Having thick hair is a big responsibility and trying new styling techniques can be a bit scary since thick hair generally has a mind of its own. To help relieve you of some of that anxiety, I’m going to share some of the most common mistakes people make with thick hair as well as some best practices so you can make every day a good hair day.


One of the most popular ways people deal with thick hair is by thinning it out. And while removing some bulk from your hair may seem like the best way to make it more manageable, in most cases you may actually be making matters worse. Over-thinning thick hair with shears or a razor can cause unwanted volume from the pumped-up,  shorter layers left behind during the thinning process. It can also fray the ends of your hair leaving appearing stringy and/or unhealthy. Layering the hair properly is the best way to ditch any extra bulk you may have without compromising the look or integrity of the hair (we’ll discuss this more below).


Another route many take to achieve more manageability is opting for a super-short haircut. Once again, this may actually create more work for you in the long run. Short haircuts, in general, require more commitment in the styling and hair care department, so if you’re looking for an easy, breezy style, this may not be the best option for you. When thick hair is cut too short, styling techniques like sectioning and updos are difficult to do, if not impossible. If you are looking for a shorter style that will work well with thicker hair, try a triangular long bob that is longer in the front. This will make pulling your hair back easier and will also distribute your hair in such a way that it appears sleeker and thinner.


I’ve seen many clients opt for a chemical straightening treatment in the hopes that it will make their thick hair more manageable. What most often happens is the natural texture of the hair is ruined and it becomes over-processed and unmanageable. If you’re looking to create an easier, sleeker look try getting a keratin treatment. Keratin treatments fill in the small divots in your hair that create texture to smooth it out and compress the cuticle, making it easier to style. These treatments are also not permanent as they wash out over time and eventually restore your hair’s natural texture.


Another common mistake made with thick hair is using the wrong products. Many mistaken thick hair for curly or textured hair and therefore stock up on formulas that are too thick and weigh it down even more. Thick hair tends to retain oil more due to the density of the hair strands. Over time, this can create a lot of buildup, leaving your locks looking lackluster and dull.  With thick hair, it’s important to properly cleanse it to avoid this buildup effect. Try a gentle clarifying shampoo and light conditioner like those from the Kérastase Cristalliste line. These formulas work together to wash out any oil and residue leftover from styling products and keep your hair looking fresh and healthy.


If you are part of the thick-hair family, you’ve probably experienced the fear of a new haircut. Finding the right cut for your thick tresses can be a stressful thing and it might take a few tries before you find the perfect cut. The anxiety and confusion often causes women to choose the ease of a single-length, blunt haircut. This may work for some, but for others, this isn’t necessarily the way to go. Don’t be afraid to layer your hair! Creating a long layering pattern will not only shed some weight from your hair, but it also gives you more styling versatility and a beautiful shape. Make sure you avoid short layers!

Photo: thinkstock




Heat styling: Bad for your hair, yet a majority of us do it — which is exactly why I started using a hair mask every time I wash my hair. Yes, you read that right, every single time. I know what you’re thinking, “Great, just another reason to double the time spent on my shower routine,” but trust me when I say it makes a huge difference.

Here’s a little background: I have fine, naturally wavy hair that frizzes easily and I typically wash my hair twice a week. I never used to heat style my hair — I’m talking as recently as just a few years ago. I was too nervous it would ruin my texture (loose, natural waves) and cause irreversible damage. Then I became a beauty editor and the rest is history. To be honest, I still don’t heat style my hair that frequently compared to others; maybe like two times a week on average. But still, I worry that my occasional curling iron routine will fry my strands, which is why I started using a hair mask instead of a conditioner every time I wash.

“Hair masks are much more nourishing and offer greater repairative benefits than a traditional conditioner,” explains Andrew Fitzsimons, celebrity hairstylist and NatureLab. TOKYO Brand Ambassador. “Many hair masks are formulated in a way that the ingredients can penetrate further into the hair strands than conditioner, giving you additional benefits.”

