View Full Version : Tips for thin/fine hair?

February 20th, 2013, 01:20 AM
Hey guys- I've been reading the board and trying out as many of the awesome suggestions as I can at this point, but I'm starting to get a little discouraged with my hair-growing journey.

I'm at about 26" which is definitely BSL for me, probably a bit over, I think. My hair is SO FINE and pretty fragile. I shed like crazy when I try to use most shampoos these days and have had good results with Chagrin Valley's Nettle bar and ACV rinses every 3-4 days. The other day I let my hair completely air-dry- that is to say, I didn't throw it back into a ponytail while it was still damp. I usually do this and my hair gets a nice, smooth result, but I'm worried about damaging the middle of my hair with a band and I've been getting headaches so I thought I would test it out just down, loose, since I was staying home and had the time.

It dried into a frizzy messy and felt rough rather than smooth/silky this way, and was hella wavy as well. I haven't been conditioning because I can't find a good all-natural conditioner and being chemical free is really important to me and been so good for my hair and skin already that I don't want to break the streak, but my hair being rough and kind of "crunchy" even after two applications of organic coconut oil has really freaked me out and I'm wondering if anyone has experience with fine/thin (not thinning) hair. I'm willing to try almost anything. I want the lovely thick, healthy locks that I see so many of the lovely people on the forum have, and I feel like I'm just not GETTING something about this whole haircare thing.

Anybody? Anybody? Bueller?

Thank you lovelies! Off to comb through the forums again.

February 20th, 2013, 06:42 AM
Hi Oraien. I have pretty fine hair. And after some years of experimentation I have found that it really does best with shampoo and conditioner only. Sometimes I lightly oil the very ends because I love the idea of oils, but honestly it is silkier and smoothest without any oil. Coconut is definitely a no-go for me, and gives me dry crunchy hair like you described. I have better luck with jojoba and camellia oils on damp ends.

Also, I haven't done it often but I notice that damp bunning my hair makes it very silky too, so I can see why you like to tie it back to dry. Can you wrap it into a bun instead of a ponytail to avoid damage?

February 20th, 2013, 09:21 AM
Well, you can't really change your hair's natural traits. My hair is fine (so the individual strands are very tiny), straight (while there are technically S waves in it, they're so large that only other hair obsessed folks notice them, and only if I go all out to enhance them and only with hair past BSL in length), very dry, and of average thickness (my ponytail measures 2.5-3"). There isn't anything I can do to magically make it so my ponytail measures 4 or 5" like my sister's instead of my 2.5-3". Not gonna happen :). I can make the best out of what I do have, so that the good points are obvious. There are a couple long threads focused on fine hair that I found very helpful for learning to see more good points to my natural hair type.

If you found your hair air dries wavy, the dry feel may well be you're not using a good routine for your hair type. For my hair, washing every 4-5 days is what I'd wind up doing if I were using a shampoo with fragrance added. I react to a lot of scented products, and the reaction is a really itchy, dirty feeling scalp. It sucks. Using a product that's fragrance free, or contains fragrance ingredients that I can safely eat in large quantities leaves my scalp less itchy. I also find that most products are too concentrated, so I need about a very small amount diluted and sudsed up and massaged into my scalp, or I wind up feeling itchy for day or so after a wash because my skin is too stripped. Granted, my skin is really dry and sensitive and a lot of folks don't have to worry about this kind of thing...

But there can definitely be a lot of weird quirks to how your particular make and model of body reacts to things. While I can definitely safely wash my hair with soap, for me it's not the ideal solution. My skin is dry enough that most soaps are really drying and stripping, and I'd have to wash VERY rarely to keep the itching down. And since I live in a really hard water area where the water supply is all from wells sited in limestone... I'd have to fuss a fair bit to use soap.

My hair also doesn't handle straight oils well. It does best with coconut and olive oil, but even with them, it can take days for my hair to absorb a thin film of oil applied with my hands. The whole process just winds up being really fussy and inefficient. Grab a fragrance free conditioner that is suitable for use on both wet hair and dry hair, and my hair will slurp it right up.

Since you're using mostly fragrance free products (aside from the shampoo bar), it may well be that you're dealing with similarly sensitive skin to me. I'd strongly suggest trying a condition-wash-condition system with the products you've been getting along with. In "pure" form, CWC is use conditioner from the ears down, wash the scalp, and then apply more conditioner. In your case, you'd use coconut oil in place of conditioner, and your shampoo bar for washing. If your hair handles oil well both wet and dry, you may well find that you need extra oil in between washes. If that produces good results, awesome. If not, I'd very judiciously try adding some fragrance free conditioner.

February 20th, 2013, 09:29 AM
Conditioning is so important- especially if your hair is fine and fragile. I just use a good cheap conditioner- people here like VO5 or Suave Naturals (I prefer the latter) and I either CO-wash or CWC.

Some people just don't like certain oils- coconut is okay for me as long as I use it sparingly, but things like argan oil, which people on here rave about, do not agree with my hair (or my skin, for that matter). My hair doesn't like EVOO, either. I'm currently oiling with Triple Moon Oil- it's light and it's really good- I like to oil in the morning and at night to keep my hair smooth and moisturized. Maybe look for something really light that's not going to weigh your hair down?

You might want to try shampooing less- that could help your hair a lot! I know I could shampoo daily, but it tends to dry my hair out a lot, so I stretch my washes to about once a week. :)

There are some great threads on here about fine hair- fine hair is beautiful in its own way and has a lot of advantages! :)


February 20th, 2013, 12:08 PM
Just throwing in that conditioner isn't necessarily a must. I hardly ever use it, and I do just fine. I rarely bother with oils either.

February 20th, 2013, 01:10 PM
I have fine hair on the thin side of average, just over a 2.25" pony. I either use shampoo from toadstool soaps (which also come unscented) on etsy or shampoo bars from cv. Once a week I give my hair a catnip tea soak for an hour. I also use a little coconut oil on the ends the night before shampooing. I don't use regular conditioner at all.