On average, most Europeans have straight or wavy hair. While most Eastern Europeans have straight hair, curly hair is common in the western Mediterranean shorelands of Europe, according to Carleton.
According to The Head of the QIMR Genetic Epidemiology Laboratory, Professor Nick Martin, and Dr. Sarah Medland, approximately 17% of Italians have curly hair. Overall, 45% of European people have straight hair, 40% have wavy, and 15% have curly hair. Therefore, Italians are slightly above the European curly hair average.
Italian genes have adapted to both the northern and southern climates of Italy. Thus, many Northern Italians are fair-skinned and featured, and many southern Italians have darker features. Northern Italians tend to have Germanic influences, while southern Italians tend to have Arab genetic influences.
The map below reveals the Frequency of Curly Hair in Italy (Darker Shading = More)
Carleton S. Coon. The Races of Europe. New York: MacMillan, 1939