The texture of our hair as well as the thickness of the hair follicle are the factors that determine our hair type. Coarse hair, which is predominant among African American people has a thickness of 100 microns compared to a normal hair type which only has about 90 microns. Although the scalp produces more protective oils than for other types of hair, the tight curls characteristic for this hair type prevent an even distribution of this protective oils, making the hair drier and brittle.
Shampooing and conditioning are very important aspects we need to consider in order to be able to manage the hair easier. While too frequent shampooing is not recommended for any hair type, for coarse hair it can be quite damaging. To avoid making the problem worse, it is recommended to shampoo your hair only every 3 three day.
Try choosing an organic shampoo which doesn’t leave any residues on the hair and that has moisturizing ingredients such as wheat germ oil, shea butter, coconut oil or macadamia nuts which help retain moisture, coating the hair shaft and avoid volumizing shampoos.
Deep conditioners are essential for providing moisture to the hair. Cream conditioners work best for this type of hair but you can also use natural conditioners to get the same effect.
Like with any other hair type it’s important to avoid excessive heat when blow drying the hair by using a heat diffuser and limit the use of heat styling devices to minimize hair damage. You should never use a heat styling device until the hair is completely dried.
For this hair type it’s crucial to avoid styling products that contain a high amount of alcohol which will dry the hair follicle even more. Although coarse hair sometimes has the tendency to produce flyways it’s recommended to use hair gel and hair spray scarcely to avoid hair damage.
You should consider using a homemade hairspray that can be made in no time. Orange hair spray is recommended for those who have a dry hair. You will need 1 chopped orange and two cups of water as well as a spray bottle. Boil the water and the chopped orange until half of the quantity of water evaporates and then store it in a cool place.
Hot oil treatments have also proven to be highly beneficial for softening coarse hair. Jojoba oil, argan oil, olive oil or almond oil are excellent choices for weekly treatments. You can use either one oil or a combination of oils. Oils should be lukewarm before it can be applied to the hair. Apply the oil treatment directly on the hair and gently massage the scalp in order to stimulate the blood vessels and to ensure proper absorption. Leave the treatment for at least 15 minutes or leave it overnight.
The hair styles we choose also have a strong influence over the way our hair looks. Certain hairstyles can offer more protection to the hair than others. Bun hairstyles, curly hairstyles, French braids, short haircuts as well as layered hairstyles are ideal for a coarse hair. Stay away from chemical treatments as much as possible unless you have naturally curly hair.
Other useful tips for dealing with coarse hair is to use a comb instead of a brush and to combat frizz and to stimulate the hair follicles and to wrap your hair in a silk scarf to retain hair moisture and to protect hair ends or using a satin pillowcase to prevent hair damage. Also it is important to trim your ends at least once a month.