When working to keep their hair moisturized, those with fine, curly hair walk a tightrope. They must navigate through a world filled with thick, heavy conditioners, which often leave their hair feeling greasy and suffocated. Though it sure was hard, we figured out the best way for our fine-haired naturalistas to keep their curls hydrated while not weighing them down in the process.
Lay Off the Conditioner
This one may seem obvious, but for many of us, better conditioning equates to adding more product. Your coarse-haired counterparts might benefit greatly from slathering on butter-like conditioners, but the same can’t be said about thin, fine hair. In fact, for fine hair, some even suggest doing away with leave-in conditioners completely and instead relying on detanglers.
Use Products That are Plentiful in Protein
Before anything, your thin hair requires a strong foundation so that it can better retain moisture. Do this by incorporating more protein into your hair care routine. Protein serves to temporarily seal in pores in the hair shaft, allowing it to temporarily hold in hydration. Use these products in moderation, however, for too much can leave your hair feeling drier and more brittle than before. If you find that a protein-heavy product is too rough on your hair, considering substituting for it a product whose protein ingredients are located further down the list.
Focus on Moisturizing the Ends Rather Than the Roots
Especially if you were raised to apply grease and oil to the scalp, it may seem natural to channel most of your energy into putting hair products on your roots rather than your ends. Though the curly-haired community still debates over what’s best, those with thin hair should avoid applying too many moisturizing products to the root. Doing so will only weigh your hair down and give your hair follicles little room to healthily support new growth. For a rule, of thumb, start by rubbing conditioners and similar products across your hands to ensure evenness and begin applying them three to four inches away from the root.
Pre-poo the Hair Before Shampooing and Conditioning
Though it may seem tempting to condition often to accommodate for your dry tresses, conditioning too often or leaving in product for too long can weigh your hair down even more. Fine hair is more prone to hygral fatigue, which occurs when the hair follicles stretch and weaken in the process of absorbing water. Undergoing overnight and/or deep-conditioning treatments make the hair more vulnerable to this costly process. While weakening your hair, the excess water and condition can also weigh your fine hair down. If you still decide to condition, pre-pooing can help accommodate the product-heavy process to come. Pre-pooing provides naturalistas with many benefits, including preventing any damage that may come to fine hair during the shampooing and conditioning. This process can give thin, fine hair enough strength against being weighed down by heavy conditioners.
Don’t Leave Essential Oils Out of Your Hair Care Routine
To oil or not to oil. It’s a question that those with fine but curly hair often struggle with. But any hair type will benefit from a little bit of oil. Because fine hair’s fragile structure makes it more susceptible to damage, sealant oils such as argan, jojoba, and almond oil can help lock in the moisture provided after a much-needed conditioning treatment. But as mentioned before, be sure to start around three to four inches around the root when applying your favorite oil, paying special attention to your ends. But as you probably know all too well, using too much can make your hair a stringy, heavy mess that can take hours to rid yourself of. So keep oil usage to less than a dime-sized amount.