My Hair is Naturally Curly but Wont Curl Anymore (6 Reasons Why)

You know how they say, “The grass is always greener on the other side”? Well, for this article, it always seems like everyone else’s hair is curlier. Maybe you’ve noticed that over time, your curly hair just won’t curl anymore! It’s so frustrating, so let’s figure out why that is.

Several factors could make naturally curly hair lose its curl, like damage from heat styling, excessive chemical treatments, or age-related changes. Proper hair care, using curl-enhancing products, and avoiding damaging practices can help restore those beautiful curls.

It’s been quite the head-scratcher, and it’s definitely something worth chatting about. Maybe you’ve experienced this too, or you’re curious about why it happens. Well, stick around, and we’ll dive into the curly hair conundrum together!

Why Did I Lose My Curl Pattern?

Losing your curl pattern can happen due to various reasons. It might be due to overuse of heat styling tools, harsh chemical treatments, or even changes in your hair’s natural texture as you age.

However, the good news is that you can often revive those curls with proper care and some patience! Below, we’ll explain these issues in depth.

Your Hair is too Long and Heavy

When your curly hair gets too long, it can become heavy, causing the curls to stretch out and lose their bounce.

Therefore, trimming your hair regularly helps maintain the curl pattern by reducing the weight and allowing your curls to spring back to life.

Too Much Shampooing

Over-shampooing can strip your hair of its natural oils, leaving it dry and less likely to curl. Curly hair often thrives on less frequent washing, so try reducing the frequency of shampooing to maintain those beautiful curls.

Not Using Conditioner

Skipping conditioner can make your hair frizzy and less manageable. Conditioner helps moisturize and define curls, so make it a vital part of your hair care routine for that perfect curl definition.

However, it should be a light conditioner, not a heavy one, as you want your curls to be lightweight and not bogged down.

You Have Dry Hair

Curly hair tends to be naturally dry. Lack of moisture can lead to frizz and loss of curl. Therefore, regular deep conditioning treatments and using hydrating hair products can help keep your hair well-hydrated and more likely to curl.

Too Many Dead Ends

Split ends and damaged hair tips can prevent your curls from forming correctly. Therefore, regular trims are essential to get rid of these culprits and maintain a healthy curl pattern. This is because split ends stop your hair from growing, and the hair shaft splits, and as the hair pushes to grow, the breakage comes up your hair shaft.

Eventually, this damage will start popping up as dryness and frizz. So, you’ll want to keep your dead ends at bay. Also, this will help your hair grow faster!


Changes in hormones, such as during pregnancy or menopause, can affect hair texture. Additionally, hormonal fluctuations may temporarily alter your curl pattern, but it often returns to normal with time.

Chemical and Heat Damage

Excessive use of hair straighteners, curling irons, or chemical treatments like perms or relaxers can damage your hair’s natural structure. As a result, heat and chemicals weaken the curl pattern, so use them sparingly and use heat protectants when needed.

How Can I Re-Train My Curls?

Re-training your curls can help restore their natural pattern if they’ve lost their bounce. Here’s a simple guide to help you regain those lovely curls:

  1. Gentle Cleansing: Start by washing your hair with a sulfate-free, hydrating shampoo to remove any product buildup or impurities. Avoid harsh, drying shampoos.
  2. Deep Conditioning: Use a rich, moisturizing conditioner to hydrate your curls. Consider using a deep conditioner or a hair mask once a week to provide extra moisture.
  3. Comb Carefully: Use a wide-toothed comb or your fingers to detangle your hair while it’s wet. This prevents breakage and maintains the curl pattern.
  4. Avoid Heat Styling: Minimize the use of heat-styling tools like straighteners and curling irons. Heat can damage curls and make them lose their shape.
  5. Apply Curl-Enhancing Products: Use curl-enhancing products like curl creams, gels, or mousse to encourage your curls to form. Apply them when your hair is damp, not soaking wet, for better results.
  6. Plop or Scrunch: After applying products, gently plop or scrunch your hair with a microfiber towel or an old cotton t-shirt to remove excess water and encourage curl formation.
  7. Air Dry or Diffuse: Allow your hair to air dry or use a diffuser attachment on your hair dryer with low heat and airflow settings. High heat can cause frizz.
  8. Maintain Regular Trims: Trim your hair every 6-8 weeks to get rid of split ends and promote healthier curls.
  9. Protect While Sleeping: Use a silk or satin pillowcase to reduce friction and prevent frizz while you sleep. You can also try pineapple-ing (gathering your hair on top of your head) or using a silk scarf or bonnet.
  10. Be Patient: It might take some time for your curls to fully re-train, especially if they’ve been subjected to heat or chemicals. Be patient and consistent with your curly hair care routine.

