Fine hair is a relatively confusing subject. When we talk about fine hair, we mean how thick or thin the circumference of the strand is. We are not talking about density, which is how many strands of hair are on the head. Thick hair is characterised by more strands per centimetre squared on the scalp, whilst thin hair has a lesser distribution per centimetre squared. Fine hair is basically hair that has a relatively thin circumference. It is possible to have thick, fine hair; or even thin, fine hair.
Strand C in the picture above is fine hair
Now that we have sorted out these differences, let's talk about how to deal with fine hair. Fine hair is extra prone to breakage because of the thin nature of the strand which is less able to withstand manipulation.
Having a fine-haired mane myself, here are a few pointers I have found beneficial.
Fine hair is weaker hair because of its nature. Incorporate protein more often into your routine to help it withstand manipulation. Just ensure that you are not overdoing it with the protein. Your hair should be soft, yet strong. Anything bordering on hard and brittle is usually protein overloaded hair.
2. Protein layer
The ends of your hair are the most delicate as they are the oldest. They need extra strengthening generally, regardless of whether the strands are coarse, medium or fine. However, I have found that using a light protein treatment on the ends of your hair every so often can do them a world of good. This is known as protein layering. Instead of giving your hair the full monty of a protein treatment to strengthen it, you target the ends. So for instance when you apply a moisturising conditioner to your hair, at the last two to three inches or so apply a light protein conditioner of your choice. You will find that your ends will be stronger and less prone to splitting.
3. Handle it more delicately than is expected
Pretty self explanatory with this point. Basically you need to handle with super extra care. So no pulling at tangles or combing roughly.
4. Protective style to retain length
The delicate nature of fine hair means that length retention can be a bit of an issue for the fine-haired sistas. My honest assessment is that it does take longer to retain length when you have weaker strands. That's still ok, accept the position and fight back by preserving the strands as much as you can. My secret to retaining length has been to protective style a lot.
5. Avoid heat
We all know that heat is bad for hair as it degrades the protein that the strands are made of. However with fine hair, you have even less protein. This makes it especially prone to heat damage So be a pal to your tresses and use heat even less than other hair types do. As one who has fine hair, sometimes even one blow dry is enough to get me a few stick straight strands of hair that won't recoil. So as a general rule, I only blow dry in preparation for the salon, which is usually once every six to seven weeks. It can be even longer than this if I am wigging it. Always remember to use heat protectant each and every time you handle your hair with a heat appliance, and keep the temperature moderate.
Do you have fine hair? How do you handle it?