Why curly hair looks straight when wet

Why curly hair looks straight when wet

If you have curly hair, chances are you dream of straight hair. Every curly-haired girl envies her friends with smooth, straight hair and gives them the side-eye when they say, “Oh I wish I had curls.” No. You don’t.

But these curls are a blessing because they’re unique and beautiful. Curls are less common and thus, more beautiful. The thing about curly hair is that you have to know how to style it. When you don’t, it can be a huge pain.

After your shower, you may stand there admiring how your curly hair looks nice and straight. You may pretend you’re a movie star in your fluffy robe with your now-straight hair flowing down. Until it starts drying and the curls come back.

If you don’t know how to manage your curls, you may find them to be a huge curse. They always curl in the wrong places and turn into frizz for you, but for models, they look effortlessly gorgeous and flowing. Is it just your hair? Or is it like this for all curly and wavy-haired girls?

Let us assure you that it’s not just you. Every curly girl goes through this, wondering why hair that’s wet doesn’t just stay straight and free of those time-consuming curls.

If you’re wondering why your curly hair just won’t stay straight, and how to style it so you actually love it without ironing it out, then keep reading!

Why curly hair looks straight when wet

Curly hair looks straight when wet, because it gets heavier when it’s wet. When you saturate your hair strands with water, you increase the weight of each individual strand. This coupled with gravity straightens your curls.

As your hair dries, the water molecules that have been absorbed, are lost and then it becomes light enough for the elasticity it has to go back to its curls again. So, you can thank gravity for that one. It gives weight to physical objects, including your hair.

If you don’t want your hair to curl, you’re either going to need to go to the salon and have it chemically-treated, which can damage it in time. Or you can use a flat-iron. But a better way is learning how to manage your curls so they always look their best.

Really, curls are so hot right now and you’ll be the envy of everyone when you wear yours with pride. The trick is learning how to take what you were born with and elevate it.

Ages ago, there were no heat styling products or gels. Yet people somehow managed to make their curls rock. Keep reading and you’ll find out how to make that happen.

How to maintain your wet hair curly

For girls that don’t love their curls, it’s because you’re not styling them right. Curls definitely don’t look great when they’re frizzing.

You’ve got to work with the curl and then you’ll get the kind of curls that you see in magazines that look smooth and flawless.

It isn’t easy and it’s going to take you some time, but beauty IS time. We spend all this time trying to apply our makeup but ask that of our hair and it suddenly seems like a burden.

Trust the process though and know that when you serve your hair with proper care, it’s going to serve you with style. Here are a few methods to try out with your curls!

– Try the shingle method

Here’s a super-simple method to begin with. All you need is clean, wet hair. Then you will section your hair off in really small sections. Apply a soft styling gel to every one of these small sections. Make sure each strand is saturated.

Coil it if you need to around your fingers and once it is, use a diffuser to speed things along or simply let it air dry. We recommend a diffuser if your goal is taming frizz. As your hair dries, it’s important to keep your hands off. The more you touch it, the more it will frizz and undo the curls.

– Try the comb and pray method

Another easy way to manage your curls is the comb and pray. You will also start off with wet hair. Then, you’ll apply a leave-in conditioner in small sections. Apply it to your first section, combing it through with your fingers.

Keep doing it until you see your curls defining themselves. Apply more of your conditioner, smoothing your hands together in a praying motion, hence the name (no actual prayers needed). The curls will clump together and stay put.

And yes, like the first method, you do not want to touch your hair after you finish or you’ll undo the curls and open up a pandora’s box of frizz. The more you do this to retrain your hair into defined curls, the easier it will be to manage every day.

– Try the curly girl method

Have you ever heard of Lorraine Massey? She wrote The Curly Girl Handbook. She has great methods, especially if your curls are in the 3a-4a type. It can most certainly help any girl with curls that are unmanageable.

If your curls are 4c though, you may not get the super-defined bounciness you’re hoping for though. But at the very least, you will find your hair much more manageable. Brittle and undefined kinks will improve greatly, though it might not be as effortless for you as it will be for others.

The best way to approach this is to not use shampoo. That’s not to say you shouldn’t cleanse your hair but rather, you should use either a co-wash or a clay. You also need to stay away from any styling products with silicone.

Another no-no with this curly girl method? No heat styling! Yes, as hard as that might be to keep away from, it is best to help avoid anything that creates friction and weakens your brittle hair further.

Basically, over time, as you scrunch styling products into your hair and let it air-dry, your hair adapts. And as it adapts, you get gorgeous, absolutely luscious curls. The kind of curls you see in magazines that make you think your curls aren’t such a curse after all.

