“As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases."
Tuhis Beauty

What’s the Difference Between Wavy Hair and Curly Hair?

Curly hair has strands that are coiled and kinked and are parallel to the scalp.

While wavy hair is a form of straight hair, the strands are S-shaped and curly with tight S-shaped strands that are not kinked.

 But it’s not that simple. So, let’s take a brief look at the significant differences between them and how to take care of and style them.

Structure of Curly Hair

Tight curls, twists, and kinks characterize curly hair. They grow parallel to the scalp.

The curliness of the hair depends on the follicle. The follicle is the structure that forms the hair.

So how does the hair get curly?

Curly hair has an oval-shaped follicle. This oval-shaped follicle has a twist at the bottom.

The twisting makes the hair grow around the twist and gets coated by the protein called Keratin (which the hair is composed of), and the hair gets its curly texture.

Structure of Wavy Hair

The structure of wavy hair has a lot of similar qualities to straight hair, but in the case of wavy hair, it has a loose S-shape.

Also, if wavy hair has similar qualities to curly hair, it has a tight S-shape.

So now we can say that wavy hair has a similar texture to straight and curly hair, which is why wavy hair is more likely to become fizzy.

Since wavy hair doesn’t have tight twists and curls like curly hair, Keratin does not coat the hair follicle as curly hair does.

Also, the follicular structure is neither round (straight hair) nor oval (curly hair). It’s in the middle in a hybrid form.


Origin of Curly Hair

The origin of curly hair is Africa. It is the natural hair of African people.

Now the question is why?

The answer is due to genetics, evolution, and the environment. Research suggests that African people inherit curly hair due to evolution as Africa lies in the tropical region, which means it is bounded on the north by the Tropic of Cancer.

Then in the south, it is bounded by the Tropic of Capricorn, and it gets direct sunlight most of the year.

 So people in Africa developed curly, highly dense afro hair texture to protect their scalp from the sun’s UV rays and allow airflow with the scalp to regulate the body’s temperature.

Origin of Wavy hair

Unlike the origin of curly hair, the origin of wavy hair is more complicated.

Naturally, people get wavy hair if they inherit straight and curly hair genes from their parents. Some of these combine at birth and become curly.

Also, sometimes they are born with straight hair due to the effects of hormones, aging, or other factors, including medication, nutrition, stress, illness, or pollution; the hair turns wavy.

Wavy hair is found chiefly on Asian and Caucasian hairs after they become wavy at birth or later for the abovementioned reasons.

Hair Care for Curly Hair

Before the 19th century, the Diasporic Africans in the Americas used anything they could find to care for their hair.

Women used lard, butter, and goose grease to moisturize their hair, and they also used a butter knife to heat it to maintain the curl of their hair.

It has changed; many options are scientifically safe and proven to care for curly hair.

There are some things to consider for curly haircare, such as-

  • Choose the right shampoo for your hair that should be free of any toxic chemicals that might damage your hair.
  • Never Brush your Curly Hair right after the shower. Since your hair is wet and soft, you might damage those curls.
  • Never use high heat since it might relax your curls. Use moderate heating.
  • Don’t use warm water to wash your hair use cold water.
  • Apply natural products like eggs, vinegar, mayonnaise, and avocados.
  • Use oils in your hair like castor oil, olive oil, and non-greasy coconut oil.

Hair Care for Wavy Hair

In the early days, people in Southeast Asia, especially women, used to take care of their wavy hair by applying coconut oil and mustard oil and washing their hair with animal fats and grease.

Nowadays, there are a lot of hair products for wavy hair that you can find online.

The things to consider to take good care of your wavy hair are-

  • Keep your hair moisturized. Moisturizing your hair is the key, and using conditioners.
  • Keep your hair medium/short and clean. Long wavy hair tends to get greasy and dirty.
  • Instead of brushing, comb your hair with your fingers gently.
  • Air-dry your hair to keep your curls instead of heat-drying.
  • Use oils like coconut oil and olive oil.
  • Make sure you get proper nutrition, including Vit A, Vit D, Vit C, and biotin.

Style to Uplift Your Confident

Whether it is wavy or curly, whatever it is, it’s all about feeling confident about what style of hair you are rocking.

Style your hair so that when you look in the mirror, it uplifts your confidence, and it should be to impress other people.


In conclusion, the main difference between wavy hair and curly hair is the degree of curliness. Wavy hair has loose, flowing, and gentle curves, while curly hair has tight, defined, and springy curls. Wavy hair tends to be easier to manage and style, while curly hair requires more maintenance to keep the curls defined and hydrated.

It’s important to note that hair types can vary greatly and may not fit neatly into one specific category. Some people may have hair that falls between wavy and curly, or their hair may change texture depending on the climate or styling methods used.

It’s also important to remember that there is no right or wrong way to wear your hair – embrace your natural texture and find the styles that work best for you.

Related Articles:

Tuhis Beauty