I adore your blog! I just discovered it three days ago. I recently made the decision to grow my mini fro (like 3 inches 4b) into a joyously full Afro! I have a question: how can I tell whether my hair is fine or not? Last, should I moisturize my hair more or less because it is fine, should I deep condition more/less? What general accommodations should be made because i may have fine hair? (I seem to notice that I only need to moisturize every other day because everyday leaves my hair wet all day long). How much moisture is enough? How do I know when to stop?
…and from Tiffany
My name is Tiffany and I recently fell in love with your blog. ITS GREAT!! Loves it. Time is most likely of the essence for you so I will be brief. My hair is 60% 4a and 40% 3c and fine in texture. I see various women with beautiful hairstyles, my favorite has to be the twist/braid outs and I try to achieve the looks but my interpretation of them never mirror the pictures posted. I’m thinking it has something to do with my hair being fine. Do you know of any hairstyles that work well with fine, 4 inch hair? Thank you so much for your time.
Misconceptions About Natural Hair and Thickness
I think that there is a misconception that all naturals have thick hair. When you think of a natural, the image that comes to mind is of the all encompassing AFRO. But there are some natural girls out there with fine hair, thin hair or a combination of both. Fine hair describes the actual diameter (size) of the hair strand, while thin hair describes the number of strands per square inch. So it is quite possible for your hair to be fine in diameter and coarse in texture. Weather can also affect the width of hair. Fine hair is the hair type most easily damaged by the use of heat and chemical processes. Here are some haircare and styling modifications that can be made in the case of fine/thin hair.
Products for Fine Hair
In caring for fine hair, it is more about the type of product used. You don’t necessarily need to condition more or less because of thin/fine hair, just be sure to concentrate product on the ends. This is so that you don’t weigh down the roots, thereby decreasing your hair’s volume. It is easier for your scalp’s natural oils to reach the first few inches of hair making conditioner more useful on the ends of the hair. Heavy products are a big no-no on this hair type because they weigh the hair down. Stay away from butters, gels and pomades. If you can’t part with your precious butters, use only a little on damp hair. Use light styling aids like natural spritzes, and water-based styling aids. As far as moisturizers, look for yummy ingredients like herbs and nutrient rich oils.
I always say if your hair is thirsty, feed it! So in regards to how often to moisturize your hair, feed it good things when it’s hungry! If your hair looks and feels greasy, you know you’ve overdone it! I find it easier to moisturize on damp hair because it penetrates better. This way I have a better idea of when enough is enough. I like my hair to feel smooth and moist. The product should sit in your hair and not your hands. Most importantly, pay more attention to moisturizing the last few inches of your strands. Again, avoid coating the roots. As many naturals will tell you, it is about trial and error. You have to learn what your hair likes because no two heads are alike. In contrast to thick haired naturals, fine/thin haired naturals might actually may find that they need to moisturize less as this hair type can retain water and product longer (as Monisola experienced).
Styling Fine Hair
In the past, we’ve briefly discussed styling fine hair. Naturals with fine hair tend to be wary of twists, braids and cornrows because they feel these styles look too “scalpy”. However, this shouldn’t limit your styling options! Naturals with fine/thin hair can still be stylish! Instead of twisting/braiding the whole head, just do a small section and let the rest be free! Look for styles that add volume to the hair, in particular “out” styles – braid outs and twist outs. Just make your parts bigger so the resulting “out” doesn’t still hold “marks” of the parts used to create the style. Of course the fro works great for fine/thin hair! To make it look thicker, you can braid or twist it first for a day or two before. When taking it out, fluff it out with your fingers. If some shine is needed, add a light oil like coconut to your fingers while fluffing. Updos are also a wonderful option for fine haired naturals – this way you can maneuver most of the volume to the top! And for those of you out there doing this: Stop comparing your hair and its abilities to the next girl! Celebrate and enjoy your hair for what it can do instead of cursing it for what it can’t! :)