Author’s hair in Feb­ru­ary 2011

By Christa­bel of Chys Curlz

The above pic­ture is of my hair in Feb­ru­ary of 2011 and as you can see, my twists are not like those lus­cious, thick and full twists we see so many fab­u­lous ladies rock­ing. My hair has always been fine and a low den­si­ty even when I was relaxed. So, when I went nat­u­ral, this trans­lat­ed to spacey twists and I just didn’t like the look on me. Nor­mal­ly, I would just move on from it…okay so my hair doesn’t do indi­vid­u­al twists so what? But I just couldn’t move on. Why, you ask?  Because I knew that since I had fine hair, it was impor­tant for me to wear more pro­tec­tive styles and to me, pro­tec­tive styles were twists pinned up and left alone for sev­er­al days at a time.

How­ev­er, I just didn’t like the look on me. I tried…I mean REALLY tried to love it on me. I would wear more make­up, big­ger ear­rings, cute bows/headbands,flowers, bean­ies (can’t wear them every­where); and I still didn’t like it. So, the next ques­tion was, how was I going to pro­tect the­se fines­trands of mine while sat­is­fy­ing my psy­cho­log­i­cal need to like the way my hair is styled?

Well, I decid­ed to try oth­er pro­tec­tive styles like buns (but they pulled on on my edges too much), twist outs (a bit bet­ter than buns, but there was too much manip­u­la­tion every night), flat twists (the­se worked the best), and updos on stretched hair (liked the­se a lot). So, I had many options to choose from now and upon imple­men­ta­tion, my hair was thriv­ing. You see, the pic­ture at the top of the post is of my hair after 3 years of being nat­u­ral. Yes, the twists were on wet hair so it was a bit shrunk­en but I was not retain­ing appre­cia­ble length until I start­ed doing more pro­tec­tive styles.

Fast for­ward to Decem­ber 2011 when I decid­ed to revis­it indi­vid­u­al twists [Click pho­tos to enlarge]:

Dry Twists Decem­ber 2011

Wet Twists with Shrink­age Dec 2011

My results were bet­ter this time around for sev­er­al rea­sons:

  • I had cut off about 2″ of col­or dam­aged ends so my hair looked bet­ter
  • I dis­cov­ered that twist­ing in the oppo­site direc­tion from what feels nat­u­ral to me yield­ed plumper twists as the twists tend to unrav­el just a lit­tle bit there­by mak­ing them appear plumper (try this and see what you think. It was a game chang­er for me.)
  • My hair had more length and den­si­ty (from short­er hair grow­ing out) from many months of more pro­tec­tive styling

Mind you, I still prefer flat twists and updos for my fine and low den­si­ty tress­es but when­ev­er I do indi­vid­u­al twists in my bang area, they do not look as spacey any­more [Click pho­tos to enlarge].

Updo after tak­ing out  flat twists

Love me some flat twists. SO many styles you can cre­ate

As you can see, my hair is still not very dense but I make it work

Are you a fine-haired-low-den­si­ty nat­u­ral? Try the­se tips and let me know what you think and please share any oth­er tips and tricks you have for pro­tect­ing your ends.

Black Girl With Long Hair

Leila Noel­lis­te, 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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112 Comments on "Hair Challenges: Protective Styling on Fine, Thin Natural Hair"

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Well ladies it’s nice to see that alot of fine haired ladies are out here and want­i­ng more info. But ladies you can apply and send in your info on here to post your­self and show oth­er fine hair ladies what regime works for you and go from there. I have thick hair myself, but I would love to see the fine haired ladies come on here and rep­re­sent :).

Thanks SO much for this post. I have fine medi­um den­si­ty hair and despite hav­ing what I think is a good reg­i­men, I am hav­ing a real prob­lem retain­ing length. I already have a trim planned for next week, but I think a lot of reg­u­lar styling tech­niques are gonna change start­ing today. For exam­ple, I have been doing my roll and tuck inwards for the past year and a half but I have been notic­ing con­sis­tent thin edges so I am going to roll out­ward for a while and see what hap­pens. I am also going to do my… Read more »

Final­ly! I found my peo­ple! Thanks for the post! I hap­pen to have fine hair, low den­si­ty WITH low poros­i­ty. What a com­bo. Most nat­u­ral pro­duct sta­ples don’t work for me. My pro­tec­tive styles are buns and pin­ups.


