“Why does my hair grow out and not down?” If you have curly hair like me, you have probably asked yourself this question numerous times!
Trust me, and I’ve been there. After extensive research and experience, I’ve found foolproof ways to ensure my hair stays down and my curl pattern stays intact. Ready to dive in? Let’s go!
Why Does My Natural Hair Grow Out Instead Of Down?
If you have naturally curly hair, you have probably noticed that the hair grows out, not down.
Even though all human hair fibers generally have the same basic structure, curly hair follicles have an asymmetry, giving them the coiled formation. (1)
Curly hair follicles are S-shaped and always grow back curvy, even after you’ve had chemical bonding done. The primary genetic structure of your hair shaft cannot be changed.
This is why your hair grows outwards, not down. And it can be pretty exhausting, so you may need the help of a best rated hair straightener to keep it down.
In the next section, we’ll discuss how to make curly hair grow down instead of out.
How To Make Curly Hair Grow Down Instead Of Out?
“Why does my natural hair grow out instead of down?” Surprisingly, you are not alone in asking this question.
Curly hair is dominant, meaning many people are likely to have spiral coils or loose waves depending on their genetics. (2)
Depending on your curl pattern and hair growth cycle, the growth and length of your hair are different for different people.
For some, simply going through our straightening thick hair tips may be enough to tame their unruly hair. And for others, how to make curly hair go down? Continue reading!
1. Get a Good Haircut:
You want as much weight and length in your hair as possible to weigh the hair down and keep it down. Your hair needs a few layers, too, to ensure it isn’t too weighed down.
Just because a haircut works on one person doesn’t mean it’ll work on you too and keeps your hair healthy.
You need an experienced hairstylist to work their custom hair magic on you.
Ona Diaz-Santin, a celebrity hairstylist, says, “I give props to the ‘curly hair salons,’ but I don’t believe that there is one single cut or one single product that works for everyone—you have to get to know your hair and what it needs. And your stylist should, too.” (3)
However, she recommends the ‘sliding technique,’ which adds layers to the hair and removes any bulk. In doing so, the curl patterns are styled better, and the hair stays down.
2. Style Your Wet Hair:
“Why does my hair grow out and not down?”
Well, when it comes to weighing down the hair, it is usually better to do it with wet hair instead of dry. Defining curls is more accessible when the hair is soaking wet.
Anthony Dickey, hair stylist, says, “When you’re washing your hair, you’re using the conditioner to help texturize the hair to bring out the curl pattern — that’s when you get the most definition.” (4)
Dickey recommends adding styling products to the hair while it is wet to get your hair to take its natural form easier.
Styling wet hair also means your hair can be weighed down and made to stay down all day or until your next wash.
3. Don’t Skip Including Shampoo in Your Wash:
In the curly hair community, most users swear by co-washing. Simply put, it means people only wash their hair with conditioner and forego the shampoo altogether.
But, this may not be such a good idea.
Our scalp gets dirty over time and needs to be washed off and cleaned with the right products to remove any buildup.
This is especially true if you’re using several hair products on your hair. You cannot only rely on washing your hair with a conditioner to remove all that debris from your scalp.
Faye Whiteman, hairstylist and Amika lead pro educator, says, “If you are a heavy product user, be sure to have a clarifying shampoo on hand to bust that buildup.” (5)
It is best to shampoo your hair at least a few times a month to keep your scalp and hair healthy.
4. Use a Diffuser to Dry the Hair:
Using a hair dryer diffuser helps accentuate your natural curls while getting rid of all frizz. It also helps control how your hair dries instead of letting it air dry.
A celebrity hairstylist, Chris Appleton, says, “I use a diffuser because this gives the curls a nice controlled look. My tip for using a diffuser is using it on full heat but a low blow — if you use a high blow, you will create frizz.”
After shampooing and conditioning your hair, use a microfiber towel to make sure your hair isn’t soaking wet.
It’s best not to use a regular towel because it can cause static strands of hair and make your hair frizzy.
I prefer using an old cotton t-shirt because it’s easy to get rid of the water and ensure I don’t have frizzy hair.
During this stage, you may even straighten out your hair. Here’s a whole article I wrote on how to make your hair straight naturally if straight hair is more your preference.
