When we think of natural hair, what usually comes to mind are beautiful bouncy twist-outs, locs, box braids, large Afros and bountiful wash and gos. But we often forget about all the fine-haired curlies out there struggling to keep up with the #bighairdontcare hashtag. Over the years, I have really struggled to care for my hair because there wasn’t much of a reference point in the online world for those rocking their natural textures but in the thinnest way possible. But now there is. Below are some techniques that not only work for me but that I highly recommend to every fine-haired natural who is aiming for the healthiest hair possible to try.
Cleansing: Often we are told that washing our hair strips our strands of moisture and that we should focus more on co-washing. Co-washing is great in conjunction with cleansing. Fine-haired women should cleanse more often to ensure that they are not suffering from product build-up, especially when using products that contain silicones. I, on average, wash my hair 1-2 times a week, depending on the amount of product build-up I feel and see.
In addition, because we wash more often, I recommend diluting your shampoo. In a spray bottle mix, one part water, one part conditioner, and one part shampoo. That way you are conditioning while you cleanse and ensuring that your hair is not being stripped of moisture. Using a sulfate-free shampoo is also highly recommended.
Hydrating: Water is your best friend. I support wetting your hair every day for two reasons. 1) Water is the ultimate moisturizer and the best form of hydration for your hair. 2) Fine hair often doesn’t achieve “second day” hair. I cannot sleep with a satin bonnet on and wake up with the same curls I did the day prior. Instead, my curls are smashed, flat and lifeless. Re-wetting my hair resets my curls.
Conditioning: Every girl with curly hair needs a good leave-in conditioner, that goes without saying. I recommend using a leave-in conditioner daily on damp hair. Also, because we cleanse more often, deep conditioning 1-2 times a week for 10-15 minutes is a must!
Sealing: Moisturizing hair is a two-step process. First applying water or a water-based product followed by a sealant. Most often, we are told to use oils or heavy creams to seal our strands, but I want you all to say, “Goodbye” to oil and say, “Hello” to Aloe Vera juice/gel! Aloe Vera is so important and crucial as a PH balancer and extremely effective when it comes to moisture retention. Simply apply after your leave-in conditioner the same way you would oil. The aloe will seal your cuticles and keep you hydrated all day long. It also will not weight your hair down.
Styling: While our fellow thick-haired natural sisters thrive off of twists and braid-outs, we don’t. We can twist our hair at night only to find that in the morning there is no twist to our twist-out. Instead, our hair lies flat, looking like an old mop. I have found that when manipulating our natural fine-haired curl pattern, that rod and roller sets work best. I will write more extensively on styling techniques for fine hair in the future.