Styling Thick Hair: Everything You Need to Know

woman thick hair

While many people long for thick hair, those who have it often find it to be unruly, frizzy, and unmanageable. Sure, that volume and bounce may be a blessing on those rare good hair days but, the rest of the time, it can require a fair bit of work.

Here’s the good news – HerStyler is here to make your life a little easier. Read on as we talk you through everything you need to know about styling thick hair – our tips will soon have you loving and appreciating your mane!

Start With the Right Haircut

Let’s start by talking about your haircut – something that can hugely influence how good your thick hair looks. 

Firstly, length is your best friend. While those with thick hair can rock just about any style they desire, the longer your hair is, the more weight it will bear. This will help to pull your hair downward, as opposed to shorter and lighter hairstyles that can cause thick hair to flare out horizontally instead.

Layers are also a great choice. Not only will they lighten your mane up but they will also give your hair some extra movement and texture. Whether your thick hair is straight, curly, or somewhere in between, layers can be a game-changer.

If you’re willing to try something different, consider an undercut. This removes hair from the nape of the neck. It will not only lighten up your mane but will also leave your locks looking stunningly edgy!

Finally, pay attention to your part. If you often wear this to the side, this will only leave your hair looking and feeling even thicker. Try a center part instead, which will distribute the weight of your hair evenly across both sides of your face.

Use a Moisturizing Conditioner After Shampooing

Argan Oil & Biotin Conditioner

Thick hair can be prone to dryness, making a rich conditioner an essential part of your hair care routine. The right formula will give your strands a much smoother and softer finish while helping to eliminate the look of frizz.

Ideally, pick a conditioner that caters to your hair’s specific needs. For example, if you’re struggling with the appearance of split ends and damage, the HerStyler Argan Oil & Biotin Conditioner would be a good choice. Both argan oil and biotin are known for how they can repair the look of damage and leave the hair feeling stronger and more resilient.

Meanwhile, if your hair has been looking dull and lackluster, the HerStyler Rosehip & Sage Conditioner will leave it with a much shinier and healthier appearance. 

If you already have a moisturizing conditioner that you love using, check to make sure that it isn’t a volumizing formula. As you can imagine, this would only leave your hair looking even fuller and wider, which you probably don’t want! Thick hair tends to have enough volume of its own – it doesn’t usually need any extra help. 

Learn How to Correctly Detangle

Detangle Brush

Since thick hair can often be prone to tangles, knowing how to correctly and safely detangle your hair is crucial. Getting this wrong can lead to breakages and other forms of damage.

So, how should you be detangling your hair?

The task begins in the shower, after you’ve applied your conditioner. Use your fingers to gently separate any tangles or knots that you can feel. Once you’ve worked through the worst of it, reach for a fine-toothed comb and run this through your locks. Start at the ends of your hair and slowly move on up as you remove the tangles from your lower lengths.

Once you’re out of the shower, a dedicated detangling brush can be useful. These brushes feature flexible bristles that will help you to release any knots and tangles without too much pulling or tugging. If you’ve already made a start on your tangles in the shower, then a detangling brush should be able to complete the job very quickly. 

Dry Your Hair Carefully to Avoid Frizz

It doesn’t take much for thick hair to turn frizzy. This is why you need to be very careful with your strands when doing anything with them, such as drying your hair. If you tend to vigorously scrub at your hair with a towel in an attempt to get rid of excess moisture, you’re really not doing your hair any favors. All of that friction will only promote frizz while leaving your strands more susceptible to tangling.

What should you do instead?

Firstly, invest in a microfiber towel. Microfiber is far more absorbent than regular terrycloth, meaning that it will soak up moisture so much faster. This is essential when dealing with thick hair that’s prone to damage, as the longer your hair remains wet, the more brittle and damaged it will become.

Once you have your microfiber towel, don’t start rubbing it over your head. Instead, take sections of your hair in the towel and gently squeeze them to wring out and absorb excess water. Move your way around your head in this fashion, until you’ve worked on the entirety of your hair.

Then, give your hair some time to air dry. Once it’s about 75-80% dry, reach for your blow dryer and finish the job.

