Why do black people have curly hair?


Has it got to do with evolution, like the fact that they have darker skin to better protect them against UV radiation? 6 Answers: Jordan Pugh Well I can’t go back to evolutionary details but I can tell you what gives our hair that kinky, curly appearance. As you may or may not know white and Asian hair is normally like that of a wet noodle.It has a round shape to it. Go figure, it does exactly what a wet noodle does and droops down.

However black hair is like that of a ribbon. It has a different shape that physically allows it to defy gravity.

No matter how much you try to straighten a ribbon it curls back up. That’s what our hair does and that’s what our hair looks like.

Patrick Edwin Moran

One thing that may be involved is heat protection. White people sweat and the sweat just drops off and doesn’t cool the body by evaporating on it.

People who go into desert environments are advised to wear long sleeves and long trousers because they absorb the moisture and it will then evaporate while in contact with the skin and cool it or at least cool the air between the body and the clothing.

Straight hair just drips sweat. A person with a well-developed “afro” has a zone of air around the head that has been cooled by evaporation. It would be interesting to me to see a study on the drip rate of different kinds of hair.

I suspect there may be something about the structure of the strands of hair (see Jordan Pugh’s remarks) that makes the hair wick the moisture enough that the head doesn’t drip sweat, so the moisture is retained to provide actual evaporative cooling.

Linda Carter

I have a theory. It’s small talk about the weather. Seven thousand years ago. That’s when the people in Europe, who were dark-skinned, lightened up.

The introduction of grains suppressed the production of Vitamin D from sunlight.

Combining that with the small amount of sunlight people wearing clothes head to foot most of the year because of the cold climate meant a spike in rickets.

Those kids tended to be carried off by bears I suppose and left the gene pool.

Their sibs who might have a tad bit less pigment survived more often. So the pressure was on to lighten up.

So what’s to say the same sort of thing wasn’t going on in Africa?

Actually, it’s logical to suppose, since the sharper tools tended to be in that shed in those days, that the cultivation of grains happened there even sooner.

So suddenly you had people living on the equator cutting down the trees and standing in that intense sunlight and heat all day, growing grains.

The curlier the hair the more 3D it gets — the better the insulation it provides to the brain.

People were dropping like flies from heat stroke.

It was a medical emergency. Even back 7 000 years ago a mind was a terrible thing to waste.

So that variety of hair texture was highly favoured and 3D hair became the equatorial fashion rage. The pressure was on to tighten up.


Brian Dlamini

My hair is very very curly and very stiff, I also don’t know why, my white friends used to comb and brush hair effortlessly the same could not be said of me.

At sleep overs, camping trips, excursions I always battled to comb my hair with the same effortless strokes that others could, I spend most of my time bald as a result, it gives a neat appearance and less maintenance intensive, I notice that quite a lot of black males like the clean shaven bald look as well, especially business executives even engineers in factories, I’m not sure that helps but my particular hair in addition to being curly is quite stiff so I just cut it bald to spare myself the trouble

Sophia Harrison

Hair curliness or straightness is determined by the shape of the hair follicle. Round follicles result in straight hair, while oval follicles result in curly hair.

If your follicles are not totally round or oval, your hair will be somewhere in between or wavy.

Also, people with curly hair, regardless or race/ethnicity rarely have a head of identically shaped hair follicles. I have curly hair but the back of my hair has a very tight spiral curl while the front half has a looser curl pattern that even includes almost completely straight hair.

In short, only genetics and hair follicle shape play a role in determining hair curl patterns for people of all races/ethnicities, but anyone can have any type of curl pattern or lack thereof. — quora.com

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