Long gone are the days we dimmed the glory of our curls with perm and chemicals to straighten them out. Recently, curly-headed men and women have grown to accept and love their bouncy curls despite the lack of media representation. Part of the beauty in curly hair comes from the diversity of curl types that come to life the fresher and thicker the hair is. Everything about curly hair is peculiar, from the moment of its production to its maintenance curly hair is a world of its own. While all strangers see is fluffy curls, only you know the struggle of maintaining your wild mane.
The chemistry of curly hair
So much happens in the body to produce the characteristic twisted patterns that later form curls. To understand how it happens we need to understand the life of a hair on a cellular level. In the follicular unit, and similar to other body cells, follicular units only activate the parts of the DNA that relate to the hair. As a result, when the DNA is decoded, we get fibrous-like proteins of different types that pack together to form the pile of dead proteins we like to call hair. In this genetic information, your hair color, texture, density and length are all determined.
What makes hair curly is two things:
1– The shape of the follicle
Our genetics determine the shape of our hair follicles from as early as our embryonic beginnings. With curly hair, the shafts or follicles from where the hair surfaces on the skin are asymmetrical in shape. By asymmetrical, we mean curved in form that it looks like the letter S. According to physics, the curvature of the follicle is what gives curly hair the elliptical pattern. Straight hair on the other hand grows out of symmetrical oval follicles that help maintain its linear growth.
2– Hair fiber production
Another factor that contributes to the twists and turns in your hair is the hair fiber production. Hair, as we have already established is made of proteins. The proteins in our hair interact with one another through bonds such as hydrogen and disulfide bonds. In curly hair the production of protein fibers is not coordinated and symmetrical, as a result when the proteins bond and interact they fold and turn.
In contrast, straight hair has more coordinated and symmetrical protein patterns than curly hair, where the way the proteins scattered throughout the hair fibers are more organized producing a straight thread.
How can hair change from straight to curly:
The mystery behind why some people’s hair change texture is all in epigenetics. Epigenetics refers to the molecular phenomenon of selectively inhibiting or activating specific genes. To elaborate, our cells choose to express or silence particular genes over another selectively. We inherit a single chromosome from our mom and another from our dad. The alleles in those genes do not always work together sometimes the roles “switch.” In certain ocassions, the straight hair genes inherited from our dad are the ones expressed whereas the curly hair genes are silenced. With epigenetics, your environment can trigger it and sometimes it can also be genetically determined.
This cellular process explains why some people might have straight hair that then becomes curly.
How to achieve bouncy curls?
Now that we went over all you need to know about curly hair, our next point is far from genetics but close to biology. Although, bringing life to your curls is the last thing you would link to science, the secret is all in the cellular activity. The majority of the appeal of curly hair lies in the volume and density of it. Unfortunate if like me, your hair sheds like a deciduous tree in the fall. Hair fall usually happens due to a lack of specific growth factors such as VEGF. VEGF is very influential in the hair growth cycle; it has the ability to prolong the hair growth phase (anagen) and delaying the catagen phase (hair fall). Over time, with delayed hair loss phases, the density of the hair will increase, and the bouncier the curls.
So how to implement the concept above? The answer is PRP therapy. PRP therapy is a recent treatment for hair loss that uses your own cells to combat the problem. From your blood, growth factors are collected and injected back into your scalp. Among the different growth factors is VEGF which continues to promote growth for a year on. PRP hair treatment along with a healthy diet will make your curls shine and bounce like never before.
Curly hair gets far less attention than it probably should. Thankfully, more and more curly headed men and women are growing to love their curls. The years of perming and heat might have taken its toll on your curls, but PRP therapy is here to undo the damage and give your curls the strength, shine, and bounce they deserve. If you would like to know more about PRP hair treatment contact us.