How to Maintain Length and Density on Fine Hair

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One of the biggest challenges of having fine natural hair (or just fine hair in general) is styling it in a way that looks full and voluminous. Then, there may be concerns over maintaining one’s length.

When looking to achieve length and/or density, you have to look at each goal separately but also jointly. Fine hair needs to be cared for a little more meticulously than than someone with thicker and/or more dense hair.

Density

Your density is what determines the fullness of your hair. It has less to do with the fineness of the individual strands. When it’s not understood that you can have a head full of individual fine hairs, you would be scoffed at for saying you had “thin hair.” Yet you can absolutely have thick fine hair.

summer hair tips

Density is simply the number of individual hairs measured within a given hair follicle on the scalp. Someone with tons of fine hairs coming out of a follicle can appear to have the same amount of hair as someone with thicker strands of hair but less individual hairs per follicle. Thicker strands fill up more space. If you have thinner strands, you need more of them to fill up the amount of space on your scalp. I hope that makes sense.

Shedding

It would be just wrong to talk about the  number of hairs on your head without saying a little something about shedding. Shedding is a normal process of releasing a hair follicle from the scalp once it’s reached the end of it’s life cycle. An average person sheds anywhere from 50-100 hairs per day.

If you find that you are shedding above the norm and you have no diagnosed health issues, here’s a few things to take a look it:

  • The ingredients in your hair products (natural and chemical – you can be allergic to either)
  • Are you stressing your hair with tight hair styles?
  • Nutritional intake
  • Vitamin/Mineral Deficiencies or Over consumption
  • Stress levels

Assuming your shedding rate is normal, how do you then increase the density of your fine hair? That’s the bad news. You can’t. It’s genetic.

The good news is while you can not increase your hair’s density, you can increase the thickness of the individual strands (somewhat). Substances like protein and henna are key to bulking up fine strands. As a fellow fine haired natural, I apply protein treatments to my hair biweekly, full strength henna applications bimonthly and henna tea sprays multiple times per week (thanks to Curly Proverbz on Youtube).

For someone without fine hair, that may seem like a bit much. Yet, if your hair IS fine, you will recognize that your strands will love the extra support 🙂

That brings me to the next area of maintenance. Length.

Length

Fine natural hair has challenges with maintaining length due to it’s fragility. I’ve written a number of posts on length retention which I will link below. There are multiple hair practices that can be adopted but when it comes to maintaining your length, what you do to maintain your fine hair’s “weight,” will help you to also maintain its length.

How you handle your hair day to day will also determine how much length you retain. Here are the articles I referenced above:

27 Things You Can Do to Improve, Protect and Keep Your Hair On Your Head

10 Non-Negotiable Practices of Naturals Who Retain Length

Tips for Maintaining Length on Fine Natural Hair – Part 1

Tips for Maintaining Length on Fine Natural Hair – Part 2

If length retention isn’t a big concern for you and all you care about is density, follow the tips recommended to support your hair’s strength but then consider getting a haircut that will give you the appearance of even more volume. Naturally curly hair can look quite voluminous when shaped in a manner that includes layers. It just depends on what you are looking to achieve.

Regardless of your length and density, giving your hair the love and support it needs consistently will eventually reflect the most beautiful head of hair you were destined to have. Long gone are the days of wanting what somebody else’s head of hair. Let’s love what we were born with. Love + Nurturing = A Great Head of Hair 😉

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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.”


3 thoughts on “How to Maintain Length and Density on Fine Hair

  1. I make my hair thicker by doing a nice deep trim taking off a good one inch or so always makes the hair look better

      1. Hi Linda-

        First off, I’m so sorry to hear that you are having challenges with your hair.

        Identifying problems with stunted growth can be difficult to do. You said you’ve tried numerous methods. For sealing in moisture (if you are having dry hair issues), instead of the LOC method, try the LCO method. Sometimes switching up the oil and cream can help.

        Definitely incorporate scalp massages using Jamaican Black Castor Oil mixed with a stimulating essential oil like rosemary. Also, I highly recommend seeing a dermatologist. If you are balding, there can be many causes (ex: medication, hormonal imbalances).

        I hope I help in some way

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