Women with coarse hair know that this texture can be both a blessing and a curse. When styled right, the lushness and volume of this hair type make heads turn and eyes envy. But, there’s always a catch, as to achieve that perfect look, you need to get through the seven circles of prepping and ages of styling. Sounds like a nightmare? Let’s turn on the night-light.


What Is Coarse Hair and How to Deal With It: Top Tip Infographic

This guide is here to make your tough hair routine easier. Besides countless tips on determining and taming the unruly hair type, we’ve selected the top rated products that will help you manage your coarse locks.

What Is Coarse Hair?


First of all, let us answer the number-one question bothering many ladies: “what is coarse hair?.” Many people, for obvious reasons, tend to confuse it with thick hair. Yet, despite common misconceptions, this hair type has nothing to do with curly, frizzy, and kinky hair. In fact, it’s a hair type that has thick hair shaft with the widest diameter compared to other textures. Unlike any other types of hair, this one contains all the three layers of the hair shaft. In simple words, a coarse strand is as thick as a sewing thread.

Ask An Expert: Is it OK to Have Coarse Hair?
Gege Uboma
Expertise: Trichology, Afro Curly Hair Expert
Certainly, having coarse hair is more than okay—it's a natural attribute to be celebrated! Coarse hair boasts a robust structure, impressive volume, and the admirable ability to maintain styles with ease. The focus should be on cherishing your hair's innate texture, enhancing its splendor with nurturing care and adept styling methods. By employing hydrating treatments and safeguarding your hair with protective products, you ensure that your coarse hair remains not just healthy, but also exudes vitality.


How To Determine Your Hair Type & The Difference Between Coarse, Thick, And Curly Hair


Since coarse hair meaning splits into many different misunderstandings, it’s better to figure out what hair type you have before jumping into conclusions. There are three basics determining your hair type: the diameter, density, and elasticity of your hair.


  • To determine the diameter, pick a strand and hold it between your fingers.
  • If you can’t feel a strand while holding it, you have fine hair.
  • If you can feel it between your fingers, you have medium textured hair.
  • If you can feel a rough texture of the strand while holding it with your fingers, you have coarse hair.


  • To find out the density, grab a handful of your hair, put it to the side and look at your scalp.
  • If you see the scalp clearly, you have fine hair.
  • If the scalp is slightly visible, you have medium textured hair.
  • If it’s not visible at all, you have coarse hair.


  • When determining how elastic your hair is, you will also find out whether it’s healthy or not. To do so, pick a hair strand and carefully stretch it between your index fingers
  • If it breaks instantly, you have fine hair with low elasticity
  • If it stretches well and then returns to its initial length, your hair has high elasticity, which is a characteristic of both thick and coarse hair
  • Coarse strands don’t break easily by default, so if your hair holds its shape firmly, it’s considered coarse.

There’s no need in fine vs coarse hair comparison, as the differences are pretty clear. But when it comes to other, thicker hair types, people get confused. So let’s sort things out.

Every single strand is rough to the touch and has a very thick circumference.

Ask An Expert: Why is My Hair Wiry?
Gege Uboma
Expertise: Trichology, Afro Curly Hair Expert
Hair wiriness often stems from genetics that dictate your hair's structure, giving it a resilient yet sometimes coarse feel. However, wiriness can also be a sign that your hair is yearning for moisture. When your hair doesn't receive enough hydration, it adopts a rougher texture. External elements like humidity and pollution, coupled with daily hair rituals, contribute to this state. To turn the tide, introduce a suite of hydrating and smoothing treatments designed for your hair's unique needs into your regimen. This approach will help soften the wiry texture, lending your hair a supple and manageable quality.

Thick Hair

The thickness of hair depends on the number of follicles growing from the scalp. Keep in mind that thick hair is not about the size of each strand, that’s why it can have a medium or fine texture.


Curly/Kinky Hair


The words ‘curly’ and ‘kinky’ describe the pattern of the hair type, but not the texture itself. In general, the texture of curls can be fine, medium or coarse. By the way, it’s a myth that kinky hair is always coarse. You’re most likely to meet a girl with coarse curly hair, mainly because kinky-haired ladies have the most fine-textured hair type.

Causes Of Coarse Hair

Some ladies have coarse locks by default, and some may cause it with regular heat styling or harsh environmental conditions. For example, the lack of calcium, as well as hormonal imbalance, are the most widely known causes of coarse texture. Also, lots of styling products contain SLS that dries hair out and leads to breakage. Overstyling your hair with heat is another reason why your hair got coarse: it strips off the natural moisture.


How To Take Care Of Your Coarse Hair

You may come across numerous magic ways on how to make coarse hair soft and silky, but there are the reliable, well-tested fundamentals to rely on.

Don’t Go Cheap With Hair Products


Investing in high-quality hair products is the key step to making your coarse locks behave. Make sure that the shampoos and conditioners you buy are designed specifically for coarse hair. Such products should contain antioxidants and fatty acids that will keep your hair moisturized and prevent tangled hair.

Involve Co-Washing


Co-washing is an irreplaceable part of curly and frizzy hair care routine. To co-wash your hair, you simply need to wash your hair with a conditioner instead of your regular shampoo. As a matter of fact, this method is the best way on how to soften coarse hair.


