Q: My husband is Hispanic and has very thick and coarse Indian hair. When cutting it while it is wet it slides away from the scissors. And when I style it, it is so hard to style. It just does what it
wants to. How can we control this hard to cut and manage hair?
A: It sounds to me like you have a couple of issues you may need to address, and they relate to improper tools and potential operator error. I know this may sound vague, so I’ll explain. Let’s start with the cutting issues first.
When you say that the hair slides away from the scissors, it sounds like either A) your scissors are not sharp enough, B) you are overloading the scissors by trying to cut
slices of hair that are too thick for the scissors you are using, or C) both. It is extremely important that the scissors you use for cutting hair be kept sharp. Never allow your haircutting scissors to be used
to cut ANYTHING else. The scissors should be sharp enough that they will cut through the hair with no sensation of resistance, and barely a whisper of sound. If you can feel the scissors cutting through the hair,
they aren’t sharp enough. You should either have them sharpened (provided they are of reasonable quality to hold an edge), or invest in a pair of haircutting scissors with replaceable blades.
Of course, you could be overloading the scissors, which could make the problem of dull scissors even worse. When you comb slices of hair to be cut, these slices should
generally be no wider than the width of your scissors’ blades. Keeping to such small slices, does mean it takes more cuts to perform the haircut, but it also ensures more precision and more even layering.
When it comes to styling, what may be wrong depends on what you are attempting to do. If you’re attempting to blow-dry the hair make sure you have the right accompanying
tools. If you want to make shorter hair curve back over the head, you need a round brush whose barrel is small enough that the hair will wrap completely around it. If you’re trying to blow the hair straight,
be sure your brush bristles are close enough to keep good tension on the hair while it is being dried.
Now, there’s also the matter of heat settings. With thick, coarse hair types, you often need more heat to “reshape” the hair the way you want it. In some cases, depending on
the look you want, you might try other heat appliances to help you create that look. To add wave to straight hair, try a curling iron to form rows of curl along the top of the head and then brush the curls out
and direct them with your round brush. Use a flat iron to smooth wavy hair when you want a straighter look in curlier hair types.
Finally, be sure to prepare the hair for styling properly. After shampooing and conditioning, towel-dry the hair and apply styling product (usually mousse or gel depending on
how much hold you need) to the still-damp hair work it thoroughly through with your fingers. Dry the hair as desired using your styling tools to reshape the hair, and reinforce the styling with other tools as
needed or desired. Always make sure your heat appliances have adjustable heat settings. Controlling the amount of heat used makes a world of difference in your styling results.