View Full Version : Advice for fine hair?

January 12th, 2011, 02:41 AM
Hi everyone,

I'm new here, lurking around and reading posts about hair care...never knew there was so much out there!

I have fine hair and not a lot of it, and am wondering what is the best way to take care of such hair?

I've spent my whole life using shampoo and conditioner, but I think they make me shed a lot. My hair is longer now so I really hope I can find ways to shed less! So I'm trying to use less shampoo/conditioner and stretching out washings. My scalp tends to get oily quickly but not the lengths. I last shampooed 2 weeks ago and have been using only water since. At first my hair would be greasy the next day, but so far it doesn't get greasy till maybe 2 days later. I don't mind how it feels since it's up all the time, but is water enough to clean hair?

I don't brush or comb much either because my hair breaks easily. I just use my fingers to detangle when hair is almost dry.

I read a lot on here about baking soda, vinegar, oil, tea, etc, and want to know what works best for cleaning/washing fine hair and oily scalp?

My apologies if these topics have been addressed already somewhere else...

Thanks for reading :)

January 12th, 2011, 02:56 AM
You have similar hair as me! I don't shed a lot, I think that combing/washing it only removes the hairs that were already falling out, but don't influence the shedding.
Anyway, I wash my hair once a week: first I put conditioner on the ends and wash my scalp. After rinsing I put conditioner on the entire length. Sometimes my bangs get horribly greasy, so I wash them a bit more often than the rest. So the length of the hair stays dry and untouched by shampoo/conditioner. If you have oily scalp maybe that helps? I personally don't like to wash only with water, my hair just feels better after shampoo+conditioner :)
Also I comb it once a day, before I put it up in the morning.
To reduce shedding try to put as less stress as possible on your hair.

Happy growing!

January 12th, 2011, 03:32 AM
Hi azhie, welcome to LHC! :waving:

I have fine hair but it is very thick. I would suggest doing a search for members with your hair type and reading through their "about me" sections and blogs to find out what routines work for them. That will give you a good starting point.

What I can offer as a fellow fine hair is that we all tend to have tangle-crazy, split-end inclined manes. I would suggest keeping your hair up as much as possible and getting a silk or satin pillow case; this will help greatly with both issues.

Regarding the shedding: shampoo absolutely causes me to shed more, and conditioner causes me to shed even more than shampoo! It is possible to have clean hair with WO but there is a large adjustment period: water only thread here (http://forums.longhaircommunity.com/showthread.php?t=3412). You can also check out my blog when I did strictly WO for a month, less information but a little easier to sift through :) : blog here (http://forums.longhaircommunity.com/blog.php?u=29666) (you'll want to start from the beginning entry).

Currently, I do WO on my scalp and shampoo the length of my hair from my ears to my chin. This cuts out the lank/greasy look of productive scalp oils while still allowing my scalp to adjust how much it produces over time. I shed significantly less with just WO and because my hair is so thick this helps with the issues I have of not being able to completely rinse out shampoo each wash -- I can almost never get it all and my scalp itches constantly. WO solves both problems. :)

Neem oil also helps with shedding, and washing less in general. But so far WO is the only method that has helped me to almost stop shedding completely.

As a side note, I do not use brushes or combs, I fingercomb only. This has definitely helped with damage but I can't say whether it affected my rate of shedding or not as I have experimented with so many other methods during that transition -- too many variables to tell! :)

If you have any questions feel free to pm me.

Good luck! :)

January 12th, 2011, 03:47 AM
I've spent my whole life using shampoo and conditioner, but I think they make me shed a lot.
Hello. :) Do you find it was one specific brand of shampoo and conditioner that made you shed a lot, or all brands you tried? How is your diet, and overall health? It would make sense to figure out the reason why you shed before making a change in your hair care routine.

My scalp tends to get oily quickly but not the lengths.
For people with fine and/or thin hair, even normal levels of oil production can make their scalps looks oily. There is less hair to absorb and hide the oil on the scalp. Doesn't necessarily mean your scalp produces lots of oil, it's just more visible.

I last shampooed 2 weeks ago and have been using only water since. At first my hair would be greasy the next day, but so far it doesn't get greasy till maybe 2 days later. I don't mind how it feels since it's up all the time, but is water enough to clean hair?
I'm wondering, have you noticed a change in the amount of hair you lose since you switched to water-only? Also, do you have hard water? If yes, WO might not be the best for you because of all the minerals in the water building up on your hair and scalp.

