What happens when you buy a hair product for someone without first checking if it will suit them well? Robin will tell you it is the most careless mistake any person can make. A few years ago, she gave her sister an Easter present and regretted it. It was a heavily advertised hair mask with positive online reviews. She purchased it from the local supermarket, gift-wrapped it, and sent it to her sister who lived upstate. A few days later, she got a call from her sister, giving her the unpleasant news. The hair product did not suit her sister who began to experience dull and lifeless hair.
Robin did not realize her sister has fine hair. She assumed her sister has the same hair type as her since they are related. She bought the same hair product for her sister which she buys for herself, thinking it would help her sister the same way it helps her. She spoke to a hair professional who explained how the needs of fine hair are different from those of other hair types.
Fine hair is very thin, has fewer strands, and tends to break when stretched. Women with fine hair struggle to conceal ‘white patches’ – these are areas of the scalp which are exposed since there isn’t enough hair to cover them. Since using the hair mask which Robin sent, Robin’s sister has had trouble adding volume to her fine hair to cover up the ‘white patches’.
After a long chat with the hair professional, Robin has prepared a list of products which should be avoided by women with fine hair. Below is a similar list.
The following hair products should be avoided by women with fine hair:
1. Hair Oil
Oils like argan, coconut, and olive oil add weight to the hair. Fine hair has fewer strands and is very thin. Hence, it cannot handle the extra weight of these hair oils and will stay flat and limp until the oil is washed off. However, Robin’s sister can use mineral oil instead. It will not weigh her fine hair down and will do the job of a hair moisturizer. By the same token, she should avoid cleansers and conditioners fortified with argan, coconut, or olive oil. She can use those products which contain mineral oil instead.
2. Styling Gel or Cream
Styling products in the form of gel, cream, or lotion also weigh the hair down. They make fine hair look dull and lifeless. The alternative is styling mousse or hair spray. However, Robin’s sister should use only those which add texture rather than those which soften the strands.
3. Deep Conditioner
The positive thing about fine hair is it does not become as dry as other hair types. Although a good quality hair conditioner cannot be totally skipped for fine hair, a deep conditioning product should be avoided at all costs. The reason is it adds too much moisture to the hair to make it super soft and weighs down the hair in the process.
4. Leave-in Conditioner
The issue with leave-in conditioners is they are heavy and make fine hair flat and limp. An alternative to this is an instant conditioner which Robin’s sister can rinse off immediately or after a couple of minutes.
5. Firm-hold Hairspray
Hairsprays with medium or strong hold will weigh down fine hair. They should be replaced by soft-hold or light-hold hairsprays. One which texturizes is a bonus. That way, Robin’s sister will not need to use more hair product than is necessary.
6. Sulfate-based Hair Product
Ingredients such as sodium laureth sulfate and sodium lauryl sulfate are used in the production of shampoo to create lather. The belief that a shampoo is effective only if it lathers is a common misconception. Sulfates are harmful especially for fine hair because they decompose the protein in the hair and cause the hair to break. For this reason, Robin’s sister must stay away from all sulfate-based hair products.
7. Silicone-based Hair Product
Shampoos, conditioners, and styling products can also contain an ingredient known as silicones. They often take the form of dimethicone, simethicone, or Cyclomethicone. Dimethicone and simethicone make the hair product heavy and are difficult to rinse off. Therefore, women with fine hair should avoid hair products which contain these 2 forms of silicone. On the other hand, Cyclomethicone does not make the hair product heavy. It is light and slippery and is easily rinsed off. For this reason, hair products containing Cyclomethicone are recommended for women with fine hair.
If Robin knew about fine hair then what she knows now, she could have given her sister a hair mask specially formulated for fine hair. Today, she is careful to avoid buying hair products which contain argan oil, coconut oil, olive oil, sodium laureth sulfate, sodium lauryl sulfate, Dimethicone, and simethicone for her sister. In her turn, Robin’s sister also makes it a point to use only those hair products which add volume and texture to fine hair.