Fitzsimons is on board with my mask-as-conditioner hair hack and says plenty of people can benefit from doing it — as long as it suits their hair type. “If your hair tends to be dry you can absolutely use a hair mask as a conditioner,” he says. “I have some clients who use a mask every time they wash. If you have hair that tends to be oily or is very fine and thin, though, you may not want to overuse your hair mask as it could weigh your hair down.”

So, how do you know if it’s right for you? “The trick is to test and see what works best for your individual hair,” advises Fitzsimons. “Start with a mask once every other week and build up in frequency from there.”

To make this hair styling hack possible (and to keep my shower time a short as possible), I shampoo my hair as soon as I get in the shower and immediately apply a mask afterwards in place of a regular conditioner. Then, I pull back my hair in a claw clip to keep it out of the water and go about the rest of my routine. This gives the mask time to soak for the next 15 — okay, maybe 20 — minutes of my shower, and then I rinse it out at the very end. Most hair mask directions say to apply them outside of the shower, but I personally prefer to just combine it with my existing shower routine to make the most of my time.

I recommend hydrating hair mask formulas to fight frizz and nourish your hair between heat styling. My usual go-tos include Garnier Fructis Nourishing Treat 1 Minute Hair Mask + Coconut ExtractKérastase Le Masque Hair MaskNatureLab. TOKYO Perfect Repair Treatment Masque and Biolage R.A.W. Re-Hydrate Hair Mask.

Even if you’re someone who colors your hair or heat styles more frequently, I’d be willing to bet your strands look sleeker, shinier and overall healthier. For me, you can barely tell I touch a curling iron — which is the dream, right?



5 Treatments for a Healthier Scalp

You’ve heard it hundreds of times, but we’ll say it again: Healthy scalps promote healthy hair. Often neglected, scalps crave deep moisture, nourishment, and cleansing just like our strands. Whether you wash your hair everyday or once a week, scalp skin is highly susceptible to irritation from a number of triggers, including stress, travel, styling products, and environmental factors. Red, itchy, and flaky scalps increase skin sensitivity and can become painful if ignored. We’ve gathered the five most effective treatments for all scalp concerns, so you can give your skin the proper TLC it needs!

[Photo: ©Juri Pozzi / Stocksy United]

For color-treated hair

Oribe Serene Scalp Soothing Leave-On Treatment

This weightless serum gently melts into your scalp for gentle exfoliation after your shower or on the go. The precise, transparent applicator tip lets you see how much serum you’re using for even distribution that won’t disturb your hairstyle. This nourishing, leave-on treatment provides instant relief to even the itchiest scalps with a cooling effect to soothe your skin after a color treatment.

For thinning hair

Rene Furterer Complexe 5 Stimulating Plant Extract

Formulated with pure essential oils of orange and lavender, this rejuvenating treatment increases microcirculation for hair growth and offers a slight warming sensation to let you know that the purification process is underway. The rich, aromatic formula comes in a glass bottle with a precision applicator to strengthen hair from root to tip while enhancing the effectiveness of the other products in your routine. Massage product onto your unwashed scalp once or twice a week for an indulgent sensory experience. This is an intense treatment, so we don’t recommend it for very sensitive skin.

For dandruff and flaky scalps

Sachajuan Scalp Treatment

This leave-in scalp treatment contains the anti-fungal ingredients piroctone olamine and climbazole to break down and remove even the peskiest dandruff for clean and clear scalps. Formulated with salicylic acid, Sachajuan Scalp Treatment exfoliates away dead skin and soothes inflammation, redness, and irritation for nourished, healthier hair. To apply, section hair, massage, and leave in.

For scalps in need of clarification

R+Co Acid Wash ACV Cleansing Rinse

This lightweight clarifying treatment removes build-up from dry shampoo and other styling products, to restore hair and scalp to its naturally healthy state. Formulated with a combination of apple cider vinegar, notorious for breaking down build-up and exfoliating away flakes, and aloe vera, which soothes and nourishes, this cleansing rinse leaves hair feeling clean without stripping strands. Apply to wet hair, leave in for 1-3 minutes, and rinse.

