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Hair + Beauty

How to Care for Coarse Red Hair: A Complete Guide

Learn to Tame the Mane

Updated: October 31st, 2023

Did you know on average redheads have fewer strands than other hair colors, but the strands are thicker which leads to redheads actually having thicker hair? In addition to being thick, many redheads struggle with coarse hair. But first, let’s clear up the common confusion: there is a difference between ‘coarse’ and ‘thick.’ While ‘coarse’ or ‘fine’ describes the size of each strand, ‘thick’ describes the density of hair follicles on your scalp, or how closely together hair grows. Thick hair has more follicles per square inch than sparser hair.

If you’ve got coarse red hair and you’re sick of the everyday struggle that comes with it, check out these tips for taming the mane: 

READ: 5 Expert Tips On Combatting Unruly Red Hair

1. Change up your wash method

For us, first on the list is to stop using traditional shampoo. Coarse red hair tends to dry out, especially if it’s curly. Detergents found in conventional shampoos strips hair of its natural oils, and further dry hair out. When learning how to take care of curly hair, or any other hair type, try eliminating traditional shampoo altogether.

Instead, consider alternative washing methods such as the low-poo method that limits the use of detergent; the no-poo method that avoids it altogether; or co-washing – short for conditioner-only washing, which means using oils in conditioner to dissolve your natural oil.

If you are looking for a redhead-approved shine shampoo to add to your routine, look no further:

Finally Glossy® Shine & Luminosity Shampoo for Redheads

It took many years to custom-make the Finally Glossy® formula and we’re so excited for redheads to enjoy it. We’re thrilled to release another clean redhead beauty product. It is paraben-free, cruelty-free, sulfate-free, petroleum-free, mineral-oil, and vegan. It also contains no perfume, is free of gluten and is silicone-free, phthalate-free, formaldehyde-free and cocamidopropyl betaine-free. This clean formula is formulated with Vitamin B3, olive oil, coconut oil and green tea.

redhead shampoo


2. Condition, condition, condition! 

Coarse hair soaks up moisture like nobody’s business. That’s why the best way to treat it is with conditioning products. Try using a heavy-duty conditioner as part of your routine as well as deep conditioning masks and leave-in conditioners. We frequently feature conditioners in the H2BAR Box because we know redheads want to tame their manes. 

3. Change your pillowcases

Coarse hair can end up frizzy and messy quickly. Combat this by swapping to silk or satin pillowcases so your hair stays smooth while you sleep. 

4. Avoid alcohol-based products

When hair products contain alcohol, they tend to dry your hair out, which is the opposite of what you want. Look for products that are alcohol-free. 

5. Limit heat styling

One great thing about coarse hair is it holds hairstyle well. Use this to your advantage by rocking next-day hair and limiting your heat styling. Let your hair air dry if you can, or use a low/no heat setting. Additionally, you will want to limit the amount you’re using hot tools like curling irons and flat irons. 

6. Pick the right hair towel

When drying your hair opt to use a microfiber towel! Introducing the How to be a Redhead Soft Microfiber Hair Towel for Redheads. Because wet hair is at its most vulnerable, this custom microfiber towel gently and carefully absorbs moisture from your red hair and dries it quickly, all while protecting it from stretching and breakage. This design is uniquely shaped to wrap all of your hair securely (no matter the length), with an elastic strap to comfortably keep things in place. Your hair journey starts here, redheads.

6. Keep it trimmed

Split ends can make coarse hair look worse, so be sure to keep up on your regular trims to keep it looking healthy as can be.

7. Embrace botanicals 

Look for conditioning and styling products that contain these hair-friendly oils to keep your strands well-fed, and help fight frizz and dryness: J

Jojoba oil

Primrose oil

Sunflower oil

Olive oil

Avocado oil

Sweet almond oil

Coconut oil

Rock it like a Redhead!