2021 BEST US CITIES FOR CURLY-HAIRED GIRLS 

best cities for curly hair head

Are you one of those wavy – or curly-haired individuals? Then, you’ll know your mane needs a keen understanding of the elements that affect its magnificence.

Curly hair is moisture-sensitive. Too much moisture and the hair swells and frizzes, too little, and the hair becomes fragile and prone to breakages and split ends. 

So, to help you keep your curls in the best condition, Tajmeeli examined the elements of weather and their effects on curly hair in our latest study.

Check out our rankings for 94 of the best and worst cities for curly-haired girls followed by some highlights, lowlights, and top haircare tips below.

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS:

1. City Rankings

2. The (weather) Conditions of Curls

3. Highlights and Lowlights

4. Expert Views

5. Tips from the Curly Haired Community

6. Methodology

 

City Rankings

OVERALL RANKCITYOVERALL SCOREHIGH TEMPERATURE SCORELOW TEMPERATURE SCORERAINFALL SCOREHUMIDITY SCOREDEW POINT SCOREWIND SCORE
1Anaheim, CA89.7410109.74153015
2Bakersfield, CA89.577109.57203013
3Pasadena, CA87.2610109.26153013
4Long Beach, CA82.3710109.37103013
5San Jose, CA81.410109.4103012
6Santa Ana, CA81.2810109.28103012
7Burbank, CA74.2610109.26153013
8Austin TX72.48107.453012
9Chula Vista, CA72.2510109.2503013
10San Diego, CA69.3710109.3703010
11Oxnard69.310109.303010
12Charlotte66.9955.953012
13Baton Rouge LA64.88104.803012
14Tallahassee, FL64.5894.503013
15Tacoma, WA64.11086.103010
16Arlington, TX63.4877.45306
17Shreveport, LA62.6886.603010
18Lafayette, LA62.38104.303010
19Atlanta, GA62.1955.103013
20Columbia, MD61.9945.95308
21Woodbridge, NJ61.81024.853010
22Jacksonville, FL61.68105.60308
23Paterson, NJ61.510-15.553012
24Jackson, MS61.3874.303012
25Everett ,WA61.21075.20309
26Charleston, WV60.41024.403014
27Raleigh, NC60.4955.403011
28Montgomery, AL59.5864.503011
29Philadelphia, PA58.7925.75307
30Hartford, CT58.5610-25.5653010
31Little Rock, AR58.4855.403010
32Cincinnati, OH57.51015.503011
33New Orleans, LA57.59104.50304
34New Haven, CT56.871017.870308
35Fort Worth, TX56.8877.75306
36Evansville, IN56.51015.503010
37Gainesville, FL56.59105.503012
38Columbus, OH55.41005.403010
39Baltimore, MD55.4915.403010
40Stamford, CT55.381006.380309
41Waterbury, CT55.310-28.30309
42Allentown, PA54.210-15.203010
43Boise, ID53.9818.920511
44Wilmington, DE53.7915.70308
45Lexington-Fayette, KY53.7914.70309
46Chicago, IL50.510-26.50306
47Salt Lake City, UT50.58-18.520510
48Milwaukee, WI49.310-48.30305
49Billings, MT48.79-28.72056
50Aurora, CO47.59-28.52057
51Denver, CO47.59-28.52057
52Huntsville, AL46.69-85.603010
53Colorado Springs, CO45.510-38.520010
54Green Bay, WI39.81097.8058
55Beaumont, WA31.18105.1008
56Orlando, FL24.99105.90-1010
57Madison, WI24.510-66.5059
58St Paul, MN23.210-88.2058
59Corpus Christi, TX19.98108.90-103
60Tampa, FL19.59105.50-1510
61Cape Coral, FL18.59104.50-1510
62St. Petersburg, FL17.59105.50-158
63Palm Bay, FL16.39105.30-157
64Rochester, MN15.610-96.6053
65Miami, FL10.19103.10-208
66Phoenix, AZ8061010103014
67Chandler, AZ777910103011
68Surprise, AZ74691010309
69Gilbert, AZ736101010307
70Mesa, AZ736101010307
71San Antonio, TX7081085309
72Dallas, TX7088710307
73Augusta-Richmond County, GA6988653012
74Kent, WA67108703012
75Seattle, WA67108703012
76Laredo, TX65710105303
77College Station, TX6481070309
78Tucson, AZ5689101559
79Louisville/Jefferson County, KY559250309
80Glendale, AZ557101010513
81El Paso, TX5285915510
82Reno, NV51801020013
83Henderson, NV4078100510
84North Las Vegas, NV4077100511
85Spokane, WA3910290513
86Pasadena, TX358108009
87Houston, TX338106009
88Minneapolis, MN2010-87056
89Port St. Lucie, FL1991060-159
90Fort Lauderdale, FL1391070-207
91Hollywood, FL1391070-207
92Honolulu, HI1391090-205
93Brownsville, TX1181080-205
94West Palm Beach, FL991040-206

Best Cities for Curly Hair 2021 (1)

 

 

THE (WEATHER) CONDITIONS OF CURLS


Although all hair types are affected by weather conditions (heck, weather affects these many aspects of our lives), curly hair is more sensitive to these elements because of its structure.

Curly hair tends to be dryer and more fragile than straight hair. This is largely due to the hair follicle (tiny holes in our scalp where the hair grows from) and its cuticles (outer protective layer of the hair consisting of overlapping cells). 

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 has more of an oval-shaped follicle compared to the circular-shaped follicles of straight hair. Curly hair’s cuticles also tend to be more raised than straight hair, thus they absorb and lose more moisture than straight hair.

As a result, weather conditions have profound effects on curly hair:

High humidity causes frizz, poofiness and shapeless curls.

– Low humidity can result in dryness and breakages.

