how to style thick hair

Hooker & Young UK

Tip for blow drying your thick hair-

With thick hair it's all about how long it can take to style. To help cut down on time remove 80% (most of the moisture) by shake or rough drying with your hands before you start to use your brush to style the hair. This is because your hair is not going to take on any shape until you get to this stage so you may as well rough dry out the worst of the moisture first. Check out our Blow drying section for more detail.

 

thick hair styles

Hooker & Young UK

 
Haircuts for thick hair Mahogany base colour is broken up by the use of a brighter red lowlight through the hair.

Above, streaks of different colors are used to make the hair look less thick as they break up a solid look. Never use solid or all over color on thick hair as it can make it look almost wig like.

Image from Caterina DiBiase of Heading Out Hair & Beauty, Melbourne, Australia.

You can use styling iron on thick hair to give a sleek look. Styling irons that use ionic technology will very effectively reduce bulk and thickness because as you slide them along the length of your hair they smooth the outer or cuticle layer so well that your thick hair strands will literally shrink! Coarser/thick hair can also stand more regular use of hot styling irons than finer hair as your hairs very nature makes it stronger and less prone to heat damage.

 

 


Thick Hair

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Thick hair refers to the thickness of each strand of hair (you could have just two hairs on your head but they could be individually thick), commonly though the term thick hair is applied to those of you with very dense hair growth (a lot of hair in a small space). Whichever type you are you will find some answers to your thick hair problems on this page or the linked pages. The thickness of your hair will effect everything from which hair cuts are suitable the hair products you use and the hair styling tools you need (brushes and electrical hair styling aids) and even colours and perms need to be adjusted to suit thick hair.

One of the biggest problems with thick hair is the associated itchy, flaky scalp. This is often caused by insufficient rinsing during the shampooing process, which can leave behind a residue of 'soap' on the scalp. Conditioner (which seals down the outside of the hair making it smooth and easy to comb) will then seal any remaining 'soap' to your scalp. Simply rinse for longer. Check out good shampooing and conditioning habits for more ways to get around this problem.

Points to think about when choosing a style for thick hair

  • Thick hair works either really short, where the cut keeps it under control, or long enough that the weight of your hair holds it down. Mid lengths tend to result in sticking out hair.
  • Layers or thinning works well to relieve some of the bulk, but the shorter layers or pieces should not be too short, or they can provide added volume instead which is not what you need.
  • When thinking of a style change with color bear in mind that permanent colors and bleaches leave the hair slightly swollen and therefore thicker. It maybe better for you to use semi-permanent colors that don't have the same effect.
  • Curl or wave again adds bulk or thickness so go for styles that are worn straight if your natural hair texture allows.
  • When coloring your hair go for high or low lights rather than all over co lour. Solid hues make your hair look like a wig, different colored pieces break the hair up and soften the solidness. Lighter colors also make the hair look thinner, where dark tones add density.

Ponytails for thick hair:

Control is often the thing you want with thick hair and the simplest form of control is the classic and ever practical ponytail. But even with this there and be issues so try out this tip:

  • If your hair is exceptionally thick it can often be very difficult to get a clean smooth finish to the hair on the scalp, as sections of it tend to lump and clump forming bumps. Try making the pony tail in two sections the first from just below the crown down to the nape and secure. The second section being the rest of your hair from hairline to crown can then be smoothed with a pad brush and secured over the first section with a second band.

Certain brushes and combs are better suited to thick hair so check out some of these as well.

Hair ideas for thick hair Crimping will make hair even thicker but this can be used to your hair styling advantage.
Image Barney Martin, Sydney. Creating different textures makes a feature of thick hair.
Big is beautiful from Shane Henning @ NOK, Sydney. Its the hair style that never ages and you have got to have plenty of hair for this!
Big is beautiful from Shane Henning @ NOK, Sydney. Its the hair style that never ages and you have got to have plenty of hair for this!
Smoothing out the fringe area and letting the rest of your hair be as big/thick as it wants to be is a simple way to give your hair style without too much work. Image from Nigel Hazon.
Smoothing out the fringe area and letting the rest of your hair be as big/thick as it wants to be is a simple way to give your hair style without too much work. Image from Nigel Hazon.

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Styling irons

Blowdrying straight

Blow dry tips

Permanent hair straightening

Going straight

Dry damaged hair

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