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This Is Why Your Hair Is Curling Up

It can either be a source of pleasure or a total nightmare to look in the mirror one day and see that your straight hair has turned curly. You may ask yourself, “Why is my hair curling up all of a sudden?“.

A sudden difference in texture indicates a change, but the cause of that change can vary from climate and weather to stress, changing hormones, or even illness. 

Understanding how your hair can suddenly turn curly means focusing on hair at the biological level. If you do in fact have the genes for both curly and straight hair, then an environmental or physiological factor can trigger a change.

It’s hard to say for certain what the exact cause of your curling hair may be, but all of the different reasons can help you move through a process of elimination to find out. 

Reasons Why Your Hair Is Curling Up

Below are six common reasons why your hair may be curling up unexpectedly. 

1. Different Climate/Weather

hair curling up

The same type of humid weather that can make straight hair fall flat can enhance your curls, or even turn casually wavy hair into ringlets. This can happen on an especially humid and rainy day in your regular environment, or it can happen if you move or take a trip to a stickier climate. 

In terms of gene expression, pollution can actually be a major factor as to why your hair is curling up. Directly, pollution won’t cause a change in your hair, but poor air quality in industrialized areas can affect our hormones and that, in turn, might affect a change in the texture of your hair. 

2. Changing Hormones 

hormonal facts for curling up hair

Hair changing from straight to curly often indicates a hormonal shift within the body. Factors like menopause, pregnancy, puberty, and even taking birth control, can have a drastic, switching effect on your hair’s texture.

Hormonal changes alter how your genes are expressed, so changes here can make a big difference. Unfortunate situations like chronic illness and stress can also instigate a hormonal change, so if your straight or wavy hair has suddenly turned curly, looking into your health is critical. 

3. Regular Aging 

curling up hair

Interesting things gradually start to happen within the body as we age. In terms of hair, it often becomes thinner and finer.

Though the aging process itself won’t cause a change in hair texture, losing volume means less weight pulling down on the hair. In this way, hair may appear springier and curlier because that heaviness is suddenly gone. 

4. Perms

perm hair

Quite a few people can attest to a permanent change in their hair after receiving a curly perm. Perms invade the hair follicle and rearrange the protein bonds within through chemicals and heat. It is possible that this process can cause long-lasting damage to the follicle, leaving your hair permanently curly from that moment onwards. 

5. Metal in the Body 

curling up hair reasons

Taking a new medication for illnesses such as bipolar disorder, switching to nontoxic products, or consuming a new, specific diet can reduce the metals present in the body.

Studies of these factors are relatively new, but lots of people have noticed a shift in their hair, as well as their health, after examining which metals were too built up within their system. 

For instance, metals like copper have been linked to curling of the hair. This factor can involve diet, too, which brings up to our final factor for curling hair. 

6. Nutritional Changes 

nutritions for hair

A diet lacking in essential vitamins and minerals can absolutely constitute a change in the overall texture of your hair. On the other hand, an increase in minerals from multi-vitamins and certain foods has been shown to increase the curliness of hair in certain studies. 


So, if you have noticed that your straight hair has recently gone curly, look into your diet and examine if any drastic changes have recently occurred. 

As you can see, there isn’t one straight answer as to why your hair may be curling up all of a sudden, but if you take some time and work through each of these factors, chances are, you’ll find the solution. 


Can my naturally straight hair turn curly?

Yes. Major changes to the hair structure, like straight hair turning curly, are a signal from the body that your health has altered. It’s a good idea in this scenario to get a medical checkup. 

Can I prevent my hair from curling up?

Yes, you can prevent your hair from curling by using hair straightening products and heat.

But the reality is that by the time your straight hair curls, the shape of your hair follicles has altered. This can be due to lack of nutrition, stress, or illness.

Why does hair curl up when it gets longer?

Actually, the curl pattern tends to get looser with length because the weight of the hair straightens it to a degree.

Is hair curling up a sign of hair damage?

No. Frizzy hair is a sign of hair damage and it might actually look more curly because of the frizz. But if your hair is curling it’s a sign of changing hair follicles, not hair damage.

How can I stop hair from curling up in humidity?

You can use a silicone-based heat protectant before blow drying or flat ironing your hair to stop it from reverting to curly hair in the humidity.

Silicone creates a moisture barrier that stops hydration from escaping and prevents humidity from entering. And you don’t need to use a lot of it. It’s best to have a silicone formula that doesn’t contain water.

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