Struggle with Fine Hair? You’re not alone.
Who doesn’t dream of full, luscious locks? Full, healthy, shiny hair is the epitome of femininity. Nature -unfortunately- has not blessed me with the most generous hair genes. With fine hair, it takes some effort to achieve the perfect Kate Middleton-esque bouncy blow-out with only a fraction of hair to work with. I have tried many, many things, experimented with extensions and cursed my frizzy, fine strands on some occasions.
Still, over the years, I have learned to embrace my natural hair and found ways to add volume while still keeping my hair healthy and happy.
Here’s my best tips to manage fine hair and make the most of your natural hair structure.
As if fine hair wasn’t a bummer itself, it comes with a couple of downsides that makes it difficult to work with and take good care of it:
Fine Hair Limits Hairstyle Options
When you don’t have much to work with, ponytails, buns or wearing it down only emphasizes the lack of body with a sad, limp strand hanging down. It takes a lot of (not so hair-friendly) styling to add fullness and give the illusion of more hair.
Fine Hair Takes More Time
Many people assume fine hair is easier to manage as ‘less hair’ also takes less styling time. The opposite is true. While it may be quicker to dry, it takes a lot of effort to ‘fake’ more hair, and the effects are not long-lasting. It takes a lot of blow drying, curling, backcombing and hair products to get naturally fine hair into a state of being presentable and hint towards some body and fullness.
Fine Hair Greases Quickly
Because the hair is so thin, it absorbs sebum more quickly, making it grease faster. More washing exposes it to even more damage. The only way to ‘stretch’ time between washes is to use dry shampoo which can make the hair look less shiny and provoke dandruff and itchy scalp.
Fine Hair is Hard to Grow
Fine hair is unusually prone to breakage which makes it very difficult to grow out. Once I passed a certain length, it does need cutting because the sensitive ends suffer from combing, heat styling and daily attempts to create a fuller look. The individual hairs are thinner, so they are less forgiving to harsh treatment. The follicles move up and it tangles easily, with additional brushing only adding to the damage. Fine hair is less resistant against damaging, harsh treatments.
Additional hair loss …
Fine Hair is Not Just Fine.
Fine hair can also be overly greasy, dry, brittle. Volumizing products often don’t give the additional nourishment and repair it needs, which makes it a challenge to find the right products that are nourishing enough without being overly heavy and weighing the hair down.
Us girls with fine hair don’t just have fine hair. We also suffer from split ends, breakage and want to use heat protection that doesn’t take away any bounciness and volume.
As I like to say, it is easy to reduce but it is hard to add fullness where there is none.
With fine hair, we want is…
- Enhance volume from root to ends
- Protect against damage and breakage
- Prevent hair loss
- Encourage growth of healthy, strong hair
Fine hair can look amazing with the right treatment. So here are my top tips for fine hair.
#1 Be Gentle
If you are a fine-haired girl like me, you mourn the loss of every single hair.
Being gentle with your fine strands is key here. Avoid any harsh treatments like pulling, brushing, rubbing etc.
Brush your hair gently with a high-quality brush that does not pull or rip your hair. When wet combing, apply a detangling product and let it sink in for at least a few minutes before combing. Gently spread the product and detangle with your fingers first before using a brush or comb.
Don’t rub it dry after washing, as it damages the hair and leads to more hair breakage and thus hair loss. Use an extra towel for fine hair to get most of the moisture out.
Blow dry by putting as much air between your hairs as possible. Direct the airflow in the opposite direction of how your hair grows. Keep changing partings often while blow drying, put your head down and to the side for the best root lift. Keep the airstream high, but the temperature low to prevent too much heat damage.
It is so important (and quite the challenge) to protect your hair effectively from breakage and damage without piling on products that weigh your hair down. Protective AND lightweight products are key here.
#2 Find a Good Hairstylist
The right color does a LOT to My naturally brunette hair gets a regular balayage as it makes the hair appear much fuller. Also, the chemical process of the dye plumps up the hair fibers and gives them more body.
While hair coloring is way less damaging nowadays than it used to be. Still, fine hair is less resistant to heavy treatment than thicker hair. I get an Olaplex treatment with every color touch-up at the hair salon and use it regularly as at-home treatment in between appointments.
Go to a good salon with specialized colorists who take their time pointing you towards a color that works for you and your hair texture. Working with two or more shades and applying them strategically goes a long way in giving the illusion of more hair.
