Can a Baby’s Hair Change from Straight to Curly?

One of the common questions that I see in natural hair forums include ‘how come my hair is changing? I used to have curly hair, but now I’ve got straight hair’ or vice versa. 

Or can my baby hair change from straight to curly? The short answer is yes; so many factors can lead to a change of hair texture. 

In this blog post, we will explore possible scenarios that may lead to straight hair turning to curly hair.

Let’s dive in. 

Genetics

genetics can cause curly hair to straight

Here are two reasons that can change your baby’s hair texture from straight to curly. 

Inherited genes are still working themselves out.

inherited genes can turn off or on

This is one of the major reasons why straight hair turns into curly hair. To understand this, I have to explain how genetics are involved in determining your baby’s hair texture. 

So put on your nerdy hat and buckle up!

Well, you see, there is no one gene that makes a baby’s hair curly. Their hair is a result of the combination of the baby’s parents’ DNA and their ethnicity. 

Science studies have shown that people with different ancestral backgrounds will have a different hair texture because they have different genes. For example, two genes (FGFR2 and EDAR) have been associated with Asian thick hair. 

asian thick hair due to genes

Anyway, let’s get back to why genetics can cause baby hair to change to curly later on.

Curly hair is an autosomal dominant trait – this simply means a baby gets a straight hair gene from one parent and a curly hair gene from the other parent. 

So, your baby’s hair may be straight for a while but as they grow, the curly hair gene becomes the dominant gene and manifests itself, causing the shift.

While some kids end up with curly hair, some may end with something in between like wavy hair. 

Genes can turn on and off

Another reason that can cause the sudden change from straight to curly hair is the fact that genes can turn on and off. 

There is no scientific answer to why this happens yet, but researchers have stated that it’s very common. 

This explains why a baby’s straight hair can start becoming curly. The changes continue throughout our lives, with the only visible difference being the gray hair at old age. 

However, if you go through your album, you’ll realize that your hair texture has been changing over the years with age.

The same happens to a baby, and since their growth is high when they’re toddlers, so it’s hard to keep up with the changes.

Influence of the Environment

environment can affect baby's hair

I know this feels far-fetched, but the environment you live in can significantly influence the hair texture your baby gets.

If you’re keen, you realize that hair curls when it’s humid – this has nothing to do with genetics but the physical characteristics of the hair. 

This happens because humid hair has water molecules floating in it.

Each of these molecules has positively and negatively charged sides.

Let’s say they’re like little magnets.

This is the same thing with the proteins in your baby’s hair.

So, when their hair is exposed in a humid environment – the ‘magnets’ form their hair and from the molecules pull each other, making their hair curly. 

This means that if your baby had straight hair prior, then moved to a humid temperature; their hair might start becoming curly. 

The altitude and water in the environment you live in can affect your baby’s hair texture. 

Hormone Changes

hormone changes

Yeah, that’s right, as your baby grows, they grow through a lot of changes, and this includes their hair. 

For example, even kids born with a full head of hair can go bald within a few weeks.

When the baby is in a womb, they rely on their mom’s hormones; once they are born, the supply stops, making the hair growth stop. 

Eventually, your baby begins a new hair growth cycle as the old one falls off.

There is a chance that the new hair texture may be different from their initial hair texture. 

Health Conditions

health conditions can affect baby hair

If your baby has been going through some medical issues, their hair texture may change. 

The hair texture change can either be caused by the illness itself or the medication itself. 

For example, this Quora user says that her friend was diagnosed with a serious diabetic case, and the drugs she took changed her hair texture from straight to super curly. 

If I Cut My Baby’s Curly Hair, Will it Become Straight?

cutting curly hair

This is another common question that parents ask whenever the discussion of curly toddler hair comes up. 

Some parents also want to know if shaving their toddler’s hair will help recover their lost curls. 

Unfortunately, shaving doesn’t influence your baby’s hair type, hair colors, or texture.

It all comes down to the shape of their hair follicle.

People with a straight hair type have flat follicles, while people with curly hair have round hair follicles.

A baby’s DNA determines the shape of the hair follicles, and it’s developed while still in the womb, so it can’t be changed.

This means that shaving hair cannot change their hair texture. In fact, it can help enhance your baby’s curls. 

On the other hand, if your baby has lost their curls, shaving them won’t bring them back.

The straight hair gene probably ‘won’ hence the change. But don’t worry, they’re pretty ways of styling their hair too!

However, if you don’t want to risk it, you can keep trimming your baby’s hair instead of cutting it. This way you don’t go through the anxiety of whether or not their natural curls will grow back.

Some people also think that longer hair can strengthen the baby’s hair due to the huge body hair weight.

However, there is no scientific research behind it. 

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