My family is blessed with the thick hair gene. My 80-year-old dad always has thick, crisp white hair, and the women in my family need at least two stylists every time we have a blow-dry. Growing up, I had Rapunzel-like hair all the way down to my buttocks. My mom would spend hours – or what seemed like hours – untangling and gently brushing my hair into strands or pigtails, before securing it with some velvet Alice band, or those plastic clips that all ’90s babies have. will remember. Needless to say, she cried when I cut off half of it when I was 12 (sorry mom).
Fast forward to almost 30, and while thick hair is a blessing, it’s most definitely a curse, too. Styling is a colossal struggle, especially on days when I hit snooze one too many times (read: most days) and don’t have time to do anything other than put it back in a bun. disorder. I still run into the problem that all girls with thick hair can relate to: brushing just makes it fluffy; no amount of conditioner is ever enough; and the style just takes hours.
So I called in famous hairstylist Michael Van Clarke to help me definitively address my thick hair issues, from the best haircut to the right hairbrush and the right products.
What’s the best haircut for thick hair?
“Thick, healthy hair is usually not the problem,” says Michael, “often it’s the haircut; and the roughness or lack of flexibility that makes thick hair – especially thicker hair – difficult to style. “
The key, according to Michael, lies in the precision layering. “Single-length A-haircuts on already thick hair make it so difficult – shaping in long layers is the answer, especially for long or mid-length cuts. It is best done when the hair is dry, as opposed to a traditional wet cutting technique, as this is when the hair is in its natural three-dimensional state and its unique characteristics and type can be taken. into account.
Michael calls this approach “Diamond Dry Cut”; dry sculpt to see the shape of the hair evolve. This is especially useful for thick hair, as precise layering can add movement and balance, to ensure that the hair is not too heavy on the bottom and “pulled” towards the ends, making it look too heavy at the bottom. flat and lifeless.
The precision layering also cuts home styling times in half, says Michael. “Previously, my clients had standard length haircuts that were totally inappropriate on such thick, textured hair. Their styling time at home has gone from a full hour to just 10 minutes.
What Kind of Hairbrush Should I Use?
“Poor quality hairbrushes can cause enormous damage, both from the friction the bristles create on the hair shaft, to the snags, tangles and breakage that a poorly designed brush will cause.” , explains Michael. “Bristle type, bristle density and variation in bristle length are all critical to how the brush works. “
High-quality brushes come at high prices, but they’re one of the best investments you can make in your hair – a good hairbrush should last for years, if not a lifetime.
Avoid brushing wet hair (stick with a wide-toothed comb) and try not to brush too much, says Michael. Long, thick hair can benefit from a flat brush with a round brush for styling. Nylon bristles are great for detangling, as is boar bristle, which uses your scalp’s natural oils and detangles gently without harsh pulling. There are also many synthetic and vegan options on the market.
What are the best products for thick hair?
When it comes to keeping thick hair healthy and manageable, the key is to find nourishing products that don’t weigh hair down. “Products that properly hydrate and soften the hair will give the look a smoother and shinier vibe,” says Michael. “Avoid silicone ingredients that displace water, making hair more prone to frizz and breakage. Look for dimethicone or cyclopentasiloxane on the ingredient list, or other versions of “-cone” or “-conol”.