Home Curly Hair Why Your Curls Don’t Look Like Your Friend’s

Why Your Curls Don’t Look Like Your Friend’s

by Chelsea Castonguay
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Why Your Curls Don't Look Like Your Friend's


Why Your Curls Don't Look Like Your Friend's

Have you ever noticed that your curls aren't the same as your friend's, even if you have the same curl pattern?  Here's why your curls don't look like your friend's and what that means. There are several things that matter when it comes to understanding your curls beyond determining pattern. Length, porosity, density and texture all play a role.


Porosity means how well curls can absorb and hold water. Those with low porosity need much longer to dry their hair than their high porosity friends. Porosity is mostly genetic, however it can be affected by environmental factors. Low porosity curls have cuticles that lie flat and repel moisture. Medium porosity has slightly looser curls, which means the correct amount of moisture can enter. Highly porous curls have gaps in the cuticle. These curls lose moisture easily, and therefore can be dry and frizzy.


Those with shorter curls tend to have a tighter looking coil. This is because as curls grow, the weight tends to pull the shape of curls out. Curls also bounce up while drying, which is referred to as shrinkage.  1/2 inches is a teeny weeny afro, 1/2-2 inches is a pixie, 2-10 inches is medium length hair, and anything further is long length.


Density ranges from low to high, which means how close together the strands are. Different levels of density will show up in a ponytail or in how much hair there is in a 1 by 1 square inch on your scalp. The more strands, the denser the curls.


Texture is the accurate description of thickness, which sometimes density is confused with. The three textures of hair are fine, medium, and coarse. Use a string of thread to compare to your hair. Curls that are thinner than the thread is considered fine. Curl strands with the same thickness are considered medium. Lastly, strands thicker than the string are considered coarse.

Learn more about your curls here.

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