Oil Your Hair Regularly


Coarse texture is known for its lack of moisture, so oiling your hair regularly is essential. Use naturally composed oil masks, leaving them overnight a couple of times a week to provide your hair with moisture.

Don’t Skip Trimming Appointments


Hairstyles for thick coarse hair, whatever they are, look at their best when the hair is kept in the proper condition. Because of the lack of moisture, your hair can become fragile and thus unmanageable. Get rid of split ends every 7 weeks to keep it healthy.

Does Your Hair Change Every 7 Years?

The seven-year cycle is a common hair myth that broadly touches upon the complex, intrinsic changes our hair undergoes, but as a dedicated hair care specialist for over 14 years, Gege can tell you the reality is much more nuanced. Our hair is in a perpetual state of evolution, guided by the intrinsic growth cycles: anagen, catagen, and telogen, which vary greatly in duration among individuals. A single hair strand's life can extend from 2 to even 7 years in the anagen phase alone before it transitions and eventually sheds.

These cycles are influenced by a rich tapestry of factors, with genetics laying the foundational blueprint. Hormonal shifts, such as those during puberty, pregnancy, or menopause, can significantly remodel hair's texture and growth patterns. The impact of nutrition, stress, health conditions, and even the environment also play their roles, intertwining to redefine our hair over time.

Throughout her career, the transformation Gege has witnessed in her clients' hair textures and the adjustments needed in their hair care regimes have underscored a vital point: hair is as dynamic as life itself, always adapting, always renewing. Thus, while there isn't a strict seven-year mark where one can expect a universal reset, this period serves as a metaphor for the gradual yet inevitable change that is a hallmark of our hair's natural journey.

The key takeaway is to remain responsive to your hair's evolving character—maintaining a routine that addresses its current state with nourishing hydration, a well-rounded diet, and mindful care. By doing so, you'll find your hair not only reflects your body's history but also its resilience and capacity for renewal.

As an expert and a coach, Gege Uboma stands by the belief that understanding and working harmoniously with your hair's natural cycles is essential for its health and beauty, thus embracing the natural ebb and flow of change with grace and knowledge.


The Best Products For Coarse Hair

Now, it’s time for you to check out the most recommended products for your hair type. Find the best shampoo for coarse hair to get the most out of it!

It's A 10 Potion 10 Miracle Repair Daily Conditioner


Being rich in vitamins and nutrients, this product will protect your hair from drying, giving it the well-balanced feel all day long.

It's A 10 Haircare Silk Express Miracle Silk Hair Mask


If you want to wear short hairstyles for thick coarse hair, this mask is a must. It’s meant to provide a soft, silky texture that will make your hair more manageable for styling.


It's A 10 Silk Express Miracle Silk In10sives Leave-In Conditioner


This cutie is a hero that comes when your hair gets as dry as never before. Having properties of real silk protein, the conditioner can instantly hydrate even the thirstiest locks.

It's A 10 Miracle Defrizzing Styling Gel


Modern hairstyles for thick coarse wavy hair are so tempting, but frizz stands on your way to making them real? Just leave it up to this defrizzing styling gel.

Drybar Money Maker Flexible Hold Hairspray


With this hair spray, short haircuts thick coarse hair usually doesn’t hold steady will become totally available for you. Moreover, instead of heavy and sticky texture, this product gives a light and smooth feel through the day.


Klorane Dry Shampoo With Nettle For Oily Hair And Scalp


Need a quick shot to bring your hair into the decent shape? Look no further.

Verb Ghost Hairspray Weightless Medium Hold + Brushable Texture


Having an absolutely light, hydrated feel while securing your hairdo is possible if you have this hair spray. Besides, its absolutely natural composition makes it suitable for hairstyles for coarse thick hair for women over 50.

Living Proof Perfect Hair Day Dry Shampoo


If your hair is chemically and/or color treated, this shampoo is your first aid for quick and harmless touch-ups.


Bamboo Smooth Anti-Humidity Hair Spray, Flexible Hold


Finally found the perfect hairstyle for thick coarse hair but are afraid of high humidity rate? Catch the lifeline! This hair spray blocks the frizz, working as a barrier to humid conditions.

Caviar Anti-Aging Replenishing Moisture CC Cream


A product that acts as a leave-in conditioner and styling cream at the same time, who could ask for more?

Coarse hair takes time to get tamed. But when you know the right approach, dealing with it turns out to be a piece of cake. Today, you’ve learned everything you should know to finally sort all the coarse things out. Bear in mind the basics, and your hair won’t ever disappoint you!

FAQ: Coarse Hair

Can coarse hair be straight?

The best way to tell whether you have coarse hair is to feel it between your fingers and see if it has a rough, thick texture. Coarse hair can be straight, as it is the case with many Asian hair types, or wavy or frizzy, as it is the case with some naturally red hair types.

What nationality has coarse hair?

Coarse hair type is quite frequent among African-Americans. African hair is not just wiry. It is also coarse.

Does hair get more coarse as you age?

Hair becomes drier and coarser as it ages. This is a biological process. Due to hormonal fluctuations, female clients at the “balzac age” may start to detect aged hair in the form of textural change.

  • Wondering what is coarse hair? Here, we`re sharing how to care for coarse hair. Source
  • Learn more about the products, ingredients, and treatments that can help coarse hair look its best. Source