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FEATURES May 14 2013 10:14AM

How to Manage Fine, Natural Hair

by Jess Gray, Hair Gets Kinky

People are always surprised when I tell them that I have fine hair. I have thick but fine hair which means although my individual hair strands are thin, I have a lot of them.

With fine, natural hair there are four issues that seem to give us trouble again and again: breakage, product build-up, frizz and lack of volume. Our more fragile strands sometimes need a little bit more attention than coarse strands and it is important to know how to handle these common problems. Well, I have several tips that help my fine strands achieve their full potential:

1. Trim regularly.
Trims are necessary for everyone, regardless of their hair type. However, as a fine-haired lady, your hair is more susceptible to breakage. Waiting too long until you have a meeting with the scissors can result in way more split ends than our sisters with coarser hair. You may see others try to push the limit by waiting three or four months before they get a trim. Nope. We have to stick to that 6-8 week guideline and make sure that our damaged ends don’t cause further harm.

2. Protect your hair while sleeping.
I know what it is like to get a little lazy with your nighttime routine. Unfortunately, the risk of breakage and frizz are higher for finer hair so it is important to commit to wrapping up your fragile strands every night. I’ve noticed a great difference in how my hair holds styles when I keep it protected at night. There have been a couple times when I have noticed that my hairline did not look as full and it was usually because my hair was being snagged on my sheets and pillows.

3. Detangle carefully.
Patience is key as manipulating your hair carelessly can cause extreme breakage. You MUST be gentle and not be tempted to tear through your hair. Yes, this may mean smaller sections and possibly taking a little more time to get the job done, but it’s worth it. Trust me. Find a conditioner with great slip to aid in the process.

4. Use lighter products.
Avoiding heavy oils and styling products can help you avoid product build-up and dull-looking hair. I’ve found that this tip helps me achieve more volume with my looks since the hair is not weighed down. Fine hair usually doesn’t require too much when it comes to maintenance and styling products so using less is more.

5. Deep condition.
Use moisturizing deep conditioners to restore moisture to the hair and minimize frizz. The way my hair lays down and behaves after a good deep conditioning session is heaven-sent. When I notice a lot of fly-aways, I know it is time to give my hair some extra attention. 

6. Don’t be afraid of protein.
Protein is one of the major building blocks of our hair. It strengthens the hair and we all know that fine hair needs a little more help in the strength department. Don’t be afraid to use products that have a healthy dose of protein in them from time to time and apply a protein treatment about once a month. If you aren’t sure how often to use them and are afraid of causing your hair to be dry and brittle from over-application, simply use it on an as-needed basis.

7. Avoid chemicals and heat.
Color and heat applications can weaken the hair so try not to overdo. I know they can be fun and give you some variety but pay close attention to any changes in your hair. You will want to handle any signs of damage as they appear or you are begging for breakage and possibly a visit from our dear friend Mr. Frizz.


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