Stringy Curly Hair: 10 Reasons and Fixes Explained

You may be familiar with the dreaded condition known as “stringy hair,” especially if you have naturally curly hair. It can be disheartening to look in the mirror and see a lifeless mass of curls rather than voluminous tresses that twirl around your face with grace.

But the good news is that stringy curly hair can almost always be repaired!

In this post, I will discuss what causes stringiness in your locks and give step-by-step tips on how to fix it right at home—leaving you with long-lasting gorgeous curls!

Keep reading to learn more about why your curls turn stringy, solutions for bringing life back into your strands other simple changes you can make in order to keep them looking their best all day long.

What Is Stringy Curly Hair?

As you know, stringy curly hair is curly hair that looks thin, doesn’t have much volume, and sometimes hangs in strands instead of curls. Heat styling, chemical treatments, or insufficient water and care for your hair usually cause this texture.

Stringy wavy or curly hair is different from other curl types, as what it lacks in body and bounce it makes up for in thin clumps of curls.

It’s a subtle look and can provide an exciting alternative to bigger curls if you feel like changing your look! But be aware: stringy curly hair often needs extra care.

Applying oils or leave-in conditioners can help give moisture back to the hair while scrunching heavy styling gels could help define the clumpy curls you want.

Stringy Curly Hair Causes

stringy curly hair causes

This type of curly hair is a result of a dry scalp, poor hydration, chemical treatments, or genetics. There can be several reasons why your curly hair might appear stringy.

Here are the 8 most common causes I discussed below:

Not Enough Moisture

If your hair isn’t properly moisturized, it will appear dry, brittle, and stringy. This is because the lack of moisture causes the hair shaft to swell, which makes the cuticle lift up and appear frizzy.

To prevent this, make sure to use a deep conditioner at least once a week and a leave-in conditioner daily. You should also use heat styling tools as little as possible.


Washing your hair too frequently can remove its natural oils, leaving it dry and brittle. If you have oily hair, you may need to wash it more often than individuals with dry hair. But try to limit hair washing to twice or thrice per week.

Using The Wrong Shampoo

Everyone knows we don’t have the same scalp on our hair. If you’re using a shampoo unsuited for your hair type, it can cause your hair to appear stringy and lifeless.

For example, if you have oily hair, you should use a clarifying shampoo to remove the buildup from styling products. On the other hand, if you have dry hair, you should use a hydrating shampoo that contains moisturizing ingredients.

Not Using A Conditioner

Conditioner is essential to any haircare routine, but it’s essential if you have curly hair. It helps to hydrate and detangle your curls, making them appear softer and more manageable. Make sure to use a conditioner that’s specifically designed for curly hair for the best results.

Brushing Wet Hair

On my list this one the most vital cause for stringy curly hair. While, It can cause breakage and split ends, which can make your hair appear stringy and damaged. Instead, wait until your hair is mostly dry before brushing or combing it.

So if you’re looking for big, lush clumps in your hair, brush while still in the shower!

While it may be tempting to give yourself a quick after-shower style with that comb or brush, try switching things up and see how much volume this simple step can add.

Be sure to thoroughly wet your hair before attempting to style it with any of the available tools. You’ll be grateful to us in the future!

Rubbing wet hair with a towel

Rubbing your wet hair with a towel can cause friction, leading to frizz and breakage. Instead, blot your wet curls with a soft cotton T-shirt or microfiber towel.

This will help to absorb excess water without damaging your strands.

Sleeping with wet hair

Sleeping with wet hair can lead to tangles and mats, making your hair appear stringy when you wake up in the morning.

If you must sleep with wet hair, tie it up in a loose bun or braid before bed.

Cutting Techniques

Rethink razor cuts and thinning! If you’ve experienced a bad haircut in the past, don’t resort to it again—grow out your hair and get something new. We recommend long layers for an incredibly stylish look that can help take any outfit up several notches.

Lack of Protein

Another common cause of stringy and curly hair is a lack of protein. Your hair is made up of a protein called keratin. Keratin provides strength and structure to your hair strands.

When you don’t consume enough protein, your body may break down existing keratin to meet its needs. This can lead to weak, brittle hair that is more susceptible to damage and breakage.

Use of Heat Styling Tools

Frequent heat-styling tools such as curling irons and blow dryers can also cause your hair to become stringy and curly.