My hair is so frag­ile that a soft head­band can take my edges out. I wore weaves and braids as pro­tec­tive styles, but with my hair needs so much mois­ture, it would be impos­si­ble to keep up with the demand to keep it hydrat­ed. I wear twists and twist outs, but I would love more vari­ety where I don’t have to wor­ry about my ends break­ing off.I get sick of wear­ing berets, bean­ies and chignon nets, but my edges, while grow­ing out, are still thin and I have a lit­tle cov­er­age for those thin spots.


This post is won­der­ful and it’s so nice to see I’m not alone. I too would love to see more fine haired nat­u­rals fea­tured on this blog! Thank you for this sto­ry as it has made my day.


Wow thank you so much for post­ing this. Can we PLEASE cre­ate a group on FB or blog for us????? Any­one down?? :)


I am nat­u­ral, have fine hair and have been glued to this post since it was post­ed. OH…so i actu­al­ly do marketing/social media for a living.…i would love to be involved/help or get the FB page start­ed for us.…who’s down? let’s get a team togeth­er!!


Yeah Kandyce, I am down

I am hap­py to see this. I think we do need our own Curly Nikki type site or hair board sup­port group. I have resort­ed back to exten­sions because I just did not feel sexy. Even though my hair is healthy, the sparse­ness makes it look like it is not. All the cute styles I do look like crap a cou­ple hours lat­er because I have fly away hair that is extreme­ly sen­si­tive to weath­er changes. I have made peace with my hair but I would actu­al­ly like to LOVE it instead. I want to get the hair com­pli­ments like… Read more »

I think she does have this on here, and this is where I saw it. Unless this is for some­thing dif­fer­ent hope this helps.


I’m not extreme­ly FB savvy but if one gets made I’m back­in’ it up! Hmm­mm. May­be I could fig­ure some­thing out…

Yes! Final­ly. It’s hard when every style icon inter­viewed describes their hair as “thick,” and even pro­ceeds to com­plain about how much hair they’ve got to wor­ry about. Lol. But I would like to empha­size one thing that many fine/thin-haired nat­u­rals fail to embrace, espe­cial­ly at the start of their jour­ney: there are ADVANTAGES to hav­ing fine and/or thin hair. Just as twist outs tend to look amaz­ing on thick hair, I’ve seen the most BEAUTIFUL buns, flat twist outs, braid outs and roller­sets achieved on fine/thin hair. Of course, this is just my opin­ion, but some­times you have to… Read more »
It is clear from the replies to this arti­cle that there is a whole sub­cul­ture in the Nat­u­ral hair com­mu­ni­ty that is not being addressed. I to am a thin/fine hair nat­u­ral. Look­ing at that first pic­ture was like view­ing a post of my own hair. I love my curl pat­tern and tex­ture but I do NOT love my lack of thick­ness. My moth­er always told me when grow­ing up “you have a thick head of hair.” Clear­ly she was in denial and think­ing of her own head because my hair is SPARCE.… I for the last year or so… Read more »

OMG! I thought I was going to cry when I read this. I am a fine nat­u­ral 4a-b. All my friends have all this thick hair, just yes­ter­day I went to a styl­ist to ask about nat­u­ral exten­sions to thick­en my hair up. My twists and twist outs do the same thing. It is so dis­cour­ag­ing. I am going to read all the com­ments to see what else I can. Thank you! #teamfine­nat­u­ral!

Thanks a mil­lion for bring­ing up this sub­ject!! Looks like we have a large com­mu­ni­ty on this page alone. LOL! Many of us have thin/fine tress­es from years of exces­sive relax­ing or may­be nat­u­ral­ly fine strands of beau­ti­ful hair from vary­ing hair types. At any rate being 45 years old, I do not want to look like an ado­les­cent wear­ing pro­tec­tive styles that make me look imma­ture. The one style that works best for me is the rod set (with dif­fer­ent sizes) on my tran­si­tion­ing hair.  I chose to tran­si­tion instead of doing a big chop because of thin hair and… Read more »

@RocGirl, I know what you meean about bald spots. I have two spots on my tem­ple (on either side) and tru­ly, the only thing I’ve found to be of help is.…patience and time. I just let it be, I don’t put any addi­tion­al stress on it and it seems to be improv­ing. Very much like acne scars and hyper­pig­men­ta­tion, it does take time. You might also try cas­tor oil, just mas­sage it on the spots every am and pm and in time, you should see some improve­ment (a com­bi­na­tion of place­bo and seal­ing in my opin­ion). HTH.


