Pho­to Source

By Jen­teel

From Mon­iso­la…

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

Hel­lo BGLH!

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! :)

Next Page: How to Make Fine Hair Thicker

Black Girl With Long Hair

Leila, founder of Black Girl with Long Hair (April 2008). Social media, pop cul­ture and black beau­ty enthu­si­ast. bell hooks’ hair twin…

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182 Comments on "The Natural’s Guide to Fine Hair"

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hermes ?????

her­mes ??


I have fine, but lots of, hair & its been nat­u­ral for over 10yrs but has nev­er grown past my shouilders. I always thought that “black peo­ple can’t have long hair” but in the last few years now nat­u­ral is more pop­u­lar I know its is pos­si­ble has strong long hair. Thank you for your infor­ma­tion on how to care for it as most web­sites just focus on thick hair. :-)


Hey Nadine. I have fine, but lots of hair too. I have been nat­u­ral for 7 years, but my hair nev­er grew past my shoul­ders either. I think its because of the lack of hair knowl­edge i had. My goal is full APL by mid next year. I expe­ri­ence A LOT of break­age and split ends!! Espe­cial­ly split ends. I think its coz my hair is weak. Do u have split ends? If not, how do u keep them at bay?

I was born with super thin hair. I decid­ed to go nat­u­ral four years ago. I love the nat­u­ral curl pat­tern of my hair. How­ev­er, I have longed to have a full style, while main­tain­ing my nat­u­ral curl pat­tern. It has been a chal­lenge, because my hair looks real­ly nice when I wet it, put leave-in con­di­tion­er in it along with oth­er nat­u­ral curl prod­ucts, but I am always left with “see thru hair at the top and mid­dle of my hair. What method or hair pro­duct would you sug­gest to attain a full look. My hair is com­bi­na­tion of… Read more »

Thanks a mil­lion for this post. I thought that there was some­thing wrong with my hair because it’s so fine and thin.I’ve been nat­u­ral for 2 years and I can’t seem to thick­en my hair out.likewise I joke with my Nat­u­ral cowork­ers and say don’t blow my hair or it’ll fall out because it breaks so eas­i­ly. I will def­i­nite­ly be try­ing some of your tips that you pre­sent­ed here and I’ll check back to let you know if they worked on my hair.

I have read your post and also a lot of oth­ers. I too have fine, thin hair. I have dreads but most­ly wear it up because of the thin hair espe­cial­ly in my crown area. They are long but still thin. I have found this is the best for me because perms irri­tate my scalp and i like to exer­cise a lot. How­ev­er, I am con­stant­ly cold so I wear a lot of hats. I have gone to the der­ma­tol­o­gist and they say I just have “thin” hair. It has real­ly tak­en a toll on my self esteem. I wor­ry… Read more »
Great advice! I think I have fine hair but it grows thick­ly on my head. the strands are real­ly thin and I’ve always had a prob­lem with break­age. That might be because I haven’t ever real­ly tak­en care of it prop­er­ly. This is my sec­ond year nat­u­ral and I just start­ed to real­ly care for my hair prop­er­ly this year so hop­ing I can grow it past shoul­der length! I nev­er saw much growth change in the last year because it broke off so much. Need to work on my ends though- they always look dry and trashy.

Please, take my advice. Try a cas­sia treat­ment.

I feel your pain Nikki. I have the same prob­lem. I have very thin fine hair that breaks eas­i­ly. Does not respond well to chem­i­cals and any sort of styling just wrecks hav­oc on my hair­line. It been a con­stant cycle of styling then cut­ting it all off for about 6 years now. Cur­rent­ly I just got fed up and left it as is, so it just short hair that is all in knots. Cant even wear wigs coz those destroy myhair­line as well. As a result I’ve become the tur­ban lady just to make myself look rep­re­sentable in pub­lic.… Read more »

I have fine hair with i would say medi­um den­si­ty and i used to rock twist outs with the best of them. One way i was able to acheive vol­ume, espe­cial­ly in the crown is cre­at­ing a flat twist right in the crown, usu­al­ly hor­i­zon­tal, set with light but­ter like the arti­cle says, and BAM vol­ume. What also helps me is mak­ing an extreme slant­ed front part, may­be a 45de­gree angle in com­par­ison to the front. So much of this nat­u­ral hair thing is tri­al and error, hope this helps

Some of the­se tips, I agree and dis­agree with. I’m a fine haired nat­u­ral who’s hair dries out very quick­ly and eas­i­ly. My hair does bet­ter with but­ters and gels as opposed to some of the lighter for­mu­las mois­tur­iz­ers and styling aids. My fine hair gets real­ly dry so I need heav­ier prod­ucts than some fine haired peo­ple. When I was relaxed, I could get away with some of the lighter weight prod­ucts for­mu­lat­ed for fin­er strands. My fine strands need a heav­ier creamier deep con­di­tion­er or else my hair stays dry and frizzy. I’m espe­cial­ly prone to frizzi­ness in… Read more »
Tarryan Topping

I enjoyed this read­ing very help­ful :)

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