Suddenly have curly hair

by (190) Updated May 23, 2013 at 10:42 AM Created May 10, 2011 at 1:20 AM

My hair has decided to become curly. Could my diet have contributed to this? I did some googling and didn't find anything. It's probably a stretch, but I thought it might be possible. More protein= different protein structure of hair? It started about a year ago, not long after I started dabbling in all of this and has recently become much more curly which does correlate with my level of adherence to a paleo diet.

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27 Replies

250 · May 11, 2011 at 8:16 PM

Funny! I thought I was the proof that eating your bread crust will give you curly hair - since I gave up bread, my hair is much straighter! (Did anyone else's mom tell them that?)

In all honesty, after losing my hair in 2007 due to chemo, it came back super curly, and I loved it. It's straighter now, and thinner. But you know, after having 'no hair days', there's no such thing as 'bad hair days'! :-)

1758 · May 10, 2011 at 1:38 AM

My hair went from mostly straight to super curly over the course of the past 6 months. I think it was probably a combination of the fact that I stopped destroying my hair with shampoo over a year ago, and some dietary changes I've made.

I don't think it's a stretch at all to say that diet might change your hair. My hair has definitely gotten healthier under paleo. My hunch is that the large quantities of animal fat helped a lot. I think that mostly because I saw a correlation between how oily and nice my skin/hair is and how much animal fat I eat.

But then again quitting the shampoo was the biggest part of bringing my hair back to life. Shampoo is basically a joke. It nukes the oil in your hair, your body increases production accordingly, and then you go in a cycle of nuking the oil then your body overproducing it. So you wake up every morning with oily, crappy hair and take the shower and make it all better. Well, since I don't use shampoo, there's no sudden oiliness then smoothness. My hair slowly gets dirty and then I wash it. That's it.

The reason why people use shampoo (even though it's a joke) is because you go through withdraw if you stop using it. Your body overproduces oil like crazy, compensating for the shampoo you once used, and your hair is all oily and disgusting all the time. So people conclude that the shampoo must be working, but that's on the same level as concluding that the heroine must be working because when you go off it for a few weeks you get all kinds of terrible withdraw effects. So like heroine, with shampoo you simply have to wait the withdraw out and then you're home free. You just need to let your body go through the correction.

It's hilarious, really. All you have to do is trick enough people into trying the shampoo, and then the shampoo sustains itself. It's like a crazy drug, but where nobody really knows its a drug. It doesn't even do anything useful though. It's just a stupid self-compensator. It causes the problem, then solves it, then causes it, then solves it, etc. Stop using it for 6 months and you'll see that it's not natural for your hair to get all oily and disgusting all the time. It really isn't. That's all the shampoo's doing. Like always, the modern world is just so silly.

So in conclusion, I think getting more and more paleo (especially all the animal fat) did a lot for my skin and hair (including making it curlier and stuff), but the far more significant factor was simply quitting destroying my hair with the crazy shampoo. Or maybe that was the only factor when it came to my hair getting curlier.

1213 · April 09, 2012 at 3:37 PM

Well, I had a dead toenail for 15 years. On the first month of eating paleo, it started to grow back. I'm now on month #3 and it's almost 100% fully grown and perfectly clear and glossy. I can't explain it!

5917 · February 11, 2012 at 8:11 PM

High sulfur diets promote curlier hair, low sulfur diets straighter hair (eg http://www.coolquiz.com/trivia/explain/docs/hair.asp).

A Paleo diet is higher in sulfur, so that could explain it. Also, bone collagen is rich in sulfur, so LiveBigger's curls could be due to sulfur as well.

18619 · May 10, 2011 at 1:21 AM

My hair became curly during my pregnancy 9 years ago and never went away! Have you had any recent hormonal changes?

55 · January 25, 2012 at 10:24 PM

My mother's hair went curly when her thyroid slowed down. Doctor put her on meds-- hair went back to pin straight

25197 · May 10, 2011 at 1:32 AM

Zinc and high level of prolines in the diet can do this.....

8777 · January 25, 2012 at 2:18 PM

How old are you?