Also, stress that you want a cut that adds more body. The right placement of layers or a bland cut can make your hair appear much fuller and avoid frizzy, sad ends. Don’t be shy to ask for tips how to style your hair best at home.
#3 Get Hair Extensions
God made extensions for a reason.
Extensions not only make your hair look fuller, they hold the hairstyle longer, protect your natural hair with a ‘cushion’ of surrounding strands and require less aggressive -and less frequent- styling.
The hairstyle lasts longer as the strands of the extensions ‘support’ your own hair, serving as ‘pillars’ to hold the curl and have your own hair flatten out less quickly. With extensions, I do my curls once and they last me days.
Extensions work like a good bra to your hair, holding everything in place and adding body and lift.
Getting the right extensions can also help substantially with growing hair longer.
Which Type of Extensions are Best for Fine Hair?
The first extensions I got I experimented with clip-ins just to see what it possible. I temporarily swore off extensions after a Brazilian weave (gone wrong) that gave me amazingly full, wavy locks. However, I hated the million tiny knots that ended up damaging my hair and scalp so badly, but made me discover an amazing hair care line I use to this day.
When I go for semi-permanent, the best proven solution for me are tape extensions. They stay flat to the scalp and are nearly invisible with damage to the hair being zero to minimal. However, it becomes more challenging when they start growing out and you need to conceal the dangling tapes. They require regular visits to the salon and you might need new ones every now and then as your hair grows out.
Foxy Locks makes amazing quality clip-in extensions that comes in a variety of very natural looking colors that blend in very well. The benefit of clip-ins is that they don’t mess with your normal hair care routine and you can take care of your hair without the compromising effects of semi-permanent solutions that need regular maintenance.
Make sure you get your clip-ins cut and layered by your hair stylist according to your hairstyle. Most salons will give you a complimentary cut of your clip-ins.
I’ve had mine for years and they really last ages. Also, I am way more flexible with their placement as my hair grows out, placing them higher or lower as my hair grows or with different hairstyles like high or low buns or ponytails. I rarely need the full set they come in. I clip in one, max two tresses for a full, put together hairstyle.
#4 Invest in Supplements
A healthy, hair-friendly diet consists of biotin, zinc, B-vitamins, Omega 3 & 6, iron, protein. Consequently, add yoghurt, fish, grains, avocado, nuts and obviously a lot of fresh, healthy foods to your diet.
Water is needed for your skin to be hydrated. Your scalp is skin, too. Drink lots of water to keep your body and scalp hydrated and help transport nutrients to the hair roots.
I started supplementing my diet years ago with nutrients for healthy hair growth. Look out for supplements containing ingredients like the ones mentioned above and contain a powerful combination of nutrients that not only benefit hair but general health, too.
#5 The Right Hair Care
With fine hair, good haircare is absolutely essential. Fine hair, as mentioned above, requires a lot of heat styling and product to make it look good. However, the already fine structure is way more prone to heat damage, split ends and breakage which eventually leads to hair loss.
I hit hair rock bottom a bit over a year ago after losing almost all my hair due to the Brazilian weave. (It broke off under the weight of the extensions and cutting them out strand by strand.) My scalp hurt from the weight and tugging and I was in the market to a haircare line that would regenerate my scalp, help regrow my hair to at least its previous state and had the added benefit of being as natural as possible.
This is how I bumped into Grow Gorgeous and I am hooked ever since. My hair grew back longer and stronger than ever. New baby hairs appeared after a just a few treatments.
Actually, I cannot believe I haven’t heard about this brand sooner because they are 100% in line with my beauty philosophy, using the best possible, mostly natural ingredients and making the hair healthy and strong, not just making it appear so.
The best thing about Grow Gorgeous is that it helps making the most out of my naturally fine hair texture while keeping it truly healthy and in best shape.
Gorgeous, Full Hair Starts at the Roots
Grow Gorgeous takes care of your scalp because their haircare is inspired by skincare. How many haircare brands (that are not against grease and dandruff) do you know that take your scalp so seriously? Until now, none.
