How to Make Coarse Hair Soft and Silky
Coarse hair can be bittersweet because it often comes with lots of volume but can be difficult to manage at times: coarse hair is inherently dry and prone to frizz compared to other hair types. The dryness of coarse hair makes it prone to tangles, split ends, and breakage. So in order to look soft and silky, coarse hair requires a nourishing hair care routine that focuses on hydration. Whether you have straight, curly, or natural coarse hair, we’ll give you everything you need to know about caring for your strands. This is your hair care guide for coarse hair.
What is coarse hair?
While hair thickness refers to density, or the number of hair strands on your head, coarseness refers to the width of each strand’s circumference. Coarse hair can be straight, wavy, curly, tightly curled, and everywhere in between, but the defining feature of coarse hair is the diameter of the strands. Coarse hair strands are the widest, making them the strongest type of hair. And while that’s great for volume and hair growth; coarse hair tends to be dry, brittle, frizzy, and prone to breakage. So if you have coarse hair, your hair care routine should focus on hydration and lots of moisture. How do you know if your hair is coarse? Strands that are coarse feel solid between your fingers; you can see them easily when held up against a contrasting background (they’re wider than a piece of sewing thread) and when you bend a coarse hair, it springs right back.
9 tips for caring for coarse hair
If you have coarse, frizzy strands, you can soften them while reducing frizz and tangles with the following 8 tips.
- Choose a shampoo formulated for coarse hair
One of the most important things you can do to care for coarse hair is to choose the right hair products for your hair type, starting with your shampoo. If you have coarse hair, wash your hair with a moisturizing shampoo to infuse your dry strands with hydration and help maintain the integrity of the hair shaft.
- Try co-washing
Another option for those of you with exceptionally dry hair is to start incorporating co-washing into your routine. Co-washing is the practice of washing your hair with conditioner, instead of shampoo. With co-washing, the conditioner removes dirt, oil, and buildup cleaning your hair. Co-washing should be done at least once a week, depending on the texture of your hair.
- Conditioner. Conditioner. Conditioner.
Conditioner is an essential step in any hair care routine, but especially essential for coarse hair. Conditioner works to help close the cuticle and reinforces the hair shaft, helping coarse hair retain moisture and hydration. Every time you wash your hair, you must use a conditioner. Our favorite conditioners for coarse hair are NOUNOU Conditioner for processed hair and moisturizing MOMO Conditioner. Both of these nourishing conditioners will help keep your strands looking soft and silky.
- Use a hair mask
Hair masks are deep conditioning treatments that help combat dryness and breakage, deeply nourishing the hair. Hair masks contain rich ingredients in heavier concentrations than regular conditioners. Also, unlike conditioner which rests on the surface of the hair strand, a hair mask works its way deep inside the hair shaft. Adding a hair mask into your hair care routine will help to tame your strands. The masks below will leave your coarse hair feeling soft and smooth.
- Nourishing Bond-Building Hair Mask— After shampooing, squeeze the excess water from your hair and apply the mask to your lengths and ends, in place of your regular conditioner. Comb it through and leave it on for 10 minutes. Rinse thoroughly and style. Use once or twice a week.
- OI Nourishing Hair Butter— Work this hair mask into the palm of your hand before applying it to your damp hair. Leave it on for 5-10 minutes and rinse thoroughly. For an extra nourishing treatment, apply it before and after shampooing. Use once or twice a week, or swap out with the bond-building mask.
- DIY Egg Hair Mask — Eggs smooth coarse hair, boost shine, and encourage hair growth. This DIY egg hair mask can be done once or twice a month to soften coarse hair: mix 2 eggs with 2 drops of lemon juice (to mask the egg smell while it’s in your hair). Beat the mixture until it is frothy, apply the egg mixture with your hands and work it into your hair. Cover your hair with a shower cap and leave it on for 20 minutes. Rinse thoroughly with cold or cool water, then shampoo and condition your hair as normal.
