Good news for those with coarse hair - it’s healthy hair. Your cuticle - your hair’s protective outer layer - does a fine job of locking in moisture and makes your hair naturally shiny and strong. Sure your hair is thick, and maybe curly, and probably downright disobedient sometimes. Coarse hair tends to poof because it’s wiry and isn’t a fan of lying flat. But with a little tender loving hair care, you can turn your coarse coif from fiery to fabulous.
To bring out the best in your tresses, get a professional cut. Ask around to find a stylist who specializes in cutting coarse hair. It is an art, and an experienced beautician will be able to thin and shape your hair to best complement its texture and personality. In other words, the stylist will work with your cowlick, not try to tame it. Or layer your kinky curls so expertly that you can shampoo and go, instead of spending an hour with products and a flat iron. A perfect cut is the foundation for easy-to-care-for hair.
Your coarse hair will be moisture-rich as long as you follow these cuticle care commandments. Do not wash your hair every day. Instead, use an ultra-hydrating shampoo and then wait as long as a week before washing it again. Here’s why: excessive washing disrupts the cuticle, making its shingle-like layers stand up and unable to lock in moisture. Your hair ends up looking frizzy and feeling rough to the touch. By waiting days between shampooing, you’re allowing the natural oils of your scalp to coat your hair shafts.
Try a dry shampoo product in between washings to absorb oils and impurities so that your hair looks clean and feels fresh. Condition every day to detangle. If you have tight ringlets, use a lightweight leave-in conditioner to create soft and shiny curls. For coarse hair that is wavy or straight, use rinse-out conditioners that first saturate the hair shaft. And lastly, to give coarse hair an extra sheen, finish it in style with oil-infused products including moisturizing serums, nourishing pomades or shine sprays.
Because coarse hair is prone to snarling, your go-to beauty tools must be tender to tendrils. Start with a wide-tooth comb or pick and keep it in your shower. It’s easier to comb your hair when it’s wet because your cuticles are flat and the comb won’t snag hair. When choosing a brush, opt for an ionic detangling variety to seal the cuticles so hair shines instead of standing on end from static. Air drying is best, but if you’re in a hurry, use a tourmaline-infused dryer because it’s designed to cut drying time in half while locking in your hair’s moisture. Styling irons come in wet to dry versions allowing you to dry and then straighten or curl in one step. Look for irons with tourmaline technology - hair stays hydrated and gleams. To maintain the natural oil balance of your coarse hair, limit blow drying and ironing to no more than two times a week.
Coarse hair can be commitment, and if you are tiring of the daily routine of conditioning and taming, then consider professional treatments that are easy to maintain and will last for months. Braiding and cornrows can be simple or elaborate works of art. To minimize dandruff and hair loss, make sure to carefully shampoo the braids and oil your scalp. Before embarking on a chemical treatment, make sure you choose a skilled stylist who can explain the formulations and their related precautions and costs. For loose, tousled curls, salons offer a body wave perm. And if you’re ready to embrace glassy-straight locks, decide between thermal reconditioning, keratin treatments and relaxers.
You hear it every time you visit the salon - “You’re so lucky you have thick hair.” That’s high praise from professionals who know the extreme challenges of thinning and damaged hair. So remember to nourish that magnificent mane by eating, exercising and sleeping well. Protect it from the sun with SPF hair products and fabulous hats. And have fun experimenting with accessories like decorative barrettes, ponytail holders, headbands and feminine combs and sticks.