It’s all in the Genes

I was chatting to my mother about hair, wedding hair to be specific (not that anyone cares), and I asked her where we got our curls from as it’s definitely not from my dad’s side and I don’t remember her parents having curls either. She told me HER Grandad had a head full of bright red curls and that’s where we got it from, and that my Grandma did have waves when she was younger.

I found this all quite fascinating as I’ve always thought that curls were more of a fluke, especially mine, as they’re tighter than my mums, especially at the bottom or when mine is shorter (Please see below, and if you’re wondering if her shiny curls are CurlyEllie Curls, you’d be correct – Serum and Natural Gellie for both of us).So, I gave it a goog and this blog was born.

Did you know that curly hair is actually the dominant gene?! Straight hair is considered the recessive gene. Simply put, if a parent has curls, you’ll likely be born with curls too! Naturally, there are exceptions to this, which comes down to alleles and is a bit complex for someone who really did not excel at science…

In really basic terms, the curl gene has 2 alleles, meaning your parents have 2 alleles each and one, none or both could be a curly gene, but if you’re handed down 1 out of 4 curly alleles, then it’s possible you’ll be born with curls! Boom!

Some other cheeky facts I found out was that the degree of curliness, if you will, can vary within family. Meaning that it’s totally possible for siblings, even twins (Fraternal) to have completely different curl patterns! Check out these twins, completely different curls, yet born moments apart!

Did you also know?

  • That the rarest hair type of all is 1A curls, dead straight hair. Given the above information it doesn’t seem quite as wild now, does it?
  • Curly hair is most common amongst people with African, Mediterranean and Native American ancestry.
  • There’s a specific gene that helps shape the hair shaft and determine hair texture, and it’s called trichohyalin.
  • Curly hair is caused by a variation in the gene that determines the shape of our hair follicles.

And that’s all for this sub par lesson in Science! Enjoy!

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