Wind causes tangles, knots and breakages and can lead to split ends.

Rain can either frizz or flatten curls (depending on the amount of precipitation).

Extreme temperatures (high highs and low lows) can strip the hair of moisture and cause it to be brittle and fragile.

 

HIGHLIGHTS AND LOWLIGHTS


All in Moderation, but Dew Point is Key

Cities that are best for curly hair have a moderate climate. That means they’re not too hot or too cold and don’t have too much or too little moisture.

But “moderate” is relative for the everyday Jane or Joe. Thus, a curly individual’s best bet is to check the dew point and not the relative humidity levels of the city she’s in.

Relative humidity measures how much water vapor the air can hold. When relative humidity is at 100%, the air is at its maximum capacity to retain water. 

But relative humidity doesn’t explain how much water the atmosphere can hold.

Generally, the higher the temperature of a city, the more water the air can hold.  

This is why a place like Alaska, with lower temperatures, can have a higher relative humidity (77%) than Florida (74.5%), yet be less humid (muggy and sticky).  

This is where dew point becomes important. 

Dew point determines when condensation is happening or when dew is forming. Essentially, it shows us how high the temperature can get before the air is saturated with water. This means, the higher the dew point, the more water the air can hold. The more moisture in the air, the more moisture curly hair absorbs.

If there’s too much moisture in the atmosphere, curly hair swells with water and frizzes. If there is too little water, it dries and becomes brittle.

So moderation is important when considering the dew point too – there are optimum levels at which curly hair curls best. 

Optimal dew points are between 40-60 F (4-15°C) and are likely to give you your best curls.

High dew points are above 60 degrees F (15°C). They will cause curly hair to absorb moisture from the air and thus frizz.

Mid-range dew points are between 30-40 degrees F (-1-4°C). These dew points require experimentation and don’t have clearly defined effects on curly hair.

In Tajmeeli’s 2021 Best US Cities for Curly-Haired Girls list, Florida, which ranks quite low, hits dew points as high as 19 °C . The cities that rank top in our list are all well within the optimum range: Our top-ranked city, Anaheim, has an average dew point of 5 °C and Bakersfield and Pasadena both have dew points of 7 °C.


Drier Air, Drier Hair – Patterns

The driest cities are where curly-haired girls are most likely to experience brittle, fragile and dry curls. These cities are characterised by low relative humidity levels, mid-range dew points, and high temperatures. 

Most of these cities can be found inland to the west. Henderson, North Las Vegas and Phoenix, which all rank top for cities most likely to cause dry hair and breakages, are good examples of this.

Texas is a mixed bag. It has cities ranking in the areas most likely to cause dry hair and breakages, and in cities most likely to cause frizz and poof. This has to do with the vastness of the state, stretching inland all the way down to the coast, closer to large bodies of water.

 

EXPERT VIEWS


Other factors also play a role in how curly hair reacts to weather conditions. 

  • HAIR PRODUCTS

The type of hair products you use on your curly hair will also influence how much moisture your hair absorbs.

Understanding which hair products have humectants and anti-humectants as ingredients is key, says Naturally Curly Hair Expert, Tonya McCay Becker .

“Humectants are molecules that possess atoms and groups of atoms that attract and bind water to themselves. They can have benefits and drawbacks for curly hair, and their performance is often very dependent upon the amount of moisture in the environment.

For an ingredient to be an anti-humectant it must fulfill several requirements. First, it must not possess molecular traits that cause it to attract water molecules to itself. Second, it must be water repellent. This allows it to prevent the intrusion of moisture into the hair from a humid environment. Additionally, these ingredients typically coat, flatten and seal the external cuticle layer of the hair strands.”

  • HAIR POROSITY

Hair porosity speaks to how your hair retains and absorbs moisture. 

Robin Groover, the founder of Too Groovy Salon, says there are three main categories of porosity – low, normal, and high. “Low porosity hair has cuticles that are bound very close together, normal porosity hair has cuticles that are slightly less bound, and high porosity hair has cuticles that are more widely spread out.”

Essentially, the more porous your curly hair is, the more important it is for you to know the humidity levels of the cities you’re in.

 

TIPS FROM THE CURLY-HAIRED COMMUNITY 


Tajmeeli hit the Quora streets to see what some curly-haired peeps had to say about fighting the frizz and curing the dryness of curly hair:

Rachel Nelson , Natural Hair Blogger (2018-present)

“Keep it moisturized. Invest in a deep conditioner (if you don’t have one already) and use moisturizing products. Seal everything in with oil so that the moisture doesn’t escape too easily. Lastly, don’t touch your hair too much.”

 

Shirley Hollick , studied at University of Saskatchewan

“Use conditioner to wash your hair, not shampoo. Shampoo makes it more frizzy, and conditioner does clean your hair. Scrunch when wet, and finish with Herbal Essence Mousse for curly hair to define curls even more. When dry, fluff with fingers.”

 

METHODOLOGY


We ranked 94 of the United States’ mid-tier cities from best (No. 1) to worst (No. 94) based on their overall scores. 

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.

We looked at the 2021 averages recorded in the cities for the following weather conditions:

– Dew Point

– Relative Humidity

– High Temperatures

– Low Temperatures

– Rainfall

– Wind

 

METRICWEIGHTINGMIN VALUE SCOREDMAX VALUE SCOREDBEST
High Temperature3610Max
Low Temperature3-310Max
Rainfall3010Max
Dew Point1-2030Max
Relative Humidity2020Max
Wind3320Max

 

 

Resources:

Time and Date, Demographics by Cubit, World Population Review, Naturally Curly, Byrdie, Eldorado Weather, Hair Finder, Holistic Enchilada, The Cut, Well and Good, Redken, Quora, and Forbes.