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Hair is one of the most beautiful natural assets gifted to humans, and over the centuries people have been trying hard to find a way to keep their hair eternally shiny, soft and luscious. The ancient Greeks were one of the first groups of people to pay close attention to hair, and as curly hair and pale skin were generally desired in those times, the upper-class elite found ways to curl their hair even if they were born with straight tresses.
Over the years, curly hair has been a symbol of wealth and prosperity in Caucasian society, and one only needs to watch a few period dramas set in the time of Austen to realize that there is not one straight haired belle at any of the balls. In the 1900s, actresses like Shirley Temple and Marilyn Monroe brought curls back into fashion.
Even to date, people with curly hair are admired greatly, but many curly haired beauties are now opting for the straighter hair, because curly hair can be harder to maintain (or so they say). Although it is generally acknowledged that curly hair needs more work, there are many inexpensive and efficient ways we can make our curls as glossy as they were meant to be.
Let's first look at what causes such diversity in hair types, shapes, thicknesses and textures. The simple answer is: your genes! Look down your family tree and you will notice a pattern. Chances are high that you have inherited a hair type of either your parents or grandparents. A study conducted in 2009 shows that 85-95% of the characteristics we inherit when it comes to hair can be easily traced back to our DNA. There are a few other factors like medication, natural aging, chemicals, environment and hormones that can also change the way your hair looks with time.
What happens on a microscopic level is that the shape of hair follicles determines the type of hair the person can grow. So, this means that if the follicle is symmetrical, it produces straight hair, and conversely, if the follicle happens to be asymmetrical, it will produce curly hair.
A common problem all curly haired people have had to contend with is the fact that their hair is more prone to dryness and damage than their straight-haired counterparts. This is because the natural oils are not able to easily travel from the scalp down the length of the strand of hair because of its curly structure. This then causes the famous dry and 'frizzy' hair that is usually associated with curls.
With winter and the threat of low humidity coming closer every day, it is very important that we are prepared for the toll it will take on our hair. During this time, curly hair dries out, becomes brittle and is more prone to tangling and breakage. Split ends destroy your hair, and inhibit its growth. So, pre-emptive action must be taken to prepare your hair for harsh weather. Who wouldn't want to look their best for Christmas anyway?