In The Thick Of It

November 28, 2011

When it comes to hair it seems like the mid-ground is sweet spot for most men.
Too much hair, or not enough, and people feel a little hard done by. Now I've discussed thinning hair a little previously but what about thick hair? It can cause just as many problems...Troy Polamalu knows what I mean!:
Thick' hair can actually be more accurately classified by looking at the hair more closely. There are two main types of hair that fall under the general description of 'thick':
- When the individual strands of hair themselves are thick, as is often the case with afro-carribeann hair types, the hair will be hard to manage, hair to style and give direction too and will often feel dry or coarse. 
- If the individual strand are of average to fine thickness, but there are simply a lot of them on the head, then people often use the term 'thick'. However the correct term for this is 'dense' hair. It can have the same problems are thick hair (hard to shape or style etc.) but it's more likely to be in better condition and very strong and healthy. As I like to joke with my customers, "it's not going anywhere anytime soon!".
Some barbers will use a thinning scissors to take some of the weight/thickness out of the hair but it's important that they know what they doing when using these (and you might be surprised at how many will use them willy-nilly!).
Thinning scissors should really be used more commonly to add texture to the hair, and will often be referred to as texturising scissors instead. They can be safely used through the top fifth of the hair, however, if used incorrectly and brought say, half way down the length of the hair or more, then what will happen is that you will end up with the thickness still at the roots, and then whispier bits of hair as the style grows out. If this is done a few haircuts in a row then the top gets wispier and thinner each time and will look very bad. I've done up a diagram to show this progression better:
So what can be done? Well a good barber will know how to use a thinning scissors well, when to use point-cutting and texturizing techniques, and when to use a shaper razor. Not only that, but if you ask, they will be able to explain to you what they are doing.
But take pride in your strong locks! Keep them well groomed; chose short and sharp, an afro, or long (the weight will help bring the hair down rather than out). And if you find a barber who cuts your hair how you like it, well, remember we are cutting a lot more hair than the average head so we won't say no to a tip at the end of our hard work! Your luscious locks will thank you.
- BE


Clarke said...

Unlike my facial hair which tends to lay flat, the hair on the top of my head likes to stand up if it's cut short. In the past, barbers thought they were doing me a favour during the summer months by thinning my hair. Invariably, I'd have little short hairs sticking out after I'd washed my hair. There certainly is a proper way to use thinning and blending shears.

You surprised me. I didn't think anyone outside of North America would know of Troy Polamalu.

Tele said...

Hey cool I found a Youtube vid about HAIR EXTRA & GOHAIREXTRA.COM :P

Clarke said...

Good one, Tele! Spam it is.

I saw a similar product advertised on TV once. It was an aerosol you sprayed on. Kinda like the fake snow some folks spray on indoor Christmas trees.

Barber Eile's Blog said...

Clarke: I'll have to confess that I googled "big hair" and he came up!
Tele: Spamarific indeed. I've deleted it :)

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