Can You Change Your Hair Type – Naturally, Permanently?

Kaycee MurugiHair TypesLeave a Comment

Can you change your hair type

If you are wondering whether you can change your hair type (naturally, permanently, as you age), you need to read this.

Key takeaway;

  • Hair type, color and other hair characteristics are embedded in your DNA which cannot be altered, meaning your hair type cannot change naturally
  • Changes in your body like illness or pregnancy may temporarily change your hair texture
  • Technology has made it possible to temporarily change your hair texture by straightening it or curling it

Before we talk about the elephant in room: changing your hair type let us do a quick refresher on hair types. 

What type of hair do I have?

What type of hair do I have, can you change your hair type

According to various hair typing systems_ Andre Walker, Naturally Curly etc_hair can be classified into different types based on the tightness of curls.

Your hair type could be any of the following:

Hair Type Chart

Type 1 – 1A, 1B, 1CStraight hair, curl resistant, fine & fragile to coarse & thin
Type 2 – 2A, 2B, 2CWavy hair, fine & thin to coarse and frizzy
Type 3 – 3A, 3B, 3CCurly hair, loose curls to corkscrew curls
Type 4 – 4A, 4B, 4CKinky hair with dense coils.

Hair typing systems were created with the aim of understanding and caring for different hair types appropriately.

This however has stirred up a lot of controversy, some arguing that:

  • It creates a hierarchy with looser textures being placed at the top denser textures being at the bottom.
  • These systems overlook various attributes of the hair like porosity and dryness.
  • Makes it difficult to categorize hair that has features falling into different groups.

It’s common to find people arguing on Youtube & Tiktok comments whether a creator’s hair is 3C or 4A, 4B or 4C, clearly indicating that sometimes there is no clear line between the different types.

Can you change your hair type?

Your hair type is dictated by your genetic sequence which is engineered into your DNA, therefore you cannot change your hair type naturally, however with hormonal changes, drugs, nutritional deficiencies you may notice variations in curl pattern and texture.

Changes in hair texture, volume, density can happen with the following changes,

1. Pregnancy

Expectant women often develop silky and softer hair. This is the product of hormones at work.

Estrogen is the major culprit as it rises to higher levels during pregnancy and tends to boost blood circulation hence thicker and more lustrous strands.

After giving birth, the hormone levels drop significantly and rapidly. The suddenness of it all may cause post-partum hair thinning and shedding. [1]

2. Change in Diet

For hair to retain its health and shine it needs an abundance of nutrients from the food you consume.

Should your diet be deficient in important proteins and fatty acids, your hair follicles will suffer leading to thinning and change in texture. With deficiencies, your curls may not be as well-defined.

The opposite is true, the better you eat and supplement your diet, the better your hair growth and overall health.

3. Illness

Some diseases such as anaemia and cancer are detrimental to hair. The falling out of hair can be quite frustrating to manage.

Some diets and medication meant to keep the illnesses at bay may be low on protein which for sure reduces the rate of hair growth.

In some cases, medication may suppress appetite causing a reduction in nutrient supply.

4. Aging

In addition to greyness, hair stands may become thinner and smaller in diameter. The rate of hair growth may also diminish with time.

Genetics is a key factor in drawing out the timeline in which these alterations will occur. Some can start in their 50s, some in their 30s.

5. Stress

Life can have its hurdles and well, that takes a toll on your body. Your hair is for sure not to spare.

In those periods of high stress, your hair strands are sent into a passive state which makes them susceptible to thinning and change in curl pattern.

6. Changes in Season

Extreme heat or cold causes drying out of the hair cuticle leading to damaged strands. The fullness of the hair follicles generally goes down.

The strands may also become coarse and brittle and are heavily deprived of hydration.

Why change your hair type?

People may be drawn to different hair types for various reasons:

Trends & Influence

One may choose to go for different textures to follow a trend. Curly hair for instance has been taking the hair industry by storm making a lot of women desire curly hair.

To make it ‘easier’ to manage

There is a misconception that looser curls or straight hair is easier to manage and therefore people with tight curls may want to change their hair type to make it more manageable.

How to ‘change’ your hair type, temporarily

If you are looking to switch up things and play with different hair textures, there are styles that can give different textured looks without necessarily changing your hair type:

Here some ways you can achieve different textures in your hair

1. Use curl formers

This involves is wrapping your clean hair round ringlets known as curl formers.

You can leave them in for a couple of hours and you will soon find yourself with well-defined, springy curls that resemble those of the 3C hair type. 

2. Flexi rods

These are great hair curlers that can give bouncy curls in the type 3 hair range.

They come in a variety of sizes and you have the option of picking the one you desire whether you crave larger curls or smaller ones.

3. Texturizers

These chemical treatments softens and loosen your hair texture. It makes coily hair a lot easier to manage. It typically lasts for about 3 months in the hair before it slowly reverts back to your original curl sequence.

4. Straighteners

Flat irons and hot combs are a sample of hair styling tools that straighten the hair.

They are good for a temporary switch up to smoother and shiny straight hair. However, it is important to use them with caution to reduce heat damage. You can incorporate the use of a heat protectant as well.

Final thoughts:

Whether you want to get your hair straighter or curly, your strands are beautiful and perfect.

When you decide to change your hair texture, let it be for your own satisfaction and no one else’s.

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