When you walk down the hair care aisle at the supermarket, you will find that all kinds of product including shampoos, conditioners, serums, oils, etc. are offered in several variants based on hair type. The terms commonly used to classify hair based on their diameter are fine, medium and thick (or coarse).
It is important to identify your hair type to be able to pick the right hair care products. Using any product blindly can lead to issues like chronic hair fall.
After reading this guide, you will be well equipped to answer questions like what is fine hair, what are the best products for fine hair, and the difference between fine and thin hair.
Types of Hair
There are mainly two parameters used to define hair – the diameter of a hair strand, and the density of hair.
It is common for people to mix up the two and confuse terms like thin hair and fine hair.
It is important to be able to identify your hair based on both these parameters before investing in any kind of hair product.
- Let’s first consider the diameter of hair strands. Based on the width of your hair, it may fall into one of three categories – fine, medium, and thick. Fine hair has the least width, medium more than fine hair, and thick or coarse hair has the most.
- Density (the number of strands per scalp area) based categories include low density (thin hair), medium density, and high density. A simple way to identify low density hair is to check if the scalp is easily visible without parting the hair on your head.If you can see only some of your scalp, you have medium density hair, and if it is difficult to spot any scalp area, you have high density hair.
How to Identify Fine Hair?
While it is very easy to detect the density of your hair simply by looking in a mirror, identifying what type of hair you have based on its diameter will take a little more effort. There are two ways to do this.
#1. Take a single strand of hair in between your fingers.
- If you cannot feel the strand of hair, you have fine hair.
- If you can somewhat feel it between your fingers, you have medium hair.
- If the strand of hair is easy to feel, you have thick or coarse hair.
However, to be surer, follow the next method called threat test.
#2. To be able to perform the thread test, you will need a long strand of sewing thread.
Place the thread long and straight on a flat surface, and lay a strand of your hair beside it, along its length.
- If the width of the string matches the width of the hair strand, you have medium hair.
- However, if the strand is thinner or thicker than the thread, you have fine or thick hair, respectively.
Fine Hair vs. Thin Hair
It is not uncommon for people to pick up a hair care product for thin hair, when they actually mean to buy a product for fine hair.
The reason for this is many people, including beauticians and parlor people use the two terms loosely and interchangeably.
But now that you have a clear idea of how hair is categorized differently based on two distinct characteristics – diameter and density – make sure you clarify what the person is referring to.
But do remember that it is possible for you to have low density thin hair as well – which means not only is your fine, but also low in volume. On the other hand, it is also possible to have high density fine hair.
Characteristics of Fine Hair
It is not necessary that one person with fine hair face the same issues as another person with fine hair. However, dermatologists have found that there are certain typical characteristics common to most fine hair types.
- Fine hair has the most delicate and fragile texture of all three hair types. This means it is most easily damaged if not taken proper care of.
- While the common conception is that people with fine hair also suffer from low density, this is not really the case. In fact, people with finer hair usually have more hair than those with coarse hair.
- Fine hair tends to be more oily that other hair types.
- The finer the hair, the lesser it weighs. This means it can be very difficult to hold hairstyles that are easily manageable with medium or thick hair.
- Using heavy chemical hair products on fine hair can weigh them down even further, and may even damage the texture of the hair to a great degree.
- Fine hair usually lack natural body and bounce due to their light weight. There are many products in the market targeting specifically this issue.
- An interesting fact to note is that fine hair is most commonly found in the Caucasian population.
9 Tips for Fine Hair Care
Now that you are aware that fine hair is the most delicate and fragile of all hair types, you would have guessed that extra precaution is required to take good care of it. Follow these simple tips to enjoy healthy and long fine hair:
#1. Avoid using styling products with heavy waxes or silicones as they will only end up weighing down fine hair.
#2. If you have fine hair, make sure to get them trimmed every 8-10 weeks. Since fine hair is not very strong, split ends can form very easily and damage your hair.
#3. If you are getting highlights, plan your appointments in such a way that each appointment is at least 8 weeks away from another. If not, overlapping of bleach may occur leading to weakening of hair strands causing them to break.
#4. To add volume to fine hair, you can use volumizing sprays, texturizers, and root lifters. However, it is advised that you consult your hair care expert to find the best product for your hair.
#5. Be extra careful when selecting the shampoo. Make sure that the shampoo and conditioner you use feature at least some kind of a volumizing formula.
#6. If you use dry shampoo, it may help to apply the night before washing instead of the same morning. This offers two advantages – it gives the shampoo more time to absorb any excess oil, and any tossing and turning you do will result in added texture and volume for your hair.
#7. Treat your head with regular gentle scalp messages. This will help increase blood circulation in the area, which in turn will help in plumping up fine hair. Use a lightweight oil while massaging.
#8. While blow drying fine hair, remember to keep the heat at a minimum level. If you use too much heat on fine hair, they will end up damaged and eventually break.
#9. To aid hair health from the inside, add iron-rich foods to your diet like kale, spinach, tofu, and beans.
To reiterate in simple words, hair with minimum width is classified as ‘fine’. Yes, caring for fine hair may be more challenging due to its delicate texture and low weight, but the tips mentioned in this fine hair guide can make the process much easier. A few important things I would like to mention again are:
- Be sure to identify your hair type correctly before choosing any kind of hair care product.
- Read the product labels carefully on hair care products to check if they are suitable for fine hair.
- Consult a hair care expert or dermatologist to find the products best suitable for your hair.
I hope this guide answers all your questions about fine hair. If you have any more questions, or suggestions to share, please feel free to leave me a comment anytime.