Why does my curly hair grow unevenly?
May 11, 2021 7:58 AM   Subscribe

Why does my curly hair appear to grow in front but not in back?

I'm a woman with curly hair. The front/side parts of it grow at a normal rate. There are some long pieces in back as well, but the bulk of my hair in back are short pieces near the bottom of my head that never seem to get any longer. As a result, a chin-length haircut looks good on me - my hair looks thick and even all around. When it gets much longer than that, it looks like it's only growing in front.

I don't remember this being an issue when I was younger and had thicker hair (my hair is not overly thin but definitely thinner than it was when I was younger). When I was younger, I had long thick curls that were the same length all around.

Any idea what is going on?
posted by sunflower16 to Health & Fitness (10 answers total)
My curly hair is a little fragile and depending on how you wear your hair and how you sleep it may literally be breaking off at your nape.
posted by stormygrey at 8:14 AM on May 11, 2021 [3 favorites]

Breakage as stormygrey said, curly hair tends to break a lot easier than straight hair. It is often dryer as the curls cause the protective layer to lift a little making it more prone to damage. I'd maybe check out r/curlyhair as they have a lot of info about caring for curly hair. Everything from shampoos and conditioners, how to wash your hair to protective hair styles and ways to prevent breakage.
posted by wwax at 8:29 AM on May 11, 2021

My curly hair gets heavier as it gets longer, so the curls get looser and it grows more ... vertically, for lack of a better description.
posted by chesty_a_arthur at 8:30 AM on May 11, 2021 [1 favorite]

It's probably breakage; sleeping in a satin bonnet will help a lot.
posted by DarlingBri at 8:34 AM on May 11, 2021

Response by poster: Thanks! I don't *think* it's breakage but will ask my stylist when I get a haircut.

The other odd thing is that when my hair is blow-dried straight, it all looks nice and long and the same length. But when curly, it looks like it's only long in the front. I have super fine hair so I wonder if there's just not enough long pieces in back to make it look like I have a full even head of long hair when it's curly?
posted by sunflower16 at 12:56 PM on May 11, 2021

Nthing breakage. Using a satin sleep bonnet and regularly deep conditioning (depending on your hair, protein treatments may help or make the problem worse), and avoiding tight hairstyles and heat, will help.
posted by jessica fletcher did it at 12:56 PM on May 11, 2021

It's likely breakage, especially if you regularly blow dry and straighten your hair. Try a bonnet or a silk pillowcase to protect your hair.
posted by answergrape at 5:14 PM on May 11, 2021

Response by poster: Thanks, all! I almost never blow dry or use any other heat on my hair and I've been trying to avoid ponytails whenever possible. I've just been wearing my hair down during covid, no styling products, nothing. So I would think breakage wouldn't be an issue but I hadn't known pillowcases could do it. Any other possibilities, keep them coming - and I will ask the hairdresser if it seems like my hair is breaking off. Thanks!
posted by sunflower16 at 5:42 AM on May 12, 2021

With your addition that the back is actually the same length when straight, it just doesn’t look it when curly, it sounds like your hair is just curlier in back.
posted by daisyace at 7:19 AM on May 12, 2021

My hair doesn't curl the same way all around my head, so it always looks uneven, especially if the hair dresser cut it while it's straight. Maybe the next time you get it cut, ask for the back to be left longer? It might look odd if you straighten it, but maybe the hair dresser will know more about this than I do.
posted by LoonyLovegood at 9:47 AM on May 12, 2021

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