Stories Feature
How To Manage Thick Hair

Lana Del Rey for Interview Magazine

It’s no secret that thick hair textures have their own special set of requirements, and even with perfect execution and ample time, who knows where on the scale of 'good hair day' it will sit? Panic sets in when you have 3 minutes to get to work and you find yourself begging for it to cooperate before securing it in a trusty, tight AF top knot and running out the door.

We're here to talk about thick hair textures; the top concerns and some helpful ways to manage them - so we can start locking in some epic hair days, stat.

  1. Manageability

Thick hair can handle the heat and hold a style but boy it requires some work to keep it in place or from getting frizzy. While you have all the volume, movement and texture in the world, the downside is that you might not have much control over it unless you put in some time. To help improve overall manageability; start in the shower. Invest in a range of wash products that nourish, moisturize and hydrate your hair.

  • Cleanse your roots and focus on removing dirt, sebum, and build-up on the scalp.
  • Condition from the mid-lengths down, avoiding your roots as it can lead to an overly oily scalp.
  • It sounds obvious, but, avoid volumising products.
  1. Conditioner not so conditioned

Sometimes it feels like there is no amount of conditioner that will solve this problem but there is a solution; opt for a rich, hydrating conditioner to provide that silky slip we all love to feel.

  • Gently squeeze excess water from your hair before you apply conditioner, this allows it to soak in and get to work.
  • In addition, thick, dry hair will benefit from a deep conditioning treatment. The frequency will depend on the condition your hair is in but a moisturizing masque will provide those soft, smoothing qualities and extra moisture while adding a healthy shine to your hair.
  1. Sore arms when blowdrying

Giving yourself a blowout at home can be a workout amiright?! Lighten the load and do a rough dry first – swish your hairdryer around until your hair is at least 80% dry.

Beware! Rough drying actually opens the cuticle causing frizz, so pop a smoothing nozzle on to finish the job or dry with the hairdryer facing downwards (the same direction as your hair cuticle) to smooth it down.

  1. Constant damp hair

If you wash and air dry your hair, you will know how long it takes for thick hair to completely dry. Hours!

Speed up dry time with a super absorbent, luxurious microfiber hair turban from Iles Formula, or wash your hair before bed and glam it up with a blow dryer or styling products before you head out the door in the morning.

  1. Knots and tangles

If you have long, thick hair you will be no stranger to eye-watering knots and pesky tangles. Maybe the thought of Johnsons No More Tangles will even trigger some childhood memories of sitting on the floor while your mum went at your hair armed with a brush in one hand and detangling spray in the other.

  • Brush before you wash your hair to get rid of knots and remove loose hairs. You will notice that there is less hair tangled in your hands / on the walls / wrapped around your shampoo and conditioner.

  • To gently remove knots, start brushing from the bottom up – gently working through any tangles you may come in contact with.

  1. Brush and fluff

You want to brush your hair without the extra fluff? Brushing can be harsh on thick hair; snagging, tangling, causing breakage and frizz. Carefully selecting a hair brush best suited for your specific hair type is important. For thick hair; Nylon bristles are great for detangling, as are boar bristles, which use the natural oils from your scalp and gently detangle without harsh pulling.

  • Dampen your hair a little bit and spritz your hairbrush with hairspray before running it through your hair, this will seal the cuticles and lessen some of the static that causes frizz.
  1. Frizz and humidity, happily ever after

Thick hair is hot and heavy during the summer months - if you have thick hair, you will understand how warm your scalp and neck can get. Not to mention what's happening with each individual strand of hair; literally separating from one another faster than all bar seven couples ever on Married At First Sight.

Humidity, it's our hair's arch nemesis. The moisture in the air penetrates the hair shaft causing hydrogen bonds to break and the hair to swell and bloat, meaning it will shapeshift and take on a new, puffy form as it dries. Not fun, not cute.

  • Using a hair oil can help create a seal, reducing unwanted frizz and improving manageability.
  1. Broken ties

Do you find yourself really stretching your hair ties to their limits only to have them snap with the 3rd wrap of your giant ponytail? Same. Honestly, just put those skinny hair ties in the bin and embrace big, beautiful scrunchies and glam accessories. They are so much better looking anyway.

  1. Dead weight; no bounce

This is where you really depend on your trusted hairstylist to talk you through your options – despite having your ❤️ set on a slinky, blunt bob when in reality it might end up like a puff ball – maybe all you need is a trim, some bombshell layers or a super chic Pixie Cut!

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