Why does my hair curl up when it gets longer?

It is always fun to answer one of life’s mysteries. Today we’re going to look at why your hair curls up when it gets longer. Why do I call it one of life’s mysteries? Because well, there isn’t a definite answer to these questions yet. There are some theories and some ideas and I love to shed my light on them and tell you about these theories and ideas so that you at least get more insight into why your hair curls up when it gets longer. And also, I’ll show you that you’re not the only one.

To show you that you’re not the only one with this effect in your hair, I’ll tell you what a reader emailed me a couple of days ago:

Hi Joy-Lee, I have a question about my hair getting curly.

What I mean by that is that normally my hair is medium thickness and normally kept a little bit longer than armpit length. When it grows a little longer it has a curly/wavy effect to it. It’s almost as if my hair gets curlier the longer it gets. When I cut my hair shorter (shorter than armpit length) this effect disappears and my hair is straight. I find it confusing and am looking for some kind of answer to why this is. Can you help me?

Thanks!

Candice

Why does my hair curl up when it gets longer?

After that email I decided to not only give her some insights but that this would also be beneficial to my readers. As I said, I personally don’t have this issue, but I hope my experience with my friends and others who’ve asked me, can help you.

You might have wavy hair. Not curly

The first thing that comes to mind is the fact that you might have a hair texture that is wavy. That would clarify why your hair curls up only when it gets longer. Wavy hair needs some length in order for the waves to show up. So, it can be that when you grow your hair after a certain length the wavy pattern shows up and you see your hair curling up at the ends.

This is also why you don’t see your wavy hair when you have shorter hair. The pattern simply doesn’t show.

So, ultimately it all comes down to your curl or wave pattern. If you have large, loose curls, you might only see the pattern when your hair is long enough. When you cut it short like a pixie-cut/boy-cut, you would see that there’s no wavy pattern left because there isn’t enough length to show it.

The ends of your hair are older

Now, this seems like common sense, but the ends of your hair are older than at the root. Now, what does this have to do with your hair curling up when it gets longer? 

Those ends can often be a couple of years old and therefore can be dryer, more brittle, and fragile than your relatively younger hair. Now, this doesn’t automatically mean that your hair curls up then, but your hair might have gotten some chemical texturizing from color, or damage grom styling your hair with heat and other products that over time made gave your hair more texture than it had before.

If this is the cause there’s no need to worry. You can simply get a haircut and go into a hair care regimen that takes better care of your hair. This should then be enough to keep your hair from curling up when longer.

It’s all about your curl pattern

By now you probably know that it has, more often than not, something to do with your curl pattern. Now, I have to see your hair texture to know for sure, but one of the things that come to mind when your hair only curls up when longer is that your curl pattern is looser than other people with curls. Now, this isn’t something to worry about, it just means that when you have a loose curl pattern, your hair appears straighter when it is short. Only when your hair grows out you’ll see the pattern and that’s why you only see a starting curl pattern when your hair is longer.

We do not have a consistent hair texture

Did you know that your hair texture isn’t the same throughout your hair? Now you do! Often times we have different hair textures in our hair. It can be that hair will be straighter at the top of your hair and curlier when it goes down. So, it is very possible for you to not see your curls when you have a short haircut. Only when you’ll let it grow you’ll see the different hair textures arise and this can give your hair a curly or wavy pattern. This in turn will look like your hair curling up when it is longer.

So, what does it all depend on?

After you’ve read the above, you probably came to the conclusion that your hair curling up has to do with the following things:

  • Hair texture
  • Your hair cut
  • Your inherited Geneology (mother nature. Nothing you can do about it).

But it also has something to do with your hair care. I touched upon this briefly, but I wanted to emphasize it a bit more now. Your hair curling up when it grows longer has also something to do with how you treat your hair. Are you often style your hair with heating elements and are, in doing so, damaging your hair? This can cause your hair curling.

To avoid this, you can try to lose the heating elements. Let your hair air dry or buy a straightening iron or hair dryer that doesn’t work with heat.

To combat your hair curling up, you can also look into a healthy hair care routine. Are you already conditioning and moisturizing your hair? If so, great! If not, you might want to look into that so that you can give your hair the regimen it deserves.

Conclusion

I hope that by now you know a little bit more about why your hair is curling up when it grows longer. You now know that it is nothing to worry about and why this phenomenon happens to you.

Do you like the curling up effect? Let your hair grow and see for yourself what kind of texture arises! Maybe you have beautiful curls when your hair is longer!

If you don’t like it, you can get a haircut to get rid of the curling part, you can look into a great hair care routine, or you can also look at what things you use for your hair and maybe swap the curling/straightening iron or hair dryer for a variant that doesn’t use heat so that you do not damage your hair.

But the most important thing is this: Love yourself and love your hair! You look unique and that just might be all the amazing your need in your life :)!

Do you want to know more about curling hair? Click on one of the links below and read more about why your hair is curling!

Why does your hair curl up only at the back?
My hair curls inward. What now?
Why does my hair curl up at the ends?