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How to Manage Coarse Hair

Tips on Taming Your Tough Mane

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So, you ended up with a big, thick, head of coarse and unruly hair. What's a dude to do? I have a client, Adam, who simply tackles his troubled mane by having me buzz his entire head with a number one blade. Looks great on him, too. But what if you don't necessarily want to mow your mop down to stubble? I've got solutions.

First, it's important to realize that coarse hair is often confused with damaged hair. Often, they're not the same. Coarse hair feels rough, it's dull, and it can grow in different directions. Coarse hair can also tend to be very dry. The upside is that coarse hair is, quite often, very healthy and strong. The downside is that this strong and healthy head of hair can be quite the challenging opponent when trying to tame the beast. Here are a few options:

DRY CAREFULLY
One of the most common ways guys damage their hair is by rubbing their head with a towel. When the hair is wet it becomes more susceptible to damage. The hairs get caught in the fibers of the towel and get stretched out damaged. When drying your hair, pat the hair with a towel instead of rubbing your head. This isn't a quick fix as they hair that is already damaged will need to grow out and be cut off for it to go away. Damaged hair really can't be "fixed" as some products claim.

AVOID THINNING
Many barbers and stylists will try to use thinning shears to help reduce the bulk of thick, coarse hair. Mistake. Thinning or texturizing coarse hair can make it look even more coarse. Thinning hair can create lots of shorter pieces which can actually hold up the longer hair and give a bushier look. You also don't need to add texture to coarse hair -- it already has a lot of texture.

USE A MOISTURIZING SHAMPOO AND CONDITIONER
Use of a good moisturizing shampoo and conditioner on a daily basis can help soften coarse hair and add moisture if your hair is dry. Two products I love for this are Paul Mitchell Lavender Mint Moisturizing Shampoo and Paul Mitchell Lavender Mint Moisturizing Conditioner. They're quite effective at nourishing dry, coarse hair. Once per week, you can also try a deep conditioning treatment.

USE THE RIGHT STYLING PRODUCT
One of the biggest challenges to coarse hair is fighting the dryness. To help combat this problem, I like a product that helps lock in moisture. A great pomade is almost always a good option to help moisturize hair and add control and shine. Aveda Men's Pure-Formance Liquid Pomade is a great option. You may also want to try a styling cream with silicone if the pomade is too aggressive for your tastes. A nickel-sized dollop of Redken for Men Get Groomed Finishing Cream should work well.

USE THE RIGHT TOOLS
Using the right tools can help prevent damage to coarse hair. I suggest styling with your fingers or a wide-tooth comb to avoid tugging on the hair and causing damage. Also, stay away from blow-drying as heat can further damage coarse hair. Allow you hair to air-dry as often as possible.

GET A HAIRCUT
Keeping your hair trimmed regularly will remove split ends and help remove the damage caused before you stumbled across this article. You will be following the above tips, right? Of course, finding a barber or stylist who is skilled with coarse hair is essential and choosing the right haircut -- one that works with your hair type -- will make the task of working your coarse hair much easier.

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