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To Hair With Love / HAIR CARE  / Healthy Hair  / What Is Coarse Hair? How To Determine If You Have It
10 May

What Is Coarse Hair? How To Determine If You Have It

woman with coarse hair and a horse

While I was trying to define my hair type, I came across several articles about coarse hair. I believe that a lot of people confuse coarse hair with curly/kinky or dry damaged hair. Of course, coarse hair can be curly, but it can even be straight or wavy.  And yes, coarse hair can be frizzy and damaged, but not by definition.

So, what is coarse hair?

The texture of the hair is determined by the width of the hair shaft.  Based on texture, hair can be:

  • Fine
  • Medium (or Normal)
  • Coarse

Coarse hair has the largest shaft diameter which makes it thick and strong.


The diameter of the hair shaft is probably the most important factor for choosing the right hair products for your hair.


How to determine if you have coarse hair?

There are some simple ways that could help you define if you have coarse hair texture.

1) If your hair takes more than an hour to dry.

2) If your hair can be easily seen on a surface that’s the opposite color of your hair. (I see mine on the white tiles of my floor!)

3) If your hair shaft feels strong and wiry(Sometimes my hair feels so strong like a horse’s mane!)

4) If an average-sized elastic band needs to be wrapped only once around your hair.

5) If you lay a single hair next to a piece of sewing thread and it’s thicker.

coarse hair thead test

Well, my hair shaft doesn’t look as thick as the sewing thread in the image but it’s thick alright. Note that the darker color of the thread, makes a higher contrast on the paper than my hair shaft.

I should also pinpoint that I definitely cover all the other 4 points. Not to mention that it takes forever for my hair to dry!

There are also days that my hair decides to play it smooth and the hair shaft feels like normal! 


What are the best products for coarse hair?

Coarse hair is the strongest of all hair textures, because it has all three layers of the hair shaft, therefore the largest diameter.

When your coarse hair is healthy, then you probably have the most desired hair by women, which is thick and strong.

Thick hair is more heat-tolerant, it can hold hairstyles and endure so much more than fine hair as you can imagine!

However, coarse hair can break too.

So don’t take its strength for granted! If the hair shaft is damaged then it’s prone to dehydration. If you badly manipulate it, then the cuticles will be damaged and your hair will become rough, frizzy with split ends and lack of moisture. The result will be dry damaged hair that is hard to touch.

What Is Coarse Hair? How To Determine If You Have It

All you need to do is to choose the right hair products
to help your hair keep its moisture.

  • Use shampoos and conditioners that are labeled as hydrating, moisturizing or nourishing. Avoid hair care products that promise to deliver thicker hair, except if you need more volume.
  • Pre-poo hot oil treatments and restructuring masks with keratin protein for dry damaged hair must be used regularly.
  • Take breaks from hot styling tools, and air-dry your hair whenever it’s possible.
  • Use oil-based styling hair products, such as argan oil or rich smoothing creams, anti-frizz serums and heat protectants.



One more factor that can help you decide which types of hair products to use is the density of your hair.

Some people confuse texture thickness with density.

Density is defined by the number of shafts per square inch.

If you pick up a hair lock at the side of your hair and you don’t see any scalp then your hair density is thick, therefore you need smoothing hair products. On the other hand, if you see some scalp then you might need a product to give your hair some volume on the roots.


I have coarse wavy hair with dry ends.

  • Recently I made my own natural moisturizer that my hair thinks it’s fabulous! It is easy to make and doesn’t cost. So I highly recommend it if you have coarse damaged hair that is hard to manage.
  • I also use a pre-poo olive oil hair treatment (it’s the one with the milk and honey) that makes my hair shaft very smooth.


Do you have coarse hair? Did you use another way to figure it out on your own? What hair products do you use?

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I am deeply and profoundly passionate for learning, writing and sharing my knowledge. My other passion (…obsession!) is beautiful hair. I love seeing lovely women around me having divine and admirable hair. I take hair care seriously but not out of vanity. Hair is not only beauty, is health also. A positive mindset plus a healthy body can result in beautiful hair.

  • Caroline McQueen

    I definitely have coarse hair! I have to towel dry it thoroughly before I blow-dry it, otherwise it takes FOREVER!

    May 11, 2016 at 2:25 pm Reply
  • Lexi

    Interesting! I always said mine was coarse but now I’m rethinking that 🙂

    May 12, 2016 at 2:51 pm Reply
  • Genevieve Donaldson

    Awesome post Trinity! I definitely have coarse hair – it’s a very similar thickness to sewing thread, and sometimes it takes so long to dry that I’ll put a towel over my pillow when I go to bed at night (my hair’s quite thick, so I usually let it air-dry while I’m doing other things ). I also liked your tips about moisturising – I’m off to check out your natural moisturiser post now Have a great week!

    May 15, 2016 at 7:34 am Reply

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