Why Is My Hair Curly Underneath But Straight On Top?

Learn why it happens and what can be done to it

Written by Kate Holmsy. Updated on Why Is My Hair Curly Underneath But Straight On Top

Have you ever wondered whether it is possible that the same person has both curly and straight hair at the same time?

You will be very surprised to find out that this is not a rare thing in fact! Yes, there are quite many people out there who have straight hair with random curls and vice versa. But why does it happen? Is it something abnormal?

If you are the owner of straight hair on top and curly hair underneath, or even if you are simply curious about this fact, this article will be interesting for you to read! We will explain what causes human hair to grow both curly and straight on the same head.

Also, you will find out what one can do to fix this since not everyone wants to have a mixed chevelure like that!

Why Is My Hair Straight On Top And Curly Underneath?

To begin with, we want to note that it is absolutely normal to have a mix of curl patterns on the same head of hair.

How to Make Curls Tighter at the Root & More DefinedHow to Make Curls Tighter at the Root & More Defined

However, if you are curious about why it happens, there are several reasons why your hair may be curly underneath and straight on top, and some of these reasons may be rather surprising to you!

But in general, the two most common reasons that typically lead to a mixed curly-straight mane are the following:

  • Your genetics (if you had curly ancestors, chances are that you will get those curls as well one day)
  • Any hair damage caused to your mane (it means any kind of damage including lifestyle and stress)

These two most frequently end up in straight hair on top but curly tresses on the bottom. Now let’s dig a bit deeper and dry to find out more about each of these reasons.

Genetics Is to Blame

It starts with your genetics, of course. You might not be aware of it, but the gene that is responsible for curly hair is not dominant. Well, it is not completely dormant. It can remain dormant for quite a long time until activated.

But when it happens and this gene becomes active, then it changes the shape of the hair follicle which changes the hair that grows from it! This is how you get those random curls among the completely straight tresses. Some can be born with super tight curls in their crown and wavy hair at the back.

Others have waves at the top and kinks on the sides. These variations are absolutely natural and normal, however, they can make styling quite difficult!

At this point, it is important to realize that the texture of your hair is ultimately determined by inherited genes and you can do nothing to it in fact. “Curly ” genes from both parents get into contact with each other, and through their interaction, they form your unique hair texture.

This is why, if your parents both have mixed curly-straight manes, then your hair will most likely be similar.

Genetics Is to Blame
ArturVerkhovetskiy via VistaCreate

Your Hair Might Be Damaged

However, now you also know that this change to your hair can be initiated by other factors, not only by your genetics. For example, let’s take a look at such a factor as hair damage. It is quite a complicated term in this case, which consists of several factors.

Of course, most of you understand hair damage as some kind of destruction caused to your mane by various external factors like the wrong treatment or hair care procedures. And indeed, your strands can become damaged because of several reasons:

  1. Too frequent use of hot styling tools
  2. Excess brushing or combing
  3. Too frequent dyeing
  4. Weather impact

We suggest you learn more about these factors so that you have a better and deeper understanding of each of them, as well as of the influence they may have on your hair.

Your Hair Might Be Damaged
AndrewLozovyi via VistaCreate

Overuse of Heat Styling Tools

Heat styling tools, for example, curling iron, flat iron, etc. are good for temporarily changing the texture of your hair. But when you use them way too often, they start damaging the hair’s protective layers. As a result, it causes strands to deviate from their natural texture.

Moreover, most of us usually tend to spend more time straightening the top layer of our hair because we want it to look perfect. This literally fries the hair’s outer layers, leaving strands dry and resistant to products that encourage curl formation!

Overuse of Heat Styling Tools
DmitryPoch via VistaCreate


How could weather make your hair be curly underneath and flat on top, you may wonder? Very easily! For example, if your mane is often exposed to extremely hot or cold weather for a long time, it takes a significant toll on the health and integrity of your delicate strands.

UV damage from the sun’s rays is also not good since it scorches the hair, damaging the texture of strands. And even cold weather can dry out your strands, making them more resistant to styling!

And since the external layer of our hair is more exposed to the elements and weather than the tresses hidden underneath, the top layer takes the most of the weather-related damage.

Excess Dyeing Or Chemical Treatments

Everyone knows that applying chemical dyes to the hair does little good for the strands. Such products as dyes, bleaches, and color creams can badly damage the outer layer of your mane, especially if used frequently for a long period of time.

Many people run into this problem when they do multiple coloring sessions to touch up the tone of their hair. But such sessions make the top layer of the hair to get the most damage, leaving your hair texture uneven.

Excess Dyeing Or Chemical Treatments
Nastya22 via VistaCreate

Over Brushing or Over Combing

Brushes and combs are great for efficiently detangling hair and for effortless styling. But some people tend to excessively brush or comb the outer layer of the hair with a comb or brush, doing it several times throughout the day.

Over time, such a frequent brushing can cause extensive damage to the hair cuticles, especially on the top layer of your hair. It is important that you keep one thing in mind: brushing will not make your hair straight. Instead, it can damage it, making your curl pattern no longer looks the same in a certain area.

