curly locks face is the perpetual battle against that darned frizz!

Does curly hair tend to have more frizz?

Imagine two single curly hairs laying side by side with eachother:

Hair A wants to curl to the right, while hair B wants to curl to the left.

Then hair C has a tighter curl, and hair D has a looser, bigger curl.

What's the result? = a whole bunch of hairs that don't agree on which way to go.


curly hair woman with frizz
While maintaining curly hair may seem challenging, remember that frizz does not mean your hair is dry.

In this exploration, we delve into the intricate world of curls, examining the factors contributing to frizz and debunking myths surrounding this ubiquitous phenomenon.

We will also share some ideas on how to fix this frizzy issue once and for all!

Understanding Curly Hair

To understand the connection between curly hair and frizz, it's essential to grasp the fundamentals of curly hair anatomy (hang in there – it won't get that wordy or complicated – promise!) Unlike straight hair, curly strands have an uneven surface, creating more opportunities for environmental factors to influence the hair's behavior. The distinctive curvature of curly hair also affects its cuticle structure, making it more prone to frizz.

In this Instagram reel, we quickly shared a visual overview of the hair cuticle using a simple piece of rope – have a look, we think you'll appreciate it ;)

1. The Role of Cuticles:

The outermost layer of the hair shaft, known as the cuticle, plays a crucial role in determining the hair's overall health and appearance. In curly hair, the cuticles are often raised and irregular, making them more susceptible to moisture absorption. When the hair is exposed to humid conditions, the increased moisture content can lead to the swelling of the hair shaft, resulting in frizz.

As you can see from this image, those "shingle-like" bits are the hair cuticle, and there are layers upon layers of them sitting on top of eachother. As the hair gets dry – from heat or styling damage, or even from highlighting/colouring it – these cuticle bits stand up and cause friction, rubbing up against eachother.

One of the reasons why hair conditioners and leave-in conditioners are so incredibly efficient at smoothing down the hair and preventing frizz: 
They help the cuticle bits lay FLAT. 

hair cuticle graphic and curly hair frizz
Hair cuticle as seen by a microscope (graphic).

2. Humidity's Impact on Curly Hair:

Humidity is a notorious culprit when it comes to causing frizz in curly hair. The science behind this lies in the hair's hygroscopic nature, meaning it readily absorbs and retains moisture from the environment. In high-humidity conditions, curly hair tends to absorb excess moisture, causing the cuticle to swell and leading to the characteristic frizzy appearance.

This is also one of the reasons why it's recommended not to wash your hair as often, because this causes you to remove the hair's protective oily layer, allowing more water to penetrate it.

Imagine how much more efficient (and healthier) hair would be if we left it to do its job!

3. Hair Porosity and Frizz:

Hair porosity, a term referring to the hair's ability to absorb and retain moisture, plays a significant role in determining frizz levels. Curly hair is often more porous than straight hair due to its irregular cuticle structure. High porosity can lead to increased frizz, as the hair readily absorbs moisture from the air. Understanding one's hair porosity is crucial for implementing an effective frizz management routine.

Do you believe the "Hair Porosity Test" is an accurate way to define how porous your hair is?

  • 0%Yes, for sure!