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How to Work with Super-Thick Hair

Distribution is everything.
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Welcome to our Hair Consultation column. To request an online hair consultation from celebrity hairstylist Bill Angst, follow the instructions here.

Q: I am 18 years old and I have extremely thick hair. I am quite bored with my hair and have done so much to it in the past six months that it needs a change.

From The Styling Edit Archives

Claudia is bored with her hair and wants a change.

Please help me, I am going to get my hair trimmed very soon! Doing anything to my hair makes me anxious and to have some professional help would definitely ease my anxiety. — Claudia

Claudia's hair is long and extremely thick.

A: Claudia, you do have an extraordinary amount of hair and there are a few tricks to help work with it.

Let's talk colour first and foremost, because I only have one suggestion for that. 

Adding lighter caramel highlights to your colour will give your hair more dimension and subtext.

Adriana Lima's highlighted hair.

If the colour is too solid, it makes a dense surface and loses the appearance of movement.

Next, the length. In my opinion, the longer the better (if you want it long). This will give you enough length to add really long layers, and a few more on top to soften the fringe and crown. 

Here is a picture of longer hair in the back with the correct distribution of layers.

Long, layered brunette hair.

Distribution is everything for thick hair. The part is quite important as well, and I would move your part off-centre.

Then there is the styling. Your natural styling is probably best with a couple of tools added: 

  • A flat iron to smooth out the hair around the part, and 
  • A wand to smooth the ends of your hair. It will close the cuticle and give the ends of the layers a nice taper. 

Don't beat back the volume—only style the outer layer of your hair to keep it easy.

Here is a picture of the front as I see it styled:

Miley Cyrus at the 2010 Grammy Awards.

Food for thought... this blonde haircut would be super-fresh with caramel highlights and the tools we talked about.

Adrianne Palicki's wavy blonde bob.

Also try a new part like the above to redistribute your thick hair!


Bill Angst is one of Canada’s top celebrity hairstylists and the owner of Angst Salon at 240 Queen Street East in Toronto. Call 416-360-5942 to book an appointment.