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What is Coarse Hair: Do You Have It & How to Care for It

3 mins

Iulia Claudia Dumitru

Coarse hair got misunderstood: discover what is coarse hair, what it’s not, if you have this hair type, what to avoid & what to do in terms of hair care.

What is coarse hair? 

Is coarse hair good or bad? 

Somehow, coarse hair got the reputation of damaged hair. Still, while it can be dry or rough, coarse hair doesn’t have to be dry or unhealthy. 

It’s just a hair type. And as with all hair types, it needs proper care. 

We’re talking about what qualifies as coarse hair, what helps, and what you should never do to your tresses if you have this hair type.  

Table of Contents:

  • How do you know if you have coarse hair?
  • What is coarse hair?
  • Does coarse hair mean dry hair?
  • Is coarse hair thick hair?
  • Is coarse hair the same as curly hair?
  • Does coarse hair need moisture?
  • Can you soften coarse hair?
  • Should you choose a special shampoo for coarse hair?
  • What type of conditioner do you use on coarse hair?
  • How do you moisturize coarse hair?
  • What kind of styling products go better with coarse hair?
  • What habits help your coarse hair?
  • What to avoid doing if you have coarse hair?

How do you know if you have coarse hair?

Hair can be described in many ways from many perspectives. Somehow, coarse hair got the rep of bad hair. 

While it can become brittle or rough, such is the case with all hair types. So, what does it mean to have coarse hair? 

With this hair type, the hair shaft has the widest diameter. So, coarse hair is not about texture, as it is about size and dimension. 

coarse hair, how to know your hair type

If you want to determine coarse hair, pick up a strand of hair. Do you feel it? Is it thicker than a thread of fabric? 

Then you have coarse hair! If you don’t feel it, you likely have fine hair.

What is coarse hair?

Coarse hair is rougher to touch. It has thicker hair shafts, and a bigger strand diameter opposed to having dense hair follicles. 

Coarse hair can be prone to frizz and tangles, but it can be easy to manage as well. 

Does coarse hair mean dry hair?

Coarse hair strands may be characterized by a tendency to become dry. Because of its wide width, coarse hair loses moisture quickly.

If it doesn’t get the conditioning it requires, coarse hair can become dry, damaged, weak, brittle, and develop split ends.

split ends, dry hair

Is coarse hair thick hair?

Yes, but no! 

Hear us out! 

Thick hair is referred to as dense hair (how much hair you have on your head). Coarse hair is mainly the strand with a thick diameter. 

While the appearance may seem the same, the treatments vary. 

Is coarse hair the same as curly hair?

Coarse hair can be curly, straight, or wavy. You can have tight curls and coarse hair, or straight locks, with a coarse feel. 

Does coarse hair need moisture?

Yes! 

Coarse hair can quickly become dehydrated. To prevent damage, you need to add emollient and humectant products to your routine. 

With this type of hair, sealing in the moisture within the cuticle is key. 

Can you soften coarse hair?

This hair type can be stubborn and unruly when it comes to managing, but coarse hair can be softened. It can have that movement, bounce, volume, and manageability you desire. 

And, it all starts in the shower!

How to shampoo and condition coarse hair, you’re wondering? 

how to soften coarse hair


First, focus on natural ingredients. And what your hair needs! 

Here is how to care for coarse hair, from washing to styling:

Should you choose a special shampoo for coarse hair?

We recommend you use shampoo for dry hair. Shampoos, by definition, open up the cuticle and strip the hair of its oils. 

A moisturizing shampoo will replenish the strand, preventing frizz and fragility. 

What type of conditioner do you use on coarse hair?

After cleansing, you need a conditioner with antioxidant properties. Such products prevent damage and add nourishment to the strand. 

The texture and consistency of conditioners are essential too. Creams and serums with conditioning properties help the cuticle flatten.

Protein-based treatments are also vital to taming frizz and protecting coarse hair from breakage and damage. 

How do you moisturize coarse hair?

Just like any type of hair, coarse tresses need deep conditioners and a leave-in conditioner every once in a while. 

 Hair Revitalizer Spray, wow Hair Revitalizer Spray, wow hair care

Look for natural treatments that hydrate, nourish, and soften rough hair. Coconut, olive, avocado, jojoba oils, honey, and aloe vera are some of the best ingredients for coarse hair. 

What kind of styling products go better with coarse hair?

The great thing about coarse hair is that it has volume and body. 

The annoying thing… well, the same! 

Rough hair can be time-consuming when it comes to styling. If you want a smooth texture with no frizz, prepare to invest time and patience. 

When it comes to styling products, avoid silicones. While products containing silicones tame the frizz instantly, in the long run, they dehydrate the strand and create a dryer, dull, brittle aspect.

What habits help your coarse hair?

After ruling out hormonal imbalances, removing heat styling, and diminishing environmental exposure, does your hair still feel coarse? 

If this is the case, you’re dealing with naturally coarse hair. 

Here are some tips & tricks that make or break your routine:

  • Applying rich cream conditioners, masks, and treatments will boost your hair’s manageability and leave it soft.
  • Using co-washing, washing your hair only with conditioner, will help, especially if your coarse hair becomes extra dry. 
    washing hair, how to wash your hair
  • Prevent frizz sleeping on silk or satin pillowcases. That will not cause damage, nor will it make your hair even rougher.
  • While topical treatments help coarse hair, don’t forget about what you put inside. Vitamins A, E, C, D, biotin, niacin, and minerals such as Iron work miracles for coarse hair. 
  • Trim your locks regularly to prevent split ends and hair breakage. 
  • Choose a flat or round brush with ample spaces between bristles.
  • Use hair rinsing with ingredients that leave the hair smooth and manageable. Apple cider vinegar and essential oils such as Lavender, Rose, or Ylang-Ylang work best.

What to avoid doing if you have coarse hair?

In with the good, out with the bad! 

Here’s the bad that make your coarse hair show its worst sides. 

  • If you have to use heat styling tools (and we know coarse hair may need styling in small sections, making it prone to breakage), use them rarely. And choose models made out of silicone. Always make sure to apply a heat-protective product.
    heat styling tools, hair styling tools
  • If you have coarse hair, avoid alcohol-based formulas, whatever you do! While they can seem to tame your hair, they will remove every drop of moisture from your tresses. With already prone to dryness and breakage hair, that’s the last thing you want.
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Iulia Claudia Dumitru

I feel happy when I get to tell meaningful stories. About people. About the world. About life. About what people need to feel good. Healthy food, a balanced lifestyle, a grateful approach to relationships with others and ourselves. That is how I keep myself grounded and purposeful. That is how I aim to contribute: striving to make ourselves the best we can. Creating life in the little things. Living every day with the joy, wonder, and curiosity of a child. Trying to #seeKbeauty. Inside and out.

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Author: Iulia Claudia Dumitru

Latest posts:

Iulia Claudia Dumitru

I feel happy when I get to tell meaningful stories. About people. About the world. About life. About what people need to feel good. Healthy food, a balanced lifestyle, a grateful approach to relationships with others and ourselves. That is how I keep myself grounded and purposeful. That is how I aim to contribute: striving to make ourselves the best we can. Creating life in the little things. Living every day with the joy, wonder, and curiosity of a child. Trying to #seeKbeauty. Inside and out.
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