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Ask Kcurly–Fine Haired Naturals

by kcurly on August 3, 2010

in Ask Kcurly,Fine hair


My name is Racquel and I’ve been natural for about a year. I love being natural for so many reasons- I’ve learned to love myself more, to be more willing and unafraid to express myself as I am, and as an added bonus, I’ve become more socially conscious! So, I have to say that it’s been an amazing journey! However, I’m more than a little frustrated with my hair even though I love it so: I’m fine haired. When I was relaxed, I’d have one day of full, bouncy, hair, and then 6 weeks of flat hair molded to my skull because it was too thin to have it’s own volume unless I put rollers in. I had hoped when I stopped perming my hair that I would gain more volume, but, alas, I’m still very much fine-haired. I read so many natural hair blogs (including yours, daily :)) and many of the suggestions I see for other naturals don’t seem to work for my oh-so-fickle hair. Shea butter (and shea-butter based product)? Too heavy. Coconut/Jojoba/Olive/Grapeseed/Sweet Almond oil? Oily hair that’s not very moisturized. Hair products for “fine strands”? Barely moisturizing. Protein for hair strength? Guess who’s protein sensitive. Le sigh.

Plus, years of braids took out the front of my hair and relaxers burned out the follicles so I have bilateral bald spots at my edges (sexy, I know). I’m not complaining, I just would like to know what a fine-haired natural with pen-spring sized coils does when she has done the research (and have I done the research) and very little of the suggestions seem to work for her.

Any help would be greatly appreciated :).


Kel thanks for the email. I’m not fine haired, as you can obviously see, but my son is. His hair does not require a lot of the same things as mine does. You are right, suggestions are great, but they are only that: suggestions. What works for my hair, may not work for yours and vice versa.

Here are some  things you can try:

1. Just use a light leave in conditioner after you wash your hair. If that is still too heavy, try and dilute it with some water or find a good liquid leave-in conditioner instead. My son’s hair loves JC Leave in Conditioner. It is just enough moisture for him without leaving his hair oily and weighed down. You may have to experiment with the amount that you use.

2. Leave a bit of conditioner in your hair after you rinse to add moisture. You may not even have to use a leave in afterwards.

3. You may not need to deep condition as much. Cut back to whatever your hair tells you to.

4. If you still want to try oils, do an oil rinse instead of using the oil as a leave in or sealant.

I once had bald edges myself, so I feel your pain. Try massaging them with a nice oil everyday and treat them with tender loving care. I’m talking no headbands, no tight buns or pulled back hair styles. You may even want to try adding some essential oils to your carrier oils, such as rosemary (not if you’re pregnant or trying to get pregnant) or peppermint which is said to stimulate hair growth. Even now that my edges have grown back in, they are still extremely fragile.

I hope that helps and good luck to you on your hair journey!



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  • GG

    Have you tried using any volumizing products? Unfortunately, I don’t have any guidance for you on what works/doesn’t work but before I went natural, I had some success with volumizing shampoos and conditioners by Nexxus. I’m not sure how they’d work on natural hair. Also, I noticed when I was in Target today that SheaMoisture has a couple of products for thickening/volumizing the hair.

  • Lea

    I know exactly what Racquel is talking about. I am also a fine haired natural and it is difficult finding products that work for our hair. I’ll list some products that have worked for me consistently:
    -The BEST moisturizer: Qhemet’s burdock root creme; it does not leave my hair greasy at all and is very moisturizing but it is a bit pricey!
    -Deep conditioner: yes to cucmbers daily makeover conditioner, aubrey organics honesuckle rose, and tresemme naturals nourishing moisture
    -Leave ins: giovanni direct leave in, kinky curly knot today, and yes to cucumbers daily makeover conditioner.
    -Styler: qhemet’s honeybush soft tea gel…also a bit pricey!
    -Oils: olive oil and coconut oil. *sidenote: I only use coconut oil
    for my ends when rebraiding or retwisting NOT on the length of my hair. I use olive oil for deep conditioning only.

