The hair texture can be classified as fine, medium, or thick. Fine hair means that your hair strands have a small diameter, while a hair fiber with a larger diameter is considered thick. Medium hair texture falls somewhere in between the two. As a consequence, fine strands are more fragile and prone to breakage than thick hairs.
It is not uncommon for one individual to have a mixture of hair types. You may have fine hair at the ends and thicker towards the crown or you may have hair that is thinner on one side of the head compared to the rest of the hair.
You can identify your hair texture by feeling the thickness of a single strand between your fingers. If you can’t feel the hair strand, it has a fine texture. If you can feel the hair lightly, it is medium. Professional hair stylists may use a calibrator to examine hair texture to provide you with more exact results.
Thin Hair Vs. Fine Hair
People often confuse hair texture with hair density. Fine hair and thin hair sound similar but they are completely different. Fine hair is determined by the thickness of an individual hair strand, while thin hair means that someone has a low number of strands on the head. A person with fine-textured hair often has a lot of strands, while a person with coarse hair texture may have low-density (thin) hair.
Common Problems with Fine Hair
- Individuals with fine hair often complain that their hair is hard to manage and it may appear lifeless end frizzy. People with fine hair texture often experience difficulty in holding hairstyles, because their hair tends to fall flat.
- Fine hair typically lacks the body due to the very small diameter of the individual strand. Finer hair textures require more effort to achieve a voluminous look.
- Fine hair is more prone to become oily and may fall flat and feel greasy soon after washing.
- Longer length fine hair easily collapses under its own weight, leaving your hairstyle looking flat and lifeless.
- Individuals with fine hair may also find it difficult to grow their hair long.
What Causes Fine Hair?
The diameter of human hair can vary from person to person and it is determined by several factors:
It is very likely that your fine hair is a hereditary trait. If you have a family history of fine hair it is likely that genes contribute to your fine hair texture. Genetics may be an explanation for why East Asians have about 30% thicker hair fibers than Africans and 50% thicker than Europeans.
The diameter of human hair is the smallest when a person is an infant. As the child ages, hair becomes coarser. The study on the hair of approximately 18,000 Japanese females has shown that hair diameter increases to a maximum near the age of 40 and then it starts to decrease.
Insufficient protein intake can negatively affect the diameter of hair fibers. To avoid that, include the proper amounts of proteins in your diet and make sure you are not suffering from vitamin and mineral deficiencies. A lot of foods that contain essential omega-3s and minerals such as iron and zinc can lead to an increase in the thickness of your hair.
Chemical treatments such as dyes, perms, and bleaching can leave the cuticle open or damaged. This leads to more porous hair and gives an illusion of a fuller appearance. Overuse of styling products can flatten the hair, making it appear limp and lifeless.
How to Wash Fine Hair?
Fine hair requires more frequent shampooing to maintain a healthy glow and bounce. Too frequent shampooing, especially when using drugstore shampoos, can dry hair out and over-stimulate sebaceous glands. Opt for a mild, sulfate-free shampoo that has volumizing properties.
Volume-boosting shampoos are designed to add body to fine, lifeless hair. Make sure to avoid shampoos and conditioners which contain silicone, as this ingredient coats the hair shaft, weighing your hair down.
When shampooing the hair, make sure to use lukewarm water and rinse the shampoo and conditioner thoroughly. Residual hair products may weigh your hair down, taking the volume out of it.
Use a clarifying shampoo once a week to remove product residues and other deposits that can weigh the hair down. For color-treated hair, it is important to use a color-safe clarifying shampoo that will not cause hair color to fade quickly.
It is advisable to use dry shampoo occasionally for cleaning fine hair. A good powder shampoo will soak up the oil and lift the roots, temporarily improving the texture of fine strands.
Conditioners add moisture and help you with detangling and snags. However, the overuse of conditioners can weigh down fine hair and make it appear flat. Try to give your hair a break from the conditioner to see how it responds.
If you decide to use a conditioner, always chose a lightweight product and make sure that you are using it in the right way. Avoid conditioners with oils and silicones, which can cause build-up or make fine hair look oily. When applying it, focus on the mid-lengths and ends, while avoiding the roots. Apply the conditioner after all the shampoo has been rinsed off and make sure to thoroughly rinse both products to avoid product build-up.
How to Dry Your Fine Hair
Cover your freshly washed hair with a towel and wait until it’s about 90% dry. Keep the dryer on the lowest heat setting to avoid static caused by heat styling.
Try to turn your head upside down with the dryer focused on the root. This allows gravity to lift the hair from the scalp, resulting in more volume.
Wrapping the roots with a round brush while blow-drying hair will keep the roots lifted.
How to Style Fine Hair
Hair tools made of natural materials are kinder to fine hair because some synthetic materials can encourage static. Natural bristle brushes help disperse natural oils evenly so your fine hair won’t get sticky or weighed down.
You need to clean your styling tools from time to time to remove residual products because the entrapped residues can dull your hair.
Use quality styling tools and set them at lower temperatures, as high heat encourages frizz and can damage delicate fine hair. Always use a heat-protectant spray on your hair before heat styling.
Use styling products in small amounts, as overdoing can weigh hair down, causing the volume to vanish quickly. It is not advisable to use hair waxes, gels, or heavy styling creams on fine hair because these styling products will weigh hair down, especially if you have long hair.
Use a mousse or lightweight styling spray to add body and bounce while providing the control you need.
Tricks for Getting More Hair Volume
The Appropriate Hair Cut
Keeping your fine hair mid-length or shorter is the perfect way to manage it. Long, one-length hair will drag your hair down, making it look even finer and flatter. To give movement and volume to fine hair, your hairdresser may add layers. Layered hairstyles create the appearance of fullness, while straight styles emphasize fine hair texture.
Getting regular trims helps remove any damaged ends and keeps fine hair looking healthier and bouncier.
Perm for Fine Hair
Women who have fine-textured or flat hair may benefit from getting a perm. Permanent waving helps enhance the body and makes the strands look thicker. Gentle body waves are perfect for adding volume to fine, straight hair. A root perm will lift the roots and make short, flat hair look fuller.
Permanent hair color expands the hair shaft slightly, which makes fine, lifeless strands appear thicker and more voluminous. An experienced stylist can place color strategically to create a visual of thicker hair.
Semi-permanent and temporary hair dyes coat the hair shaft, providing your strands with added volume and body.
Bleaching makes the hair strands more porous and rougher, which gives the illusion of thicker and fuller hair. Additionally, expertly applied highlights can create the illusion of greater depth and volume.
A professional colorist can create a more voluminous and fuller look by coloring your roots darker than the rest of your hair.
Hair Extensions for Thickness
Hair extensions may be an instant solution for individuals with fine hair. Hair extensions are specific hairpieces designed to increase the length or inject volume into the hair.
Clip-in extensions are temporary hair extensions that add volume fast and allow quick style changes. They are easy to apply and remove. Hair extensions come in a wide variety of colors and types to fit everyone’s hair.
Helo-style hair extensions are especially suitable for fine hair as they don’t pull your real hair when attached.