If you have curly hair you might be anxious about whether you’re more likely to go bald than someone with straight hair.
Hair loss is a worry for all men. It’s also natural to wonder if your particular hair type makes you more likely to go bald. You might even wonder whether curly-haired people lose their hair quicker, or at a younger age.
In truth, curly-haired people are no more likely to go bald than straight-haired people. Your hair genes are passed from your parents, including those that decide whether you’ll have curly hair, and whether you’ll go bald. While we’re at it, baldness doesn’t always skip a generation – that’s a myth!
However, there are some things curly-haired people need to be aware of when it comes to losing their hair. Proper maintenance of curly hair can prevent hair damage, but this isn’t the same as natural hair loss.
We all know curls get the girls, so read on for the truth about curly-haired people and baldness. I’ll also explain how to avoid unnecessary hair loss if you’re a curly guy.
Do guys with curly hair go bald?
Curly-haired people go bald at the same rate as straight-haired people. There’s no correlation between curls and Male Pattern Baldness, but curly hair does need more maintenance and styling. This can lead to hair breakage and make hair loss appear worse.
Curly hair is unruly and prone to tangling. As a father of a 7-year-old with natural curls, I’ve spent many mornings desperately trying to untangle the long hair that she refuses to get cut short!
As a result, she has lots of split hairs that can’t easily be styled into a neat hairstyle.
The same is true of adult men with naturally curly hair. The more unruly the hair, the more tempting it is to keep styling until it finally sits right.
However, this can cause damage to hairs and hair follicles, leading to hair breakage. In extreme cases, this can cause bald patches.
Do curly-haired people bald faster?
When over-maintenance is coupled with natural hair loss from Male Pattern Baldness, it can be easy to think that curly-haired people bald faster. The truth is that left alone, curly hair is prone to the same level of baldness as straight hair.
The baldness naturally occurs at the same rate. However, constant styling and detangling causes damage which makes the natural hair loss more obvious.
Essentially, by causing hair breakage, you’re doubling down on the aesthetic effects of MPB. Your hair starts to look thinner as a result of natural hair loss, and you make it more obvious by damaging and breaking your remaining healthy hair.
One famous example was Heath Ledger. The actor had famously curly hair and was visibly receding by the time of his unfortunate death. When playing The Joker, Ledger’s hairline was clearly receding at the temples:
If you have curly hair and you’re worried about hair loss, find some hairs that have been shed and check them to see if the root is still attached.
In this case, this is natural shedding and could indicate Male Pattern Baldness if it’s happening a lot. When the root is missing, this means the hair has snapped and you can avoid this by taking more care during detangling and styling.
Do people with curly hair go bald sooner?
Without damage from over-styling, people with curly hair start to go bald at the same average age as people with straight hair. However, because curly-haired people have to style and detangle their hair more, they cause damage which makes hair loss more obvious.
When Male Pattern Baldness starts to affect younger men, it can be partly hidden by the remaining healthy hair.
I experienced this when I started to notice my hairline changing in my early-to-mid-20s. It started with a perfectly natural uneven hairline, but as I noticed the hair at my temples thinning, I styled my hair to cover the gaps that were appearing.
However, curly-haired people are more likely to damage healthy hair as they have to style and detangle more than their straight-haired peers. This leaves curly-haired young men with less healthy hair to cover the areas where they are receding or thinning.
This means it’s more obvious when a young man with curls is balding than a straight-haired person of the same age who can hide the first signs of a receding hairline.
How to avoid damaging curly hair
In order to avoid hair breakage and minimize the appearance of earlier or faster hair loss, you’ll need to take steps to look after your curly hair. These include being extra careful when detangling and having a solid maintenance routine.
According to naturallycurly.com, it’s possible to prevent breakage by ‘taking extra care during the detangling process’. Younger men with longer hair might not realize that being heavy-handed can cause damage that will make Male Pattern Baldness more obvious when the time comes.
Using a wide-toothed detangling comb and a high-slippage conditioner is a good way to avoid breaking individual hair strands, especially if you comb your hair in the shower.
Already-damaged hair can be restored using conditioning shampoos like the one below. If you’ve started to notice your hairline receding, it’s important to look after the rest of your hair to avoid this becoming visible more quickly or having to shave your hair off at a younger age:
Kinky Curly Come Clean Natural Moisturizing Shampoo
- Perfect for dry damaged hair
- Gentle enough for daily use
Finally, NaturallyCurly recommends trimming your split ends at least monthly to avoid further damage closer to the root.
People with curly hair are no more likely to go bald than those with straight hair.
However, damage caused by detangling and over-styling can make baldness more obvious, and make a receding hairline visible at earlier stages of Male Pattern Baldness.
This can make it seem like people with curly hair go bald quicker or at a younger age. However, this is only because curly-haired people have damaged the healthy hair that hides emerging baldness in other people.
Personally, I’d recommend anyone who is experiencing the start of baldness in their 20s to help themselves to come to terms with hair loss as quickly as possible.
Worrying about baldness can often be much worse than actually being bald, which honestly isn’t as bad as you might think. Unless you have an actual phobia of baldness, you soon get used to it.
For many people, deciding when to shave their balding head is tough, but they find new confidence once they stop worrying about hair loss and simply brave the shave!
If you’re still worried about a potential buzz-cut, here are a few useful things to know before you shave your head, and if you need a preview before you take the plunge, this might help: What would I look like bald?