– Try the maximum hydration method

Now if you think the curly girl method is a little too difficult or you’re worried your 4c curls just won’t work, maximum hydration might just be the answer to your curly prayers. PinkCube created this maximum hydration method which is based on the premise that well-moisturized hair will hold curls for better and longer.

It’s something you’ll need to do consistently each day for a certain amount of time. There are no silicones to be used. No sulfates or parabens in your hair care routine either.

You’ll only need some simple things you probably have in your house already, and if you don’t, they’re super-easy to find. You need to find the porosity level of your hair. Why? Because you need to see if you have to open your cuticles or not.

This will all make more sense in just a few moments so keep reading!

As for what you’ll need, you should have apple cider vinegar, bentonite clay, a sulfate-free conditioner, a leave-in conditioner, and hair gel. Remember, no product for your hair should have sulfates, silicones, or parabens!

Once you have everything in order, you’ll strip your hair with the apple cider vinegar. After that, you apply the bentonite clay to cleanse and moisturize. The clay fills in the gaps in your cuticle layer, adding weight to the hair to elongate your curls.

Your sulfate-free conditioner is the next step. You need it to moisturize while you get busy detangling. You have to take the time to really rake it through your hair to get it fully covered.

Rinse it off and then you finish the process up with a leave-in conditioner. Rake that in and then follow it with the gel. Doing this daily is a time-consuming process, but it will get you to love your curls!

– Try the water only washing method

Ages ago, there weren’t any hair care products. Can you imagine?!? They didn’t have beauty supply shops or even a supermarket with a section of hair care products. No internet! NOTHING! Isn’t it crazy to think about those BEFORE times?

So, that begs the question…what did people back then do for their hair? How did they manage it and style it? It seems the one thing they had was water.

Water washing is very basic but it is also very friendly for curls because you’re not getting sulfates or silicones either. This method, like the others, encourages you to cut those out of your hair care repertoire and rely solely on water.

Here, you will simply use water to moisturize and cleanse. There’s no buildup created from using lots of styling products and no surfactants to dry out your scalp and ruin natural oil production.

The already sebum-rich environment on top of your head is ideal for your hair. You just have to get it to go down the length of your hair strands by smoothing it.

The one downside is that this method takes several months before you see results, but you will certainly see them. If you’re hoping for a quick-fix though, this isn’t going to do it.

Your hair will take on its own life with curls that pop more where you are focused on smoothing that sebum down the hair shaft. With water used on it every day, your hair is moisturized naturally with a bouncy and healthy look.

Some girls with curls find these methods are easier for them than anything else. If you have historically had challenges with maintaining your curl pattern, these could really be the answer for you.

Not every girl with curls loves them. If you’ve always had trouble styling your hair, you may find these to be the game-changer you needed for embracing your natural style.

And yet some of us don’t mind the curls but what we do mind is that frizz! How do you handle it? Keep reading and you’ll be able to banish frizz fast!

How to keep your curly hair frizz-free when dried

Frizz is the most common curse for curly hair. Even if you love those curls, that frizz can pop up and make you look like a puffball instead of a sexy temptress.

Managing frizz then can be the answer to getting that cool curled look without looking like a mess. Here’s what you need to do!

Get rid of split ends

Split ends are really noticeable on straight hair. But in curly hair, they are more hidden. Instead, they show themselves in the form of frizz. You absolutely must manage your ends to keep the breakage from moving up the hair shaft. By doing so, you can eliminate frizz.

So trim your hair on the regular to keep ends free of splits. And do something else…avoid over-processing your hair. When you use heat tools or color your hair too often, you weaken the shaft and damage it, causing breakage.

Look, we all love our tools and our colors. But if you must insist on using them, be smart. Use protective heat sprays without sulfates, parabens, or silicones in them to guard your hair from heat. Turn the heat down to a lower setting or use the cool-shot function on your hairdryer.

And take the time every week to treat your hair with extra protein and hair moisture masks. By giving your hair this extra bit of love, it will always look amazing and be less likely to frizz, even in the summer, or even when you vacation in Miami.

Don’t brush your hair after the shower

Are you committing one of the biggest curly-haired girl sins? Don’t brush your curly hair! If you’re using a static-inducing bristle brush, this is no good. What you want is a wide-toothed comb. Use it just prior to washing your hair. You can also use your fingers, but the comb will help get out knots and tangles more efficiently.

You have to keep tangles out of your curls and waves or your hair will look matted. But unlike those with straight hair, you can’t do this after the shower. If you’re hoping to make sense of those curls, you have to let them do their thing which is why you have to keep the definition you’re trying to give them in the shower.

So what’s a curly-haired girl to do? Take that comb into the shower with you. Use it to detangle your hair when you’re using a good conditioner. Be gentle so you don’t stretch or break your hair. You don’t want to be tugging at tangles. Move slowly and carefully in sections to achieve this.