I always had pretty fine straight hair when I was young. One big wave that used to go side to side if that made any sense. Enough to drive a symmetry obsessed teenager crazy with a middle part and trying to get those late 70's-early 80's "wings" on my Hamill to Farah styles just so.

In my later teens and 20's I dabbled in perms for some body and lift. Oh how I wanted Kelly McGillis' tousled curls in Top Gun!! But they never turned out quite like I envisioned. Haven't had one in almost 20 years now.

A few years ago my hair started getting curlier. This past summer I had it layered a certain way and almost every day just added a product (sorry, not paleo I know), scrunched it up and out the house I went with a head full of curls. The product only keeps them from going to total disarrayed frizz, they don't add curl. I have had people ask if I've had a perm MANY times over the past several years. Nope.

I chalk it up to hormonal changes from menopause which I'm officially through (early). Hence my question on your age.

283 · May 10, 2011 at 2:30 AM

There is a book called curly girl that talks about chemical composition of shampoos conditioners and food. Maybe the absence of chemicals is helping you out

0 · May 23, 2013 at 10:42 AM

I am a Chinese. I grown up in China and came to Australia when was 29 years old. Now, I am 50. I always have dark, shiny, thick and very health hair. At age 50 still no grey hair. I always use shampoo. The unusual thing is my straight hair become wavy, and grows slower since the beginning of last year for a unknown reason.

0 · May 21, 2013 at 11:35 AM

I had hair that was quite straight and then got very curly in my teens. Each of 3 pregnancies seemed to take more curl out of my hair. Then in my 50's it got thinner. Now I am 65 and almost 100% Paleo and my hair is getting a lot thicker and a lot curlier!

877 · October 17, 2012 at 5:01 AM

This thread is useless without pics ;-).

0 · October 17, 2012 at 2:57 AM

my hair has always been poofy like a 4a i permed my hair when i was 13, now im 18 and recently started getting new growth and my hair texture is completely different its really curly, so im not going to perm my hair for a while just going to let it grow out and see if the pattern continues. i hope so because ive always wanted curly hair!! i dont kno if the curl pattern was just a recessive trait because my mom is mixed (syrian/black) but anywho im loving it!

0 · September 27, 2012 at 7:26 AM

My hair used to be stick straight and then it went really wavy and then it started to go back to being straight. Has this happened to anyone

200 · June 18, 2012 at 7:01 PM

Interesting about the shampoo thing.

My hair was really long and unmanageable and started to get ratty. I am tender headed, so I tried to avoid washing it as much as possible. I probably would wash once or twice a week.

I just got a cut to shoulder length a few days ago, and everyone is now asking me if I got a perm. It used to just be wavy, but now I think it's more wavy than it was in the past.

I don't eat primal, but I am consuming less grain, more green veg, and more protein because of my PCOS and slight touch of under-active thyroid.

Nails are slowly getting better to. Though I still have an anemic bluish hue to them (probably will need to start taking iron supplements).

Now I just wish the top of my head had waves to match the back!

468 · April 09, 2012 at 10:09 PM

My hair turned more curly after going strict autoimmune paleo. I love it! I learned so much from this website:


Use very natural, sulfate-free and paraben-free shampoos and conditioners. I learned not to shampoo daily (curly hair doesn't need it), and to use lots of moisturizers and oil to keep the curl.

0 · April 09, 2012 at 3:00 PM

I had dark, dense, long, absolutely straight shining hair touches the floor when I sit down. After delivery slowly my hair turned to waves and in a couple of months the entire hair turned to coils of curls. My college friends who saw me with straight hair , now are surprised to see the coils of thick, dark, dense, coils of hair beautifully flowing down. I love my curls and there is atleast one and more compliment daily.