Like this, now you can see how external factors can influence your hair, making it curl underneath and remain straight on top at the same time.

However, your lifestyle and the general state of your health can also impact your hair. For example, if you have a thyroid condition, you will know that your hormones can quickly change your hair thickness and curl pattern.

Here is another example for you: if you live or work under constant stress (e.g. you have a very stressful job), your emotional state of yours will sooner or later impact your hair, which may result in random curls appearing here and there on your head! Also, the lack of vitamins and microelements might be the reason.

This is why it is essential to have a clear understanding of the reasons or reasons that make your hair be straight on top but curly underneath.

In the majority of cases, it can be quite easily fixed unless the cause is in your genes. And if your hair became half-curly half-straight because of anything that is not related to genetics, below, we have prepared a detailed guide for you on how this could be fixed.

Over Brushing or Over Combing
Nordbird via VistaCreate

What to Do When Your Hair Is Curly Underneath And Straight On Top?

Is it possible to do anything to the straight hair on top and curly underneath to fix it? In fact, it is! So if you have been struggling with the uneven and random curls, you can finally relax. We are going to share a few practical solutions with you that can help you out with this problem.

How can my hair be straight & curly at the same time?How can my hair be straight & curly at the same time?
What to Do When Your Hair Is Curly Underneath And Straight On Top
HayDmitriy via VistaCreate

Go Shorter at the Crown

If the hair at the top of your head is not completely straight but seems to fall flat, a haircut may be the very solution you need.

See, trimming a couple of inches off of your straightest, flattest hair section will reduce its weight. As a result, as the overall length of the section decreases, the more your strands will draw up, making your curls tighter and more defined.

If you are hesitant about cutting your hair because you are afraid of losing length, you can gradually trim an inch or two off your ends every few months. After a while, the texture of your hair at the top of your head should become the same as the layers underneath.

Go Shorter at the Crown
albund via VistaCreate

Try Curl-Friendly Styles For Your Hair

Some haircuts and styles can help a lot if you have a mixed curly-straight mane. Styles such as roller sets, braid-outs, and twist-outs are excellent options for those who are dealing with multiple hair textures.

These styles give the hair a more uniform texture, eliminating stubborn straight areas on the top of the head.

Moreover, the versatility of these styles is almost endless! Each of them allows you to adjust the length and tightness of your curls as you please.

Try Curl Friendly Styles For Your Hair
YuliiaHurzhos via VistaCreate

Consider a Healthy Hair Care Routine

Your hair can develop random curls because of the wrong hair care routine as well. This is why implementing a healthy hair care routine is a thing to consider! It will revive your curls pretty quickly.

To maintain healthy, evenly textured hair, you should consistently cleanse, condition, moisturize and trim your tresses. Depending on the texture of your hair, you will want to complete these healthy hair care steps with a different frequency.

But we would recommend you find the schedule and routine that works best for your hair. Like this, it will make all the difference in its texture.

Consider a Healthy Hair Care Routine
HayDmitriy via VistaCreate

Relax Your Hair

You can try chemical relaxers as an option in order to make your tresses straight. These products break down the proteins in hair that create texture, making your mane straight very quickly. This is why we would recommend straighteners for those of you who have coarse and kinky hair in particular.

However, in order to maintain the new hair texture, relaxers have to be used repeatedly. Only then can you get a stable and long-lasting effect. In addition, you need to note that these products can be damaging, so always use them in moderation.

Relax Your Hair
DimaBaranow via VistaCreate

Perm Your Hair

Perms do the exact opposite of relaxers. These products rebuild the structure of your hair to create curls. This is why, if you have had straight hair at the top, perms can be applied to that section to form curls. However, note that perms should only be used occasionally!

Like that, you will avoid destroying your hair texture as a result of overusing the product.

Straighten Hair

We would not recommend you this option for constant use since heat styling must be used in moderation to prevent hair damage! Additionally, you should use them no more than once per week to avoid damaging your hair.

However, this method can even out hair textures effectively and quickly, which is why it is great for curly hair.

So, now you are much more aware of what can make your hair become curly underneath while remaining straight on top. As you know now, this is quite a common and absolutely normal thing. However, it doesn’t mean you have to leave it as it is!

With all the tips and life hacks we have shared with you today, you will be able to find the reason for those random curls and fix them (well, unless they are caused by your genetics!).

Straighten Hair
Tinatin1 via VistaCreate

Frequently Asked Questions

⭐Can parents with straight hair have a child with curls?

It’s very unlikely unless both parents had curly ancestors. In this case, their baby might have curls at once or they may develop later.

⭐Does curly-straight mane mean there’s something wrong with the hair?

No, this is quite a normal situation when people have mixed type of hair. But curls may indeed develop due to the wrong hair care routine!

⭐Is constant curling your hair bad for the tresses?

Yes, it is not very good to expose your hair to heat styling. Your tresses may become brittle and fragile, and even develop unnatural curls!

Written by
Kate worked in "The Fashion Magazine" for four years as a freelance writer and loved to consult and help people with their style. How to create your own style, how to look beautiful, and select trendy colors for your hair - these are just a few of many issues Kate will happily explain in Beezzly Beauty blogs!
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