GROWING FINE NATURAL HAIR LONG AND STRONG

By Hadassah Agbaps - July 27, 2016



Hi people, what's been on?

The picture up there was my look for an academic presentation held recently. That's usually my go to look when I know I'll be around conservative persons. No unpredictable twistouts, bantu knot outs or roller sets.
I did a wash and go and pulled my hair back in a ponytail using a metal free elastic band. 
I slicked my hair back with Ecostyler Gel and Curls Blueberry Control Paste then set it with a cotton scarf and took it off when I was done with makeup.
I also dyed my hair....this time plum instead of my usual copper. I used Dark and Lovely Color Intensity in Magic Plum.

.....and yes, that's fine textured natural hair!

I know, I know.....how can I do all these on fine textured hair and still grow it out?

As a fine haired natural, I struggle...infact S.T.R.U.G.G.L.E  with the following:
1. Split ends, knots and tangles
2. Dryness
3. Breakage
4. Volume
5. Not being able to do some styles without my hair looking scanty...
6. Products weighing down my hair...
7. Products drying out my hair...
8. Combs breaking my hair...
9. The risk of heat damage which I had about 10 years ago
10. Just not being able to do whatever with my natural hair and getting away with it because of struggles 1-9.

.....and yet....

So how do you know your hair is fine?

Well, take a regular cotton thread. It's usually made from two strands wound around each other, right?
Okay, separate them.
If your hair strands are way thinner than that single cotton thread, then welcome to the club baby!

I wouldn't like this post to be a 10 step rules and regulations manual for fine natural hair......even relaxed, natural,texlaxed, loc'd , bald etc. 
I'm hoping it will be a helpful guide for fine haired women who can relate. There is very little information about caring for fine hair and these are what I've learnt from experience.

1. YOUR HAIR IS DIFFERENT

Knowing the above is very important because it means that not every regimen, style or products may work for you. 

 Some people can get away with relaxing their hair and still having it long, dark and thriving while a person with fine hair would suffer breakage, discoloration and damage that even the most gentle relaxers can't solve.

Some people can get away with a lengthy regimen, harsh products, styling frequently etc, you may not.

I learnt this early enough and it's one reason I opted out of relaxers. I don't hate it (after all, both my sisters were relaxed and I even did their touch ups myself) but it wasn't just for me because of how fine my hair was plus I was tender headed. I also keep my care hair routine simple.

Bottom line: Know Your Hair.


2. YOUR HAIR NEEDS STRENGTH

Fine textured hair is really fragile and very prone to breakage. The slightest manipulation may cause it to break off or have splits. It has a thinner cuticle layer than normal and medium strand types. It can easily lose protein content if certain products are used.

 To reinforce fine strands, look out for products that have ingredients that can penetrate and bind to the protein complex of your strands.

Scientifically, coconut oil has been shown to penetrate, bind and prevent protein loss. Henna also has similar attributes.
 There are hydrolysed proteins complexes which are tiny bits of protein with sticky ends that can form bonds with the proteins in your hair.

 Mind you, these bonds are not permanent ones so you need to apply them again. I look out for hydrolysed protein especially keratin in products.

Personally, I do strengthening treatments on a daily basis via oiling with Nappy Girl Growth Enhancing Oil. Then protein treatments every six weeks via Beautiful Textures Texture Manageability System Kit. With my current hectic schedule, I find it easier to use. I don't use heat. I also henna my hair once in two months.

All these have helped reduce breakage and the less breakage I had the longer my hair got.

3. YOUR HAIR NEEDS MOISTURE

It's very common for fine textured hair to also have high porosity. It gets wet fast and loses moisture even faster. Dryness makes your strands brittle and more prone to splits and breakage. The older your hair is, the worse it gets which is why most people with fine hair hit a standstill when it comes to growth. It just never gets past a certain length!

My solution to this problem was to make sure to use moisturizing products especially as my hair got older and longer. Simply spraying water and sealing with oil was not enough. I also realized using an OLC (oil, leave in, cream) moisturizing routine worked better for my fine hair than the usual LOC.

On products, I look out for moisturizing ingredients such as honey quat, glycerin and so on. They are able to hold a lot of water which my strands can feed off from! I'm very careful when it comes to using products (shampoos, deep conditioner, leave in conditioners etc) as not every product does what it says so when trying out something new, watch out for crispy, dry hair.

Deep conditioning is also your friend. I shared some deep conditioners I love and also some DIY recipes you may like.


4. YOUR HAIR NEEDS GENTLENESS

I think the reason for length retention when I was younger came from the fact that I had low pain threshold and therefore anyone styling my hair had to be very gentle with it. To reduce the frequency and length of time being tortured (not everyone back then understood natural hair except my mum), I only made cornrows once a month and the fewer the cornrows the better.
 This is because cornrows required a lot of manipulation and combing which in inexperienced hands lead to a lot of pain!
 Luckily we finally found painfree braiders who had better experience handling our hair. It was either them, my mom or tears galore.

Fine hair requires gentle handling. It cannot withstand a lot of combing, a lot of braiding, a lot of weaving, a lot of twistouts, a lot of braid outs, a lot of multiple updos etc.
It cannot also withstand a lot of shampooing, a lot of hair treatments, a lot of drama!

The simpler your regimen is, the more it thrives. Invest in sulfate free shampoos (not soaps), cowash cleansers (for regular cleansing especially if you're living in a dusty area). Learn how to fingerdetangle or properly use a wide tooth comb/brush.
Stick to stylists that know how to be gentle with your hair or learn at least 3 styles (one for work/school, one for weekends and one for special events). You can also invest in beautiful wigs for when you have no idea what to do.

My favorite styles are the cheat bun, wash and go , two second hair tucking updos and wigs. Less manipulation. I rarely do cornrows or braids with extensions because they dry out and break my hair.

I'll share links below on

Hope this helps.

If you're a fine haired naturalista or have fine relaxed,texturised,loc'd or bald hair and have tips you'd like to share, we're looking forward to reading them in the comments section.

If you have questions I've not answered concerning fine hair care, please feel free to ask in the comments section below.

Hadassah Agbaps.


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6 comments

  1. These are great tips. My hair is medium/fine textured too. How often do your moisturize your hair each week?

    Don't Touch the Hair

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi! I try to moisturise my hair daily using a light leave in conditioner to avoid build up.

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  2. Do you mean soaps are not good for fine textured hair? Like the local black soap? Pls I would like for you to shed more light on this. Thanks

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Isoken, soaps aren't adviced for fine textured hair because they can be drying.

      Delete
    2. I have fine hair and have been using a particular natural soap that is not drying at all. The ingredients are all- natural and don't cause any build up. I think it's the ingredients which can be drying, not necessarily the soap itself as i've experienced drying sulfate free shampoos too.

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  3. Really good advice. I will try out a few things since I have fine hair and would like to make it to BSL. Right now I'm a bit past shoulder length. Thank you!

    ReplyDelete

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