This is because the heat from these devices can damage the proteins in your hair, causing them to become weak and brittle. Additionally, heat styling can remove moisture from your hair, leaving it dry and prone to breakage.

Solutions To Problems With Stringy Curly Hair

Now you know all the causes of stringy hair but don’t know how to prevent this. Okay, cool . Here we currently talked about the solutions and told you the exact way.

How to fix stringy curly hair : 8 ways

Hydration Method

stringy curly hair solutions

Curly hair is naturally drier than straight hair, so it’s important to ensure your hair gets enough moisture. Use a hydrating shampoo and conditioner, and consider incorporating a weekly deep conditioning treatment.

Hydration is key to strong, healthy hair—and it’s not just conditioners that matter! Without enough water intake, your strands can become brittle with split ends.

After all, your locks are like houseplants because they need internal moisture from within. To keep them happy, you’ll want to aim for eight glasses of pure water per day; add food and other beverages (which contribute 20 to 21 % each) towards an overall daily target of about 11 and a half cups for the best results!

Scrunch Your Hair

Scrunching is a curl-enhancing technique in which you gently scrunch your hair. Start with wet hair and scrunch it upward to encourage the curls to form.

You can also scrunch your hair to add volume and curls before you blow dry it.

Trim Regularly

Regular trims can help eliminate any split ends that may be contributing to the stringiness. If you have curly hair, a haircut may be the best solution to deal with these stringy curls.

Use A Clarifying Shampoo.

If you have stringy, curly hair, one solution is to use a clarifying shampoo. These are designed to remove buildup from the hair and can be particularly helpful if you use many styling products.

Be sure to follow up with a conditioner, as clarifying shampoos can sometimes strip the hair of its natural oils.

Try A Co-wash.

Well, you gonna try it. A co-wash is another option for those with stringy, curly hair. A “co-wash” is a conditioner used in place of shampoo. Co-washes can help add moisture to the hair and are often more gentle than shampoos.

Use A Deep Conditioner.

That’s common and well method to prevent stringy hair. Deep conditioners can also be helpful for those with stringy, curly hair. These are designed to penetrate the hair shaft and add moisture to the hair. 

Avoid Heat Styling.

Heat styling can damage the hair, making it more likely to become stringy and curly. If you do use heat styling tools, be sure to use them in the lowest setting possible. Additionally, try to give your hair a break from heat styling every once in a while.

Utilize Protective Styles.

Yes, that’s the perfect one. It can help minimize damage to the hair and prevent it from becoming stringy and curly. Protective hairstyles involve putting your hair in a way that keeps it safe from things like wind and sun. Some examples of protective styles include braids, buns, and twists.

The Best Way To Deal With Stringy Curly Hair

Dealing with curly hair can be challenging; it tends to be dry, frizzy, and difficult to manage.

The best way to manage your curls is about knowing the right products and the kind of routine that will work for you.

  • Start by investing in a moisturizing shampoo and conditioner specifically designed for curly hair.
  • Following your shower, opt for a leave-in conditioner and styling cream, ensuring optimum hydration and no breakage due to over-styling with heat.
  • Lastly, you should ensure that your curls enjoy regular deep conditioning treatments, giving them extra softness and shine.

Finding the right approach for managing your mane could take some trial and error, but once you find what works best, there’s nothing more satisfying than having amazing, stringy curly hair!

Wrap Up

Curly & wavy hair, girls, I feel your pain! Hopefully, this article has helped you understand more about why your curly hair is stringy and how to fix it.

The most important thing to remember is that you are not alone in this battle. Millions of people around the world have stringy curly hair, but there are ways to tame it. With the right products and routine, you can achieve healthy, bouncy curls that will make everyone jealous. 

We hope this article has helped you to understand a little bit more about why your hair is the way it is and how you can style it to get the most out of your gorgeous locks. Remember, all curls are beautiful – so love your hair and it will love you back!

John Harvey
John Harvey

John Harvey M.D., M.P.H. is the Director of VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System and a Professor at T.H Chan School of Public Health . As an Internal Medicine physician at Boston Healthcare System, I aim to improve healthcare quality and costs through policy-focused research. I earned my M.D. and M.P.H. from Harvard, and completed fellowships at University of California, San Francisco.

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