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Is Thick Natural Hair More Versatile?

Avatar • Jan 19, 2011

Reader Amanda (not pictured above) says;

The question I would like to pose is whether or not the natural hair community believes thicker natural hair (regardless of texture) is more versatile. I find myself literally gawking at photos of naturals with thicker hair. Dare I say it, I almost feel envious. I feel like I could never get away with, let alone achieve, the hairstyles I see women with thick natural hair wear. I even felt this way when I was relaxed. I really would like to hear others weigh in on the matter.

Interesting! What have your experiences been? Do you feel that thickness adds to versatility?

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mangomadness
mangomadness
9 years ago

I think texture has more to do with versatility–the more tightly coiled your hair is the more versatility you have. Having thicker hair helps too.

cati
cati
9 years ago

it depends. My hair is really thick and it takes me so long to get a style because my hair is not that easily manipulated. it is too much!! my hair was thick when i was relaxed, but now, it is so much more hair. i would say that people always want what they can’t have. my hair is really thick that sometimes i wish it was a little thinner. i think that thinner hair offers alot of versatility too. it just has to be fluffed out more and use lighter products so it can have as much body as… Read more »

sarah
9 years ago
Reply to  cati

thank you for saying that! i feel so much more appreciation for my older female family members who had to do my hair when i was younger! now, doing styles, it pains my hands. whenever i hear someone say, “divide your hair into four sections…” i have to double that to eight. and, although a lot of women crave volume, i tend to fight against it. sometimes, i would love to experience scalpiness. even though i love my thick hair, the grass is not always greener…

Sandrene
9 years ago
Reply to  sarah

I totally agree with you Cati and Sarah. I also have really thick hair, and the time it takes to do anything with my hair sometimes discourages me from trying some of the styles I see. I could go for just a little thinner, just so I could feel the wind on my scalp sometimes lol.

Shay
Shay
9 years ago

I have medium/ average thickness and I completely agree that certain styles including just a regular afro look amazing on others and not so much on me. But I have come up with some ways/ styles to make my hair look thicker.

Adrienne Michelle
Adrienne Michelle
8 years ago
Reply to  Shay

Same here for me too! I look at some styles on youtube, especially single twists with your own hair… and I know that my hair is simply not thick enough to have a full look with that style. But it looks really great on thicker textures! If I wear my hair out in a twist out, I can usually fake it and make my hair look waaaaaay thicker than it is. (It’s my little secret). On the flip side.… one of my friends has MEGA thick hair (she’s like the heavyweight champion of natural hair!)and its very difficult to do… Read more »

Allegra
Allegra
9 years ago

I think its all about length. I think when your hair is longer no matter how thick it is—it just works better (as far as rocking different styles) But that’s just me. Of course natural hair; long, short, thick or thin is always the most versatile.

Keisha
Keisha
9 years ago
Reply to  Allegra

I agree… there were certain styles that looked a ridiculous mess on my head when I was neck length, now when I wear the same style with full shoulder length hair, the style looks great. So for my hair, length makes for versatility.

AnonCA
AnonCA
9 years ago

For me, it matters who is doing it. As someone who was always told that I had maybe 3 heads of hair on my head (and stylists used to tag team to do it or I’ve even had two girls doing my hair at the same time), I’d say that in theory there is a LOT to work with, but in practice, my arms get tired. I’m glad I’m not a fan of curls, b/c I could NEVER bring myself to go through and shingle my hair with curling pudding or custard, nor would I want make a 100 or more… Read more »

freeyourheart
9 years ago

i agree with allegra, cati, & sarah. my hair is thick, but it takes me so long to style it myself i usually dread doing it and end up stretching out my style until i absolutely have to do it (or until i get it done by my stylist.) but i think once your hair is at a decent length, you have more versatility simply because you have more hair to play with. for example, my comb coils usually last me about 3–4 weeks. around week 2, i separate them and get more of a curly ‘fro look. usually around week… Read more »

Alice
9 years ago

I think it depends. I have normal borderlining fine hair and I’ve never had a problem with versatility. I actually think it’s a little MORE versatility since it’s much easier for me to find products that are cheap that work on my hair (heavier products (at least those available near me) tend to be ridiculously expensive) so I get to play with and practice different styles more. Downside of having thinner hair? I have to do a LOT of fluffing to get the volume you get with thick hair almost instantly.

Also, I’ll probably be bald faster than you ‑___-

ghd
ghd
9 years ago
Reply to  Alice

lol at the last part

MikaMe
MikaMe
9 years ago

Cati you are singing my song! The grass is not greener over HIAR! I mean here..lol it takes so much more time. Length plays a factor in versatility however it ur hair is long with no grip (thickness) its pointless to me! Please don’t envy us cause like they mentioned earlier when they say section into four I have to section into 8 most of the time! I love Love Love my hair however its my hobby to get it right. Trust me it isn’t easy! Work what you got!

