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Reasons Why Your Curls Fall and How You Can Fix Them

Examine the science behind why your curls don’t last and what steps you can take to train your hairs to curl properly.

Credit: Shutterstock/Didecs

Curling your hair is the longest step in the getting ready process and the most frustrating.

One common question is,

“Why does my hair go straight after I curl it?”

It can be frustrating after spending a significant amount of time making sure you have the perfect curl, only for it to fall within the next hour. Here are some reasons why and what you can do to ensure they hold.

But first, let’s dig into the science behind curls.

Three different bonds are located in the hair: hydrogen, ionic, and covalent. Hydrogen bonds are located in the cortex. These bonds are what cause hair to curl, but once these bonds break, the hair can’t hold its form, resulting in it remaining straight.

Why your hair won’t hold a curl

Photo of wet curls. Credit: Shutterstock/Chiociolla

One reason why your curls won’t hold is that you may be using the wrong tool and the wrong heat. When looking for a curling iron, always look for one with lower heat settings. Ignore the myth that says higher heat settings make for lasting curls. There should be a balance within the heat, meaning never go higher than 350 F.

Another reason why your curls fall may be because you are using the wrong product or using a product incorrectly, which can result in the unraveling of curls. Some textures, like 1A hair types, lack the body and can simply not hold a curl on its own. However, this doesn’t mean that with training it isn’t possible.

How to train your hair to curl

Hair care products. Credit: Shutterstock/Pixel-Shot
  • Pin your hair after curling it. After curling a strand of hair, allow it to cool by pinning it immediately afterward to retain the shape. Flexi rods are advisable; they keep them intact and make the curls tighter in the process.
  • Find the right barrel size for your hair. Curling irons with smaller barrels are easier to use when styling short hair just a few inches past your shoulder, while larger barrels work best for longer hair lengths.
  • Hairspray is commonly used to keep hair in place and to create volume. However, a mistake you’ll want to avoid is using it before you curl. It can likely cause damage with the heat, so it is best to spray lightly afterward to guarantee an all-day hold.

Create a routine to maintain curls

Girl giving herself scalp massage in hair routine. Credit: Shutterstock/sruilk

Establishing a routine with your hair trains it to maintain curls consistently. A constant pattern of deep conditioning your hair after washing it and before you curl it removes oil and locks in moisture. This tip is the most important when aiming for lasting curls. Using hot irons on hair that hasn’t been conditioned increases the likelihood of damage and makes it more vulnerable to breakage, which can lead to thinning.

Hair reacts better to hot styling irons when it is healthy. Having a consistent hair routine can help with hygiene and appearance. Using the right tools and products for your hair is a great way for healthy and lasting locks!

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Aspiring writer & full-time advertising student at Ball State University. When I'm not in school, I spend my free time reading contemporary romance novels and ranking local coffee shops with friends!

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