Coarse Hair

msjokermsjoker Posts: 1,658Registered Users
One of the definitions of coarse is: Of textures that are rough to the touch. My hair doesn't feel rough but I always thought it was coarse without even thinking about it. The only time I can think of my hair being coarse was during my transition because the two textures was unbearable. Is black hair supposed to be coarse?
"It moisturizes my situation... preserves my sexy."

Comments

  • susususu Posts: 767Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    Yeah, the term "coarse" seems to mean different things to different people. Someone linked to an interesting site on the 3c thread a while back.
    http://www.hairfinder.com/hairquestions/hairtexture.htm
    Professionals classify the texture of hair as being "coarse", "fine",
    or "medium". Coarse hair has the largest circumference, and fine hair has
    the smallest.
    Coarse hair is stronger, for obvious reasons - it has more substance. However, coarse hair can also be harder to process, and can be resistant to haircoloring services, perming, and straightening.
    Race and ethnicity are irrelevant in determining hair texture, as coarse, medium and fine hair can be found among all racial and ethnic groups.

    My hair seems to fit this definition to a T. I also tend to think of "coarse" hair as having a bushy/wiry appearance.
  • susususu Posts: 767Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    Is black hair supposed to be coarse?

    I used to think of black hair as coarse, without really thinking about what the term meant. But some would argue that, if anything, black hair tends to be fine.

    From nc.com:
    Generally, Type 4 hair is very wiry, very tightly coiled and very, very fragile. Like Type 3 hair, Type 4 hair appears to be coarse, but it is actually quite fine, with lots and lots of this strands densely packed together.

    I think there's just a wide range of textures (coarse/med/fine) among AA hair.
  • *Ani**Ani* Posts: 351Registered Users
    The other day, Nick Arrojo was calling some Asian ladies hair course on What Not To Wear. They were twins who had a lot of thick straight hair.


    I cant imagine that their hair felt rough to the touch though...
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  • atlantisrisingatlantisrising Posts: 263Registered Users
    My hair is coarse, the strands are very thick and it was very hard to process when I had a perm and then it resisted curling when I finally got it straight, lol. My daughter's hair is very fragile compared to mine. I would describe hers as cottony and soft.
  • msjokermsjoker Posts: 1,658Registered Users
    Thanks everyone for your replies! Based on the link Susu posted, I guess my hair is coarse in the sense that it does take a long time to process a relaxer and colour....But it's not coarse in the sense that it's rough to the touch. :? :lol:
    "It moisturizes my situation... preserves my sexy."
  • niaoliniaoli Posts: 79Registered Users
    coarse has to do with the circumference of the hair strand and asians have the largest hair strands which is why asian hair is considered the coarsest.

    black hair strands are actually very thin but because our hair tangles easily and is difficult to comb, we assume that our hair is rough and coarse. the reason our hair suffers so badly with relaxers is because its thin and fragile but unfortunately, we don't treat it like it is.
    currently use Redken butter treat and allsoft conditioner, looking for my HG!
  • semperfemmesemperfemme Posts: 64Registered Users
    niaoli wrote:
    coarse has to do with the circumference of the hair strand and asians have the largest hair strands which is why asian hair is considered the coarsest.

    black hair strands are actually very thin but because our hair tangles easily and is difficult to comb, we assume that our hair is rough and coarse. the reason our hair suffers so badly with relaxers is because its thin and fragile but unfortunately, we don't treat it like it is.

    BINGO! My boyfriend's hair is EXTREMELY coarse, feels (and looks) like a brillo pad if he doesn't use conditoner after he shampoos.

    I try to tell AA women this all the time where I work...