I looked through all of the com­ments and saw there are soooo many of us- “fine” nat­u­rals! :D I am just show­ing love to add to the “#teamfine­nat­u­ral” num­ber! :D


Welocme Desiree lol :)


The top pic­ture looks like my twists. I wish I could wear pro­tec­tive styles with my hair out, but it does’nt have full­ness, and not long enough to pull into a bun. I will wear wigs from time to time, but I get so sick of wear­ing them, they give me a headache and they are too hot in the sum­mer time. I do my own micro braids (w/extensions) some times, but am usu­al­ly tired of them after around one mon­th.


final­ly! i have fine, thin strands. twists are FRUSTRATION & make me look child­ish. many of the prob­lems stat­ed above, i so relate to! thank u 4 final­ly hav­ing a post i can IDENTIFY with!


As if it hasn’t been said before… I am soooooooooooo hap­py for this blog for thin/fine hair. I am blessed by the posts about miss­ing and thin­ning edges, as I have a beau­ti­ful curl pat­tern (only water need­ed) but have my hair miss­ing in action on the right front. I am frus­trat­ed, tired, and self-con­scious about this prob­lem. I’m mois­tur­iz­ing almost dai­ly, but it’s not grow­ing fast enough. Any sug­ges­tions on how to make your edges grow back fast?


@RocGirl, I know what you meean about bald spots. I have two spots on my tem­ple (on either side) and tru­ly, the only thing I’ve found to be of help is….patience and time. I just let it be, I don’t put any addi­tion­al stress on it and it seems to be improv­ing. Very much like acne scars and hyper­pig­men­ta­tion, it does take time. You might also try cas­tor oil, just mas­sage it on the spots every am and pm and in time, you should see some improve­ment (a com­bi­na­tion of place­bo and seal­ing in my opin­ion). HTH.




Ive been try­ing to find a way to man­age my thin fine hair! it gets sooo annoy­ing some­time. I like blow­ing out my hair bc it feels much fuller but ill try twist­ing my ahir in the oppo­site direc­tion and see if that helps! Thanks for this.


Try a ban­du knot out. When I twist my hair at night I have start­ed turn­ing the twists into ban­du knots. The next day when I take them down, my hair looks so much fuller. (It might look short­er but it has more vol­ume…

I have the same prob­lem and my hair thins more after I have a baby. I was told that I had a hair dis­or­der “tel­o­gen efflu­vi­um”, but there is no treat­ment for it. My nat­u­ral hair grew out thick and shoul­der length but due to frus­tra­tion I cut sev­er­al inch­es of hair off and pret­ty much had to start over again to get rid of dead and weak ends. I have a com­bi­na­tion of 3c/4a hair type and my twist always come out dull and thin and tend to unrav­el. I am try­ing cas­tor oil also but haven’t noticed any… Read more »
You can apply it as much as you want. My daugh­ter and I are hav­ing a 7 day cas­tor oil chal­lenge. She “greas­es” her scalp and mas­sage it in dai­ly. For me I mix it with car­ri­er oils such as almond oil and coconut oil, warm it up in a cup of hot water and mas­sage it into my scalp (I do cow­ash in the mid­dle of the week so my hair is not too greasy) to my sur­prise it’s work­ing. It’s been a mon­th now and I have seen spurts of hair all over my head. It’s work­ing for… Read more »

I too am sooooo glad there is final­ly an arti­cle on fine/thin/low den­si­ty hair! Those of us with this type of hair can’t get those real­ly full nice pro­tec­tive styles like sin­gle twists that seem to only be shown on the var­i­ous sites. It’s VERY impor­tant to show all sides of this nat­u­ral jour­ney.

“Black Girls with Long Hair” you got it right!

