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Curly vs Straight Hair: What’s the Real Differences?

Have you ever suffered from a love-hate relationship with your hair? All of us, for sure have experienced at least one bad hair day in our lives. Some even downright hate the hair that they’ve got. 

You may have some questions such as: “why do I have curly hair?” or why can’t I have straighter hair?”

How we sometimes feel towards our locks, good or bad, is totally natural. Our hair (or the lack of it) is one of the most notable features of our body, and often the first thing people see. 

Studies even show that your hair can speak volumes  (pun intended!) about who you are as a person, your personality, and how you look after yourself.

Whether curly or straight, short or long, our hair surely is our crowning glory. 

But is there a better hair type? Do women with curls look more attractive? Is straight hair easier to manage?

First, let’s find out why people have different hair types. Then, we’ll look at the pros and cons of curly vs straight hair. 

The Science Behind Curly and Straight Hair

Ladies with curly and straight hair

You might have wondered about what makes some people’s hair wavy, kinky, or curly while others are smooth and straight. 

Human hair, no matter the shape (curly or straight), is composed of two main parts: the follicle and the hair shaft.

To help you visualize, the shafts are the visible strands on your head, while the follicle is the root that stays underneath your scalp. Now, these two hair parts determine whether you grow out curly or straight hair strands.

The shape of your follicles is the main determinant for growing either curly, straight, or spiraled hair. And the size of your follicles determines the thickness or fineness of the hair. 

Round follicles grow out straight hair. On the other hand, curly hair grows out of oval-shaped follicles. Now the narrower the oval, the curlier the strands. In terms of hair thickness, the bigger the follicle the thicker the hair strand will be.

What about the shaft? What is its role in determining your hair shape and size? The short answer is keratin bonds. Keratin is a fibrous protein that is found in our hair shafts.

Curly hair has more keratin bond formations compared to straight hair.

That’s why if you want to straighten your curly or wavy locks, all you need to do is go to a salon and have your hair treated with a chemical that helps relax or break these protein bonds. Hence, the existence of hair “relaxing” treatments. 

The Pros and Cons of Having Straight or Curly Hair

In reality, regardless of whether your hair is straight or curly, there are pros and cons to both types. It is all up to you to find ways and to make your hair more manageable so it will look the way you want it.

 Embracing your hair as is, will help you make the most out of your straight or curly locks. 

The first step is to get to the root of your hair woes. If you can identify the “problem” areas, then you can find the best solution for your hair problem. 

Black and white women with curly and straight hair

Curly Hair

Pros:

  • You will enjoy versatility in terms of hairstyles because your curls may look different each day and you can style them any way you want
  • You can appear as playful, flirty, or as sexy as you want
  • You’ll save on shampoo because curly hair doesn’t need daily shampooing
  • Curly or wavy locks look more voluminous, or fuller 
  • You attract more attention because curly appears to be adventurous and fun

Cons:

  • You may have to spend on conditioners/shampoos and moisturizers as curly locks tend to be drier than straight hair
  • You may need to spend on various hair treatment or styling products to make your hair more manageable 
  • Humidity can be your #1 enemy as it causes your hair to be frizzy and dry
  • If you want to straighten out your hair, you will need high heat settings

Straight Hair

Pros:

  • Straight locks are more manageable and easier to maintain
  • Wash, rinse, comb, and you’re good to go
  • It’s not difficult to cut straight hair
  • If you style it and want to achieve a smooth and glossy finish, you can achieve it in a few minutes
  • Grows faster compared to curly locks

Cons:

  • Some straight hair types lack volume (looks flat) and prone to flyaways
  • Fine and delicate types are more susceptible to burning and damage especially during heat-styling
  • Can look greasy and grimy after only a couple of days of no washing
  • Straight hair is more prone to hair fall and breakage
  • Depending on the thickness or texture of your hair, if you want to temporarily curl your hair, some straight hair types don’t hold the curls long

As you can see, there are some advantages and disadvantages to having straight or curly hair. Neither is really “better” than the other. It’s all a matter of perspective!  It also depends on how you take care of your hair and embrace it with all your tender love. 

