Why Is My Hair Curly Underneath But Straight On Top? Hair Confusion!

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Do you have naturally curly hair? Nowadays many people are already embracing their natural curls by learning to treat and take care of their naturally curly locks. 

There is much information about curly hair and the different curl patterns you might have and situations that arise. However, even with so much information available, you could still be confused about your curl pattern. 

Do you have hair curly underneath but straight on top? Well, you’re not alone. Many people have this kind of curls too! And it can be confusing to have both curly hair and straight hair at the same time!

What should you do about it, and how should you style this type of curly hair? We’ll help you with that today by telling you more about this hair phenomenon.


Why Do You Have Hair Curly Underneath But Straight On Top?

When you are finally embracing your curls after years of trying to tame them by straightening them through a variety of methods, it can be frustrating to see your hair isn’t as evenly curled as you wish it was

Don’t you just wish they were just all curly and bouncy? But sometimes curly hair can also be curly underneath but straight on top. Sometimes, the tightness of the curls may not be as even overall. You can have a mix of curl patterns on your head. 

All of those are perfectly normal.

Different people can have different curl patterns. And the one on your head can be a combination of both curly and straight hair.

There are several different reasons why this could happen.

Different people can have different curl patterns. And the one on your head can be a combination of both curly and straight hair. 


One of the most common reasons is genetics. Curly hair isn’t totally a dominant gene though it could sometimes be dormant. It may take time before it is activated, and when it is, the shape of the hair follicle changes. 

That change could lead you to see changes in the growth of new hair from that same follicle. This could be the reason why some may have straight hair at a very young age and then develop curls. 

Similarly, it could cause you to have mixed curly hair and straight hair. 


Your lifestyle and stress levels could affect the curl patterns on your hair. That may be the reason why there are times when absolutely love your curl pattern and then there are times when you don’t. 

Here, the way you treat your hair is a factor. Your pillows and other surfaces that come in contact with your hair regularly can cause it to straighten up even if you don’t want to. 

Here Comes The Sun

Sun exposure could be a factor in the straightening of your hair. With excessive sun exposure, your hair can weaken and get damaged.

It can look flattered on the top and the curls can be weaker there. 

Of course, sun and san can certainly bring on those sun-bleached beach waves, too.

Hormones and Health

Another reason could be your health status. Your health could affect the hormones you have in the body, which could also affect the hair.

For example, if you have thyroid disease, your hair might not curl and grow thin because of the disruption of the hormones. 

Hair Length

It is possible that your hair is quite long that is why it straightens on the top while that underneath is curly. That’s simply because of the weight of the hair.

As it becomes longer and heavier, it stretches so the top part looks straight as compared to the bottom. 

What Can I Do About Uneven Curls?

It’s understandable that you want your curl pattern to be more even. Although you could simply embrace the uniqueness of your curl pattern, there are some things you can do to help alter it and make it look better like these:

Heat Styling

One way to make the style your hair in the way you like is to use heat stylers. However, you shouldn’t do this often because the heat could damage your hair. With damaged hair, your curl pattern could change. 

Decide whether you want to curl your hair or straighten it. Either way, when using heat stylers, always make sure to use a heat protectant  for your hair to lessen the risk of damage. Just remember they can make your hair greasy

Proper Hair Product Selection

When choosing products to use on your hair, aim for silicone-free and sulfate-free hair products. For example, lots of Suave shampoos aren’t great for curls. Silicone can weigh your hair down and that could straighten your curls or loosen them up. 

Sulfate is another chemical to be avoided because it could be drying to the hair. For your curls to show up nicely, they should be properly moisturized.

When choosing products to use on your hair, aim for silicone-free and sulfate-free hair products.

Use Gels

Another trick that you can do is to use hair gel  that holds the hair in place. That could be used to set your curls and make them last longer.

You can coil up your hair and apply the gel to it for the curls to hold and set.

Once the hair is completely dried, you may scrunch the gelled parts so the hair can be soft again. The gel can be used to help set the curls until they dry up and hold their shape. 

Use Curl Activators

There are now lots of products that are specifically formulated for curly hair and one of them is curl activators . These products help boost your curl pattern so they show up more prominently.

It brings the curls! 

Cantu Moisturizing Curl Activator Cream with Shea Butter for Natural Hair, 12 fl oz
  • 7 ESSENTIAL OILS: nourish hair with shea...
  • SMOOTH STYLE: define & add shine to...
  • GREAT FOR: Type 2 waves, Type 3 curls &...
  • NO HARSH INGREDIENTS: formulated with no...
  • CRUELTY-FREE: absolutely no testing on...

Keep Your Hair Moisturized

Dry hair is one of the worst enemies of those with curly hair. If it is dry and brittle, it will look like it is all over the place. That’s why you have to make sure you keep the hair moisturized to maintain your curl pattern. 

Get A Hair Cut

If you want your curls to show up better, it may be time to get a haircut. Cutting the hair will make it lighter. That means the hair won’t stretch that much and would look curlier. 

You could select a cut that would show your curls more. You can have it in a layered cut so that the curly hair underneath shows up more.

Your hair stylist may be able to help you with the right cut if you tell them what your problem is. 

Written by Kayla Young

Kayla is the founder of LuxeLuminous. She has worked professionally in the tanning industry for years. She has been interested in esthetics since childhood, and has tried every hair, skin, and makeup product ever produced (more or less).