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I have found that the clas­sic 3a to 4b hair typ­ing can be very mis­lead­ing in regards to choos­ing rou­ti­nes and prod­ucts although many nat­u­rals do still make such infer­ences. In my expe­ri­ence there are two prop­er­ties of hair that are more impor­tant. First is an assess­ment of whether your hair is kinky, curly or both. This will deter­mine the strength of your hair and how best to han­dle it. The sec­ond is an assess­ment of whether your indi­vid­u­al strands are fine or thick. This will deter­mine the type of prod­ucts that will be bet­ter for your hair and will also be a guide on how best to trim and style your hair. Today I will dis­cuss indi­vid­u­al strand thick­ness. This is a gen­er­al guide based on obser­va­tion, some peo­ple with fine or thick hair may indeed buck the trend. Equal­ly if your hair is some­where between fine and thick, you may find your­self switch­ing between the two trends.

1. More dust­ing for fine hair, more trimmed cuts for thick hair
If your nat­u­ral hair is fine, there is a stronger ten­den­cy for the ends to tan­gle as the indi­vid­u­al strands seem to real­ly like mesh­ing. As a result, the­se ends will expe­ri­ence more wear as they are reg­u­lar­ly sep­a­rat­ed for styling and detan­gling. Choos­ing a dust­ing rou­tine where an eighth of an inch is cut every mon­th or so is a good choice to pre­vent and get rid of dam­age. If your strands are thick­er, you will prob­a­bly find that knots are rare although tan­gles may still occur. There­fore, you may find a set trim­ming rou­tine of, for exam­ple, half an inch every 4–6 months is more appro­pri­ate to get rid of dam­age

2. Lighter con­di­tion­ers for fine hair, heav­ier ones for thick hair
The issue of tan­gling and mesh­ing for fine hair once more lends it to find­ing lighter con­di­tion­ers that are packed with slip to be more ben­e­fi­cial espe­cial­ly if choos­ing to con­di­tion­er detan­gle. Lighter con­di­tion­ers are more able to coat the strands even when the hair has a ten­den­cy to mesh. You may there­fore find that reg­u­lar store bought con­di­tion­ers such as Herbal Essences, Tre­sem­me, Aussie and VO5 are praised high­ly by peo­ple with fine hair. Mean­while if you have thick strands, you may find that lighter con­di­tion­ers sim­ply do not help you as they are unable to weigh your hair down prop­er­ly for ease of man­age­ment when detan­gling. Many nat­u­rals with thick­er strands may still use lighter store bought con­di­tion­ers but will tend to add in olive oil or shea but­ter to help make the pro­duct more sub­stan­tive. Hair masks and thick­er prod­ucts such as Aubrey Organ­ics Hon­ey­suck­le Rose, Jes­si­curl Too Shea may also be equal­ly pre­ferred for thick­er strands.

3. Lighter oils for fine hair, but­ters and thick­er oils for thick hair
Many nat­u­rals tend to pick oils based on their pref­er­ence for scent and tex­ture. In gen­er­al , most oils are per­fect­ly fine to use on any hair strand thick­ness. How­ev­er, peo­ple with fine hair may find that heav­ier but­ters and oil (e.g cas­tor oil, shea but­ter, cof­fee but­ter, cocoa but­ter) are more dif­fi­cult to spread and weigh hair down exces­sive­ly. The­se oils, how­ev­er, may be ben­e­fi­cial to fine hair if used on just the last 1–2 inch­es of hair as a thick­er coat­ing for mois­ture reten­tion and break­age pre­ven­tion. Over the rest of the strand, lighter oils and but­ters (e.g coconut, jojoba, avo­cado but­ter) may be bet­ter for fin­er strands. Peo­ple with thick­er strands will gen­er­al­ly find that pret­ty much any oil can work for them but a pref­er­ence for cas­tor oil and shea but­ter is real­ly preva­lent. This is like­ly to be because thick­er hair can eas­i­ly with­stand the thick oil coat­ing.

4. More pro­tein for fine hair, less or none for thick hair 
Fin­er hair tends to be prone to dam­age com­pared to thick­er strands which may have both more cuti­cle lay­ers and a thick­er cor­tex. For this rea­son, pro­tein is almost always a must for fine hair. This does not mean using a speci­fic pro­tein treat­ment e.g Komaza or Aphogee. This could just mean using a hair con­di­tion­er with some pro­tein or amino acids con­tained with­in or indeed adding a few drops of the pro­tein treat­ment to a reg­u­lar con­di­tion­er. Peo­ple with thick­er strands may find that pro­tein treat­ments do not add to the strength of the hair and may even make hair less flex­i­ble. They should there­fore be used spar­ing­ly.

5. Less heat for fine hair
There are a few rare crea­tures who will tell you how they can bleach and straight­en their hair one day and then dye it all to a dif­fer­ent colour a week lat­er with­out any ill effects. There are some too who will tell you how they expe­ri­ence no dam­age or break­age even after using a flat iron on high heat with sev­er­al pass­es each time. The like­ly fact is that all the­se peo­ple have thick strands. Fine hair is just not able to do this and even low direct con­tact heat can eas­i­ly set off break­age. If you are in this group, restrict your­self to con­tact­less heat (hair dry­er held away from hair), reduce the tem­per­a­ture and/or num­ber of times you flat iron or indeed com­plete­ly avoid heat.

Ladies, is your hair thick or fine? How do you man­age it? 

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101 Comments on "5 Ways Thick and Fine Natural Hair Should be Treated Differently"

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I have thick hair how­ev­er what you said to use does­nt work for my hair because using thick prod­ucts like but­ters and grease. they cake up on my hair and irri­tate my scalp. Coconut oil and my spray bot­tle is my bff. IF i style my hair while its wet and mois­tur­ized it looks and feels a whole lot bet­ter but since its an oil i have to use it very often because my hair sucks it right up

I think the arti­cle was very infor­ma­tive and help­ful. You got to the point on each suggestion/recommendation. I have thick, fine hair. I agree that fine hair may need more pro­tein treat­ments than thick-strand hair. My con­cern was whether I should main­tain a pro­tein treat­ment more or less fre­quent­ly. My rou­tine is to do an Aphogee treat­ment before col­or­ing which I do about every 2 months. I was con­cerned that Aphogee for sev­ere dam­age (my pre­ferred treat­ment) might seal the hair so much that mois­ture can­not get in and cause more prob­lems. My hair is fine and dif­fi­cult to keep… Read more »