Not every naturally curly girl has coarse hair. It can take years to realize that although you may have naturally thick hair, your strands are very fine. Once you realize your curly hair is fine (often called Type 4A), it will be a game-changer for you on your natural hair journey. See the following 10 tips for fine curly haired naturals, which originally appeared on NaturallyCurly.com.
10 Tips for Naturals with Fine Curly Hair
1. Treat Your Hair Like It’s Antique Lace
Natural hair may sometimes seem indestructible, but it is in fact delicate, especially if your strands are fine. You wouldn’t pull and yank and shred fine lace, and after washing lace you wouldn’t wring it or rub it. Apply the same theory to your hair. Dry your wet hair gently with an all-cotton t-shirt or microfiber towel, and treat dry hair with TLC too.
2. Beware of Protective Styles
Many naturals believe that protective styles are key to growing and retaining length. However, many naturally curly girls have learned the hard way that protective styles can inhibit growth and encourage breakage. Protective styles can require a lot of manipulation, which can be damaging to fine natural hair. Instead, try looser low-manipulation styles or natural wash-and-go styles.
3. Pro-Protein & Keratin
Fine natural hair loves a protein treatment. It fortifies strands and helps to clump curls together. The author loves conditioners and stylers that with a touch of amino acids, protein or keratin. Bonus: the new Viviscal Gorgeous Growth range of shampoo, conditioner and elixir provides strands with Keratin, Biotin and Zinc to keep hair growth looking healthy.
4. Detangle with Care
There are a lot of detangling options out there, but removing knots is one of the times your fine hair is most susceptible to damage. First, begin detangling with your fingers, then use a wide-tooth comb. Avoid combing or detangling when hair is wet, which can cause more breakage. Once a month, use a good brush such as Denman or Tangle Teezer to thoroughly remove shedding hair.
5. Easy on the Oil
You may be tempted by all the luscious-seeming hair oils and butters available for naturals. From Moroccan to argan to coconut oil to shea butter, we keep hearing that sealing your strands is essential for natural hair care. In fact, it can make fine natural hair looking greasy and weighed down. If you are fine-haired, limit your use of butters and oils. Your hair will thank you.
6. Keep It Light
Moisturizers are key, but make sure you use one that’s not too heavy or too light. “It’s just right, Goldicurls!” The author recommends translucent, water-based moisturizers that are more liquid than creamy in consistency. Hint: Viviscal Gorgeous Growth Densifying Conditioner is lightweight, rinses easily, and nourishes with the exclusive Ana:Tel™ complex (which includes pea sprouts and grape seed extract) plus Zinc, Biotin and Keratin.
7. Be Gentle
It’s worth mentioning this twice because it’s so important. We’ve all been guilty of tugging or playing with our curls while in a meeting, vegging out on the couch, wherever. But resist the urge to pull on your coils, tightly style them or rough them up while drying. See tip #1 and treat your hair like antique lace.
8. Protect While You Sleep
Yes, all curlies should protect their hair while they catch their Z’s, but this especially goes for fine-haired girls. Cotton pillowcases will tangle, cause breakage and dry out curly hair, especially fine strands. It’s not always a fashion statement, but commit to sleeping in a cap, or try a satin or silk pillowcase – for your hair’s sake.
9. Deep Condition Once a Week
Fine coils need all the nourishment and moisture they can get. Some curlies recommend steam or deep condition curls under a hooded dryer at least once a week to keep hair hydrated and help prevent split ends in fragile strands.
10. Trim Regularly
Because your strands are more prone to damage, make sure to keep split ends in check by trimming every three to four months. It can seem counter-intuitive when you’re dedicated to reaching your hair growth goals, but regular trims help clean up damaged natural hair. So trim the ends that become more tangled and ragged due to daily wear and tear.