My experiences with having fine, low density curly hair have been mainly positive but every curl type has their struggles. For example, whenever the wind blows my scalp is very noticeable and certain hairstyles like ponytails and updos emphasize my bald spots. Fine refers to the width of my strands, and low density means the number of strands on my head. As I’ve grown up, I’ve learned the importance of layers within my haircut to create the illusion of fullness in my hair.
My #1 suggestion for volume: Invest in a great haircut.
It wasn’t until I met my hairdresser, Shai Amiel that he gave me what was the perfect haircut for fine, low density curly hair. A rounded, shaggy bob with strategic layers. It completely transformed the appearance of my hair. Complete strangers commented on how thick my hair looked--it was the first time I’d received that type of comment. If you want to know my number one suggestion for volume: Invest in a great haircut.
Although a good haircut is the first and most important step, styling comes second.After completing a wash-and-go, the one product I have to cocktail into my styling products is a thickening cream. By mixing a small dollop into my curl cream or gel, my curls expand and appear noticeably thicker. Occasionally, I’ll use a diffuser to increase the volume but my preference is to air dry. It’s after my hair is dry that the real magic happens.
Shake It Out
Using my fingers at the roots, I gently shake and loosen up the curl pattern. By doing this, the curls appear longer because the roots are slightly stretched. This also provides a little bit of frizz just at the roots to help my curls spread out.
Pump Up The Volume
Naturally, the Afro pick comes into play for this next section. To add lift, I use my pick in a circular motion around the entire hairline. The key is to insert the pick near the scalp and gently lift about an inch. Next, I section off the center crown area and pick from the front to the nape of my neck. I repeat the same process on the sides of my head.
Stretch It Out
Because my curls like to clump together and get a bit piecey, I use a pulling method to stretch them out. Certain curl patterns throughout my head shrink more than others and this method really helps to keep the length even in the process. This is where I see the biggest difference. Many people think that my hair has grown so much but this is my little secret and it works everytime.
This is as easy as it sounds. All I do is gently pull small sections from the root to the tip. This can be done either over my entire head or specifically in areas that have major shrinkage. Usually, I only need to do this once because my curl pattern gets looser as the days follow.
After day 1, my curls generally stretch on their own due to the pineapple method. The act of placing my curls in a high ponytail naturally stretches them overnight resulting in a looser, fuller look. However, depending on the type of haircut you have the following days can also result in more frizz. I actually embrace the frizz and use it as an advantage to having a fine texture but not everyone likes that. If frizz is something that bothers you, ignore the pulling method or use it only in certain areas.
Keep in mind that with fine, curly hair you are more than likely going to need a pick handy at all times. Even with shorter layers up top, my hair can fall flat so I keep a pick in my purse, gym and work bag. Occasionally on day 3 or 4 hair, I will spray my hair down with water or a lightweight leave-in conditioner. This refreshes my curls and brings the bounce back. However, rewashing my hair is the easier solution and personally I think it just looks better.
How do you get volume in your curls?
My stylist: Shai Amiel, Capella Salon @shaiamiel