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New Research Reveals the Best (and Worst) Cities for Curly Hair

Weather can cause extreme hair challenges, especially if you were born with ringlets or texture. Climate has such an effect on hair that Taryn Nightingale, a researcher for Tajmeeli, put together a study ranking the best and worst U.S. cities for people with curly hair. As luck would have it, the structure of curls makes it more prone to following the temperatures. Taryn’s main takeaway? If you can live somewhere moderate you may as well pack your bags now—nice weather is decidedly best for curly manes.

Let’s talk about curls. According to a co-founder of haircare company Windle and Moodie, Neil Moodie, “Curly hair is drier than straight hair because the natural oils produced by our scalp can’t travel as easily down the hair shaft like on straight hair.” Curly hair also boasts a raised, oval-shaped follicle, compared to the flatter, circular-shaped follicles of straight hair. As a result, curls both absorb and lose more moisture than straight hair.

(via Tajmeeli)

Best U.S. Cities for Curly Hair

  1. Anaheim, CA
  2. Bakersfield, CA
  3. Pasadena, CA
  4. Long Beach, CA
  5. San Jose, CA
  6. Santa Ana, CA
  7. Burbank, CA
  8. Austin, TX
  9. Chula Vista, CA
  10. San Diego, CA

Worst U.S. Cities for Curly Hair

  1. Spokane, WA
  2. Pasadena, TX
  3. Houston, TX
  4. Minneapolis, MN
  5. Port St. Lucie, FL
  6. Fort Lauderdale, FL
  7. Hollywood, FL
  8. Honolulu, HI
  9. Bronwsville, TX
  10. West Palm Beach, FL

The Results

We weren’t surprised by the results, considering moderation is ideal. All of the 10 best cities on the list were in California. And you don’t want to be a Florida woman as three cities in the state occupied the bottom five positions. A dry climate won’t solve all the problems either, as Arizona and Nevada were the worst for drying.

Although FLA is a no-go, it’s not because of swampy humidity. Taryn notes, “It’s actually the dew point that causes that all-too-familiar frizz.” 

Dew point indicates how high the temperature can get before the air is saturated with water, so the higher the dew point, the more water the air can hold. Likewise, the more moisture in the air, the more moisture curly hair absorbs. Colder is better for curls as dew points between 40-60° F (4-15°C) are considered optimal. If the dew points are too high, it will cause curly hair to absorb moisture from the air and result in frizz.

Best U.S. cities for curly hair | Mane Addicts
(via Unsplash)


According to Tajmeeli: The study ranked 94 of the United States’ mid-tier cities from best (No. 1) to worst (No. 94). A city’s overall score (out of 100 possible points) was calculated by adding the scores given for each weather category (dew point, humidity, etc). Points were added or subtracted based on whether the average for each category met the optimum conditions for curly hair to flourish.

The weighting for each of the weather categories was determined by the relevance it played in causing the most common hair issues experienced by curly-haired individuals. For example, a dew point score would be calculated out of a total of 30 points, whereas a high-temperature score (a less important factor) would be calculated out of 10 points. The 2021 averages recorded in the cities for the following weather conditions were observed:

  • Dew Point
  • Relative Humidity
  • High Temperatures
  • Low Temperatures
  • Rainfall
  • Wind

After going over these 94 cities, it’s official, we wish we all could be California curly girls.

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