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When selecting a hairstyle it’s important to think about your hair type. Thick and coarse hair has lots of advantages: it holds shape well, has natural volume, and doesn’t need to be washed everyday. But it also has challenges: it tends to look dry, it responds poorly to excessive texturizing, and it can look bulky. Short cuts are a great way to minimize these problems and enhance your hair’s best qualities, but selecting the right shape is important. Read on for steps to getting the perfect thick-haired crop. –– Laura Martin

Step 1: Layers are the best way to remove bulk from thick hair. Whether you want to keep length at the chin or take it above the ear, ask for square layering to remove puffiness and create a lean, head hugging shape.

Step 2: Consider an undercut where the back and sides are cut significantly shorter than the top length. This technique not only minimizes weigh but also gives more separation to stands and cuts down on styling time.

Step 3: Traditional thinning methods—like razor tipping or removing bulk with thinning shears—work well on fine and medium textures even if hair is very dense. If you have coarse texture ask your stylist for channelling, which removes thick even sections of hair for weight reduction that won’t cause frizz.

Special thanks to Laura Martin for this post. Laura is a professional hair stylist, former senior educator at ARROJO cosmetology school, and a creative non-fiction MFA student at Georgia College, Milledgeville, GA

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