I don't brush or comb much either because my hair breaks easily. I just use my fingers to detangle when hair is almost dry.
This is why I never seriously tried water-only washes. My hair is extremely fragile, and needs the moisture from conditioner (or, even better, leave-ins).

Diluted ACV (apple-cider vinegar) or citric acid rinses are said to be good for hair, and especially for the scalp. Look around in the articles and the recipes section for them! There is a terrific article about oils and how to use them (they don't work for me personally, but you'll need to try to see for yourself). I avoid baking soda and soap, they ruined my hair totally. Doesn't mean they won't work for you, but there are gentler ways to wash your hair... Happy browsing!
Last but not least, don't forget to read Ursula's Standard Newbie Advice in the articles section - great tips on how to sort through all the info here on the boards.

January 12th, 2011, 04:07 AM
I second the advice to start with Ursula's Standard Newbie Advice, you can find it here: http://forums.longhaircommunity.com/vbjournal.php?do=article&articleid=39
The article on Damaged Hair: Understanding, Preventing & Rehabilitating http://forums.longhaircommunity.com/vbjournal.php?do=article&articleid=79 is also great, and a lot of the advice applies to fine hair that isn't damaged too, because fine hair is more fragile. Especially avoiding mechanical damage is more important than other hair types.
Wear your hair up and protected as much as possible, and handle it as little as possible. I stopped all brushing and combing of my hair, even finger combing, and that has helped greatly with reducing splits. (of course you need hair that doesn't tangle much to get away with this... ;) )

Water only is great if your hair and scalp can handle it. Sebum (the oils/wax your scalp produces) is great for hair. There is a long tread about water only here: http://forums.longhaircommunity.com/showthread.php?t=3412
You might also want to look into conditioner only (CO) for when you do wash your hair. If it works for you, it's usually more gentle and less drying than shampoo.

For me at least, fine hair seems to "hide" dryness. It looks fine (pardon the pun :p) and feels soft, but is still dry. I mist my hair regularly to make sure it stays moisturized enough in between washes. I use a mix of water, a tiny bit of conditioner and/or a tiny bit of oil in my mister, but there are many variants and threads on this if you search.
Good luck with your hair! :)

January 12th, 2011, 04:24 AM
My advice to you is to detangle carefully, fine hair is damageprone and if you dont take care of the tangles at once, and maybe even snip off hairs that may have gotten damaged with a pair of sharp scissors, the tangles is just gonna keep on tangling. :) thats how i solved my tangleproblems.

January 12th, 2011, 05:44 AM
HERE (http://forums.longhaircommunity.com/showthread.php?t=17115) is a thread with a lot of information on fine and thin haircare.

January 12th, 2011, 08:20 PM
Thank you everyone for your replies and advice! :)

@ Deimos: Wow, only washing hair once a week, I'm impressed. I do agree that hair feels better after shampoo and conditioner, but it is alarming to see so much hair come out! (or so it seems like). Do your lengths stay non-greasy throughout the week?

Right now I live in the countryside so I can get away with washing twice a week or so and still feels and looks clean. But I'm going to spend some months in the city soon, very polluted place, I wonder if washing less would still be feasible..

@ Aurantia: Thank you for your suggestions. I'm very interested to read about your experiences with WO! I browsed some threads here, and it seemed to me that fine-haired people prefer not to do WO because of the greasiness. It's nice to know it's not hopeless! :) I'm especially glad to hear that it helped you with itchy scalp. My scalp tends to itch after a few days and I wonder if it's because my scalp isn't clean, or some other reason (haven't figured it out yet).

Yes, I have that issue with conditioner making me shed more too. I stopped using conditioner for awhile some years ago and just shampooed or use those 2 in 1s. It made my hair a little dry but easier to handle, at least, it would in a ponytail. Conditioner makes my hair so slippery I had to use hairties very tightly and that breaks a lot of hairs.

@ Lamb: I don't know if any particular brand makes the shedding worse. Prior to now, I haven't really paid attention to shampoos, didn't know that organic/natural existed (where I grew up, everyone used the brands like Pantene, Vidal Sassoon, etc). I seem to shed less with conditioning shampoos, but that might be because my hair doesn't get as slippery and less hair falls out. Overall health, I'm okay-- mostly vegetarian, not too much fried or junk food. I shed much more back when I was thinner, so I figured nutrition had a lot to do with it.

I did notice much fewer hairs falling out when using water only. I was pleasantly surprised. We don't have hard water... at least I don't think so, my husband has never used commercial shampoos and he doesn't get buildup or anything.

