Those of you who have thick hair, will nod in agreement when I say that keeping it healthy and manageable is hard work. The amount of conditioner you use is making you bankrupt, and you just can’t help but turn to heated styling tools in an attempt to reduce the frizz!
Yes, maintaining healthy thick hair isn’t easy – but it can be a lot easier. There are several effective tips and tricks that can make a real difference in how your hair looks and feels – and we have chosen to share our top 10 most effective tricks with you.
Let’s find out what the 10 best ways to keep thick hair healthy are, so that you can wave goodbye to thick hair problems, shall we?
Moisture is key to keeping hair happy – and there’s hardly anything more moisturising than raw shea butter.
You can use it in several ways, for example – as an additional conditioner in the shower a few times a week, or as a reviving, conditioning hair mask a little less frequently, say once a week.
It can also be used for styling – it works like magic when it comes to defining curls! Take a pinch of it, work it into your hands until it melts like oil and use it to revive your curls when they need a bit of a boost.
If your thick hair is on the frizzy side, a sulfate-free shampoo will be your best friend. Sulfate is a harsh cleanser, which strips the skin off its natural oils. This can make your thick hair dry and brittle – especially if you use it every day!
If you opt for a sulfate-free shampoo, you will need to spend a little more time cleaning your scalp. Sulfate shampoos tend to turn into luscious lather and do the hard job of cleaning your scalp, requiring minimal effort from you. With a sulfate-free shampoo, you will need to cleanse your scalp for longer to achieve the same result.
Not sure which sulfate-free shampoo to go for? Try Hairgurt Smoothing Yogurt Shampoo, which does wonders with thick, unruly and frizzy hair.
Washing your hair less often may sound daunting (and even gross if you’re used to washing it every day!), but the truth is that washing your hair too often can strip away your scalp’s natural oils, that are there to keep hair healthy.
Experiment with your hair washing routine by leaving at least one day between washes – and see how you your hair feels and looks. Soon enough, you’ll get used to it and be able to enjoy more manageable and healthier looking hair.
This is another tip that will probably make you raise an eyebrow in disbelief – but is one of the tested solutions for making thick frizzy hair more manageable. Why should anyone want to skip the shampoo, you ask? Well, for the same reasons as above. Shampooing can dry out your scalp and hair and make your locks really hard work.
Plus, girls with thick frizzy hair can afford to do that without worrying about the greasy look (something that people with fine, thin hair wouldn’t be able to do!).
If cutting back on washes isn’t something you’re keen on doing, try and skip the shampoo every once in a while. Wet your hair and only use a conditioner to moisturise the ends. You will soon see the difference – hair will be softer and less brittle.
Those of you with thick curly hair will know that if you’re not careful with how you use your dryer, you’ll be rewarded with the poodle look. Which is why you may choose to air-dry your hair instead – and we have some tips on how to perfect your routine.
Firstly, brush your hair in the shower rather than afterwards, so that the curls don’t lose definition. Ideally, brush it when the conditioner is on to help distribute its goodness.
Once out of the shower, avoid vigorously rubbing your hair with a towel and use a head-wrap towel instead (this Turbie Twist Microfiber Hair Towel is particularly handy!). A head-wrap towel helps dry your hair without damaging the hair shaft, making frizz and breakage less of a problem.
Products like R&B hair moisturiser by Lush will help keep the hair moisturised and give more definition to your curls. Distribute it on your hair after showering and before you throw your turbie on.
15 minutes in a Turbie Twist, and your hair should be ready for styling! Use more of the hair moisturizer – or anything else that’s creamy to define your curls.
To see the full air-drying routine, check out this video by Melissa Alatorre (whose hair we adore!).
Sometimes, air-drying is simply not an option. And we know that making thick, unruly hair look awesome with a blow-dryer can take up the whole morning (no-one has this much time to spare!).
Thankfully, there are products that can help you speed it up, so you can be out the door and getting on with your life quicker.
The magic product that we use to speed up your blow-drying time is the KMS Therma Shape Spray. It’ll protect your hair from the heat, add shine, smell fantastic and cut down the drying time by about half. Spray it all over your hair and let it work its magic!
Using metal brushes on your thick wavy hair is an absolute ‘no’ – boar bristles is what you truly need to fix thick hair that’s a bit dry.
Interesting fact – boar brushes aren’t meant for detangling your hair – that’s a job for a wide-toothed comb or a Tangle Teezer. What bristle brushes do help with are distributing the natural oils (sebum) in your hair, this way preventing dryness and unwanted frizz. It also massages your scalp and seals the cuticles of your hair, making it appear soft and shiny.
Make sure that you go for a brush with bristles long enough to massage your scalp. Plus, look for a brush with harder bristles, maybe even boar mixed with nylon.
For a more natural way to keep your thick hair happy, use coconut oil. Coconut oil is a wonderfully effective product to turn to when your body or hair need a bit of a moisture boost. Full of fatty acids, it helps reduce split ends and add more shine, penetrates the hair shaft, as well as has anti-fungal qualities (a secret weapon for fighting dandruff!).
Apply lukewarm coconut oil to your hair and scalp (more on the hair than directly on the scalp), massaging it in to stimulate circulation. Then, wash it out in the shower with a sulfate-free shampoo. Do this once a week or so, leaving it in for about an hour before you wash it out each time.
Getting it out of your hair can be tricky sometimes, and as much as we love moisturised locks, no-one likes a greasy scalp. If you feel that after one wash with a shampoo, your hair is still oily – using a clarifying shampoo might be your best bet.
We often turn to smoothing and anti-frizz products to help manage our thick frizzy hair, which can be an effective way to deal with dryness externally.
But, have you ever thought about targeting frizz from within? Your hair is an inseparable part of your body – and healthy body means healthier hair. Dry hair often has too little vitamins and moisture to sustain its normal health, and the most effective way to get those nutrients your missing is from within.
The good news is that there are many good vitamins for hair, that are worth investing in if your hair is a little unhappy. The vitamins you need the most are Vitamin A, biotin and Vitamin E, so make sure you grab a pack of those next time you’re at the pharmacy. Your hair will thank you.
Another popular ‘solution’ to unruly, frizzy hair is turning up the heat on your styling tools, such as flat irons or curlers, to achieve a smoother look. Your hair might look better, but you’re not solving the frizz problem – in fact, you’re only making things worse in the long run.
Heat is the enemy, so do your hair a favor and turn it down. We’d recommend not going above 380 degrees for thick hair – and always using heat protection (at the moment, we’re all about HSI PROFESSIONAL Argan Oil Heat Protector).
Do pick your flat iron carefully, too – it should be a carefully chosen investment, not an impulse purchase. A trusted brand will have ensured that their products are good quality, and don’t damage hair as much as some other flat irons out there.