- Eat a hair-healthy diet
Healthy hair starts with your diet. A well-balanced diet full of the right vitamins and minerals is the most effective way to strengthen your strands and help hair growth. Stay away from sugar and processed foods and drink lots of water. Drinking one additional glass of water a day improves your overall health and boosts blood circulation to your hair follicles. Incorporate the following nine foods into your diet to help soften your coarse hair.
- Chia Seeds
- Green Tea
- Whole Grains
- Coconut Oil
- Sleep on a silk pillowcase
Sleeping on silk protects your coarse, already dry hair from snarls, tangles, and damage. Silk pillowcases provide a frictionless surface that’s more gentle on your strands than a cotton one. Silk also absorbs less moisture, which means it helps your hair retain its natural oils and shine. Try to buy pure silk and avoid “silk-like” fabrics for the best results.
- Use the proper brush and brushing techniques
Coarse hair is best brushed gently when damp to help minimize frizz, flyaways, and tangling as it dries. Brushing damp hair also helps you pull the natural oils from your scalp down the lengths of your hair strands. These oils are your hair’s best conditioner. Use a high-quality nylon bristle brush with ample space between the bristles. Nylon bristles are best for coarse hair types. A round brush is useful for adding bends to a blow-dry, and a flat brush is the most versatile. The size of your brush depends on your hair’s density. The thicker your hair is, the bigger your brush should be. Additionally, you should avoid over-brushing your hair.
- Incorporate a weekly hot oil treatment
A regular hot oil treatment added to your hair care routine can help you nourish and soften coarse strands. This type of treatment uses plant-based essential oils like coconut, almond, or olive oil to seal the hair’s cuticle, reducing frizz and dryness for silky, smooth hair. Follow these steps for a DIY hot oil treatment:
- Hot oil can penetrate the hair cuticle more deeply on clean hair, so start with freshly washed hair.
- Microwave 3 to 6 tablespoons of a hydrating hair oil (like Argan oil or avocado oil) in a microwave-safe bowl for 10 seconds and test a small amount of the oil on your wrist before applying it to your damp hair and scalp.
- Place a towel over your shoulders to protect your clothing, or apply the oil in the shower if you prefer.
- Run a brush through your hair to get rid of any knots.
- Apply the oil evenly through your strands and massage it into your scalp.
- Cover your head with a shower cap and wait up to 20 minutes.
- Thoroughly rinse the oil from your hair, and follow with your normal conditioner.
- Repeat a hot oil treatment once a week, or if your hair is very dry, repeat every few days.
- Air dry your coarse hair when possible and use heat wisely
Having some air-dried hairstyles on hand will help you avoid the damage caused by hot tools like blow-dryers and flat irons. Try to limit the usage of these tools and when you use them, use them wisely. Use a heat protectant prior to styling and keep your routine short. Plan what you want to accomplish and get it done efficiently to minimize exposure. Also, keep the blow- dryer nozzle at least 6-inches away from your strands and don’t linger too long over one spot.
Final thoughts on caring for your coarse hair
Having coarse hair can be amazing, but it can also be difficult to manage. Coarse hair is inherently dry and prone to frizz which makes it prone to tangles, split ends, and breakage. So in order to look soft and silky, coarse hair requires an extra nourishing hair care routine with a focus on hydration. If you have straight hair, curly hair, or natural hair that’s coarse, the Davines line of hair care products can help you care for your hair. Our products are free of parabens and sulfates — and they aren’t just good for your hair, they’re good for the planet. All of our formulas use natural ingredients and are made with renewable energy and packaging minimizing the environmental impact. Follow our hair care guide for the best practices to keep your strands smooth and soft and free of dryness, frizz, and breakage.
As you age, the texture of your hair can change, in some cases resulting in thinning hair and hair loss. Adding some man-made texture is a quick way to disguise this. If your hair is naturally straight, spray a sea salt spray into your hair while it’s damp and let it air-dry for piecey, textured strands. Scrunch your hair with your hands creating height at your crown and disguising any problem areas.