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

Leave a Reply

111 Comments on "Hair Challenges: Protective Styling on Fine, Thin Natural Hair"

Notify of

Twist­ing in the oppo­site direc­tion, huh? I’m going to try this today. I gen­er­al­ly don’t like twists on me, as I am a fine-haired nat­ty myself. But I need a low-manip­u­la­tion pro­tec­tive style at this point.

Thanks! :)


My hair is teh same, very thin and limp. I’d like to try your sug­ges­tions but um, what exact­ly is the oppo­site direc­tion? Should this be towards your face or away from your face?



What she’s say­ing is if you nor­mal­ly twist your hair in one direc­tion because that is what feels nat­u­ral, you should prac­tice get­ting into the habit of doing it the oth­er way. She’s just refer­ring to indi­vid­u­al twists there, like the ones she had in her first pic.


I was real­ly delight­ed to find this par­tic­u­lar arti­cle post­ed because I can relate 100%. I have super fine,dense and tight­ly coiled hair. I have a love-hate rela­tion­ship with my hair.To this day, I swear I will nev­er wear twists in pub­lic because mine are so scanty. In the course of my 1 year nat­u­ral hair jour­ney I have learnt tricks on how to cre­ate the illu­sion of a full head. I am so grate­ful for you-tubers and web­sites like this one because I could not have endured for so long.


I so glad I found this arti­cle because there are only one or two help­ful arti­cle about styling for thin/ fine. The only thing us i already twist my hair but I’m gonna try this method next time. Please write more about this because it is real­ly help­ful.

Olivia Lane

I have super­coils that look extreme­ly thick when I sport a wash-and-go or twist/braid out, but I’ve had the same issue with pro­tec­tive styles like braids or twists. I’ve nev­er worn flat twists. I’ll have to try them!


Great and encour­ag­ing arti­cle for us fine, hair girls! I can total­ly relate. I will have to try the flat twist.

Thank you for this post! I have def­i­nite­ly hit a wall with my thin/low den­si­ty hair. I mean, I’ve tried every method in the book and I swear, I gain NO length. Like NONE over months and months and months (years even?). I don’t use sil­i­cones. I con­stant­ly mois­tur­ize. I deep con­di­tion. I give extra care to my ends with nat­u­ral oils and pomades, I detan­gle very gen­tly… My hair is healthy but where is the length already?!! I don’t need it going down my back I just want a lii­i­i­itle more, like a good three inch­es would be a… Read more »

When I was younger, I swear my nat­u­ral was thick and full! But now, after 30 years of perm and hair col­or, I’m back to being nat­u­ral and my hair is thin and full. The first pic here looks just like my hair when twisted/box braids, but the­se are my best pro­tec­tive styles. On this post, it is so great to see how many of us are rep­ping nat­u­ral hair. But, I agree, it is true that there just aren’t enough images of ‘our’ hair shown on nat­u­ral blogs.

LADIES I HAVE THE SOLUTION TO THINNING HAIR.…EXERCISE!!! Blood flow to the ves­sel of the hair fol­li­cles stim­u­late growth! We have to be hon­est about the sit­u­a­tion. Are you eat­ing right? Leafy veg­gies are great for hair and nail growth. Are you drink­ing lots of water? Your hair is like a plant it needs mois­ture not just a pound of product…what you do on the inside mat­ters a ton. And final­ly are you get­ting that blood flow­ing? I promise you, there will be life chang­ing results… I am a liv­ing witness…I wish I could post pic­tures but I ran across… Read more »

Thank you for say­ing this!!!!! I just start­ed my exer­cise rou­tine last week & drink­ing more & noth­ing but water. I hope to c a diff.

Lol Atyou

My hair was thick until I had my son. After that i expe­ri­enced hor­mon­al changes that total­ly thinned out my hair and it nev­er real­ly recov­ered. I exer­cise, eat healthy, etc, but hor­mon­al changes are real!


Omg! I just went thru this yes­ter­day. I decid­ed to try a dif­fer­ent pro­tec­tive style which was indi­vid­u­al twists; due to me tran­si­tion­ing i still had straight ends so i had to use flexi Rods to curl my ends; the twists were very spacey and i decid­ed to bob­by pin them all up. For the rest of the week that’s how my hair will stay but with a beanie… 

I’ve decid­ed to stick to my flat twists under a beanie for my pro­tec­tive styles then breathe on fri­day, wash day is Sun­day! Until win­ter is over …

Any sug­ges­tions on pro­tec­tive styles?


I also have fine hair and low den­si­ty so this post gives me much need­ed hope! Can’t wait to take out my cur­rent pro­tec­tive style to try the reverse twist method. I too have prob­lems with spacey twists. Can’t wait to try…thanks!


Yup I got that fine dry look­ing hair that looks thick­er than what it is until I twist it and see what it looks like ( the pic­ture above) oh well still love my nat­u­ral hair. Glad some­body put an arti­cle out there that I an relate to and thanks for shar­ing and the encour­age­ment.


Thank you for post­ing this. It’s good to see a hair type so sim­i­lar to mine. I have low poros­i­ty, fine, kinky, low den­si­ty hair. I have been nat­u­ral for close to two decades (way before it was fash­ion­able). I only recent­ly start­ed apply­ing 2-strand twist and I do like it bet­ter than oth­er pro­tec­tive styles.


After my BC and being nat­u­ral for about 2–3 yrs and NEVER being able to wear my hair out due to the extreme thin­ness and limpa­bil­i­ty (new word) I can’t do it any­more. I tend not to like any of the pro­tec­tive styles on ME. I haven’t got­ten a relax­er yet but I’m going to soon. I just real­ly miss wear­ing and styling my hair!