    *on megaphone* "HEY YOU! Step away from the SUPER Motions Relaxer!"
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  • CurlilocsCurlilocs Posts: 821Registered Users
    My hair is on the course side of medium if that makes any sense. I have thick strands, that resisted relaxing and never got completely bone straight. It got worse over the years and is a big reason I chose to go naturally curly.
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  • ms.gms.g Posts: 173Registered Users
    great post!
    there are many misconceptions about what coarse hair is.

    i want to know, if a person can have fine, medium, and thick strands of hair all on one head, like people who have different size curls on the same head (ex: 3b/3c/4a)?
    all natural.

    my head is full of naps, coils, kinks and thickness. :)

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  • LrigyttiwLrigyttiw Posts: 66Registered Users
    *Ani* wrote:
    The other day, Nick Arrojo was calling some Asian ladies hair course on What Not To Wear. They were twins who had a lot of thick straight hair.


    I cant imagine that their hair felt rough to the touch though...

    Actually it prolly was.. I think I heard.. not for sure though..that alot of Asians tend to have coarse hair...and we have an Asian girl at work who got something in her hair.. I had to get it out for her..and her hair was REALLY coarse.. as in rough.. it didn't feel good at all!.. not to me anyway..
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  • curlaciouscurlacious Posts: 69Registered Users
    ms.g wrote:
    great post!
    there are many misconceptions about what coarse hair is.

    i want to know, if a person can have fine, medium, and thick strands of hair all on one head, like people who have different size curls on the same head (ex: 3b/3c/4a)?

    I think you can have multiple hair thicknesses. I certainly do. I have looked at hairs from my head that are so thin I can barely see them (fine) and really thick and wiry and in between too. I have multiple curl size and thickness.
    curly,coily modified CG, Nexxus Exxtra Gel,Elucence MBC, honey, HE SMU, DevaCurl B'Leave-in, Camellia oil, Burt's bee's shampoo bar, Cure Care conditioner, Shique Herbal conditioner.
  • ILuvCurlzILuvCurlz Posts: 169Registered Users
    I think on "people" terms, most black hair is "course" by its comparison to caucasion "soft" and "silky" hair strands that glide over one another and through your hands. Of course the dictionary/technical definitions about hair/descriptions are usually different.
    "Eventually I knew what my hair wanted. It wanted to be itself. To be left alone by anyone, including me, who did not love it as it was."
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  • msjokermsjoker Posts: 1,658Registered Users

    I try to tell AA women this all the time where I work...

    *on megaphone* "HEY YOU! Step away from the SUPER Motions Relaxer!"

    LOL, one of my stylists used to use Revlon Super Relaxer on my hair :?
    "It moisturizes my situation... preserves my sexy."
  • keepitmovin2.0keepitmovin2.0 Posts: 653Registered Users
    I've always thought of my hair as coarse, meaning thick or heavy. It's not wiry and it's not rough, but I can hear it if I rub a hair between my fingers and it is thick in diameter. I know it's definitely not fine.

    This has been something on my mind for a while...I've just been wondering am I using the wrong word or are other people using the wrong word...it's all so confusing.
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  • ILuvCurlzILuvCurlz Posts: 169Registered Users
    KEEPITMOVING...."Course" is a feel or texture, as in rough. "Thick" is a size. "Heavy" is a weight. This is how they are used in dictionary and in proper hair descriptions. For example, someone can have hair that is "thin" and "course" at the same time. Like grey hair is sometimes "thin" but also it has a "course" feel to it. I was confused about this for a long time and had to do some analyzing on it when I was trying to figure my hair out.
    "Eventually I knew what my hair wanted. It wanted to be itself. To be left alone by anyone, including me, who did not love it as it was."
    ~Alice Walker
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  • niaoliniaoli Posts: 79Registered Users
    Coarse/fine refers to the diameter of the strand, thick/thin refers to the amount of hair on the head. Also, all caucasian hair isn't smooth or silky. i had an irish co-worker who had coarse hair. Her strands were very thick and heavy. She had to keep it short because it was too heavy when it was long and would hurt her neck. Caucasians with cow licks have coarse hair. A kinky/crinkly texture does not = coarse.
    currently use Redken butter treat and allsoft conditioner, looking for my HG!
  • ILuvCurlzILuvCurlz Posts: 169Registered Users
    Everyone has stated different definitions...of what course, thick, etc means...know one knows it better than the dictionary!
    "Eventually I knew what my hair wanted. It wanted to be itself. To be left alone by anyone, including me, who did not love it as it was."
    ~Alice Walker
    *PM for password*
  • earthlycoilearthlycoil Posts: 71Registered Users
    Dictonary definitions are a good starting place. However, many times we need to look at the connotation as well. If people have misused a word for generation after generation, of course it would have a meaning different from a dictionary definition. We have different opinions because we are drawing on different sources. Many draw on their own experiences. When I was growing up, coarse meant NAPPY. Period. It had nothing to do with the thickness of strands. It meant you can't get a comb through it.

