A lot of people mistake fine hair for thin hair and while it’s entirely possible to have thin fine hair, it’s also possible to have thick fine hair.
For the purpose of this article, let’s examine the characteristics of fine natural hair.
Understanding Fine Hair
Fine hair is often misunderstood. In order to really understand it, let’s start with a simple fact:
The words fine and thin are used interchangeably by many but they are not the same. It’s due to a lack of understanding that the two words are confused.
Fine hair is defined by the characteristics of an individual strand – it’s circumference. Thin hair describes the make up of an entire head of hair. Therefore, you can have thin, fine natural hair but not necessarily. You can also have thick fine natural hair.
And, to make it even more confusing; all of your hair doesn’t have to be fine. You can have a head of hair that is predominantly fine with medium and/or coarse strands mixed throughout.
If you have a lot of fine strands all over your head, your hair will be thick. This is good because all of those hairs will help to protect one another.
The characteristics of fine NATURAL hair are:
- Individual strands may be curly in nature but very small in circumference. They can be so small that it’s difficult to see with the naked eye.
- It appears translucent (semi-transparent with light passing through)
- Contains less protein than other hair textures. This is why fine natural hair thrives on protein treatments
- Is very fragile and prone to breakage (even more prone than straight fine hair)
- Lacks volume even though it’s curly
- Very lightweight compared to medium and coarse strands
- Is easily weighed down which is why curly styles like wash and go’s need to be set with lightweight products
- Contains two of the three structures that make up a strand of hair: the outer cuticle layer and the cortex. Fine hair is generally lacking the medulla (the inner most structure found in medium and coarse strands of hair)
- Is resistant to holding hairstyles
For more on the structure of Fine Hair, including Styling Tips, check out this article from Pantene:
The Science of Fine Hair Structures