5. Purchase the Appropriate Products:
You will need a plethora of curly hair products to maintain your mane. You cannot just use whatever you wish and expect your curls to look good. Now that’s just a given with curly hair.
If you want them to stay well-tamed, you’ll have to let go of bad habits and build a good hair care routine.
Curly hair needs a lot of moisture and using a deep moisturizing hair mask like the Amika Soulfood Nourishing Mask can do wonders for your curls. It helps maintain moisture and keeps your curls looking springy.
Chris Appleton, a hairstylist, says, “keeping frizz to a minimum depends a lot on the defrizzing product you use.”
He recommends Kerastase Discipline Oleo-Relax Advanced Control-in-Motion oil to tame frizz while using the hair dryer. I love a leave-in-conditioner to keep my hair hydrated and frizz-free.
Lately, I have been loving Carol’s Daughter Black Vanilla’s leave-in-conditioner. It smells amazing! And it keeps my curls looking shiny all day long.
Sometimes, I skip the dryer and let my hair air dry while using a curl-defining cream.
I love the Curl Defining Cream by Moroccanoil which keeps my curl pattern in shape. I take a dollop and twist my hair as its air dries for beautiful curls!
So if you have been asking, “why does my hair grow out instead of down?”, using these products can help keep your hair down.
6. Don’t Let Your Hair Be a Stressful Event:
The final tip, and the most important one, is to stop stressing over your hair.
We all have good hair days and bad hair days. That’s just the way the world works. And stressing over something you can’t quite control is just not the way to go.
Some days your curls will look like they came out of a Taylor Swift music video (think Fearless and Speak Now era,) and some days, it will look, well, really really bad!
On the good days, make sure to love your hair. And on the bad days, scrunch up your hair into a pony or a bun and enjoy the rest of the day.
I personally love tying a scarf into my hair on bad days. This not only hides my hair but adds some fun color to my overall style.
Here is my favorite video on different ways to add a hair scarf.
How Often Should You Trim Your Hair When Growing It Out?
For the hair growth process, it is best to get regular trims every three months. You can cut about a quarter of an inch to half an inch for best results.
How Do I Get My Hair To Stick Down?
The best way to get your hair to stick down is to use hot styling tools such as a straightener. Other methods include combing down wet hair with a wide-toothed comb and styling cream.
What Is Awkward Stage Hair?
The awkward phase of hair usually begins when you have short hair but want to grow it out. Usually, you have messy and unruly hair during the awkward length hair phase.
What Happens If You Don’t Cut Your Hair For 6 Months?
If you don’t trim your hair often, you will experience hair breakage and brittle hair. It is best to cut your hair 1-2 inches every three months to promote healthy hair growth.
Now you know why you have outward hair growth. All of us are blessed with different hair types and textures.
Learning how to do a good hair care routine allows you to have fuller hair and reduces the possibility of hair breakage. If you have any other tips, leave them in the comments.
I’ll see you in the following article – stay beautiful.
Do you have more tips? Share with us in the comments below!
- 1. Westgate GE, Ginger RS, Green MR. The biology and genetics of curly hair. Experimental Dermatology. 2017;26:483–90.
- 2. MacDonald J. Why Do Some People Have Curly Hair and Others Straight? [Internet]. JSTOR Daily. 2018. Available from: https://daily.jstor.org/why-do-some-people-have-curly-hair-and-others-straight/
- 3. These Curly Hair Tips Will Change Your Life [Internet]. Oprah Daily. 2019. Available from: https://www.oprahdaily.com/beauty/hair/a28497786/curly-hair-tips/
- 4. Nast C. The 5 Best Curly Hair Tricks I’ve Learned From Stylists [Internet]. Allure. 2015 [cited 2022 Jul 11]. Available from: https://www.allure.com/gallery/curly-hairstyling-tricks
- 5. Avoid These 10 Co-Wash Mistakes for the Healthiest Hair [Internet]. Byrdie. [cited 2022 Jul 11]. Available from: https://www.byrdie.com/co-wash-mistakes-to-avoid-for-the-healthiest-hair-400127
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Edith is a self-made entrepreneur with a keen business sense that others admire and a total “can-do” attitude. She’s always coming up with new ideas to anticipate her readers’ needs and help solve all their toughest beauty and skincare problems. You can find more about her Here.