Caring for thick hair presents a problem for many people. To find an effective solution, many often turn to the large variety of thick hair products currently on the hair care market. Depending upon an individual's needs, consumers can choose from a range of simple to exotic conditioning treatments, or use one of the many styling appliances designed to tame thick hair by way of heat injection. Some of these products boast all-natural ingredients and manufacturing techniques, while others may contain a sophisticated blend of chemicals or materials developed in a laboratory.
Some of the most widely-used products for thick hair are creams, serums, and other solutions designed to soften and tame unruly hair. Conditioners represent a large portion of these products and contain both natural and manufactured elements. Ingredients in modern conditioners typically feature plant extracts, essential fatty acids, natural oils, and hydrolyzed proteins with a significant de-emphasis on animal-derived elements and chemical additives. Types of conditioners include deep conditioners, which remain in the hair for several minutes; rinse-through products, which are rinsed out right away; and leave-in conditioners, which are applied sparingly, worked through evenly, and left in place until the next shampoo. To complement these thick hair products, manufacturers may also offer shampoos and hair sprays with similar ingredients.
Designer solutions like serums, protein packs, and hot oil treatments became popular in the 1980s and remain in demand through the early 21st century. Serums provide frizz control and, while they often contain lubricants, thickeners, and sunscreens, some may contain alcohol, silicones, or other harsh chemicals. Protein packs might contain exotic ingredients such as human placenta components or concentrated plant proteins, and can have a positive effect on hard-to-manage thick hair. Hot oil treatments contain a simple combination of elements such as lanolin, oils, plant extracts, and propylene glycol. When used as part of a regular hair care plan, thick hair products like these can be effective ways of taming thick and unruly hair.
The late 20th century ushered in an array of electrically-heated appliances designed to provide even more hair control. Curling irons and hot rollers are popular thick hair products because they allow users to retain volume and lift while removing frizz or fly-aways. The sleek hairstyles of the early 21st century require even more hair control and have led to the development of sophisticated flat irons. These heated devices typically feature two panels made of metal or ceramic that hold small sections of hair flat as they are pulled through to the ends.