An hour before her book-signing event, Heather sat in front of the mirror and attempted to style her hair into a topknot. She failed several times before giving up. She tried everything at her disposal. She applied a volumizing serum, used more than a dozen bobby pins, and resorted to a styling gel. Despite her efforts, the hairstyle would not hold for more than a couple of minutes. Frustrated, she decided to abandon the topknot and brushed her hair back instead, holding it with a floral headband at the crown.
Heather was not happy about how her hairstyle turned out on such an important day. She wondered if there was something wrong with her hair. In an effort to get to the root of the problem, she spoke to hair professionals, consulted her family physician, and spent some time at the public library researching hair issues.
You do not have to look anywhere else to know that the “problem” in Heather’s case is actually fine hair. Read on to know more about fine hair and the problems associated with it.
Characteristics of Fine Hair
On a hair professional’s suggestion, Heather did a test to find out if she had fine hair. She plucked out a strand of her hair and did the following:
- She rubbed the strand between her thumb and index finger. She did not feel anything. Due to its small diameter, fine hair cannot be felt.
- She pulled the strand at both ends and it broke. Fine hair is not elastic and breaks when stretched.
- She parted her hair and was able to see her scalp. Fine hair is not dense. That is, there are fewer hair follicles and hence fewer strands of hair.
It was now clear to Heather that she has fine hair. This made it easy for her to understand the challenges she faced with her hair. So, what are these challenges? The next section answers this question.
Challenges of Fine Hair
Fewer hair follicles mean fewer strands of hair and more ‘white space’. Fine hair can make hairstyling particularly challenging as it did for Heather. This issue will be discussed in more detail later.
The problems associated with having fine hair are plenty:
1. Sun-burnt Scalp
Since the scalp is exposed, it is vulnerable to sunburns. Heather’s doctor prescribed a sunscreen to apply on the scalp before stepping outdoors on a very hot day. This will help to prevent a sun-burnt scalp which is common among women with fine hair.
2. Dryness-induced Static
A humid day brings some relief, but, on other days, a fine-haired woman’s predicament is doubled because a dry climate creates static in fine hair.
3. Dry Shampoo Woes
While dry shampoo is highly valued by women with thick hair, it does little to help fine hair achieve volume and a wholesome look.
4. Limited Hairstyling Possibilities
Styling fine hair involves hard work and creativity because it is difficult to create a proper style with so little hair. It takes much imagination and effort to create hairstyles that give the impression of healthy and voluminous hair. In addition to this, Heather has to make sure no area of her head is visible otherwise, she will look unattractive. The most frustrating part, however, is fine hair does not hold curls. You can create long lasting curls to your fine hair with hot rollers and it will also add volume.
5. Buildup of Grease
Since fine hair becomes greasy rather quickly, it has to be cleansed more frequently than other types of hair. Heather might be tempted to wash her hair every day, but hair professionals advise against it. The reason is daily washing dries out the hair and makes it frizzy.
Most fine-haired women (including Heather) make the mistake of using more conditioner than is necessary. Fine hair does not have the same needs as coarse hair. Too much conditioner tends to make fine hair look limp and does not help it to achieve volume even after teasing the hair. Since fine hair is greasier than other hair types, Heather can skip the conditioner on some wash days during the month.
6. Buildup of Product
The greatest disadvantage of fine hair is product builds up faster than the next wash day arrives. It is most likely why Heather’s topknot did not hold despite all of her efforts. Often, the reason fine hair appears limp is the buildup of product. To solve this issue, Heather was advised by a hairstylist to use a clarifying shampoo once every week.
7. Lack of Volume
One of the biggest hairstyling concerns is the lack of volume in fine hair. Choosing the right volumizing hair product is essential for transforming fine hair into a hairstyle fit for any special occasion. Heather should look for one that is lightweight to add volume to her hair without weighing it down.
Another mistake commonly made by women with fine hair is using styling product in the form of a serum, cream, or gel. These weigh the hair down and make fine hair look dull and lifeless instead of healthy and bouncy. Styling mousse or spray is recommended for fine hair because they are lightweight.
Since fine hair tends to be greasy, oil-based hair products weigh it down and defeat the purpose of a volumizing product. For this reason, aqua-based hair products are recommended for fine hair.
8. Prone to Breakage
As Heather discovered, fine hair is not elastic and breaks easily. Brushing wet hair and using the wrong types of hairbrush can cause women with fine hair to lose more hair every day. Many women are afraid to get a haircut believing they will lose even more hair. They do not realize that split ends are responsible for hair breakage and regular trims are essential to keep split ends at bay.
Heather was not aware she has fine hair which is the reason her favorite hairstyle did not hold on the day of her book-signing. It is next to impossible to keep her hair in a ponytail because the average hair tie is not small enough. However, armed with sufficient knowledge about fine hair, she need not worry about any of these issues. She knows precisely what has to be done to deal with them.
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- Ella King, Trouble with Fine, Thin Hair?, January 5, 2018
- Stephanie Anderson, 20 Struggles All Girls With Super-Fine Hair Will Understand, January 20, 2015
- School Of Affluence, Fine Hair Problems: The Naked Truth About Why I Hate My Hair! (+ Before/After Pics), Oct 5, 2018