Simply: “Coarse hair is the type of hair texture with the widest diameter of hair strands,” says celebrity hairstylist Marcus Francis, brand ambassador for new natural brand Better Natured. “It’s not just wavy or curly hair, but straight hair can be coarse as well.”
Coarse hair is also notorious for being dry (see: the misunderstanding above). “It has the tendency to need extra moisture and also loses moisture quickly, while the ends dry and split much easier than other hair types,” he says. Logically, this makes sense. If your hair strand has a wider width, it will require more oils to keep it conditioned—perhaps more oils than your scalp can naturally produce. Whereas someone who does not have coarse hair, they’ll likely have no problem keeping their strands hydrated—in fact, they might even complain about having greasy hair.
Of course, anyone can have dry hair. And dryness can be the result of a number of factors including climate, your scalp, products, and so on. So if you can’t simply use moisture-levels as a decipher, how can you actually know if you have coarse hair?