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I know what you are probably thinking after reading that title. Should a woman with fine hair use oils? Everywhere you look in the hair care world, the answer seems to be “not really.” Well, I’d like to disagree. Women with fine hair can use oils to improve the health of their hair. Before diving into this topic, let’s ensure we get some key definitions out of the way.
What is hair type?
The natural hair community has several hair typing systems that help us better understand our manes. Two naturalistas with very similar curl patterns might have very different heads of hair, simply because of the width of their strands. Natural hair varies according to curl patterns, porosity, and width. If you want to determine your hair type, try taking our Texture Typing Quiz.
What is fine hair?
The term “fine hair” is a characteristic of your hair type that refers to the width of your hair strands. Fine hair has a small diameter compared to medium or coarse hair (which has larger diameters). Whether or not you have fine hair depends mainly on your genetics, and all hair types, regardless of their curl pattern, can have fine hair.
Read more: How to Make Thin Curly Hair Look Thicker
Is fine hair the same as thin hair?
No, fine hair is not necessarily thin hair. “Thin” hair refers to hair density and not hair width. Thin hair means that one has few hair follicles per square inch. A fine-haired naturalista can have a full mane consisting of strands that are small in diameter.
Read more: Your Hair is Fine, Not Thin
What are the characteristics of fine hair?
Fine hair might appear full when washed and air-dried but falls flat and limp when straightened or blow-dried. It’s also easily weighed down by heavy oils, creams, and butters. Curlies with fine hair may find they don’t hold a hairstyle very well and need to use lightweight stylers like mousses or hairsprays.
When overmanipulated, fine hair can be fragile and easily prone to breakage. It has also been found to take easily to color or dye.
What oils work best for fine hair?
As fine hair tends to get weighed down by products, you’d be better off using products that are quickly absorbed into the strand and that do not leave a heavy coating. Argan oil, almond oil, grapeseed oil, and jojoba oil do not leave a greasy residue on our fine strands.
1. Argan oil
Argan oil is a light plant-based oil high in vitamin E and antioxidants, which help treat and repair damaged strands.
2. Almond oil
Almond oil is one of the lightest drupe oils, high in essential fats, proteins, and magnesium. Both oils are easily absorbed into our strands and do not weigh down fine hair when applied modestly.
3. Jojoba oil
Jojoba oil is a wax ester that is used as a non-greasy, moisturizing hair oil. It is the most similar to the sebum produced by the sebaceous glands on your scalp. Pattern by Tracee Ellis Ross features a lightweight and nutrient-rich jojoba oil that was a 2023 Best of the Best Winner for type 2 curls.
4. Avocado oil
Avocado oil is high in monosaturated fats, which nourish, moisturize, and strengthen hair strands, improving their appearance and protecting them from environmental damage.
5. Grapeseed oil
Grapeseed oil is non-greasy, odorless, and colorless. Like avocado oil, grapeseed oil is high in linoleic acid, an essential fatty acid that helps to improve our hair’s elasticity. Aunt Jackie’s believes in the power of grapeseed oil; see what they’ve done with it.
Since fine hair is easily prone to mechanical damage, it is beneficial to use oils that have protective, strengthening, and restorative properties. Avocado oil and grapeseed oil can actively work to protect fine hair from environmental or mechanical damage.
How to use oils on fine hair
1. Hot oil treatment
Heat 2 tablespoons of almond or avocado oil. Apply sparingly to the length of your hair and focus on the most delicate ends. Massage gently into your scalp for several minutes. Allow to sit for 15 min. Proceed to shampoo. Remember, heated oils are better absorbed into our strands and do not leave a heavy coating. All curly hair types with fine hair can benefit from this method.
2. As a sealant
Fine hair is more prone to mechanical damage than other hair widths. Therefore, you’ll need to have your LOC method on lock. Use three to four drops of argan oil. Rub it in your palms to heat it. Dab it sparingly along the length of your hair. Remember to apply your sealant sparingly – there’s no need to slather oils onto your scalp. This will leave your hair weighed down. Type 4 textures with fine hair will benefit most from this technique as their curl pattern is most prone to losing moisture.
3. Pre-poo or overnight treatment
Pre-poo treatments can aid in keeping our hair strong and moisturized and prepare our hair for wash day. Heat 2 tablespoons of avocado or grapeseed oil. Rub it onto your strands from tip to root. Only saturate your strands if you use a clarifying shampoo the next day.
Don your plastic cap and cover it with your satin cap. Type 2 textures with fine strands can benefit from a pre-poo instead of a sealant, as it does not require as much oil as a hot oil treatment and will be cleansed of the hair. This will eliminate any trepidation about your hair being weighed down.
Do you have fine hair? Have you used oils in your hair regimen? What’s your experience been? Please leave us a note below, and let us know your thoughts!
This article has been updated for grammar and clarity.