While many people dream of having gloriously smooth hair, those who have it often can’t stand it. It can be tough to work with. So, how do you make smooth hair rough?
To make silky and smooth hair rough, consider simple measures such as cutting it shorter or avoiding hair conditioner. Products that give the hair a gritty feel to it are also worth considering, such as sea salt spray, volumizing powder, and hair clay.
Let’s dig into this a little deeper. Here are some tips for getting that rough and gritty texture you crave.
7 Ways To Make Your Hair Rough
There’s a good chance that some of these will make a real difference to your hair.
Remember, you don’t need to do all of them. Just pick and choose the ones you think may work for your hair and try them out.
1. Cut It Shorter
Long hair is more prone to feeling silky and smooth and more difficult to achieve a gritty and rough texture with.
It will weigh itself down. In general, the longer the hair, the more obvious this effect is.
For men with naturally straight and silky hair, growing it longer will make it a lot more noticeable.
While having long and smooth hair is a dream for some people, those that actually have it will often tell you how much trouble it causes.
When the hair is that smooth and long it tends to lay pretty flat against the scalp due to the weight.
It’s tough to work with and not very responsive. It’s also difficult to build volume and texture with.
What you end up with is long, silky hair that will just fall flat and limp no matter what you do with it.
Again – there’s nothing wrong with that. A lot of people love it.
But if you aren’t a fan of it, consider getting a shorter haircut. When the hair is shorter, it doesn’t weigh itself down as much and it’s also easier to build texture with.
In addition, the other tips in this list will also be more likely to work on shorter hair as opposed to longer hair.
You’ll often find that by simply getting a shorter, textured haircut the hair will just feel rougher to the touch than it used to.
2. Keep It Clean
Oily and greasy hair is more likely to feel smooth to the touch and is more difficult to build any sort of gritty texture.
The problem is, greasy hair doesn’t even have a nice type of smoothness to it. It has a smoothness that just looks and feels unclean.
This is definitely not what you want.
Even if you were to try some of the other roughening tips in this list, you’ll probably just find that they don’t work as well when the hair is oily and unclean.
Ultimately, building texture is a great way to get a rougher feel to the hair.
Unfortunately, it’s really tough to build texture with greasy hair.
You don’t need to do it excessively. But aim to wash the hair with water only once a day and use a shampoo two or three times a week.
This should give the hair a drier and rougher texture to it, but without stripping away too many natural oils.
3. Avoid Conditioner
While conditioner is something most people slather on at the end of a shower without giving it much thought, it may not be for everyone.
Conditioner is great for giving the hair a subtle shine. It also makes the hair feel softer and look smoother.
But you’re reading this because this is the opposite effect to the one you want.
If you’re an avid user of conditioner and find that your hair is way too silky and smooth, consider avoiding it for a while to see if you notice a difference.
You may just find that not using it will give you a rougher finish and texture.
Conditioner is also a pretty heavy product. A lot of shampoos come with conditioning ingredients already included, so using a separate conditioner on top may just weigh the hair down too much.
Again – weighing the hair down isn’t great when your hair is silky and smooth. It’s more likely to simply fall flat against the scalp when you try to do anything about it.
4. Sea Salt Spray
Sea salt spray is a great product to use when you’re looking to make hair rougher and grittier.
They’re not all the same, but most sea salt sprays can be expected to add texture, lift, and body. It absorbs our own natural oils to do this.
The look and feel people expect from sea salt spray is similar to that beachy, windswept appearance you get after a swim in the sea.
People with hair that’s a little too naturally silky and smooth would benefit from this. It’s a simple way to get a coarser texture.
The beauty of this is that it makes the hair more responsive.
You may have noticed how hair tends to become oddly easy to work with after an ocean swim once it’s nice and dry.
That’s what sea salt spray aims to replicate.
Some sea salt sprays have additional features like UV protection and botanical ingredients such as algae and kelp.
But how should you use sea salt spray?
It’s most often used as a pre-styler.
