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, CA81.4010109.4103012
6Santa Ana, CA81.2810109.28103012
7Phoenix, AZ80.0061010103014
8Chandler. AZ77.007910103011
9Burbank, CA74.2610109.26153013
10Surprise, AZ74.00691010309
11Gilbert, AZ73.006101010307
12Mesa, AZ73.006101010307
13Austin, TX72.408107.453012
14Chula Vista, CA72.2510109.2503013
15San Antonio, TX70.0081085309
16Dallas, TX70.0088710307
17San Diego, CA69.3710109.3703010
18Oxnard, CA69.3010109.303010
19Augusta-Richmond County, GA69.0088653012
20Kent, WA67.00108703012
21Seattle, WA67.00108703012
22Charlotte, NC66.90955.953012
23Laredo, TX65.00710105303
24Baton Rouge, LA64.808104.803012
25Tallahassee, FL64.50894.503013
26Tacoma, WA64.101086.103010
27College Station, TX64.0081070309
28Arlington, TX63.40877.45306
29Shreveport, LA62.60886.603010
30Lafayette, LA62.308104.303010
31Atlanta, GA62.10955.103013
32Columbia, MD61.90945.95308
33Woodbridge, NJ61.801024.853010
34Jacksonville, FL61.608105.60308
35Paterson, NJ61.5010-15.553012
36Jackson, MS61.30874.303012
37Everett, WA61.201075.20309
38Charleston, WV60.401024.403014
39Raleigh, NC60.40955.403011
40Montgomery, AL59.50864.503011
41Philadelphia, PA58.70925.75307
42Hartford, CT58.5610-25.5653010
43Little Rock, AR58.40855.403010
44Cincinnati, OH57.501015.503011
45New Orleans, LA57.509104.50304
46New Haven, CT56.871017.870308
47Fort Worth, TX56.80877.75306
48Evansville, IN56.501015.503010
49Gainesville, FL56.509105.503012
50Tucson, AZ56.0089101559
51Columbus, OH55.401005.403010
52Baltimore, MD55.40915.403010
53Stamford, CT55.381006.380309
54Waterbury, CT55.3010-28.30309
55Louisville/Jefferson County, KY55.009250309
56Glendale, AZ55.007101010513
57Allentown, PA54.2010-15.203010
58Boise, ID53.90818.920511
59Wilmington, DE53.70915.70308
60Lexington-Fayette, KY53.70914.70309
61El Paso, TX52.0085915510
62Reno, NV51.00801020013
63Chicago, IL50.5010-26.50306
64Salt Lake City, UT50.508-18.520510
65Milwaukee, WI49.3010-48.30305
66Billings, MT48.709-28.72056
67Aurora, CO47.509-28.52057
68Denver, CO47.509-28.52057
69Huntsville, AL46.609-85.603010
70Colorado Springs, CO45.5010-38.520010
71Henderson, NV40.0078100510
72North Las Vegas, NV40.0077100511
73Green Bay, WI39.801097.8058
74Spokane, WA39.0010290513
75Pasadena, TX35.008108009
76Houston, TX33.008106009
77Beaumont, WA31.108105.1008
78Orlando, FL24.909105.90-1010
79Madison, WI24.5010-66.5059
80St Paul, MN23.2010-88.2058
81Minneapolis, MN20.0010-87056
82Corpus Christi, TX19.908108.90-103
83Tampa, FL19.509105.50-1510
84Port St. Lucie, FL19.0091060-159
85Cape Coral, FL18.509104.50-1510
86St. Petersburg, FL17.509105.50-158
87Palm Bay, FL16.309105.30-157
88Rochester, MN15.6010-96.6053
89Fort Lauderdale, FL13.0091070-207
90Hollywood, FL13.0091070-207
91Honolulu, HI13.0091090-205
92Brownsville, TX11.0081080-205
93Miami, FL10.109103.10-208
94West Palm Beach, FL9.0091040-206

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 low the temperature can get before the air is saturated with water. Lower dew points thus mean that temperatures must be very low before the atmosphere is filled with water. Similarly, the higher the dew point, the more water there is in the air. And for curly hair, this means, 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 driesst cities are where curly-haired girls are most likely to experience brittle, fragile and dry curls. These cities are characterized 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. 

Note: We did not take into account the impact of hair dyes for this article in addition to our climate data but it is something we may consider in the future.