Why Is My Hair Curly Underneath but Straight on Top?

Why Is My Hair Curly Underneath but Straight on Top

Here is a simple guide on what to do with curly hair that is curly underneath but straight at the top. Read on to find out if it is normal to have both curly and straight hair simultaneously.

Why is my hair curly underneath but straight at the top?

Having curly hair underneath but straight on top is due to the shape of individual hair follicles. The shape of your hair follicles has an impact on the shape of the hair strands that grow from it. 

If the hair follicles are curved, then the hair strands will grow out in a curl. If the follicle is straight, then the hair strands will grow out straight. 

People with differently shaped follicles on the same head will have hair strands with different shapes, resulting in a mix of curls and straight hair. This is why some people have curly hair underneath but straight hair on top.

Most people have differently shaped follicles on their heads (both curved and straight) and that will result in a mix of curls and straight hair. But there are some other factors at play here that I’ll mention below.

Reasons for Straight Hair to Curl Underneath

Genetics Is To Blame

The texture of your hair is ultimately determined by the genes you inherited from your parents. The genes of both your father and mother interact with each other and give you a unique hair texture. if both of your parents have a mix of straight and curly hair, the chances are high that you have the same exact hair texture.

Besides genes, there’s also individual DNA at play. It is important to note that the gene that causes frizz is not dominant. It can remain dormant for a while until it becomes active, which will alter the shape of the hair follicles. This affects the new hair that sprouts from it.

Your Hair Is Damaged at the top

Having damaged hair can cause both curly hairs underneath and straight hair on top because when the hair is damaged, the keratin bonds that make up the hair shaft can break. 

This can cause the hair to become weak and brittle, which can cause the hair to curl at the ends or along the shaft. At the same time, the broken bonds can lead to the hair becoming weaker and straighter on top. 

The combination of the two can result in a combination of both curly hair underneath and straight hair on top.

Too much use of Heat Styling Tools at the top portion of your hair

When you use a lot of heat styling tools such as a curling iron, flat iron, etc. If you use them a lot, you can damage the protective layers of your hair which cause the hair strands to deviate from their natural texture.

It’s also worth noting that when people use heat tools, they often spend more time straightening (or curling) the top layer of the hair and if the top layer is damaged, you can get quite a different texture.

Weather conditions

There’s also a simple explanation: Weather. If your hair gets exposed to extremely hot or cold weather for a significant amount of time, it can take a toll on the health of your hair. UV damage from sun rays scorches the hair which can alter your hair texture.

When exposed to cold weather you possibly dry out your hair strands making them more resistant to styling. Besides that, the top layer of your hair is often more exposed to weather conditions than the layer beneath. That can (in both heat and cold) lead to having different hair textures.

To much use of Chemical Treatments

When your hair gets in contact with harsh chemical treatments (hair due, bleaches, color creams), you inevitably damage the outer layer of your hair. You see this often happen in people who do multiple coloring sessions to touch on the tone of their hair because it faded for example.

Brushing or Over Combing

Brushes and combs are the perfect tools to effortlessly detangle your hair. But some people tend to go a little too far and brush the outer layer of their hair several times a day.

When you do that, you overmanipulate the outer layer which over time can cause extensive damage to the hair cuticles (especially the outer layer). 

Brushing your hair doesn’t make it straight, but it can sure help with damaging your curl pattern so that it doesn’t look curly anymore in that area.

Leaving Hair Uncovered While Sleeping

There are lots of reasons why you should cover your hair while you sleep. You almost can’t open a magazine or there is an entire article about why and how you should protect your hair while sleeping. And they have a point, I’ll tell you that.

The fact is that when you sleep, your outer hair layer is directly exposed to your cushion for example. That’s why your hair texture can be different before you go to bed and after you wake up.

Uneven Hair Lengths

The last reason that can cause your hair to be curly underneath and straight on top is uneven hair length.

It might be that your hair is different lengths in some areas of your hair. The longer hair strands (because they become havier) have a difficult time retaining a naturally curly texture when compared to short hair strands.

For this reason, people with longer hair at the crown often see that their hair is more relaxed at the top of their head.

What should you do if you want to even out your hair textures?

If you are struggling with a combination of curly and straight hair, you will be happy to know that there are several ways to handle the issue. Some of them include:

Make your hair shorter at the crown

If you find that your hair at the top of your hair is not completely straight but falls flat, it might be time for a haircut.