A pre-styler is something that’s literally applied before the actual styling takes place. It lays the foundation for the styling that comes after it.
It is usually applied to damp hair and worked through with the fingers to help build texture right from the outset. After this, it’s either air-dried or blow-dried.
Once it’s dry, the finish is often gritty and responsive. Any styling that takes place afterward is easier as a result, as the previously silky hair will be less likely to fall flat.
If you’re looking for a more in-depth article on sea salt spray and what it’s all about, read this.
5. Hair Clay
When you’re looking to make your hair look and feel rougher, you really need to be careful with the type of styling product you use.
I’ll be mentioning a few in this list, but remember – you don’t need to use all of them.
In fact, the more styling product you use, the more likely it is to be weighed down and look smooth and oily.
This will simply make it harder to get that rough and gritty texture you want.
The best option would be to use a small amount of the right product.
When you’re looking for grit, hair clay is often a good way to go.
Hair clay is gritty. If you’ve ever felt any sort of clay before, you’ll know what I mean. The most common clay minerals included in hair clays are bentonite and kaolin.
Whenever you’re buying a hair clay, take a peek at the ingredients to see whether one of these two is included. It should be – most real hair clays do.
These clay minerals often make it easy to build volume with the hair because they help to absorb moisture.
But they also add some of that glorious clay-like grit to the hair. You can even feel it sometimes when running your hands through it. It’s subtle, but it’s there.
It adds enough grit to make the hair easier to work with and more likely to stay in place.
But it’s important to remember that hair clay is a pretty heavy product. After all, clay is a pretty heavy substance.
Because of this, you don’t want to use too much of it. Use the smallest amount necessary to produce the finish you want.
To sum that up, when you’re looking to produce a rougher texture, going for a product like hair clay is a better option than smoother and shinier products like waxes and pomades.
For a more in-depth article on styling using hair clay, check out this article I wrote.
6. Volumizing Powder
Volumizing powder works pretty similarly to the other products mentioned in this list.
It adds grip.
It has the benefit of being simple to apply and gives you pretty quick results.
It’s usually a finely ground powder with some tack to it – it’s pretty noticeable as you apply it.
The beauty of it is that it’s mattifying as opposed to smoothing. In other words, it makes it look less shiny.
It absorbs natural oils, giving the hair less of an oily appearance to it.
While that may not be the primary effect of volumizing powder, it’s a welcome one for people that find that their hair looks too silky, shiny, and smooth.
The way it actually works to build the actual volume is by increasing the friction in between the fibers, leading to a bigger and fuller appearance overall.
The volume and texture it builds, as well as the mattifying effect it has on the hair, are all benefits for men looking for less smoothness and shine and more grip and grit.
Hairspray won’t be for everyone.
Yes, it’s a good way of getting smooth, limp, and flat hair to stay in place once styled. It adds a strong layer of hold at the end of the styling process.
Plus, it does also often produce a rough texture. If you’ve ever run your hair through hairsprayed hair, you’ll know what I’m talking about.
But the kind of rough texture you get after using hairspray may not be ideal. Most hairsprays produce a crunchy and stiff finish.
While this may make for a welcome difference from the silky and soft texture you previously had, it may not be the type of roughness you had in mind.
Compared with the more subtle grit you get from volumizing powder, sea salt spray, and hair clay, it’s a lot more obvious and coarse.
Not everyone wants a crunchy finish, no matter how good the hold may be.
It’s something to consider if you’re really struggling to get your silky hair to do what you want it to.
You’ve tried the other tips in this list and nothing seems to help. Hairspray may be worth considering at that point.
But when you do use it, be sure to use the minimum amount necessary. In addition, make sure your technique for applying it is correct.
I’ve written a post on how to apply hairspray if you’re interested in learning more.
There you have it.
Simple and effective tips for making your hair rougher.
A surprising number of people do struggle with this problem. Super silky and smooth isn’t for everyone.
Hopefully, you’ve now got several ideas you can try out for yourself.