Give your hair the hydration it needs

When hair is dry, it is prone to frizzing. If your hair looks frizzy right now, chances are it needs to have more moisture infused deep down within it. You absolutely must make time to give it a deep conditioning weekly. Hair masks are ideal for this. Take a moment to prop up your feet with a good book and a cup of hot tea while it works into your hair. Make it a ritual and you’ll start seeing more beautiful, hydrated, and frizz-free hair.

On the regular, use a quality leave-in conditioner to further lock in moisture each day. This can leave your hair feeling soft and happy.

Always choose wisely with hair care products though. There are many that have those silicones, parabens, or sulfates in them and those are enemy #1 for your hair!

Instead, look for products that contain things like argan oil and other natural nourishers. They will help lock moisture into your hair shaft for utterly fabulous magazine-ready hair. Chuck any sprays or mousses that have alcohol in them.

They only dry out your hair and your roots. You’ll have crunchy hair that won’t look beautiful for long. Always read your labels first and don’t fall for the marketing hype. When you’re good to your hair, it shows.

Change your regular towel

Most people get out of the shower and wrap a towel around their head. But for curly gals, this is no good. That terry cloth material draws out too much moisture from your hair. Plus those loops are abrasive and can lead to frizzing and deformed curls.

Save the terry cloth towels for your body. For your hair, select an old t-shirt. They aren’t abrasive and they won’t drain the water from your hair.

And while you very likely know not to rub your hair with any towel, the same is true with this old t-shirt. Instead, squeeze it gently.

Another option? Microfiber towels. Get one if you can. It will be worth it. But remember to gently squeeze your hair dry with it.

Don’t apply too much heat on your wet hair when using a diffuser

Heat can be the kiss of death for your curly hair. The best way to style it is by using low heat and working slowly. It may take more time to get ready but it will save you heaps of time in the long run when you properly care for your hair. Besides, going too high with heat on your diffuser can send your hair into a frizz.

Set the diffuser on cool rather than hot or even warm. Even better, let your hair dry almost completely before you use your diffuser. It will help you get better control when it comes time for styling and take less time too when you’re using your diffuser. Put your makeup on first while you let it dry and you’ll feel more efficient.

Be picky when it comes to the products you’re using to style your hair

Curly hair is much more prone to dryness than other hair types. You need to make moisturization a priority if you want your curls to look smooth and bouncy. Products that are made for curly hair are a good place to start. Palm oil, coconut oil, avocado oil, and shea butter are all ideal ingredients that can benefit your curly hair.

And just because there are hair care styling products that have silicones in them, don’t be afraid to use styling products. Instead, be vigilant and check the labels.

There are many out there that don’t use silicones to help keep frizz away. Oils and shaping creams can also help to manage and maintain your curls for a seductively beautiful look all day long.

It might be tempting to buy something cheap, but investing in your hair with products that truly nourish it without damaging it is worth it. Every cent you spend toward bettering your hair is going to lead to easier styling and hair that’s so beautiful, it’s hard to believe it’s yours!

Don’t touch your hair after styling it

After you’re done styling your hair, keep your hands off! You don’t want to ruin the style you’ve worked so hard for. Messing around with your hair winds up leading to frizz and tangles. It’s never good.

With curl maintained properly, they just scream to be touched. You almost can’t believe it when it’s your hair that looks so good staring back at you in the mirror. But resist! Because the more you fiddle with it, the more it’s going to come undone and be a hot mess.

When styling, let your hair have an extra 10 minutes to itself when you think it’s fully dry. Don’t do anything else. Just wait. Read one of our other articles. Then after 10 minutes pass, give your hair a quick tousle and that’s it. Anything else will compromise the curls. DO. NOT. TOUCH!


Curly hair is notoriously more difficult to work with because the rules for other hair types don’t apply. AT ALL. This makes it very frustrating for girls with curls. Learning how to work with your curls is the best way to enjoy them.

Sure, you can flat-iron your hair or chemically-treat it into submission, but you can’t do it all the time. Instead, it’s best to flaunt what you were born with. When you learn how to manage your curls, you’re really going to turn heads and be the envy of all.

Your hair only looks straight when wet because of the water weight. From there though, knowing how water can help you control curls is the next step in managing them.

With these tips, you’ll know exactly how to turn your curls from a frizzy explosion of hair on your head into seductively sensual tresses that everyone wants to touch. Shiny, soft, bouncy and fun curls await when you take these styling steps in the right direction!


My name is Hajer and welcome to my site. This is my little haven, my outlet, where I can express myself, and show you everything I've learned about makeup, skincare, hair tips, and so much more, as well as the different beauty mistakes I've made so that you can avoid them.

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