elongated wash and go curls
Growth & Retention

3 Ways to Protect Fine Natural Hair from Breakage

elongated wash and go curls Naturally curly hair is fragile. Thanks to all the twists and turns that make up a strand of curly hair, the chance of breakage is higher than for someone with straight hair. Fine natural hair is even more fragile. That’s because it doesn’t have much “weight” to it. Pair that with it’s naturally fragile state and you have to be super diligent to protect it from breakage.

Low Manipulation

The biggest way to protect fine natural hair from breakage is to handle it with care. Low manipulation styling is very helpful. The less you handle your hair, the more you protect it from breaking. This also includes utilizing low manipulation on wash day. For example, finger detangle your hair only once on wash day versus doing so during the pre-poo, the wash AND the styling. Find what works best for detangling and stick with it. I no longer detangle during the pre-poo or the wash. I do it when styling which is the conclusion of all my “handling” for the day.

Daily Oiling

Natural oils are great for not only keeping your fine strands flowing freely so that they don’t get all wound up with each other. Oiling your hair daily helps fortify the strands. I like to oil my hair at night so that it has a chance to absorb by morning. An oil like almond oil is light enough to coat your strands without weighing them down. Almond oil is also rich in Omega-3 fatty acid, Vitamin E and magnesium, each of which help strengthen the hair strand.

Regular Doses of Protein

The addition of protein to one’s diet is helpful for the body in general but also helps strengthen the hair (nails too) from the inside out. Couple that with regular protein treatments and your fine natural hair will be constantly strengthened (assuming you aren’t re-damaging it with heat or chemicals). I consume protein with every meal but also give my hair protein treatments every two weeks. I follow those protein treatments with a deep conditioning to balance it with moisture. On the weeks I don’t protein treat, I deep condition solely. There’s never a time that I don’t deep condition my hair. Protein treatments are an important part of a fine haired girls’s regime but so is deep conditioning.

How do you protect your hair from breakage? Fine or otherwise?

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Michelle Smith
Michelle is a Christian special needs mom residing in the NYC area who shares useful tips to grow and maintain fine natural hair. She's a published author and Creator of Fine Natural Hair and Faith, inspiring others with faith for living along side knowledge on how to care for their "crown."

4 Comment

  1. Hi. I have fine, low porosity, curly 3b hair (I think) that I’ve struggled with for years. I used to straighten it until I learned how to work with the curls. It’s always been super dry and even when I straightened it I could go several days between washes. I had found a pretty good routine with devacurl products, but I wasn’t deep conditioning or pre pooing or using any oils. I always thought oils would make my hair too greasy. The devacurl one condition, a ms jessie’s or shea moisture leave in, and devacurl styling cream were all I used and while I still had frizz I was mostly happy with my curls. However, ever since I had my daughter 5 months ago, and currently breastfeeding, my hair is weak and dry and brittle. It tangles more than it ever did before, like I can finger comb in the shower and a minute later there is a huge knot at the base of my neck. It’s as if the curls aren’t clumping and even when it’s wet I can see the individual strands not binding together. I don’t even really know how to explain it but it’s as if the lack of clumping and binding is adding to frizz and fly away. I let it airdry after styling and usually have to wear three sides pulled back with Bobby pins or a barrette. I’ve started styling soaking wet w the devacyrl or ms jessie’s cream and have used voconut oil on it this week as a deep condition.
    I’m just really struggling with a routine. It’s like once I think I have everything I need to restore my curls I come across something else that may be relevant. Do you have any tips for 3b hair? A regimen I could try? It’d be nice to have a step by step process I could start with st least. Pre poo and how, deep condition and how, leave in and hiw… I keep getting info out of order and would love clarificstion on the best way to handle my curls.

    1. Hi, I’m a combo of type 3b, 3c and 4a. Crazy. My nape and sides are on the B side and find those are definitely most prone to tangling.

      Have you considered changing your products ? Often times our hair changes and doesn’t respond to the same products like it once did. This is especially common after hormonal changes like after pregnancy.

      Also, consider trying some hot oil treatments. The oil will give your hair some slip without weighing it down. Just don’t use a lot of oil and use a lightweigh oil like Jojoba.

      I have some hair regimens here on the site. You’ll find them along with information on hair regimens here: http://finenaturalhairandfaith.com/hair-regimen/

      Hope this helps.

  2. Hi Michelle. Just discovering you and read your e-book. Length retention has been an issue for the last 3 yrs. I am hoping to use your recommendations to address that. Have you covered protein overload and how to deal with it? I think i have this problem. I was doing henna glosses every 2 wks then went a month without so did an apoghee treatment as i was not sure the henna gloss was helping with my ends with length retention. Started to notice my hair kept tangling more, felt dryish and no longer supple or springy. I did a bit of research and it seems to fit the bill of overload. I have now started steaming/DC and hoping this will restore my hair again. Do you have any advice to add? Stay blessed and jeep doing what you are doing in God’s name. Off to waych some of your videos & read through your blog xo

    1. Hi Christine-

      It does sound like you could have some protein overload. I don’t think it’s the henna glosses though. Since conditioner and oils are mixed with henna (assuming that’s what you’ve done) to do a henna gloss, you should achieve optimal balance of strength and moisture.

      Since you were doing the henna glosses, you really didn’t need the Aphoghee unless you had a lot of breakage. In that case, using the Aphoghee 2 step once should have been sufficient and then just following it with regular deep conditioning.

      The steaming should help. I’d add a honey and oil treatment to that.

      Hopefully, this helps.

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