I was recently asked a hair care question on Earth Alkemie’s facebook fan page on what I recommend for coarse, very thick, normal hair, that has no body, bounce, and shine. Thanks Tara for the excellent question!
I’m going to suggest some easy DIY recipes, and good ingredients for this hair type. As of this writing, Earth Alkemie is still closed (I carried hair care, skin care, perfumes, and raw ingredients), but I hope to reopen soon (hopefully sometime next year, depending on my health). So for natural vendors I recommend checking out some of the other natural vendors at the all natural beauty website, the anb portal, and anb mall. (I love the anb websites; Earth Alkemie is a partner to all three of the anb websites, and I also write eco living articles for the anb mall, and I am the anb portal’s eco living/DIY Formulating expert. All of the vendors carry fabulous products that are truly natural). Or try Whole Foods for many great natural based brands and ingredients!
Natural ingredients can really benefit the hair whether your hair is thin, thick, coarse, oily or dry, etc. If your hair is very thick, you’ll still need to get monthly trims to thin it out but natural products can help make the hair feel less coarse, and add shine, body, and bounce.
For shampoo, I would try a non-SLS (Sodium Lauryl Sulfate) shampoo. SLS is very drying and irritating. SLS can make hair feel very coarse, since it strips the hair of its natural oils.
Or make your own shampoo using soap nuts. It is so easy making soapnut decoction and you can also use it to cleanse the skin, and for general cleaning and the laundry too!
Another alternative is to use a conditioner to ‘wash’ your hair. A lot of people with thick and coarse hair love doing this. Just use a natural brand conditioner, wet your hair, apply it, and leave it on for a few minutes and rinse well.
My favorite shampoo is using a natural soap like African Black Soap. Many of my customers loved my African Black Soaps, and they will definitely be back when I reopen! But other natural soaps are great for the hair too! Just try to get one that is ‘superfatted’ so its very conditioning.
If you are using a detergent based shampoo, soap, or soapnuts, use a good conditioner. I would use a natural based brand made with natural oils or butters, such as shea butter or coconut oil.
OR you can do a deep conditioning treatment using oils. Oils can help make hair look shiny and soft. Read my recent hair oil article (for fine hair) on how to use oils for hair care. Many of the same principles apply for coarse and thick hair, except you might want to use richer oils. Though I mentioned broccoli oil for fine hair, it does work well for thick and coarse hair too, because it is often used as a natural substitute for silicon products (so it helps soften hair, and helps make it look silky). I mentioned coconut oil in my article–which seems to be great for many hair types. Coconut oil is a heavy oil, and many people with thick and coarse hair love it since it is very emollient and conditioning. I suggest trying some of my other deep conditioning hair treatments I listed in the article. A lot of people with thick and coarse hair love using coconut milk and mayo–both of these recipes are good for many different hair types.
I would also do a hair rinse. When I use hair rinses, they make my hair very bouncy, since many of them remove residues, etc. Try my recipe for a vinegar rinse.
You can try some herbal hair rinses too (most people love vinegar rinses, but personally I prefer herbal rinses. I have fine and thin hair though. But many people with thick and coarse hair like them too). Try lavender or green or white tea.