At the end of the day, you have the choice to either leave your hair be and wear it naturally or to resort to chemical treatments or heat application methods to achieve the look that you desire.

Hairstyles That Best Suit Your Curly or Straight Hair

For many years, having long, straight hair has been trendy for women, however, in some instances, that is no longer the case.

How you carry your hair overall, other factors like the shape of your face, and the choice of haircut or hairstyle can make or break your LOTD (look of the day). 

Best Hairstyles for the Curly-Haired

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  • Layered haircut – if you have long, curly hair, getting a layered haircut will definitely give you that sexy, raw appearance. Just a bit of hair mousse to soften the texture and you’re off to a great hair day!
  • Bouncy look – This is a great style for all types of curly hair. Mid-length or long, you can opt for a voluminous and bouncy style that will earn you second glances.
  • Messy hair doesn’t care – Who doesn’t want that playful, messy look? This style is perfect for mid-length hair as it is practically “wear and go”. Just a spritz of hair moisturizer and you’re guaranteed a fabulous day.
  •  Messy bun – If you want to look elegant for a romantic dinner date, then get a low updo. To add a sexier twist, you can make a messy or loose bun whether side-swept or in the middle at the back of your head.  
  • Long, loose, and natural – If you prefer to let loose and simply wear your hair long and natural, then a good hair color will help you achieve that striking look! 
  • Tight rings – For a curly-haired lady, wearing tight ringlets couldn’t be sexier and more appealing. To add a more eye-catching effect, dye it with the most suitable hair color of choice.
  • Layered bob cut– Finish it with an ombre color and you’ll get that cover-worthy glam look! Choose a hair styling product that will define your curls some more to ensure a lasting effect.
  • Layered with side fringe – Who said side bangs are just for straight-haired ladies? To make hair fuller, get a layered haircut and then boost the look with a side-swept fringe to finish the look with a bang!
  • Short messy cut – Want to look young and playful? Depending on your hair texture, get a short haircut, and achieve that youthful glow.
  • Beach waves – Who can forget the flirty beach curls? Long or bob, you can easily achieve this sexy tousled look with your natural curls.

Best Hairstyles for the Straight-Haired

Woman with a blonde straight hair
  • Bob haircut – A wispy bob is perfect for straight-haired women. Aside from being low maintenance, it is quick and easy to style. Great for working women and busy housewives!
  • Side part – it’s an all-time classic for straight hair. To achieve that sleek and smooth look, using a good quality hair serum will do the trick.
  • Angled bob haircut – bangs or without, this style will give you that celeb vibe that’s perfect for a daily or party look. 
  • Layered with choppy bangs – Choppy or textured fringe is great for long or medium-length straight hair. Unlike blunt bangs, the length is not uniform therefore it gives you that edgy yet sexy appearance. 
  • Soft and short crop – Want to achieve a sleek and soft look? Get that short, single-length haircut. Whether you sport a ponytail or simply wear it down, nothing beats this low-maintenance hairstyle. 
  • Center parted hair – Long, short or mid-length, wearing your hair center-parted is absolutely great for straight-haired women. 
  • Blunt bangs – Straight-haired girls can perfectly rock heavy bangs all the time. It’s a fuss-free cut that will be an instant hit.
  • Long and sexy – Make no mistake – straight hair types can also achieve a sultry look even without the waves. Just let your hair flow like velvet and use a volumizing product to add body and shine to your gorgeous locks.
  • Trendy longer in the front cut – This is one of the coolest hairstyles to get if you have fine, straight hair. Not only does it create a fuller appearance, but it also gives a boost to your already fun and engaging personality!
  • Braids and twists – If you want to add a royal twist to your long and straight hair, a braid or a french twist will do the magic.

Final Thoughts

Curly vs straight hair, which is more attractive? Your hair is just one aspect of your overall appearance. We always like to say that having curly or straight locks doesn’t define you as a person, or your personality and character.

Finally, you have the power to transform yourself. If you have inner confidence, then everything else follows.

curly vs straight hair: curly-haired woman

What are your thoughts on curly vs. straight hair? Do you prefer one over the other?