Studies have shown that the morphology of the hair follicle can be influenced by a person's race. Individuals of African ancestry, for example, are more likely to have curly hair due to the oval shape of their hair follicles. Additionally, the Keratin Associated Protein (KAP) cluster genes, responsible for the structure of keratin fibers, have been found to have variations in many African populations.
Despite the genetic differences, research shows that curly hair is predominantly a result of genetics. Individuals who have a parent with curly hair are more likely to have curly hair. However, cultural norms have also played a role in shaping African American women's relationship with their curls.
For many years, straight hair was considered the norm in Western culture, leading to African American women feeling pressure to straighten their hair. However, in recent years, there has been a movement towards embracing natural hair textures, with many African American women embracing their curls and promoting self-love and acceptance.