Olivia
9 years ago

I have very fine hair and have often found myself disappointed with my afros, puffs and twists. While other people’s styles look fuller, mine seem to fall flat. I’ve been advised to use certain products or methods but the real problem is how fine my hair is. DO NOT get me wrong. I LoVe my hair very much and would not trade it with anyone. I realize that as a thin-haired natural, I will have some trouble just as a thick-haired natural would. Gotta embrace everything that comes with being me. 🙂

Olivia
9 years ago
Reply to  Olivia

[img]http://bglhonline.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/puff-n-pump‑1.jpg[/img]

Amanda
9 years ago
Reply to  Olivia

Olivia, I can totally relate. Your puff looks great!

Nakia
Nakia
8 years ago
Reply to  Amanda

I’m not alone!!! When I look on YouTube and natural hair sites, I feel like I’m all by myself as a thin/fine haired natural! My puff is a little sad, compared to all these thick-haired sisters out here. Yours looks cute though, even though it might not be as full as you would like! The biggest problem I have with having fine hair is that, as much as I love cornrows and such, they look so scalpy on me (for lack of a better term), and my hair gets fuzzy really quick.

D.W.
D.W.
9 years ago

I think it is a matter of preference. I prefer the way thinker hair looks when it is styled.

D.W.
D.W.
9 years ago
Reply to  D.W.

THICKER!!

Amanda
9 years ago

Hi Ladies, I really think all of your comments add a lot of perspective on the matter. I posed this question to bglh after watching many YouTube videos and reading several blogs. I know you all with thick hair have a lot of work detangling and such, which can be daunting. Even though those of us with thinner hair may spend less time with our hair, for me, I feel less time doesn’t equate with less hair frustration though. Since I have thin hair, products tend to weigh my hair down and if it’s not trimmed it won’t have much… Read more »

serenissima
9 years ago

i have VERY thick hair, and it makes me super lazy with styling. nowadays its wash and go’s and… wash and go’s lol. when i try manipulating my hair too much, my arms hurt! i can put on a movie and do a decent set of two strand twists in a couple of hours, but i know i dont do them the ‘right’ way, because i dont comb or detangle, just grab sections and go. while i may just be lazy (even when i was relaxed, i usually wore it straight or MAYBE in some loose curls that i did… Read more »

sarah
9 years ago
Reply to  serenissima

haha! you sounds (and look) like me. i don’t even shingle cause it would be too much work. i just lean to one side, smoothe between my hands, and repeat on the other side. and FORGET about wearing headbands!

Jessica
Jessica
9 years ago

My natural is definitely more versatile for me because of the its thickness. I remember when I had my relaxer and would often want styles I saw on other women. My mom or my hairstylist would do them on me and I would be disappointed with how thin or short it turned out to be when done in my hair. Since I have been natural, I am rarely disappointed with a style that I have tried. I have so much more versatility with my fro than I did with my relaxed hair.

Ans
Ans
9 years ago

it just depends. I think that with thicker hair it is easier to hide mistakes from a not so great twistout (for example). But on the other hand, I think that thicker hair can be tough to deal with at times. But that is what quick styles like puffs are for :))

binks
binks
9 years ago

I agree with them majority of the comments it definitely depends on you and your preference. My hair is super thick but short right now so to me length plays in the factor of more versatility in styling. But as MikaMe says the grass isn’t always greener on the other side when it comes to hair, because detangling/keeping it from matting and drying is a pain for me since my hair is thick as oppose to my friend who has average to fine hair and can do these things in a breeze so again it depends

CurlyChronicles
9 years ago

I actually think thickness helps a lot, I couldn’t do some of my favorite do’s without a little thickness. The most important factor is your skills though 😉

aiden
aiden
9 years ago

Absolutely not. My hair is insufferably thick, I’d trade it for fine hair any day of the week.

Lisa
9 years ago

This is a huge issue! My hair is thin and fine, especially the front and sides. I see so many styles that I love, but when I try them, my hair often just won’t do it. It’s so disappointing! A few styles can be adapted, but many just require very thick hair. But as I continue on this natural hair journey, I have to learn to work with what I got and be thankful for what I can do! ; )

LittleOne
9 years ago

How timely is this article?… http://www.hairliberty.org/black-hair-care/articles/hair-education/understanding-fine-hair.html

Everybody already summed up my general take on it…fine hair is faster/easier to work with but doesn’t hold styles very well.

Anonda
Anonda
9 years ago

In some ways I’m middle of the road because my hair is fine but very dense. I do want more volume sometimes but this usually happens naturally after a few days of letting frizz work it’s magic. However I’m experimenting with adding hair to some twisted styles for thickness and to change the look up a bit.

