When youngsters hit puberty, their bodies experience changes we’re all familiar with. But did you know that from ages 10 to 13 hair changes too? Adolescents and tweens have enough to deal with without stressing over a dramatic change from wavy to curly hair or from curly to kinky, so NaturallyCurly.com explains this natural youth phenomenon and offers helpful ways to adapt your kid’s hair routine accordingly.  

What hair changes should you expect? If you’ve seen a baby or toddler’s soft hair and how it changes over time, similar changes also happen later in life. Around puberty, straight hair can turn wavy and its texture can change, or wavy hair may turn curly or kinky. (Some people experience the exact opposite change.) Why is this an issue? Well, for girls, especially, this hair transition can occur when they are their most insecure and have major social pressure at school. In other words, puberty is a time when big changes to a young person’s outward appearance may affect him or her the most. That’s why it’s important to talk to adolescents and help them adapt to new hair routines. It’s important to let them experiment with products and find new styles that fit the new texture and curl pattern of their mane. And then there are some general tips. For example, brushing dry, curly hair may cause frizz. Another option is to only comb hair while it’s wet.

Why do these hair changes happen? Well, a few hormones—thyroxine, triiodothyronine, androgen and insulin—have been identified as the culprits behind these hair texture turnarounds. As a youngster’s body hits puberty, these hormones kick in and begin changing hair as well. Hormones also can impact hair growth.

Is puberty the last time a girl’s hair changes? No. When girls move into certain stages of womanhood, they should expect their tresses to transform again. For example, pregnancy and breastfeeding usually slightly change a woman’s hair’s texture. (But women also often experience faster hair growth during pregnancy, so usually there are no complaints there!) In addition, menopause (which most often happens in the late 40s to early 50s) brings on some hormonal changes that may well change a woman’s hair again.

For teen girls, this means get used to adapting to these changes while you’re young.

For girls to feel good about their natural hair, mothers should always do this. Click here to find out what.