0 · February 11, 2012 at 6:21 PM

I had really thick straight hair as a kid. It started getting wavy during high school and curlier and curlier each year after. My diet is inconsistent so that has no effect. I knew someone in high school who had those super curly curly curly hair like even curlier than what the character Grace had in season 1 (specifically that season) of Will & Grace. I have a friend who had the same atrociously curly unmanageable hair as a kid, but used a straightener everyday. Now it's straighter (but still thick). Curly or straight is not effected by your diet but a combination of things such as environment, genetics, or hormonal medicines. I think anyone who suddenly has curly hair may have had an inactive mutation for it and like a geneticist said it may suddenly activate and reverse backwards to the curly hair gene (which is dominant). What may be happening is that something activated your mutation into the "on" switch and automatically reversed your straight hair into curly. This something could be pregnancy or extreme hormones or a sudden change of environment. A sudden switch in diet is also considered a change of environment. Also curly hair is not wavy hair. CC-curly Cs-wavy ss-straight

If you suddenly developed wavy hair instead it may just be that the part that controls the C part of your Wavy hair gene is distributing more now. How wavy your hair is is dependent on how much it distributes curly and straight. So if you have straight hair that becomes super wavy you might have just had wavy hair all along and it produced more straight than curly before that. Now it's producing an extreme amount of curly and distributing it.

So any of these reasons above could be your possible hair. Since straight hair is recessive completely- unless you develop the mutation or just had a low distribution of the curly gene early on then the hair will remain straight.

0 · January 25, 2012 at 5:18 AM

Very interesting stuff here , my Dr said my straight to way curly hair is from Fibromyalgia , thyroid meds , & a pituitary tumor combined

392 · May 11, 2011 at 9:38 PM

Mine has always been wavy. When I was little and had really long hair the ends looked as if someone took a curling iron to the bottom of my hair. I then "rediscovered" my wavy hair my senior year of high school. Fast forward 9 years and now I am 6 months into paleo and my waves are definitely more curly. I now have some truly curly pieces.

And unrelated to the curls but directly related to the hair, I rarely shed any hairs anymore! It's awesome as it cuts down on the shower drain cleaning!

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3244 · May 11, 2011 at 8:37 PM

Hm. Interesting that so many people have a curly hair story. Mine has done the same, although I've never thought of the diet association until now. I buzzed my hair when it was straight and left it that way for years. I grew it out recently and it came in very wavy and curly. Danny Roddy has a paleo-based diet that he claims helps restore or slow hair loss, so there may be something to it.

3428 · May 10, 2011 at 5:06 PM

My hair was always sort of curly but it has gotten more curly since I am on paleo. And much drier, too. I am sure the diet had an effect on this.

1010 · May 10, 2011 at 12:30 PM

I've gone in the opposite direction: When I cut off 13" of my hair last month I expected to get my old ringlets back, but instead my hair goes wavy/straight within a day or so or washing. I figure it's a combination of aging (I'm 35), hormones (I stopped taking the pill in April), and eating more fat (which my hairdresser said she could feel in my hair; that it was a lot more healthy and pliable than when I was on a low-fat diet in years past).

4465 · May 10, 2011 at 10:43 AM

This is happening to me too. I'm a guy with long hair that has always been straight/fine. Over the past year it's been slowly growing more and more curly, now almost forming spiral curls sometimes.

I also do not know if it's the change in diet or the lack of commercial hair products that's doing it.

454 · May 10, 2011 at 7:11 AM

I'm 1/4 Japanese and my hair was always very straight growing up, then sometime when I was 20 it started getting curly/wavy. Now all I have to do is spray some Frizz-Ease in it and I have beautiful curls, or I HAVE to blow dry and curl/flat-iron it. The same thing happened to my half sister (who is also 1/4 Japanese).

2854 · May 10, 2011 at 2:33 AM

My hair became curly in the past year, too! It had always been kind of wavy/frizzy, but now I've got straight-up ringlets. Also worth mentioning that my menstrual cycle regulated this year after 4 years of being MIA.

*in response to what Dr. K said above about proline- i also started eating/craving bones and cartilidge around the same time. interesting!

205 · May 10, 2011 at 2:11 AM

So funny you posted this. I recently started growing red hair. Mostly in my beard but some on my head too. I've always had jet black hair so this seems odd to me. I thought maybe it was because of eating Paleo but dismissed that. But now seeing your post I'm wondering if it's possible.

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