Photo Courtesy of Craving Yellow

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 their hair’s health. Before we dive into this topic, let's make sure that 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 a very similar curl pattern might have a very different head of hair, simply because of the width of their strands. Natural hair varies according to curl patterns, porosity, and width. If you'd like 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 strand. Fine hair has a small diameter compared to medium or coarse hair (which have larger diameters). Whether or not you have fine hair is mainly a dependent on your genetics, and all hair types, regardless of their curl pattern can have fine hair. 

Read more: The Biggest Mistake People with “Thick” Hair Make

Is fine hair the same as thin hair?

No, fine hair is not necessarily thin hair. The term “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 very 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 that their hair doesn'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 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 and is high in essential fats, proteins and magnesium. Both oils are easily absorbed into our strands and when applied modestly, do not weigh down fine hair.

3. Jojoba oil

Jojoba oil is actually 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 in your scalp.

4. Avocado oil

Avocado oil is high in monosaturated fats, which nourish, moisturize and strengthen hair strands, improving the way they look 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 ends, which are the most delicate. 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 up. 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 to keep our hair strong and moisturized, as well as to 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 are using a clarifying shampoo the next day. Don your plastic cap and cover with your satin cap. Type 2 textures with fine strands can best 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 off 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? Leave us a note below, and let us know your thoughts! 

This article has been updated for grammar and clarity.