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What is fine hair?

Fine hair refers to the width or diameter of the actual hair strands. Hair that is smaller in diameter is classified as fine hair while hair and a thicker diameter is classified as coarse hair. Fine hair is also easier to straighten and style into updos because it is thinner, but one complaint many have about fine hair, is that protective styles such as braids or twists tend to look a little scalpy. People with fine strands tend to struggle to achieve volume. In short, there are benefits and setbacks when it comes to having fine hair, but there is a solution for everything. Here are a few things to better understand your fine hair. 

What is the difference between fine hair and thin hair?

Thin hair is completely different from fine hair. Usually when people say they have thin hair, they are referencing low density. When you have thin hair or low density hair, that is characterized as having a low number of strands. So in other words, a person with fine hair can have high density hair just like a person with coarse hair can have low density hair.

If you’d like to know your hair type, including your width, density, porosity and curl pattern, you can take our Texture Typing Quiz.

How to style fine hair

Do not weigh your hair down

One of the upsides of having fine hair is that you do not have to use as much product, simply because you cannot. Multiple products will weigh down fine hair. This can cause it to look and feel too heavy, further weighing down the roots and jolting any hopes you had of sporting voluminous hair. That brings us to our next tip. 

Create lift at the roots

People with fine hair need a little more help to create volume to prevent their hair from drying flat. They do not have the thickness required to have big hair so the roots need a little help. Lifting your roots for more volume and body starts with a blow-dryer. If you are a fan of diffusing, try doing it upside down. A great technique is to lie on a bed so you can hang your head over the side of the bed while laying down to diffuse.

Dry your hair in a pineapple

If you want lifted roots without using heat, simply pull your hair up into a night loose pineapple when it is 90% dry. When you sleep with only your roots are slightly wet, you will create volume as your roots set and your pillow will not be wet. Try to avoid placing the hair in a bun because that will just stretch out the hair, reducing the volume.

Protective style when partially dry

As I mentioned earlier, those with fine hair tend to have trouble with protective styling (e.g. twists”> because the fine strands cause the scalp to be more visible. To combat this issue, try twisting/braiding when the hair is damp or semi dry so that it looks fuller after styling.


All-in-all, fine hair is not a problem. Fine hair has its benefits and downfalls, but as long as you find what works for you, your fine hair should not be a big problem. Nobody is born with perfect hair. Whether it is fine, thick, or somewhere in the middle, we all have to work with the cards we were dealt, and that is not always a bad thing.

Read next: How to Make Fine, Thin Hair Look Fuller Without Losing Curl Definition

This article has been updated with additional resources.

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