What gives curls...their curls?

Article by Ken Burkeen
Founder & CEO, Huetiful
Follow me on Instagram at:  @kenhuetiful

What gives textured hair its texture?

For the longest time, I've tried to steer clients and customers away from the phrase "black hair" or <fill in the blank race, ethnicity, nationality> hair. The fact of the matter is that our ethnicity, race, or nationality is not what dictates our texture. While our hair might be closely correlated with our hair texture, our hair texture is not caused by our race or ethnicity (it isn't "causal"). 

The two natural factors that cause our hair to be textured are:

1.  The protein bonding within each strand of hair.

2.  The shape of the hair follicle (cavity) in which our hair grows out from within our scalp.

Let's take a quick, deep dive into these two factors. 

  
Protein Bonds
Protein bonds are very near and dear to Huetiful's heart. It was our understanding of protein bonds, back in 2012, that resulted in the creation of our signature service - the Huetiful nanoSMOOTHING Treatment; a cysteine-based strengthening treatment that naturally loosens your curl pattern but that allows for you to have the versatility of wearing your hair curly or straight.

The strands of hair that you see are comprised largely of dead cells packed full of the fibrous protein known as keratin. This protein contains many copies of the amino acid cysteine. In the case of hair, which is largely keratin, these cysteine amino acids can bond. Curly hair has more of these bonds, referred to as disulfide bonds, than straight hair. 
 
Follicle Shape
It turns out that the shape of our follicles is also a major determinant of our hair texture if not the biggest determinant. The follicle of curly hair adopts an oval shape. The flatter the oval is, the curlier the hair will be. If you were to look at the follicle of straight hair, you would find it is perfectly round.



Altering your natural texture or curl pattern 
Follicles are the biggest determinant of our hair shape. Although we can't control this part of our hair, understanding the science of curly hair has allowed us to overcome the features genetics gave us. The old school solution of changing texture was to use perms and relaxing treatments to change the structure of hair. If you have curly hair but want straight hair, then you use chemicals that can break, or "relax", these bonds. If you want to go from straight to curly, then all you need is a chemical to allow these bonds to form.

At Huetiful, we prefer using natural techniques and processes to temporarily alter the hereditary gift of texture. Thermal straightening, after sufficient steam hydration, can allow for a temporary non-damaging straightening of hair. Huetiful nanoSMOOTHING naturally infuses cysteine and amino acids to safely restructure bonds and provide a looser texture and curl pattern. For a curly style, the combination of our Huetiful Foam Wrap Lotion, rod sets, or coil techniques provide more defined curls to our already textured curl pattern.
 
Whatever your preferred style, know that your natural texture is a gift that should be treated with patience and understanding regardless of your hue, ethnicity, or race. If you can understand the science of hair, you can develop products and techniques to safely get the styling results that you desire without compromising the long-term health of your hair.

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