Can you recommend styling tools for people with too much hair?
July 28, 2012 7:14 PM   Subscribe

Does anyone have any hair-styling tips and/or tool suggestions for people with wayyyy too much hair?

I have an insane amount of wavy hair that I like to keep long (medium length), but I have trouble ironing it and curling it, since garden-variety tools are not made for the amount of hair I have.

I am looking for a curling iron, a straightening iron and general tools/tips for people in my situation. I don't know anything about brands (both my irons were gifts), and I'm not sure what difference the width of the barrel makes on the resulting curls.

Also, please point me to any youtube styling channels for people with too much hair, if you know any.

Thank you!
posted by Tarumba to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (14 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Get it thinned by a skilled stylist.
posted by availablelight at 7:20 PM on July 28, 2012 [4 favorites]

You should embrace the wave. Why waste all that time fighting your natural hair texture? I personally have curly hair that I do not straighten.
posted by crankylex at 7:26 PM on July 28, 2012 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: oh yeah mostly I let it be (it's pretty) but I like a change once in a while.
posted by Tarumba at 7:27 PM on July 28, 2012

Best answer: You can use a curling iron, but you can take the clamp off in order to use the whole barrel.
posted by two lights above the sea at 7:28 PM on July 28, 2012

Best answer: Here's a tutorial for sock bun curls. The woman in the video has a HUGE amount of hair.
posted by two lights above the sea at 7:32 PM on July 28, 2012

I agree with availablelight.... have it thinned out a bit by a good hairdresser. It will seriously cut your time in half, and make your head feel 5 pounds lighter.
posted by barnoley at 7:32 PM on July 28, 2012

I have very very thick, wavy hair, and when it's long (I frequently chop it all off, because, ugh, it's heavy and annoying), on most days I use curling products to encourage it to curl rather than going straight. Straightening is much more time consuming and frequently I end up with annoying little flyaways and cowlicks anyway.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 8:07 PM on July 28, 2012

Best answer: Ah! I have the same problem. I have mid-back, very thick hair with a strong wave. My advice is to find a stylist who knows how to do a Sahag cut. Seriously, its amazing for people with hair like ours. Unfortunately, I don't get my hair cut like this any longer because I can't find a stylist anywhere near me.

Second piece of advice is to embrace the wave and coax it into a curl. I use the hippie headband method, seen here. I usually use two bands to get all my hair wrapped, instead of the one she uses.

When I want to wear my hair straight, I wash and dry my hair at night, and use a product with silicone in it before I dry. Be prepared to use more product than you might think -- I usually use double if not a little more. The next morning I use a straightener (I have a GVB brand that's lasted me 5 years now -- its a Chi knockoff and was quite a bit less expensive).
posted by Mimzy at 8:12 PM on July 28, 2012

Best answer: I have super thick, slightly wavy, long (to about my waist) hair. I have a ghd wide-plate straightener. It's amazing.

Also thirding having your hair thinned; it really does make a difference.
posted by Defying Gravity at 8:15 PM on July 28, 2012

Best answer: One of my close friends has (had) super thick wavy/curly hair that was impossible to manage until she started flatironing it a few of years ago. She, too, loves her curls, but the straightened hair is just so much easier to manage that she's decided that setting aside an hour or so every few weekends is worth the bother.

Here's her routine in a nutshell:

1. Wash hair with favorite shampoo and conditioner.
2. Pat semi-dry with towel.
3. Moisturize hair with jojoba oil (she has a helluva lot of hair -- thick, curly, falls to about mid-back when wet; she uses about two half dollar sized amounts spread evenly throughout).
4. Blow dry roots of hair thoroughly (blow dry mid-section and ends less thoroughly). Comb with wide-toothed comb.
5. Flat-iron small sections (about 1 inch at a time) with whatever flat iron works for your hair type. (She tried four different high and low end brands until she found the one that worked best with her particular hair.)

