Africans have curly hair in order to protect their head from intense heat. Our scalp consists of hair follicles which grow hair out of them. The texture and size of the hair are influenced by the follicle size and shape. The thickness of hair depends on the number of follicles that form the lining of the scalp. Usually large sized follicles grow thick hair and small sized ones grow thin hair. The number of follicles on the scalp determines the amount of hair on the head.
The hair texture varies based on the shape of the follicle in cross section. The round shaped follicle in its cross section will generate straight hair while the follicle shape is oval in case of the curly hair growth. The hair is tightly coiled if the hair is originated from flat ribbon like follicles. This type of hair texture is available to most of the people with African hair origin.
The African hair appears coarse as well as wiry. The Africans produce oils on the scalp called sebum. The African hair secretes more amount of oil compared to Caucasian and Asian hair. Though the hair secretes oil, it does not spread all over the curly hair fiber as the hair is tightly curled. The hair fibers due to lack of proper lubrication becomes dry and rough. The hair strands become more brittle and coarse to touch. The smoothness and silky texture of straight hair will not exist in curly hair in any kind of ethnicity. The reason can be same in all the cases but sometimes differ in some ethnic groups.
The African hair is so brittle that longer growth of that hair is very less observed. Every hair fiber creates stress at every turn in the hair fiber. This stress makes the hair to become weak and brittle. That is the reason for the hair that is tightly coiled to exist as shorter rather than long. It can be said strongly that the hair texture of the Africans is genetically inherited. The reason for this is that all Africans have the same hair pattern which is different from other ethnic groups.