There’s a handful of things that you just have no control over—and the way your hair, in its most natural state, decides to grow is one of them. I, having a not-so-full head of hair, understand that being born with fine hair comes with a list of limitations and insecurities. However, those of us cursed by Mother Nature with a smaller amount of hair than most must stick together. So consider this foolproof fine hair guide, including how to wash it, my commitment to the finer things in life.
Despite the frequently limp and stubborn texture of thin hair, it’s important to learn how to enhance what momma gave you instead of simply just dealing with it. Just like all good relationships in life, it takes lots of love and cautious attention to make fine hair look and feel its best. So, in a thoughtful effort to support my team of thin-haired sisters, I tasked Kérastase consulting hairstylist Glen Oropeza (also known as Glen Coco on Instagram) with coaching us through our day-to-day obstacles.
Cleanse and Condition With Caution
One of the most paralyzing and thought-consuming questions of everyday life is “how often should I actually be washing my hair?” For some, a daily wash can be damaging to the scalp and strip it of natural oils. On the other hand, when life gives you fine hair, skipping a wash makes you look like a hardcore greaser from the 1960s. Thankfully, Oropeza has the perfect compromise.
“People with fine hair should be shampooing three to four times a week, and using conditioner only one to two times a week,” he says. Oropeza also emphasizes the importance of how to condition by recommending that we always steer clear of the scalp and stick to the ends. “Conditioner can weigh down fine hair so if you must use it, only use it on the last two inches of the hair for detangling purposes.”
Boost Your Roots
One of the bigger known issues with fine hair is its unfortunate ability to lay limp and reject any form of volume. Rumor has it that just simply changing the way you part your hair, back-brushing it, or sleeping in a bun will do wonders. As someone who’s tried everything, I can confidently tell you that none of these things work.
According to Oropeza, upping hair volume starts with simply conditioning your hair less. Many professionals suggest steering clear of conditioning the scalp, but it’s more important to cut your conditioning habits as a whole, as already noted. Oropeza also encourages the use of root-boosting products like mousses, root sprays, and gels.
“You can also tease lightly once a style is complete to keep the volume at the roots—Kérastase VIP is my favorite for some volume and texture,” he says.
Shampoo, But Make It Dry
Before speaking with Oropeza, I held a grudge against dry shampoo because I assumed it would just leave my strands flat and stringy. In actuality, he says the right dry shampoo can make your hair feel way more full and fluffy—and if you’re still searching for a fitting product, IGK has a variety of different dry shampoos for every hair type.
He also adds, “oily hair can feel much better if brushed more frequently to help distribute the oils, too.”
Cool Down for Lasting Power
Ask anyone with fine hair which part of their routine feels like an uphill battle and I guarantee they’ll say it’s maintaining hold and volume once you’ve actually achieved it. Personally, I’ve given up and learned to accept pin-straight hair or lazy up-dos because it at least looks better than droopy curls halfway through the day. But with the right prep products, like any of the ones mentioned above, you’re at least going in the right direction.
“Definitely use a prep product before styling, like a root-boosting product such as Kérastase Mousse Bouffante,” says Oropeza, “Then prep the hair with hairspray (like Kérastase Laque Dentelle) before using any hot tools for added hold.” It’s also important that when you’re finished styling, the hair has ample time to cool before you run out the door. This is the small, but important step that will increase the longevity of your look.
Cocktailing is the Enemy
Technique is everything when it comes to product application. Yes, the products themselves obviously have a huge impact on the results—but the way you decide when, where, and how to douse your luscious mane with them determines if it will look fresh hours later.
When using any of the fine-hair-friendly products we’ve already talked about, steer clear of mixing them together if you don’t want to weigh down your strands. For each one, put the product in your hand first, rub together, and then apply and stroke it into your hair. “I believe in layering, not cocktailing,” says Oropeza. “So, use one product at a time. Don’t mix.”
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