Where I live, everyone uses coconut oil for their hair, they say it makes hair blacker and thicker (and I can see that on them). I tried it a few times, and afterwards I always just shampoo more to get rid of the greasiness. I tried it last week on just the lengths and ends and it made my hair stringy. But not sure if it's because of the oil or because I haven't used shampoo in awhile.

January 12th, 2011, 08:26 PM
@ hailbane: Thank you for the links! How do you get your hair to not tangle? I've recently learned some buns so I can keep my hair up, so excited :) But I still need to detangle in the mornings before putting it up.

What do you mist with? I admit this is the first time I've heard of it.

@ Chamy: I know about damage prone... When I get a big knot, it's almost hopeless to untangle it! I used to be really lazy with combing, and soon realized it was a bad idea not to detangle at least once a day.

@ chrissy-b: Thanks! I'm browsing it right now... wonder why I didn't find this thread earlier!

January 12th, 2011, 08:33 PM
As a fine/thinnie, I tried WO, and I liked it but I just couldn't get volume after a while so I gave it up. I did shed less with it.

Washing my hair definately causes a LOT of shedding. I can comb and comb and comb pre-shampoo until no more hairs shed out, then as soon as the water/shampoo hit---out came the hair. Unbelievable amounts.

I finally figured it out:

#1---hot water makes my hair shed. I wash my hair with cool-cold water and I get minimal shedding

#I had been experimenting with oil shampooing, and I switched around a lot of shampoos that I normally would never try. I found certain shampoos would make me shed heavily, and others not so much. A light bulb moment---I am allergic to shampoo ingredients!
Why I never put two and two together, I don't know since I am allergic to the world(lots of indoor, outdoor, and food allergies). I thought I was doing good by using organic botanical shampoos, but clearly I was allergic to some of those botanicals.
So now I use more mainstream shampoos. Johnson's Baby and Neutrogena shampoos caused minimal shedding.

You might find this thread interesting:

January 12th, 2011, 09:41 PM
My hair is fine, but I have a lot, so tangles can get pretty epic. I notice that the tangles make my hair feel rougher and dryer than it really is, so that can be deceiving. At the same time, as my hair actually does get dryer as it gets longer. I eventually realized that I could not use the same small amount of conditioner that I used when my hair was shoulder length.

So perhaps using more conditioner, as well as leaving in some oil would be beneficial (if you have not done so already). As for your roots being more oily: if you can get your length more moisturized, you may be able to brush the oils from your scalp to the length of your hair. Your natural sebum should be an awesome moisturizer (my hair definitely feels softer 24 hours after washing).

Since your hair is delicate, even a good moisturizing may not be enough to make your hair brush-able. In that case, you can search the forum. There is plenty of info out there (chrissy-b already provided a link). :)

PS. Oooh! I just thought of this: maybe you can only wash your scalp (hold the rest of the hair away from the water). Anyway, good luck with your hair.

January 12th, 2011, 10:15 PM
My hair is fine but there's more of it than it looks.

I need to use shampoo and conditioner, the other methods don't work for me and make my hair go completely flat.

I wash probably every 3 days, and oil my hair the day/night before a wash with coconut oil, then 20 minutes before I wash I've also been using Lush's hair treatment, the one with the Chinese name I can never remember.

I find I need to use a coney detangler/serum or my hair goes very flyaway and frizzy, so I am currently using John Frieda Frizz-Ease, but I'll switching since I don't know if it's tested on animals and that matters to me.

I switch between sulfates and cones to free from those with my shampoos and conditioners.


January 13th, 2011, 01:50 PM
azhie: Well, for me the lack of tangles is mostly lucky genetics, but I also use catnip tea, oil and heavy conditioners, sometimes with cones, all of which can help prevent tangles. Diluted apple cider vinegar rinses help a lot of people too.

I mist with water with a tiny bit of conditioner and/or oil. I didn't consider misting at first, since it mostly seems to be curlies or wavies who mist, but my hair got super dry in the winter so I sort of stumbled onto it. Misting can help keep the hair from tangling or help detangling too, and misting before doing an updo can help it hold better.
Here are two "What's in your Mister Bottle" thread, people use lots of different things depending on what their hair likes:

January 13th, 2011, 03:15 PM
My hair is fine-ish and thin-ish so I can at least give some "ish" advice. I have experimented a LOT over my LHC years, so this is my current thinking- it's far from set in stone.