Here’s the Best Of f the ingredients list:
- Caffeine – Increases blood circulation to scalp, promotes follicle growth in early stage of hair growth cycle
- Hyaluronic Acid – Water-binding molecule, preventing moisture loss and flaky, dry scalp
- Amino Acids – Everything good in our body is made of, adds moisture, strength and shine
- Biotin – Helps blood circulation to improves hair follicle health and encourage hair growth, improves keratin structures, adds elasticity and body
- Coconut Oil – Saturated medium-chain fatty acid, penetrates skin and hair shaft to keep the hair and scalp moisturized and healthy
- Chia Seed Oil – Maintaining healthy skin and protection from external stressors
- Cupuassu Butter – Antioxidants and beneficial fatty acids including Omega 9
- Green Tea – Antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, catechines to help reduce the hormone (DHT) that causes hair loss
- Pea Sprout Extract – Superfood with Vitamin C, iron, zinc, strengthens stem cells in hair follicles
- Vitamin E – This anti-inflammatory and antioxidant super-vitamin feeds strands and scalp with essential nutrients, adding shine, moisture and protects cells from damage
As a devoted health-o-holic, this makes go “Yes, please!”. To learn more about the individual ingredients and how they improve the health of your hair and scalp, check out their full ingredient list here.
My favorite products from Grow Gorgeous are from the Intense range, perfectly matched to the needs of my fine, but weak and breakage-prone hair. It gives more fullness and body without weighing it down, moisturizes and stimulates the scalp and stimulates healthy hair growth.
My Favorite Hair Care Products
Intense Thickening Shampoo – Gentle yet effective with no sulfates (foaming agents) and still lathers up nicely without too much tangling and stripping your hair from moisture. An ultra-concentrated formula of of Amino Acids (Keratin), Biotin, Caffeine and Niacinamide give a boost to the roots and stimulate healthy hair growth.
Intense Thickening Conditioner – Applied to hair and scalp with zero weigh-down. Moisturizes and conditions scalp Hyaluronic Acid, Amino Acids, Biotin and B-vitamins to stimulate hair follicles. Hair feels healthy and full after washing.
Intense Thickening Hair and Scalp Mask: All the benefits of a coconut oil scalp massage without the greasiness and clogged drains! Can be applied to dry hair overnight, ladies! This is the intense, deeply nourishing and revitalizing treatment your hair and scalp craves. I love how my hair feels after letting this sink in. Creamier than the conditioner.
Hair Density Serum Intense: In my opinion the absolute holy grail product. It has been 200% responsible for my hair’s quick recovery. I always get the larger bottle and fill it in a spray bottle to make application simple, quick, hassle-free and travel-friendly. I apply a few spritzes to the roots and massage it in for a few minutes. It gives an instant lift to the roots and I find my hair is bouncy and more manageable. As a leave-in treatment, it keeps doing its magic while you go about your day.
Volume Bodifying Leave-In Serum – Applied to towel-dried hair this is the leave-in conditioner of my dreams. Gives shine and volume and makes styling easy-peasy. I find my hairstyles last longer.
Repair Heat Protection Leave-In Oil – As the last step in my routine, this blend of six powerful oils that protect, nourish and add shine. First heat protectant and hair oil without silicones and other nonsense ‘feel good’ ingredients. Repaired my very brittle, frizzy ends between cuts.
I have been using their products for months after my ‘hairccident’ and will never go back. No salon or drugstore product convinces me as to their ingredients. Next to that, most of their products are vegan and contain
- No sulfates (SLES)
- No parabens
- No phatalates
- No mineral oils
- No silicones
Gorgeous, healthy hair starts at the roots. And this brand totally nailed it. Most of their products (even the Conditioners) are applied to the scalp, too, giving moisture and nourishment to the most important (but often neglected) part of our hair care routine. Grow Gorgeous put the health of hair, scalp and roots at the forefront of their products.
I love that I do not have to compromise anymore between deep conditioning and volume. It literally is the answer to a fine haired girl’s prayers.
While most haircare products make the hair just look and feel good, faking a healthy look, this stuff truly ‘cares’ for my hair. Because my scalp is so well taken care of, I can stretch my washes out a few days, so the products last me forever.
Where to get the products
Ah… Did I mention you get 20% off your first order?! An additional 25% when you decide to get the ‘full’ experience (pun intended) and get the full range. This is the best deal in my opinion, as I keep my products stocked at all times.
As someone with fine hair, I know how challenging it can be to keep it long and strong while still looking your best every day. I hope my tips will get you your best hair ever. I definitely did.
What are you doing to keep your hair healthy?
My favorite tools and products for fine hair: