5 Celebrity Hairstylists Share Their Best Advice for Thick Hair

Updated 04/28/19
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While I certainly don't have thick hair (Here are all my tips for dealing with thin hair), I thought it necessary to include advice for those with the volumized, luscious locks I can only dream of. To do just that, I reached out to a slew of celebrity hairstylists for their best instructions.

"Thick hair tends to expand outward from the head more than finer hair, making it bigger and bulkier," explains Dan Islava, a stylist at Antonio Prieto. So you have to make sure your products and styling techniques are helping, rather than hurting your hair. Mostly, these are prescriptions for blowing out thick hair, rather than letting it air-dry. If that's not exactly your thing (same here) find stories and holy grail products from 15 women who keep it naturalBelow, the pros detail five easy-to-follow tricks for styling thick hair.

1. Choose the correct shampoo and conditioners

Oribe Shampoo for Moisture & Control
Oribe Shampoo for Moisture & Control $45
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"Choose moisturizing, reparative shampoos and conditioners that are on the heavier side," recommends Giovanni Vaccaro, Glamsquad's creative director. "Apply a mask once or twice a week to give your thick hair the extra moisture and nutrients it needs. I love Kérastase's Nutritive Masquintense Thick ($63) and Oribe's Shampoo for Moisture & Control ($45)."

2. Be mindful of your tools

Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer
Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer $399
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"The brush and blow-dryer you choose are incredibly important as it's an extension of your hands," says Vaccaro. "My preferred dryer is the Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer ($399) because it's super powerful for thick hair. And I love using boar bristle brushes, as they help provide the right amount of tension needed to work with thicker strands."

Matt Fugate, Kérastase's celebrity hairstylist, adds: "When you’re blow-drying your hair, be mindful of the air direction. Always dry your hair from root to end, or else you may cause unwanted and unneeded frizz."

3. Smoothing creams are key

R+Co High Dive Moisture + Shine Crème
R+Co High Dive Moisture + Shine Crème $27
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"Start off with a quarter-size amount on your mid-shaft to ends, applying whatever is left on the roots," instructs Vaccaro. "Product should be applied differently on thick hair—section out the sides, from the top, and from the back and apply the cream to make sure all strands are being saturated. Follow up with a wide-tooth comb to distribute it all evenly throughout."

4. Protect your hair from heat damage

Kerastase L'incroyable Blowdry Crème
Kérastase L'incroyable Blowdry Crème $40
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"When you have thick hair, always rough-dry your hair to get most of the moisture out," says Fugate. "Don't start to style when it is sopping wet. Then, apply a heat protectant specifically designed for thick hair—L'incroyable Blowdry Crème is my favorite because you can restyle your hair for multiple days after using it once."

5. Spray an oil on your brush before you blow-dry

Large Boar Bristle Hairbrush
Long by Valery Joseph Large Boar Bristle Hairbrush $60
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"The bigger the brush, the smoother the finish will be," says Fugate. "My tip for blow-drying thick hair is to actually spray a hair oil on a boar-bristle brush before you blow-dry. That way, you get that shine and frizz-free finish you’re looking for."

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