    I find that the key is to not overdo it when applying products to your hair. I hope some of this helped. =)

  • Casarae

    I am a fine haired girl as well and I thought too that my hair would be fuller once I gave the relaxers up. However, I have found some products that work for me. After using these products I have great twist outs and braidouts which I do often for volume. (I have 4type nappy, but fine hair)

    Products that have worked for my fine tresses:

    1. V05 Passionate Smoothie Moisture Milks Conditioner: I co-wash with this conditioner twice a week. It leaves my hair very soft and moisturized. Some people like it and some don’t but it’s only .97 cents so it won’t break your pockets.

    2. Tresemme Naturals w Avocado/Aloe Vera Extract Conditioner. I use this as a deep conditioner once a month. It gives my hair the same results as VO5 just with a cleaner feel. $4.77

    3. Jamaican Mango & Lime Locking Gel- This gel is my staple product for my protective styling after I wash or co-wash my hair. This product can be used for twists and braids not just for people with locs. My hair doesn’t gain product build when using and it also defines my curls. I love this product and I recommend it to everyone that asks me about my twists. $5.99 at Sally’s or Local Beauty Supply store.

    4. Finally, Carol Daughter’s Tui-Leave In Conditioner. Along with using water I also use the CD product as a spritz to retain moisture. This product is a bit pricey, but I like it.

    Do I use oils? Yes. I only use coconut oil to untwist my twists or braids or I mix it with my conditioners before co-washing.

    I use Shea Butter only when I have a week old braid-out. I find that my hair doesn’t care for shea butter and it doesn’t care for essential oils. My hair loves to feel clean without major product build-up.

    Like KCurly mentioned about peppermint, I agree. I love peppermint and when I do wash my hair with shampoo(when needed) I use a shampoo bar called rosemary and peppermint meadowfoam& jojoba oil shampoo bar by an independent company called DressGreen. This bar works wonders. Here is the website:

    I know I wrote an essay (sorry) but I know exactly what Racquel is going through. Hope this helps.

  • kcurly

    Thanks for all the helpful info ladies!

  • Moonchild

    Thanks for these tips! I was just thinking about trying a volumizing shampoo/conditioner.

    I have fine hair and find that Kinky Curly Knot Today (as a leave in) and Kinky Curly Curling Custard (to set my twists) work wonders for volume. I put in the Knot Today and then add the Curling Custard in sections (I add to each section as I twist, which takes longer but works better in terms of distribution for me). I seal with Vatika Oil. I’ve recently tried SheaMoisture Hibiscus and Coconut Oil moisturizer and it’s nice and light. After I retwist at night, I just run a quarter sized amount through my hair (I may add a bit of Vatika oil if I need it) and it soaks in overnight. In the morning, my hair is moisturized and stays so all day.

  • kcurly

    Ladies, you may also want to check out Fleurtzy’s tip for fuller twist outs on finer hair:

  • Chandra

    I’m sure you’ve probably heard this tip by now..But have you tried Henna? Curly Nikki tells stories of her having fine hair etc and how Henna really helped her hair by giving it more fullness and thicker strands. Here’s a link to her Henna page! I hope this helps. I’ve used Henna as well, and I can testify that it makes the hair thicker and stronger. Hope this helps!

  • kcurly

    Chandra, you are so right. Henna is an option.

    I do not use Henna because of the coloring effect. Henna also loosens curl patterns in some naturals. You can also try cassia, which I have tried, but stopped using because it turns grey hair blond or ZSC, which has no coloring effect.


  • Nicollllleee.

    Oh Thank God for this article! I felt like giving up on having moisturized curls but this has definitely encouraged me! Thanks ladies.

  • jenn

    Placing oil on your scalp everyday will surely lead you to eczema. Dudleys protein is a well balanced mix of moisture and protein. Sit under the dryer for 30 minutes. But still use a deep conditioning moisturizer afterwards. Dudley products are very good, and so is Mizani, Macadamia Oil (the green-colored products) and Morrocan Oil. They are not cheap, but worth the investment. You may also want to consult with a caring cosmetologist and a dermatologist.

    Best of Luck

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