    It's taken some time for me to adjust to the fact that maybe hair professionals have used the word "coarse" to mean something different than what people around me thought it meant. That's okay. Maybe this discussion is good to point out that we really need to specify what we mean when we describe our hair to others. I found some interesting links:

    http://www.hairfinder.com/hairquestions/hairtexture.htm

    http://www.tlhs.org/cartyp.html (under "hair types")

    http://www.visual-makeover.com/texture.htm

    http://www.keratin.com/aa/aa002.shtml

    Also, here's a dictionary definition that includes "rough" and "thick" meanings: http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=coarse
  • dia99dia99 Posts: 1,998Registered Users
    2 of a tremor : of wide excursion <a coarse tremor of the extremities>

    Any section of this definition is awesome. This one definitely gave me pause, but it's okay since I'm married. :wink:

    I have always been said to have coarse hair by beauticians of different ethnic backgrounds. I didn't have to use a super perm (I've never been into a salon that even carried super :shock: ), but my perms did end up being on for about 30 minutes at the least.
    People rise to the standard expected of them. GC
  • atlantisrisingatlantisrising Posts: 263Registered Users
    dia99 wrote:
    2 of a tremor : of wide excursion <a coarse tremor of the extremities>

    Any section of this definition is awesome. This one definitely gave me pause, but it's okay since I'm married. :wink:

    I have always been said to have coarse hair by beauticians of different ethnic backgrounds. I didn't have to use a super perm (I've never been into a salon that even carried super :shock: ), but my perms did end up being on for about 30 minutes at the least.

    Me too. I remember this girl wanted to rinse out my perm because it looked like it had straightened and my stylist said,"No, not yet, she has that type of hair that will fool you". He was the only one who was able to get my hair straight, come to think of it.

    We had a discussion here about coarse hair a while ago and someone mentioned their hair feeling like doll hair. My hair feels like that.
  • susususu Posts: 767Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    but my perms did end up being on for about 30 minutes at the least.

    Yup, same here! And after 30 min, my hair still wasn't straight (more of a 3b/c). I always attributed it to just having a lot of hair (stylists always seemed to underestimate how long it would take to apply relaxer to the whole thing), but now I think it must have been a combination of that and the coarse texture.
  • jeamariajeamaria Posts: 1,851Registered Users
    In proper hair descriptions "thick" and "coarse" tend to be interchangeable, just as some the links posted on this page make clear. It's also what I've learned from the degree I'm doing, in which we study some trichology.

    As a science student, I've found out the hard way that quite a few sources know it better than the dictionary; its definitions tend to be less reliable when it comes to specialist areas, so I've learned never to use regular dictionaries for papers.

    I think the ambiguity between "coarse" and "rough" is down to the comes to hair diameter. The extra cuticle layers that make hair thick have a shingle-esque nature, which tends to add a little more texture to the hair.

    If you compare healthy thick hair with healthy fine hair, I could see how people might equate it with roughness. Still, if you take care of your hair, no matter how thick it is, it shouldn't scrape you when you touch it.

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