Often times you see that trimming a couple of inches of the straightest and flattest parts of your hair can help reduce its weight. As the overall length of your hair section decreases, more strands will draw up and making your curls straight and more defined.

The above might seem daunting if you don’t want to lose the length of your hair. If that’s the case, you can do this process in a matter of months and just trim off an inch or two each time you get your hair cut.

This will over time help your head conform to the layers underneath.

Make use of curly hairstyles that work for your hair texture

There are several hairstyles that people with curly hair at the bottom and straight hair at the top can try. Some of the most common and versatile ones include:

Bob hairstyles

This hairstyle consists of nearly equal lengths in the front and back and covers the face. Depending on your choice and face shape, it is possible to naturally straighten or slightly curl your tips with a bob haircut.

Bob hair is among the least stressful hairdos, according to experienced hairstylists. It is perfect for nearly all face types and suitable for wavy and straight hair. This bob haircut will assist to make your face a bit longer, or shorter, or you can add some curls.

Pixie haircut

For trendy ladies, a pixie cut is an excellent option. This style is also practical, attractive, and appropriate for all hair types. You may choose a chopped pixie hairdo to boost your hair’s form and thickness if you have straight hair that is straight at the top and curly at the bottom. Nowadays, the most fashionable hairstyle is a pixie cut with long or short bangs.

From short to round faces, there are numerous attractive pixie hairstyles to choose from. You may follow all of the fashionable pixie styles and select the most suited one to freshen your class if you think your hair is straight on top and curly on the bottom.

Curly hairstyle

When you claimed your hair was curly at the bottom and straight at the top, you referred to a famous hairdo. This style naturally lifts the hair a little for a pleasant, stylish look. It is a simple do, yet it always draws the women’s attention in crowds.

Curly hair adds soft curls that skillfully embrace different face types to assist ladies in hiding additional physical flaws like an angular face or a huge round face. The C-shaped swoop hairstyle gives off a dewy, young vibe. Curly long hair exudes a delicate beauty that is ideal for mature women.

Make use of a proper hair care routine

If you want to revive your curls, it’s essential to use a proper hair care routine. To maintain healthy and evenly textured hair you should consistently cleanse, condition moisturize, and trim your hair.

Now, it does depend on your exact hair texture as to how often you do the above-mentioned things to keep your hair in great condition. If you can find the proper schedule and routine, you’re well on your way to having healthy curls.

Extra tip: If you find that the straight sections of your hair are straight because of build-up, you should first start with a clarifying shampoo.

Below are some things that you can also try if the things mentioned above don’t work:

Chemical relaxers

Chemical relaxers are a type of hair treatment that is used to break down the natural curl or wave of your hair, leaving it straight and more manageable. The chemical relaxer changes the structure of the hair strands, making them softer and less likely to curl up. 

It works by breaking down the protein bonds in the hair, which is responsible for the curl or wave pattern. This process can last up to 6 weeks and can be used to create a variety of different looks. The results of the relaxer may vary depending on the type of hair, and how often the relaxer is used. It is important to use a moisturizing conditioner after the relaxer to keep your hair healthy and prevent any damage.

Perm your hair

Perming your hair creates curls and waves by using chemicals to break and reform the bonds in your hair (so it does the exact opposite of relaxing your hair).

If you’re done with the straight hair on the top of your hair, you can perm that section so that you add curls and it matches the bottom layer of your hair.

Be careful though. If you use a perm too often you can destroy your hair texture.

Straighten your hair

As you might know, heat styling can also even out your hair texture (when you use it in moderation). Where heat styling tools such as blow dryers and flat irons are perfect to straighten your curly strands, curling wands can give your curls just that bit extra to look awesome. Make sure to use those heat tools on the lowest heat setting though. Otherwise, you risk your hair getting damaged.


Now that you know how to deal with curly hair at the bottom and straight at the top, you can develop a hair care routine that is suitable for your hair type. Follow the tips mentioned above, and your hair will regain its regular curl pattern in no time.

Further reading material

I hope that you liked reading this article! If you read this far, I assume you did :). If you want to learn more about curly hair, simply click on one of the links below.

How Do Shampoos And Conditioners For Curly Hair Work
How Come My Hair Doesn’t Stay Straight?
Why does my hair curl up when wet?

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