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Here’s How to Master Your Thick Hair Routine

BY Jana Russick

If you have thick hair, styling your locks with ease can be a challenge. Mastering a get-up-and-go hairstyle that looks pretty and polished ⁠— and isn’t just a big pile of hair tied up in a bun⁠ — can be pretty tricky to do on a schedule.

But how do you know if you actually have thick hair, and if so, what can you do to make it look amazing without spending hours brushing, styling, and primping? Let’s dive into the dynamics of hair density and the best styling tips and products for those blessed with luxuriously thick locks. 

Thick Hair 101: Identifying Thickness

Just because you have thicker hair than your friend’s thin-as-silk-thread fine hair doesn’t mean you truly have thick hair. You may have super-thick strands or you might have a lot of hair — trust us, there’s a difference. Fortunately, there are a few easy ways to help you determine your hair thickness.

First of all, anytime we compare thin hair and thick hair, what we’re really talking about is hair density. In other words, how close together are the hair strands on your head? If they are packed really close together, you have thick hair. To better examine this, stand in front of a mirror and press down the hair at your part. If you can see a lot of the skin on your head, you have thin hair; if you see mostly hair and hardly any scalp, you have thick hair

Another way to check thickness is by tying your hair into a ponytail. Thicker tresses have very expansive hair growth that takes a whole fist to clutch onto. That’s why those with curly hair and coarse hair tend to have thicker locks. These dense hair types can be hard to tame because of how thick and voluminous the hair is. That’s certainly not a bad thing, but it can make styling more tedious. 

5 Tips on Caring for Thick Hair

Woman holding her long, thick hair

Caring for thick locks can be a big time suck if you don’t know how to do it effectively. Luckily, we’ve come up with four helpful ways to overcome the challenges of thick hair and improve its manageability. If you’ve passed both of those hair tests and have identified that you indeed have thick hair, it’s time to get into these hair care tips. 

Do Away With Dryness

People with thick hair often struggle with dryness. That’s because it can be hard for the natural oils from your roots to travel to the tips of the hair shaft, leaving you with dry locks and split ends. It can also be challenging for hair care products to penetrate the inner layers of your hair cuticles. This can give you dry, rough, or wiry locks that don’t properly highlight your natural hair texture. 

Moreover, blow dryers, hair dyes, overusing hair brushes, or poor hair care habits can also create dry, frizzy tresses that overshadow your hair’s beautiful thickness. To help reverse the effects of dryness, invest in a hair mask.

Function of Beauty’s custom hair mask gives you the opportunity to create your own formula that’ll help protect your tresses from dryness and deliver an optimal blend of moisture-rich ingredients. Made with a blend of Japanese sake extract, argan oil, and jojoba ester oil, this mask can help tame major hair annoyances like frizz and damage from overprocessing or hair color.

Pro Tip: Try these DIY hair mask ideas you can make with four (or fewer) ingredients.

Experiment With Haircuts and Thinning

Having thick hair means you can certainly afford to take some weight off your locks, and there are two strategies for making this possible. The first is by using thinning shears. To do this, go to a stylist and ask them to thin out your tresses. This can cut down on the thickness without subtracting from the length.

If you’re ready for the big chop, ask your hairstylist to take it a bit further and cut off some inches. A chin-length cut or shoulder-length lob will help minimize thickness and pare down excessive volume that can make it hard to manage your hair. If you want to keep some of the length, you can ask for dimensional layers that’ll give your thick hair more movement without looking too heavy or poufy.

Dry Your Locks With Purpose

For those with thick hair, trying to air dry your tresses can take hours. While you might be tempted to take a shortcut by vigorously rubbing and wringing out most of the water with a towel, don’t do it. Handling your hair too roughly with a regular towel can create frizz and breakage

Instead of rubbing your hair down with a regular towel, invest in a microfiber towel. This will gently and effectively dry your hair much quicker. Once it’s dry, brush your hair with a wide-tooth comb. This helps you get out each of the individual frizzies and allows you to tackle each section of your tresses separately instead of trying to tame all your hair at once.

Pro Tip: Here are the best brushes and bristles to use for your hair type.

Style Your Hair Strategically

Regardless if you have straight, wavy, curly, or coily hair, your abundant thickness can make everyday styling more difficult. This is especially true when you wear all your hair down, which can make your locks feel heavy and bulky. Because of this, it’s important to find hairstyles that break up the density and complement your natural hair texture. 

A great way to style thick hair is with a half-up style. This takes away some of the weight but still shows off your gorgeous texture. Just style the top half of your hair into a ponytail or bun and tie it off with a cute hair tie. 

Another strategic styling tip is to braid your hair at night. This prevents your hair from rubbing against the pillow, which causes frizz and tangles. (You could also use a silk or satin pillowcase to help reduce friction for smoother hair.) When you wake up in the morning, you can undo your braids and let them fall into beautiful, beachy waves. Try our custom leave-in to nourish your hair and hydrate without weighing it down. 

Personalize Your Washing Routine

There are numerous styling products you can use to help de-frizz and tame thick hair, but perhaps the best trick for maintaining the look, feel, and even smell of healthy hair is getting a custom shampoo and conditioner. Made to fit your hair texture, scalp moisture level, and hair thickness, Function of Beauty’s custom shampoo and conditioner set can do wonders for those with a thick mane.

This hair washing set has no sulfates, parabens, or phthalates, plus it’s gluten-free. You can also customize it without silicones, dyes, or fragrances. Aside from these preferences, it can also fit your desired hair goals like curl definition, frizz, oil control, and many more. And while your thick hair can likely handle a lot of product, this shampoo and conditioner duo is lightweight and will not cause product buildup. It’ll just leave you with softer, more manageable thick hair.

Pro Tip: Learn how often to wash your hair.

You’ve Got Your Thick Hair Routine on Lock

Woman with beautiful, curly hair

Having thick hair is definitely a blessing, especially when you have the right tools, tricks, and products to handle it. To master a more effortless thick hair routine, consider using a hair mask, experiment with a shorter cut or hair thinning, dry with a microfiber towel, brush with a wide-tooth comb, and choose a custom shampoo and conditioner set made especially for your unique hair type. Implementing these tips will help you get a better hold on your thick hair.

Want to learn more about creating a 100% customized haircare routine? Take this hair quiz and start building a formula perfect just for you and your unique hair goals.