If you have curly hair then you know that your wavy curly hair tends to be dry and frizzy. This is because of the structure of curly hair. All hair is not created equal. As you obviously have noticed, hair can vary even within siblings with the same mother and father. This has to do with your genetics.
Your ancestry determines your hair color and texture so let’s take a closer look at this.
Let’s talk hair color. Your hair color is determined by pigments. There are two main pigments that determine your hair color. One is eumlanin, which is a black pigment and the other is phenomelanin, which is a yellow or red pigment. Eumelanin appears in the hair in the largest amounts.
However, the color of your hair has to do with the amount of these pigments in your hair AND how close the melanin granules are. If you have more eumelanin, your hair will be darker. If you have more phenomelanin, your hair will be lighter. (Only people of European descent have the phenomelanin gene.)The pigment eumelanin pigment is made of melanocytes, which essentially are cells. These cells give the hair and skin color. Indeed, this is why darker people have dark hair (more eumelanin) and lighter fairer people have lighter hair (less eumelanin and less dark pigment.)
Hair texture is also passed down from your parents and you can learn more about curly frizzy hair here.
How hair texture and color can change.
Believe it or not, your hair can gradually or less often, suddenly change color and texture. There are many reasons for this.
- Stress–stress is a major culprit in hair changes, typically hair lost. There is a condition called telogen effluvium which results in hair loss a few months after a stressful or traumatic event. The hair is essentially “shocked” and stay put for a few months until they start falling out. The good news is that this isn’t permanent.
- Aging–aging definitely changes your hair texture and color. To begin with, gray hairs are more wiry and hard to manage. As we age, gray hair starts to emerge and you may start to notice drier more brittle hair.
- Illness or Other Health Conditions–your hair is an indicator of your inner health. Your hair gives you external signals of when the internal mechanisms may not be working well. From anemia to low vitamin levels, watch your hair texture for changes since these may signal something more serious.
- Chemical Treatments–if you color or process your hair in any way, you already know that this takes a toll on your hair. Chemical processing over time can leave your hair dull, dry, and brittle and thus appear to change in texture.
- Pregnancy–last but not least, hormone fluctuations in pregnancy have been caused to affect hair texture and even color. Some women claim that their hair changed color and texture during their pregnancy. This can be true since high levels of estrogen affect hair growth and texture.