Keep sprin­kling them in…

There is hope!!! I too have fine thin strands of hair and have been nat­u­ral for 6.5 years but only since the END of sum­mer 2011 been tak­ing care of my hair the way it should’ve been tak­en care of the entire time. But due to my lack of knowl­edge I had been stuck in this “afro puff” or “skimpy see through afro” style for 6 years! But even hav­ing been very metic­u­lous in car­ing for my hair via trim­ming, mois­tur­iz­ing, pro­tein treat­ments, and a few select favorite pro­tec­tive styles I can see that my new growth is much thick­er… Read more »
Thanks for address­ing this from some­one else with fine and thin hair. I had given up on most pro­tec­tive styles because like every­one else with my type of hair, twists and braids are extreme­ly spacey on me and my edges are too frag­ile for buns. I still have alope­cia on my hair­line due to relax­ers, tight braid exten­sions and weaves. It’s only with­in the last few weeks that I’ve been able to do a halfway decent updo but I only do those about twice a week because they’re eas­ier to do on stretched hair. I’ll def­i­nite­ly check the blog out… Read more »
Thanks so much for shar­ing this and your blog. I too have fine hair and lots of hair loss in the front from stress. I start­ed wear­ing wigs 8 years ago and was doing noth­ing to my hair under­neath for about 2 years when I found out about the new nat­u­ral com­mu­ni­ty. I hadn’t worn an afro or braids since I was in high school! I now wear most­ly twists and twist outs and flat twists. I’m not very good at straight parts so flat twists are a rar­i­ty. My hair has got­ten much thick­er since I start­ed using Jamaican… Read more »

Amen to every­thing above! I’m not alone!!! I’ve got­ten so frus­trat­ed when I try to dupli­cate styles for thick­er hair, I’ve almost gone back to the creamy crack! Even when I had a perm, some styl­ists that could work mag­ic on thick­er heads became clue­less with my fine hair. I appre­ci­ate this arti­cle, and hope to read more on being a “fin­er” sis­ter!

Yes I recall styl­ists attempt­ing a strawset on my head on a 2 sep­a­rate occa­sions and they were both hot mess city. No full­ness at all and lacked vibran­cy. I had some­one do a sew-in with micros around teh perime­ter, but b/c my hair was so fine, you could see where the track start­ed on my. I had to wear a head­band at all times so peo­ple wouldn’t see.  And twists are real­ly the busi­ness for me. Or twistouts for that mat­ter (Braid­outs seem to work bet­ter). Twisout updos are bet­ter. I real­ly do wish there were some thin, fine… Read more »

check out nali­a1908 on YT. She is a fine haired nat­u­ral with great style


oh i am so glad this was addressed. i have real­ly fine thin nat­u­ral hair so most of the styles i see thick haired nat­u­rals do i cant pull off. i would love hair that was more dense and had more vol­ume. i hav nev­er cared about the tex­ture or even length i just care about the thick­ness of my hair


I have been doing ban­du knot outs and it real­ly gives vol­ume to my thin hair.


Please have more arti­cles like this. How can us fine haired low den­si­ty nat­u­rals retain more length and look styl­ish?


I have fine, thin hair and twists/plaits etc just look child­ish on me. I style my hair most­ly in loose buns after roller or curl­former sets but rarely wear my hair out as its not the thick­ness that I would like. I’ve also found that with prop­er care, wear­ing weaves for 6 week inter­vals a cou­ple times a year results in thick­er and longer hair and hen­na makes thin/fine hair seem stronger and thick­er.


I real­ly appre­ci­ate this post. It seems that every hair ido/diva/inspiration had very dense and/or thick hair. I know that I will nev­er be either so it seems like I’m strug­gling alone.

I’m real­ly going to have to learn how to flat twist. My hair isn’t quite long enough for updos and I don’t blow out my hair. Prac­tice makes per­fect!


SO glad some­one addressed this. Usu­al­ly we see the­se beau­ti­ful­ly thick heads of nat­u­ral hair that we envy. I too, am a fine/thin haired nat­u­ral and alh­tough I have retained some length the lack of thick­ness is still an issue but I will con­tin­ue my pro­tec­tive styling since I appear to be on the right track.


Aaaaaaaah! Final­ly some­one who under­stands.