Smooth Down Frizzy Locks With a Hair Serum

hair serum

Your drying technique will have a huge impact on how frizzy your thick hair looks. However, even if your methods are flawless, you could still end up with a small amount of frizz.

This is where a hair serum comes in. A hair serum can be a godsend for thick hair. Not only will it smooth away the look of frizz but it will also leave your hair feeling sleeker and more manageable. 

The best part is that hair serums are pretty multifunctional products. Apply one while your hair is damp and you’ll immediately have it looking smoother and shinier, while also leaving it feeling protected against heat and environmental damage. You could also apply a hair serum once your hair is dry. This will, again, flatten down any frizzy strands while making your hair feel much more manageable.

If you don’t yet have a go-to hair serum, we have a few HerStyler formulas that you can choose from. The Argan Oil Hair Serum is one of our bestsellers. Not only is argan oil revered for its hydrating capabilities, but studies have proven that this ingredient is capable of keeping the hair feeling protected against oxidative damage. 

The Marula Hair Nourishing Serum would be another great option. Marula oil is packed with fatty acids, which leave thick hair feeling healthier. It’s not a greasy oil either, so it won’t leave your locks looking oily.

Turn to Your Flat Iron to Give Your Thick Hair a Sleeker Finish

Pink Lace Fusion

If you have thick hair that often feels unmanageable, a good flat iron is a must. This will enable you to give your hair a much sleeker finish, making it look a little less thick than it actually is.

With that said, there’s no denying that straightening thick hair can be a time-consuming process. You’ll have so many more sections to work through than someone with thin hair.

To speed things up, look for a straightener with wider plates, such as the Pink Lace Fusion from HerStyler. With 1.25” plates instead of 1”, you’ll be able to straighten more hair with each pass. The fact that these plates are made from ceramic is a huge plus as well. Ceramic is known for being the gentlest of flat iron plate materials, saving you from causing visible damage to your locks whenever you straighten them. 

Experiment With Different Hairstyles

While some hairstyles can make thick hair look big and poofy, others have the opposite effect. They make the most of that thickness while keeping things manageable. Here are just a few hairstyles worth experimenting with if you have thick hair:

Different Types of Buns

Buns are a great way to keep your hair off your face and, even better, they don’t require much time to create With so many different types of buns out there, you could rock a different one each day!

A messy bun, for example, is perfect for when you need a casual look. It will give your mane an effortlessly chic vibe, which is always a good thing!

Alternatively, go for a sleek high bun. Slicking your hair back at your roots will really emphasize that height while also taming the natural volume of your hair.

Different Types of Ponytails

A ponytail is often a go-to hairstyle for people with thick hair. However, try mixing things up a bit by experimenting with different types of ponytails. 

A loose and low ponytail, for example, keeps things casual. Pull out a few tendrils to frame your face and you’ll be able to rock a carefree vibe.

At the opposite end of the scale sits the high ponytail. If your hair is too thick to pull this one off easily, consider creating a double ponytail instead. This involves separating your hair horizontally before tying the lower section off into a ponytail. Then, do the same with the higher section, positioning your elastic band just above the first one that you tied. This will make it look as though you only have a single ponytail, although one that moves and bounces beautifully thanks to your hair’s natural volume.

Different Types of Braids

One of the advantages of having thick hair is that you can craft your locks into various types of braids. This is something that people with thinner hair often struggle to do.

While there’s nothing wrong with going for a simple three-strand braid, spend some time getting creative with all of the other braid types out there. A few to try include:

  • A French braid
  • A Dutch braid
  • Micro braids
  • A fishtail braid
  • A rope braid
  • Boxer braids
  • A crown braid
  • Milkmaid braids


While there’s no getting away from the difficulties that can come from having thick hair, there are also plenty of ways to embrace all of that volume so that your locks look their very best. From using the right hair care products to figuring out which hairstyles work best for you, follow the tips that we’ve shared above and you’ll soon come to appreciate the thickness of your mane!

Click here to check out more bestselling hair care products and styling tools from HerStyler.

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