Fine curly hair is one of the most challenging hair types.

“You’re trying to do two things to your hair that, in most cases, work against each other,’ says John Frieda, creator of the Frizz-Ease line. “You want body. But on the other hand, you don’t want to use anything that will make your hair any drier or frizzier. It’s a bit of a Catch 22 with that hair type.”

Unfortunately, many of the body-building products on the market contain ingredients like alcohol that dry out the hair and make it frizzier. But products that reduce frizz can often leave the hair flat and lifeless.

“Fine hair is one of the most difficult hair types,” agrees Natasha Septimus, a master stylist with the Warren Tricomi Salon in New York.

But there are tips, products and hair styles that can make fine hair much easier to work with. When washing the hair, many stylists recommend using a thickening or volumizing shampoo, rather than one that’s too heavy.

Lighter conditioners tend to work best on fine hair. Leave-in conditioners and detangling sprays, which often are lighter, are recommended.

When using conditioner, put it only halfway down the hair shaft. The roots don’t need it and the conditioner can weigh hair down.

“Baby fine hair can become overmoisturized very easily,” says Karen Nace, national Education Director for Nexxus Products. “It becomes limp, lifeless and can’t support a style.” Nace compares it to cooking pasta. When it’s cooked right, it has great texture. But when left in boiling water too long, it becomes limp.

Anti-frizz products can be used in moderation. Ruth Roche, a master stylist with Redken, suggests putting a very small amount of an anti-frizz serum in damp hair. The water in the hair helps dilute the product and spreads it out. Styling products, whether gels, styling cremes or mousses can be applied at the roots for lift. Thickening lotions also help add body to the hair because they expand the hair shaft.

Here are some suggestions for fine hair from some top hair stylists and companies:

L’Oreal Professional

When you get out of the shower, comb your hair with your fingers or a wide-toothed comb. Don’t play with it. Anything that’s less disruptive to the curl is best.

Product suggestions: Artec Control gel used with Aeromousse, which can be sprayed on the scalp and roots for volume. Kiwi Bodifying Detangler is a mist that is very light.

John Frieda

Make sure you’re using products specifically for your hair type. You wouldn’t use the same cream on oily skin that you would for dry skin. Also, the amount of product you use and how you apply it can have a very dramatic effect on how well the product works. Shampoo with a product that’s not too heavy. Apply a very small amount of Frizz-Ease when the hair is soaking wet. You may only need it on your ends. Apply where it’s frizziest. Then use a product that gives body, such as a mousse or a gel.

When styling, the less you do the better. Let your hair fall into a towel but don’t rub. Gently squeeze. Take a diffuser and keep it on a low setting. Let the hair fall into the cup of the diffuser. Dry inside of hair first. When hair feels hot to the touch, it’s dry. The worst thing you can do is overdry the hair.

Product suggestions: Frizz-Ease Hair Serum, Frizz-Ease Curl Around Style-Starting Shampoo, Frizz-Ease Take Charge Curl-Boosting Mousse.


You want to make sure you’re using products that build and maximize the fullness of the hair.

Product suggestions: If you need help fighting frizzies, Tigi recommends mixing a 50-50 concoction of Thickening Cream and Tigi Control Freak. While Control Freak works on the outside of the hair to give good curl formation and get rid of frizz, the Thickening Cream expands the hair shaft, giving it more volume.

Natasha Septimus, master stylist with Warren Tricomi Salon

Getting the brush in at the roots gives it lift. Really fine hair tends to get oily at the root. If you blow it straight, take baby powder and rub it into the roots to get rid of oil. It also gives hair body. You should always have a little bit of hidden layering on the interior of the haircut, otherwise the ends look too skinny and to give the hair body. It shouldn’t get longer than shoulder length because otherwise it can look too thin.

Product suggestions: Mix a pea or dime size of both Rusk Wired and Rusk Gel Gloss together and put it through hair. To straighten hair, mix Rusk Wired and Rusk Str8 together. To condition, use Rusk Calm Conditioner.


With conditioners, make sure you don’t over moisturize. With styling and finishing aids, remember that a little goes a long way. Put it in your hands first and rub them together to disperse it. Massage them into the scalp first. Then comb it through. It’s better to reapply little amounts than to apply too much at one time. It’s good to alternate products. Maybe use a treatment shampoo one day and a lighter shampoo the next.

Product suggestions: Botanoil or Diametress shampoos and Headress Leave-in conditioner. To style, Root Exxtend Volumizing Spray.


When it’s wet, squeeze out the excess water and apply a combination of Redken Gutz and Glass to the hair. Then twirl the hair when it’s wet, twirling pieces that are 1 to 2 inches in diameter from the roots to the end, kind of like locking. Let dry naturally or with a diffuser.

Product suggestions: All Soft Shampoo and Conditioner. To style, Guts and Glass, Contour, Water Wax.

Sebastian International

You don’t want to weigh down fine curly hair, making it look all thin and clumped together.

Product suggestions: Active Shampoo and Conditioner and Cello Shampoo and Sheen.

Michelle Breyer

As co-founder of, a website for curly hair she began with her business partner and friend, Gretchen Heber, Michelle Breyer helped create the leading community and resource for people with curly hair. Frustrated by the lack of information on curly hair and the limited products available in the marketplace, the duo launched the site in 1998 with the help of a 14-year-old web designer. When Procter & Gamble called three years later to advertise to the® audience, Breyer knew they had indeed created a force in the industry, providing helpful information and unparalleled expertise for what was then considered a niche market.

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