People with thick hair are often the envy of others who have thin, limp, or lifeless hair. If you have thick hair, however, you know just how difficult it can be to take care of, manage, and style thick hair. Thick hair can all too quickly go to the side of looking out of control, unruly, and unattractive, but if you know how to care for and style your thick hair you can make the most out of that enviable mane of luscious locks.

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The first thing to remember is that you should avoid piling on all those hair products when trying to achieve a style. Thick hair holds on to products, meaning that they will build up and make your hair even more difficult to manage. Instead, focus on getting a great haircut and finding a few core styles that you can recreate easily so that you are always prepared to look your best—even when your hair seems like it is against you.

Some of the best ways to style thick hair are:

De-bulking Layers

A skilled stylist can add layers to your hair which breaks up the thickness, takes away some of the bulk, and provides a lot more movement. This is important because thick hair that is left all at one length can really weigh down your look. Instead, have layers added to the front of your hair to frame your face and a few layers put in the back to create a lighter, more dimensional style.

Keep it Growing

A lot of people that have thick hair get frustrated taking care of it and end up chopping it all off just to avoid having to maintain it. This, however, is a big mistake. Cutting your thick hair short can leave it looking poofy and cartoonish. Having longer hair (at least shoulder-blade length) also lets you tie your hair back easily—which is the best go-to style on days when your thick hair is just totally out of control.

No Bangs!

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Not letting your hair be short ( goes for bangs, too. Just avoid them! Bangs are really only effective when they are wispy, which will never happen with thick hair. Instead you will end up with a bulky blunt chunk of hair sitting on your forehead—definitely not a good look.

Side Braid

The long braid down the back is a classic look, but bringing that braid to the side lets you highlight your thick hair while also keeping it out of the way. A deep side part will create focus on your face and reduce the heavy, symmetrical look that can be caused by center parts.