You make an appointment at your favorite hair salon in Salt Lake City. Hopefully it is Curl Co. because we do great hair, but it could be any salon for the purposes of this discussion. In the days leading up to your appointment, you begin to think about doing something different. You want a new look; you want something fresh that speaks to your personality and helps to maintain your youthful appearance. In all this pondering and questioning, you ask yourself, “why is my naturally curly hair curly?” That is actually a very good question.

We can do many great things to make your hair look fantastic. We can take curly hair and make it straight; we can take straight hair and make it curly. Nevertheless, at the root of it all, literally, is nature. Naturally curly hair is curly because of biology. It really boils down to two things: DNA and follicle shape.

Beautiful curly cut by Kara Peterson!

DNA's Effect on Hair

The most powerful influence on nearly every part of the human body is DNA. As you probably learned in 10th-grade biology class, DNA contains all of the coded information that tells the body how to build new cells for various types of tissue. DNA not only determines what kinds of cells will be built but also how those cells will be used.

Where your hair is concerned, science has discovered that DNA accounts for about 90% of what your hair looks like. It covers everything from color to thickness to the texture of each strand. DNA exerts its greatest influence in creating curly hair at the follicle level. How DNA forms the actual follicle structure determines how your hair grows.

Follicle Structure and Curly Hair

The hair follicle is where growth begins. Every hair follicle has a different shape, whether it is symmetrical or asymmetrical. Scientific research has determined that symmetrical follicles tend to produce straight hair while asymmetrical follicles tend to produce curly hair. Why? Because a symmetrical hair follicle will produce a symmetrical strand of hair that grows out with a relatively uniform shape. An asymmetrical follicle produces an asymmetrical hair strand. That hair strand does not grow with a uniform shape. Thus, it is prone to curling as it gets longer.

Interestingly enough, this explains why some cancer patients with straight hair find that their hair grows back curly after chemotherapy is finished. What they do not know is that the chemo drugs have temporarily altered the shape of their follicles, causing them to produce curly hair. Once the effects of the chemo wear off, many of these patients find their hair returns to its former straightness.

The Physics of Curly Hair

Science does play a role in whether or not your hair is naturally curly or straight. However, any hair salon in Salt Lake City, including Curl Co., can also use science to help you make the best of what nature has given you. We rely a lot on physics to do just that.

For example, physics dictates that even extremely curly hair is prone to straightening somewhat with length. As hair gets longer, it straightens under its own weight and the forces of gravity pulling down on it. The experienced hairdresser knows how to use physics to his or her advantage, making it possible to do just about anything with your hair.

Now that you know more about the nature of hair, we hope you will choose us for your next cut and styling. Curl Co. wants to be your one and only hair salon in Salt Lake City.


1.      Popular Science –

2.      TIME –