1.) Fine hair is very delicate and breaks more easily. Unfortunately, in hair that is fine AND thin, breakage is a larger aesthetic problem because an amount of breakage that may be negligible in iii hair shows up dramatically in i hair. THEREFORE, fine and thin hair must be handled much more delicately than thicker, coarser hair. I think the "old lace" advice applies to us more than the general population. For instance, I
a.) Never wear it down, and
b.) Use a wide-toothed wooden comb only, never a brush.
c.) Am careful about hairtoys. Even a Ficcare will catch and snap fine hair. I still wear mine- it just requires increased awareness.

2.) Any kind of sulfate, AT ALL, is death to my hair. It becomes crispy and splits. My hair likes 'cones, but those are hard to wash out without sulfates, and so the 'cones pile up and my hair becomes flat and looks greasy. I have given them both up, with excellent results.

3.) Cutting back on washes, as noted, has mixed results, as our type of hair quickly looks flat and greasy. However, cutting back on washes is the best way I've found to keep the hair in good shape down the length. I have used the following strategies to spread out my washes and make those washes gentler:

a.) On non-wash days, if I let my hair out of its bun at ALL, I rinse my hair with WO in the shower and then use diluted ACV to cut the grease and combat my hard water.

b.) On wash days, which are maybe once a week, week, I use a small amount of DILUTE, sulfate-free, shampoo on the scalp only. For example, I have some Dr. Bronner's which I cut with some herbal hair tea. After a wash, I rinse with ACV, rinse again, condition the length with a 'cone-free conditioner, and don't rinse that out thoroughly. My personal favorite for this is Mane 'n Tail.

4.) Thin and fine hair generally needs extra oils on the length, since it can't sustain the brushing with a BBB required to move the scalp oils down the length. CO works for some, but often also creates the flat-and-limp problem.

Personally, I oil the length from about the ears down with a generous amount of hair oil between washes, every day if I remember it. It took me a fair amount of experimentation before I found an oil that worked for me- many that I tried (including jojoba and coconut) didn't seem to soak in. They just sat outside the cuticle and made everything look lank and stringy.

The oil I use now is a blend made by Common Sense Farms and marketed as a baby oil. It's a blend of sweet almond oil, apricot kernel oil, and aloe vera oil, and also contains vitamin e and extracts of chamomile, calendula, and comfrey. Works for me!

Hope that helped.

January 13th, 2011, 04:09 PM
I have fine hair, but I don't really experience any issues with it being particularly delicate, but that's probably more to do with my personal genetics than anything else. I also have very thick (5.5" circumference last I checked) hair and it's wurly.

As for tangles, I used to get them A LOT, especially in the nape area (near dreadlocks after wearing my hair down for a day) and even more after my hair started turning wurly. One thing that has really helped it be less prone to tangles is oiling and the other is herbal rinses and acid rinses. I don't use conventional hair products at all any more and my hair is a lot happier for it. To wash I use either soapnuts or a baking soda dilution. I find oil applied to wet hair keeps the greasies away as my hair doesn't seem to soak much up no matter where I am in the clarifying cycle. It takes some, just not a lot.

A couple of things I absolutely cannot do with my hair is wear intricate hair things with tiny holes, or springs, or even the little rivets in those snappy clips. My hair can and will get caught in them and then they won't come out. I only buy snap clips that have that plastic embossing or whatever on top. No french barrettes, no jaw clips. Also, I MUST have all my nape hairs out of the way if I'm going to wear most metal necklaces, other wise I'll have to cut my hair out of it at the end of the day. I have some pretty weird short hairs back there because of some issues with that.

January 13th, 2011, 09:01 PM
Thank you everyone for sharing your hair care methods. This is so helpful :)

My hair is flat and has no volume, and I've pretty much given up on trying to create volume. Before it used to be from the greasiness, but now maybe it's the length pulling it down? My solution is to keep my hair up. Even with ponytails and hair clips, hair breaks easily when I pull, so I'm trying plain hair sticks now. Even with those I have to twist them in carefully.

I'm still experimenting with different wash methods to see what works best. It never occurred to me to just wash my scalp... that makes a lot of sense.

Coconut oil doesn't work for me as well, it makes my hair stringy. My husband has fine curly hair and coconut oil works great for him!

My lengths and ends tend to be dryer but not very dry, at least, I don't see split ends like when I had my hair dyed. I'm not sure yet if I should moisturize more or not. Hmm, I'm not a very good judge of my own hair it seems...

January 13th, 2011, 09:03 PM
pepperedmoth: this is very helpful! Thank you :D

January 13th, 2011, 09:23 PM
I have fine hair too, and I find that I shed less since doing CO every other day and using only cool water on my hair. I lose maybe 5 hairs in the shower now - down from...um...a lot more than that!