I have fine hair and have strug­gled with the pro­tec­tive style con­cept. I always end up wear­ing my hair in a pineap­ple-like style held in place by a pony­tail clip because I don’t like the way any­thing else looks. And to add to the mix, my edges are prac­ti­cal­ly gone from when I used to wear exten­sions.

I will def­i­nite­ly be check­ing you on your blog. Nice to know I’m not the only one cov­et­ing oth­er nat­u­rals’ vol­ume!

More thanks from anoth­er “spacey twists” natural…I know from past expe­ri­ence that I retain the most length with twists but I sim­ply can­not STAND how they look on me. I’ve nev­er been a big fan of flat twists or corn­rows either because they make me look like a 12-year-old and I’m already young-look­ing to begin with (I’m in my mid-40s). Updos done on stretched hair are the only pro­tec­tive styles I wear. For the first time in a very long time I’m think­ing about get­ting kinky twists with fake hair, main­ly because I’m going to be extra busy over the next… Read more »

Me too. I’m in my mid 40s, have fine hair and look young too. I just do 6 big corn­rows on my head. Flat twist are cuter but they start to unrav­el at the end of the day.


i love this arti­cle. also a fine hair and low den­si­ty nat­u­ral.
still tran­si­tion­ing and there are times i feel dis­cour­aged cos of how feath­er light my hair is. this arti­cle, i can relate to. def­i­nite­ly.

will check out your blog.

thanks to you and bglh


I AGREE!!! I thought I was the only thin nat­u­ral!!! We need love too :)
I would love to see more styles for thin nat­u­rals. I NEED HELP!

Tequila b

Anoth­er fan here, great post, all curls and kinks are not cre­at­ed equal. Can we get more arti­cles geared toward fine and thin hair?


Yes! I agree with this thread!!

I agree! It’s good to see fine haired nat­u­rals on the blogs too. Not every­one has thick-dense hair. I do not like the way my two strand twists look either so I just wear twist outs. Even the ends still look see through (I don’t think they are dam­aged?!). I am tired of twist­ing every night and its too much manip­u­la­tion. I’ve been wear­ing twist outs for years and I’m over it. I need to just put my hair up for a few months. I am going to start bun­ning. Thats the only oth­er pro­tec­tive style that I can do… Read more »

+2. That would be awe­some!


+3. ITA. I have LOTS of hair, but it is fine. And it will nev­er, ever look like most of the icons fea­tured on this site. And I’m okay with that. But I’d like to fig­ure out how to be just as fab!




I love this arti­cle and I wish you had a blog or site I could fol­low. I am a fine strand­ed nat­u­ral, and I hate most pro­tec­tive styles. How­ev­er, since Jan­u­ary I start­ed using a lace front wig, while deep con­si­tion­ing my hair every 2 weeks, and joined a cas­tor oil hair chal­lenge. I plan to let my hair out in the sum­mer, and i hope the many months rest with the wig, will let my hair grow out a bit. The strug­gle con­tin­ues :)


Hi MPB, I do have a blog and it’s please stop by any time :) It can seem like a strug­gle, but when you it final­ly clicks, it’s awe­some!


Christa­bel, thanks for the tips. For the longest I have been try­ing to fig­ure out the best way to make my beau­ti­ful­ly nat­u­ral but fine and not very dense hair look even more fab­u­lous. I’m def­i­nite­ly going to give the­se tips a try!!


As a nat­u­ral with fine, thin hair, is weave as a pro­tec­tive style yay or nay? Actu­al­ly, is it ever okay? It’s what I do while transitioning/waiting for some length but I won­der if my edges are real­ly going to suf­fer.
Does any­one have any tips (how to braid, take care of, etc) on how to keep my hair safest while I have weave in?


Glad this arti­cle was post­ed. You rarely see infor­ma­tion about wom­en with thin den­si­ty and fine strands. I’ve been on the strug­gle bus for a while, but I’m going to try new pro­tec­tive styles.


I went nat­u­ral June 2011 and enjoy­ing my jour­ney. For the first time, I read and saw pic­tures that I can relate to. My hair is fine with low den­si­ty. I also like my two-strand twists but the spac­ing and lack of vol­ume is what I want to change. Thanks for the tips. More arti­cles such as this are need­ed.


yes. i wish i could go some­where and get just info for wom­en with fine, nat­u­ral hair. thanks for this arti­cle!