Hair is a protein filament growing from follicles in the dermis or skin. The human body has follicles that produces fine and thick hair. Hair grows from a hair bulb that is lodged in the dermis, except on glabrous skin and mucous membranes. The hair on the human body is for protection against elements and warmth. Eyelashes and eyebrows protect eyes from sweat and dirt. Hair can sometimes be coarse and thick, which is problematic for humans to manage and maintain it. Coarse hair is common and there are various factors that lead to it. However, there are ways through which it can be managed.
What is coarse hair?
Coarse hair means hair that has thick strands and three layers of hair. The layers are cortex, cuticle and medulla. The three layers make it look like a person has a full head of hair. This type takes longer to dry and gets frizzy in humid conditions. The feel of hair texture is rough. It can be straight, curly or frizzy. One can touch the hair strand and figure if they have coarse hair or not. If the hair strand is thicker than the sewing thread, it is coarse. Coarse hair is very different from thick hair. Thickness refers to the density of hair on the head, i.e. the number of follicles on the scalp. Whereas coarse hair strand has a larger has circumference. Dry hair can also be coarse because hair care hasn’t been sufficient.
What are the causes of coarse hair?
Hereditary genes or medical issues can be one of the coarse hair causes. A person’s ethnicity and family background will influence the hair type. Inherited genes can also lead to coarse hair. Underproduction or overproduction of hormones is one of the most common coarse hair causes. Tumor’s and Pituitary Cushing’s have been linked to symptoms of coarse hair. Medicines prescribed to treat certain conditions may cause it too. An underactive thyroid gland has also been seen to lead to it. Hair can be coarse and dry at the same time and there are external causes which may lead to that. Health issues or a bad diet, harsh hair products or heat styling will cause dry hair which may become coarse overtime.
How to soften coarse hair?
Managing coarse hair is not easy and it’s important to take care of your body while you try to soften it. Keeping yourself well hydrated is the first step towards soft hair. It’s the same way when your lips are dry and no matter what you do, they won’t heal unless your body is well hydrated.
Spray a water-based spritz and top with oil on the hair surface. The oil will prevent the water from evaporating. Wash and deep condition it weekly at least. Some days just apply conditioner and rinse your hair. You can go for shampoo sometimes as its cleansing agents will strip your hair of moisture which increases the chances of hair being coarse. Because coarse hair is often dry, many advise moisturizers to help with it. A few natural moisturizers, in the form of masks, will be gentle on hair and moisturize it as well.
Banana Avocado Mask for Coarse Hair–
Mash a banana with avocado and almond oil to make a paste. Apply on hair and scalp and wash off an hour later with shampoo. Banana will strengthen hair and avocado is a great moisturizer.
Egg Mask –
The egg has been traditionally used to soften hair and is a good coarse hair treatment. It has lecithin and proteins that do the trick. Mix 3 eggs in raw form with some honey and olive oil. Apply on the head and wash off in half an hour.
Banana Baby Food and Honey Mask for Thick Hair –
mix a quarter cup of honey, olive oil, blackstrap molasses with 1 tsp apple cider vinegar and 3 jars of banana baby food. Apply to wet hair, cover with a shower cap and leave on for half an hour. Wash and condition normally. Honey and banana will moisturize the hair well.
Henna and Green Tea Mask for Coarse & Thick Hair–
Mix 200 grams of henna with 2 tablespoons honey. Soak 4 teabags in 2 cups of hot water, then use the water in the henna mixture. Apply the mixture on washed and conditioned, damp hair. Cover with a plastic cap and keep it on for an hour or so. Rinse with water and apply conditioner.
Coconut Milk and Yogurt Mask –
Mix a can of coconut milk with 3 tablespoons of yogurt, some honey and some oil. Apply on hair and scalp. Wash off after half an hour. Coconut milk and yogurt both are excellent moisturizers that will soften coarse hair.
What are some coarse hair treatments you can try?
Dry coarse hair is often the result of bad hair care practices. It can be hereditary too, but it can be softened using natural products. More than often harsh chemicals, hot irons and the like damage hair. One can try the following coarse hair treatments to treat coarse, dry hair and get the desired texture.
The key rule in softening hair is moisturizing. Natural oils like coconut, olive or jojoba will provide the needed moisture to the hair and scalp. A warm oil treatment once a week can work wonders.
Repair your hair cuticles by restoring the ceramides. Mix a teaspoon of wheat germ oil into your shampoo and massage one teaspoon into your hair before washing.
Improve Your Diet-
Eat balanced meals to get good hair. Sufficient water, natural oils and fresh fruits will repair your hair through the body – internally. This kind of treatment is long-lasting.
It is important to give some love and attention to your hair sometimes. Use masks weekly to get the desired consistency in your hair. Yogurt, honey and oils make great hair masks for thick hair.
No Hot Water-
Hot water dries skin and hair naturally. That is why one must use cold or lukewarm water to wash hair. The drier your hair is the coarser and brittle it can become.
Relax On Ironing or Styling Hair Often-
Curling or straightening irons, dry the hair a lot. Do not use them regularly. If you do use them on occasion, use the lowest setting and apply heat protection serums. Styling your hair into tight dos all the time will damage cuticles and lead to problems.
How to get thick and glossy hair?
Once you have started working on coarse hair, the texture and quality will improve immensely. However, thick hair means a thick mane – meaning more hair follicles producing hair. Hair fall is natural, but an excess of it can be problematic. There are treatments that are effective in curbing hair fall and a change in hair care will strengthen your strands and stimulate hair growth. Cosmetic procedures and a multitude of medical and hair products claim to work on thinning hair or hair fall. You can consult with a doctor for a medical option. But if you want to go natural, as it doesn’t have any side effects, try one of the following masks:
Aloe Vera has known enzymes that boost hair growth while making it shiny and glossy. Mix raw Aloe Vera gel with hot olive oil. Apply this mixture for 15 minutes and then wash off. Do this at least 4 times a week.
Onion Juice for Glossy Hair-
Onion juice as a remedy for thick strong hair has been long known. The juice promotes hair growth and blood circulation. For best results, you must use small red onions. Extract juice of 2 onions and add 2 tablespoons of coconut oil and 1 tablespoon of honey. Add half a teaspoon of lemon extract to mixture and apply on the scalp and strands. Keep on for half an hour and wash off. Use this three times in a month for good results.
There are many more masks that you can try with the ingredients in your kitchen like fenugreek, nettle tea or eggs. Try one or more of these hair masks for thick hair and you will be pleasantly surprised.
The natural remedies will work over time and you will see results after prolonged use only. Meanwhile, there are a few chemical-based products in the market that deal with coarse hair. You can try them too, but each hair type reacts differently to a product. Coarse hair may be problematic, but it isn’t a big health problem and can be managed with a little patience and good hair care regime.