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The amount of natural curl a hair has is determined by it's cross-sectional shape. Hair that is most similar to a circle is straight and hair that is flattened and elliptical is curly or kinky. The more circular the shaft is, the straighter it is. The more elliptical the shaft is, the curlier or kinkier the hair. The cross-sectional shape also determines the amount of shine the hair has. Straighter hair is shinier because sebum from the sebaceous gland can travel down the hair more easily. The kinkier the hair, the more difficulty the sebum has traveling down the hair, therefore the more dry or dull the hair looks.

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