For extremely sensitive scalps

Klorane SOS Serum with Peony

Created with sensitive scalps in mind, this leave-in treatment provides an immediate, cooling effect to relieve dry, itchy, and tight scalps. Discomfort from stress, travel, and over-styling is soothed for 24 hours, while peony extract protects against further irritation. The non-greasy, leave-in formula gently sprays from the nozzle for a refreshing mist of relief without weighing hair down. Apply on wet or dry hair as often as needed for a 7-day period.



How to Protect Hair Against Heat Damage

I found some easy ways to combat unwanted dryness and breakage that comes with all  artificial heat exposure. Incorporate these five tricks into your routine for healthier hair that’ll stay strong all year long.

Photo: ©Treasures  & Travels / Stocksy

1. Lather up with clarifying shampoo

I believe that protection from heat damage actually starts in the shower. Styling hair riddled with leftover product can dry it, leading to unnecessary breakage. Kick-start your holiday hair routine by detoxifying locks with clarifying shampoo. Once a week, wash with a clarifier that’s infused with purifying rosemary leaf extract and tea tree oil, such as R+Co Oblivion Clarifying Shampoo. The cleansing formula deeply penetrates strands to remove the dirt, oil and build up that your regular shampoo simply can’t achieve, so you can style with a clean slate.

2. Slather on deep conditioner

Hydrated hair is happy hair. Properly moisturized strands can stand strong against the damaging effects of high heat, which means less flyaways and split ends. Make sure you’re replenishing your strands with essential fatty acids at least once a week to guard against dryness. Opt for a deep conditioning mask rich in protein, like Rene Furterer Karite Hydra Hydrating Shine Mask, which contains lipid-replenishing shea oil to replace moisture and protect your hair’s keratin structure. After shampooing, apply the mask to sectioned hair and leave in for thirty minutes. To enhance hair’s absorption of healthy ingredients, I like to cover my head with a shower cap, slightly lift the sides, and fill the bonnet with heat from my blow dryer for a DIY steaming effect.

3. Always spritz on a heat-protecting spray

If you don’t have heat protecting spray in your beauty arsenal, stop reading and go get some right now. I can’t stress this enough—combing a thermal protectant through your hair before applying heat is the best way to keep strands from burning. Opt for coverage effective up to 420+ degrees, and make sure to evenly distribute through damp hair from root to tip before blow-drying. I like how Rene Furterer Lissea Thermal Protecting Smoothing Spray adds a lightweight shield without the sticky residue. You can also layer it in with a leave-in conditioner before styling.

4. Apply weightless oil for the win

Mark my words, hair oil is the biggest gift your head will receive this holiday season. Protective, shiny and undetectable, it’s like a liquid bandage for your hair. My go-to is Bumble and Bumble Hairdresser’s Invisible Oil.  Even though the formula contains a rich blend of 6 oils, the mixture surprisingly vanishes into my strands for feather-light silkiness without feeling greasy. Simply work a small amount through damp hair before blow-drying to instantly seal the cuticle (outermost part of the hair shaft) and moisturize while you style. My favorite part about hair oil? It can help cut down on heat exposure. If your locks look frizzy, apply sparingly on your mid-shaft and ends to smooth, repair dryness and impart shine without having to re-straighten.

5. Massage in some dry shampoo

Dry shampoo can save you hours of styling by extending the life of your blowout with minimal heat exposure. A couple spritzes effortlessly soak up oil for hair that feels as clean as it does on shampoo day. Klorane Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk is my holy grail—it completely revives my blowout so I don’t have to constantly wash and restyle. My hair not only feels cleansed, but also looks shinier and more voluminous without any chalky build up. To give pre-styled hair new life without heat application, add dry shampoo to your roots and gently massage it into the mid hair shaft for added volume. Seal your ends with a touch of oil for healthy hair that keeps on giving this holiday.