Repeat every three weeks. No kidding -- she goes for three weeks -- sometimes longer -- before shampooing and her hair is amazing, super shiny, and smells wonderful! She looks like a shampoo commercial. The only thing she does in between shampoo sessions is brush her hair once a day, put jojoba on her ends when needed, and at night she puts her hair in a ponytail and goes to sleep. Before she started this routine, it was a disastrous, frizzy mess no matter what the climate. Now, when she's in a humid climate, she lets her curls do their thing and just moisturizes the ends with jojoba oil when necessary and in a dry climate, does her three week routine.

She looks gorgeous with both her naturally curly hair and straightened hair. You'll just have to experiment until you find what works for you. Memail me if you want specific product advice.
posted by LuckySeven~ at 10:17 PM on July 28, 2012

Best answer: I have insanely thick, curly and wavy hair. One thing I do is I wash it very infrequently - about once every three weeks. I find that my hair is a lot more receptive to styles with this schedule.

When I put my hair up, I use bungees - they are great when trying to do buns or any sort of hair style that involves hair out of my way. If you aren't familiar with them, they are like thicker versions of standard ponytail holders but with hooks on the ends. They literally just hook into my hair when I'm finished with my bun. I got them at Ricky's so I imagine you can find them in a beauty supply store.

N'thing getting your hair thinned. A good stylist will be your best friend.

My hair tends to curl pretty naturally on the ends but if I find I want more curl - I simply go to bed with a few rollers in my hair - size dependent based on the curl I want. My hair (and most thick hair, I find) will hold a curl for days.

I get my hair blown out every three weeks by a professional - if you can afford an occasional blowout you can make it last weeks (if you don't mind not washing your hair)

I have a straightening iron but it's a no-name brand. I use it to straighten out my bangs every week or so.

The longer my hair is, the easier I find it to maintain. It took me a while to find what this length was. I need less thinning and less styling now that it's longer. Maybe playing around with the length would help you too!

Lastly - I find I can make most tools work by sectioning out my hair. My hair dresser taught me how to specifically chunk my hair down into smaller parts for easier styling. Attacking it all at once is just a task in frustration. Try sectioning out your hair and seeing if you better over results that way!
posted by carmenghia at 7:00 AM on July 29, 2012

Best answer: I don't know anything about curling, but I have done a lot of straightening in my day! A few tips

- Make sure you use a heat-protectant product. They're usually marketed as "straightening" products and often made with silicone - basically they help the heat tools work better and protect your hair.
- Use a good blowdyers. I have a CHI Air dryer and it's great. My hair dries faster and much smoother than a regular dryer. Not cheap, but worth it.
- Use a good ceramic straightening iron with a big paddle. When my hair was long I used the larger Turbo CHI iron. Way easier than the smaller paddles, and much better results than the cheap-o iron. Just be careful, that thing gets hot!
posted by radioamy at 1:22 PM on July 29, 2012

Oh also if you can, blowdry your hair at night then straighten in the morning - sleeping on it will de-oomph your hair a bit. Sometimes I would even just put my hair in a soft headband for a few minutes between drying and straightening.
posted by radioamy at 1:23 PM on July 29, 2012

Best answer: The commonality of "good" current blowdryers (and flatirons for that matter) is that they generate ionic far-infrared heat, if that helps. The flatiron faces are ceramic coated because it is slick and durable and transmits the heat well, but thickness/quality of coating varies according to low-end/high-end.

I can only vouch for the CHIs of which I've had both a dryer and flatiron for going on 7 years with nary an issue and many minutes of styling time saved.

++ suggestions of bun-drying, or coil and clip (french twist or chignon, high or low, depending on how you roll) drying, if temperature allows (eg not going to catch a cold from having a wet-ish head half the day). It really does produces a very pretty, "beachy" wave and actually will help train hair if done consistently.
posted by Rube R. Nekker at 2:04 PM on July 29, 2012

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