The thickness of the hair cuticle, which is the outer layer of your hair, determines how fine or coarse each strand of hair appears. While coarse hair may appear thicker and fuller than fine hair, it can also be difficult to style and keep healthy. Both chemical and topical treatments can help tame and enhance your coarse hair.
Coarse hair is often either curly or very straight, as in the case of individuals with African and Asian backgrounds. Chemical treatments help to change the structure of your hair, allowing you to go from curly to straight or straight to curly. These types of chemical treatments often take longer to penetrate the thickness of the cuticle on coarse strands of hair, leading to dry and brittle hair. Before tackling your head of hair, your hairstylist will probably perform a test on a small section of your hair to determine how it responds to the chemical treatment.
While shampooing is necessary to cleanse and refresh your hair, frequent washing can strip the moisture from your scalp and hair, and increase the level of dryness, a common condition in coarse hair. Select gentle shampoos, and allow a few days between washings. By gently applying the shampoo to your scalp and gently massaging it into a sudsy lather, you can avoid scrubbing and roughing up the cuticle layer of your hair, a practice that allows moisture to escape.
Conditioning treatments can help moisturize dry, coarse hair. Moisturizers help to smooth down the hair cuticle, trapping moisture beneath the outside layer. Although moisturizing treatments may enhance the appearance and manageability of your coarse hair, they can make the hair near your scalp appear oily.Avoid this by treating only the bottom, dry portions of your hair with conditioners, avoiding the area near your face and scalp.
With its thick layer of cuticle, coarse hair may tend to look dull and tired. Leave-in conditioners and sprays can help smooth down the cuticle and coat it with oils and polymers that boost the shine. Follow the instructions on these products to avoid applying excess amounts that may build up and look gummy.
Topical styling treatments can help improve the manageability of your hair. Depending on your hair’s characteristics and your personal style, choose from gels, mousses, waxes or sprays. Products marketed for coarse hair tend to have more staying power. Avoid products with alcohol, which can be drying.