Why Was My Hair Curly When I Was Little, But Now It’s Straight?

It’s not uncommon for hair to change texture as you grow older. When you were little, your hair might have been curly due to several factors, including genetics, hormones, and the size and shape of your hair follicles.

Here are a few reasons why your hair straightened out as you aged:

  • Genetics: Your hair texture is largely determined by your genetics. If curly hair genes were more dominant in your family when you were young, you may have had curly hair. However, as you age, your hair’s genetic expression can change.
  • Hormones: Hormonal changes that occur during puberty, pregnancy, or menopause can impact hair texture. These changes can affect the production of proteins that give hair its shape, making it straighter or curlier.
  • Hair Follicles: The size and shape of your hair follicles play a role in determining hair texture. Curly hair follicles are oval-shaped, while straight hair follicles are more circular. Changes in follicle shape over time can lead to changes in hair texture.
  • Environmental Factors: Exposure to environmental elements, such as sunlight and humidity, can affect hair texture. Hair may appear straighter when exposed to certain conditions.
  • Hair Products and Styling: Frequent use of heat styling tools, chemical treatments, or hair products can temporarily alter your hair’s texture. Over time, these practices may contribute to a change in your hair’s natural texture.
  • Health and Nutrition: Your overall health and nutrition can influence the quality and texture of your hair. A balanced diet and good health practices can support healthy hair.

If you’ve noticed a significant change in your hair texture and it concerns you, consulting a dermatologist or a healthcare professional can help determine if there are underlying medical reasons for the change.

However, it’s essential to embrace your hair’s natural characteristics, whether it’s straight, curly, or somewhere in between, and adapt your hair care routine accordingly.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why are my curls lifeless?

Lifeless curls can result from various factors, including:

  • Inadequate moisture
  • Excessive heat styling
  • Product buildup
  • Chemical treatments
  • Environmental exposure
  • Poor haircare practices
  • Health issues
  • Aging

To revive your curls, use hydrating and curl-enhancing products designed for curly hair and deep condition on a regular basis.

Why won’t my hair curl with an iron?

Several factors could be at play if your hair isn’t curling well with a curling iron. Firstly, it could be due to the high heat settings on the iron, which might be damaging and straightening your hair instead of curling it. Additionally, if your hair is too clean or lacks texture, it can struggle to hold curls.

Therefore, using a heat-protectant spray and curl-enhancing products can help. Moreover, the size of the curling iron barrel matters; using a larger barrel creates looser curls, while a smaller one forms tighter curls.

Wrapping It Up

Achieving the perfect curls isn’t always straightforward, and if your hair isn’t cooperating with your curling iron, it’s essential to consider a variety of factors. From the heat settings to the cleanliness of your hair, the size of the curling iron barrel, and your technique, each element plays a crucial role in curling success.

By adjusting these variables and experimenting with different methods, you can overcome the challenges and master the art of creating beautiful curls that hold and last.

So, don’t be discouraged if your hair isn’t curling as desired initially. After all, with a bit of patience, practice, and the right approach, those stunning, long-lasting curls can become a regular part of your hairstyling repertoire.

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