LBell
LBell
9 years ago
Reply to  Anonda

Minus the added-hair part (I haven’t worn added hair in 11 years), this is me. And I agree with others that this is another case of grass-is-greener syndrome and everybody-is-different flu. lol

On the one hand I would kill to be able to wear twist and braid styles that aren’t overly scalpy. On the other hand, I can’t stomach the idea of spending hours simply washing, conditioning, and detangling.

In my experience one reason why thick-haired folks resort to the relaxer is precisely because they are overwhelmed by having so much thick curly/kinky hair.

Ain't I an African
Ain't I an African
9 years ago

I have to say no. My hair is EXTREMELY thick and I’ve always thought that those with finer hair have it much easier. They can mold it into so many different styles without it looking over the top (though OTT styles have their place) and I think it also tends to stay put.

Cendy
Cendy
9 years ago

Here’s my fine hair story. I LOVED my hair when I bc’ed. It ws fine, soft and the curls layed down so nicely. I even had a v‑line at the nape and there were waves galore. Fast forward a few months and it all went downhill from there. That first year was hard b/c all I saw was SCALP! I tried every style imaginable and it made my head look like my gramma’s. I cried and was so tempted to go back to relaxing. I could always add a track or two for thickness. My bff encouraged me to stick… Read more »

maha
maha
9 years ago

Thickness does definitely help with styling. It looks better in different styles. my mother has thin hair looser curly hair, and i have thick, nappy,kinky hair. She never does too many styles in fear that her scalp will show. Thick hair is definitely a double edge sword… Lots of style options = more work or the other option laziness… =/

Coco
Coco
9 years ago

I have fine BUT dense hair and I find that the people with low density have the propensity to do more styles than I do with less work. I’d rather have it that way since the fast pace of living in the western world does not really bend for the thicker haired. I find my hair time consuming, more work to detangle and style. While I’d love to get my dense hair into a bun or banana clip, it will not happen until I reach a ridiculous length. Thickness makes shorter hair harder to style along with shrinkage on top.

lee
lee
9 years ago

sometimes i get frustrated with having thin hair because i love huge afros and puffs but they look silly/scalpy on me. however, i’m forced to find other styles that i can rock that would probably look silly on someone with thicker hair. also, i LOVE the fact that it doesn’t take forever for my hair to to set my hair or for it to air dry. 🙂

you know how the saying goes… the grass is always greener…

i do love my fine/thin hair way more now that i am natural.

OnceUponaTime
9 years ago

I have thin hair (my pony tail barely measures an 1.5 inches around), so I would say that having thicker strands and more strands of hair may be harder to deal with in terms of combing/detangling/washing, but styles look better on thicker hair. Bantu knots, braids, twists, etc. are styles that I have the technical ability to do on my hair but they look very wimpy and scalpy so there’s no point in me wearing them. You ladies with thick hair, one of your twists is the thickness of ALL my hair put together! So think about if you had… Read more »

Amber
9 years ago

I am a fine haired curly and I love my hair. Thick hair looks awesome but I wouldn’t change mine for anything in the world. A few days after a condition & detangle it starts to appear thick but then when I do a fresh one the following week it goes back to normal. I do try to avoid certain styles tho like braid outs ugh I hate those because they make my hair look scalpy. However I love my hursss!

1Nikki
1Nikki
9 years ago

My hair was thick relaxed but I didnt realize how thick it was until I went natural. I never thought about it as being more versatile, I usually think of it as being a pain in the butt because it takes soooo long to do. I do love my hair and the results I get when I style, but sometimes I do envy people with thinner hair, I think ppl always want what they cant have sometimes.

cara
cara
9 years ago

I have fine hair and I just adapted to what it can and cannot do. The only style I choose not to wear is twists.

natasha hernandez
natasha hernandez
9 years ago

i totally wish i had thicker hair! two strand twists look so fabulous on those thick tresses. i do better with a twist out, my twists alone look so sparse unless i put em into an updo. yes.…i guess im jealous:)

Coucou
Coucou
8 years ago

Yea I’m totally in a hair rut because I just realized that my hair is naturally thin and that I’ll never have the fabulous hair like the girls on YT and featured on these blogs. Oh wells, maybe I’ll grow to like it once it gets a bit longer.

Bonita
Bonita
8 years ago

People confuse texture and density.Density is the number of follicles per square inch You can have fine hair, but have alot of hair on your head. Fine means that your strands are thin. Thick hair is larger in diameter. Hair has three layers and dine hair is often missing the inner most layer which is the Medulla.…I have fine hair but it is kinky 4c hair, no visible curl pattern wet or dry…it looks very thin relaxed

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