the best routine and products for thick and coarse hair

Posted by Ana Eliza Montilla on

We know that thick and coarse hair can sometimes seem like a blessing and a curse. On one hand, you’re blessed with full, luscious locks but cursed with more hair to take care of. It takes a bit of dedication, a little more product and just the right routine to get your thick hair looking its best. 

Hydration is key to keeping coarse hair looking fresh, so we’ve created this awesome guide with everything you need to know about thick and coarse hair and a routine with some of our favorite moisturizing Verb products.

hydrate collection

explore the
hydrate collection

designed to moisturize,
repair and protect for
hydrated, healthy hair

What is coarse hair?

Coarse hair is a type of hair texture characterized by strands that are thicker and wider in circumference than other hair types. This is because the three layers of each hair strand (cortex, cuticle and medulla) are thicker compared to fine or medium hair.

hair texture chart: fine, medium and coarse

(Source: ATOZHairstyles)

How to determine your hair coarseness

The easiest way to determine if you have coarse hair is by rolling a strand between your fingertips. If you can’t feel anything — you have fine hair. If you can barely feel the strand — you have medium hair. If you can clearly feel the strand — you have thick, coarse hair.

Why is my hair so coarse?

If you usually have medium or fine hair but notice it’s become thicker and coarse, this could be caused by several reasons:

  • Dry weather: If you spend a lot of time outdoors in dry weather, your hair will dry out which can increase coarseness.
  • Excessive use of hot tools: Using hot tools to style your hair will strip locks of moisture resulting in dry and coarse strands.
  • Hormonal changes: Hormonal changes can cause changes in your hair, especially because it can change the sebum production from your scalp leading to oily or coarse hair.
  • Age: As you get older, your hair will naturally product less oil resulting in coarser, thicker hair.

Best hair products for thick and coarse hair

On a day-to-day basis, thick coarse hair may appear rough or dry because the increased diameter of the hair strands makes it the most prone to moisture evaporation and dry ends. So, it’s incredibly important to utilize a routine with products for coarse hair to ensure strands get plenty of hydration which will help your hair stay healthy, feel smoother and add softness. To help keep your thick, coarse hair hydrated and healthy, we’ve created this routine with some of our favorite hydrating Verb products:

Hydrating Shampoo 

Start with the basics: washing! For thick hair, the best Verb shampoo is the Hydrating Shampoo made for a color-safe cleanse that will nourish each strand. Formulated with key hydrating ingredients like our amino acid package and hydrolyzed quinoa protein, this shampoo will lightly cleanse your hair while starting the process of moisturizing. The best thing about this one is that while it moisturizes, it also provides UV protection ( looking at you summer dryness.) If you're into the no-shampoo movement you can skip this one.

Shampooing tip: We recommend to only wash the scalp directly. Massage product into the scalp (no other area of the hair) and when you rinse, that will cleanse the rest of your hair. This is the best way to get rid of buildup and oil at the root without stripping or putting the rest of your hair through the added damage of scrubbing brittle hair. 

hydrate collection

explore the
hydrate collection

designed to moisturize,
repair and protect for
hydrated, healthy hair

Hydrating Conditioner 

Follow up your shampoo session with the Hydrating Conditioner to add back in all the moisture your thick hair needs. To complement the key ingredients provided by the Hydrating Shampoo, the Hydrating Conditioner includes argan oil and meadowfoam seed oil to help strengthen and repair while minimizing frizz and flyaways. Apply generously to your hair and leave it in for a good three to five minutes to ensure your locks are fully replenished. Rinse after five minutes and notice how your hair will start feeling softer and easier to run your fingers through.


If your coarse hair is often dry, or prone to dryness consider co-washing. Mainly used by people with curly hair, co-washing is when you wash your hair with a conditioner and only conditioner. The conditioner will rinse the dirt out of your hair while preventing your hair from becoming overly dry. This method allows you to clean your hair without the surfactants in shampoos to strip your hair of its oils and moisture 

Hydrating Mask

Whether or not you use our Hydrating Mask will depend on how often you like to deep condition. If you have extremely thick hair, you may want to use the Hydrating Mask each time you shower instead of your normal conditioner. If you have coarse hair that’s not too thick, you may want to use Hydrating Mask once a week. Other reasons you might want to use the mask are for an added boost of hydration after being out in the sun too long, after heat styling or if you have color-treated hair (for blondes, we recommend our moisturizing Purple Mask). Here are a couple different methods for using the Hydrating Mask:

  • Method 1: Substitute for conditioner and leave on for five to seven minutes. Put hair up in a bun for max hydration. Rinse and continue with your routine.
  • Method 2: Apply on dry hair and leave for your desired amount of time. Put hair up in a bun or throw on a shower cap for max hydration. Put on a face mask or take a nap. Rinse and continue with your routine, washing your hair with shampoo if you have oily hair.
  • Method 3: Mix with your favorite DIY hydrators and follow Methods one or two.

Leave-In Mist 

Leave-in conditioners have been the staple product for thick and coarse hair for quite some time. Our Leave-In Mist can be applied directly to the hair or onto your hands for a more precise application — we'll leave that up to you. This cure-all does the trick: tames frizz, detangles, repairs ends — the list goes on. Apply on your wet hair after washing or deep conditioning.  Brush through hair to distribute evenly. An added bonus to using the Leave-In Mist before brushing is that it helps to prevent breakage by easily detangling hair. Another way we love to use our leave-in during summer? Take it with you to the pool or beach to spritz on damp hair after a swim session.

Ghost Oil

A best seller for a reason, Ghost Oil is light enough for fine hair and also a staple in thick hair routines to minimize frizz and tame flyaways. For thick hair, it's best to use one to two pumps of Ghost Oil on damp hair to finish your routine for shiny, hydrated locks. Need a quick refresh on dry styling days? Squeeze a pump or two onto your hands and apply midshaft to ends for added shine throughout the week. 

Bonus: Ghost Dry Oil  

Ever feel like your hair is too clean? Well, it may only be a problem that thick-haired folks understand but we created Ghost Dry Oil to help refresh your hair and add back in a bit of that second-day oil that makes your hair look its best. For those days between washes when your hair needs a quick refresher, spritz this dry conditioner evenly onto your hair and let it work its magic. Plus, it'll prevent damage from washing and styling.

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