Fine hair can be a challenge to style and maintain, but with the right products and techniques, it can be beautiful and healthy.
Determining your hair type is the first step to finding the right products and styles for your hair.
What is Fine Hair?
Fine hair is often misunderstood. Many people think that if you have fine hair, you can’t have a lot of it. But that’s not true!
Fine hair doesn’t have anything to do with density, which is the amount of hair on your head. You can have a full head of fine hair.
It’s all about the thickness of the hair strands. Fine hair has a small diameter than average, somewhere between 50-70 microns. That’s half the thickness of a copy paper sheet!
So, even though each strand is thin, you can still have a lot of them.
How to Determine Hair Thickness
If you’ve ever wondered what kind of hair you have, the best way to determine your hair thickness is to pluck a strand of hair and compare it with a sewing thread.
If the strand of hair is thinner than the thread, you have fine hair; if it’s about the same thickness, you have medium hair; and if it’s thicker than the thread, you have coarse hair.
Another way to determine the thickness of your hair, without pulling out any of your strands, is to to hold a strand of hair between your fingers and roll it. If you can barely see the strand or can’t really feel it between your fingers, then you have fine hair.
Of course, there’s more to healthy hair than just thickness, but if you’re looking to boost volume and achieve those enviable locks, it’s a good place to start.
Characteristics of Fine Hair
Another common misconception is that fine hair can’t be strong. Again, this isn’t true!
It’s just that it contains less protein, which makes it appear thin. But don’t let appearances fool you.
A recent study from 2019 shows that thin hair was able to endure greater tension before it broke compared to thick hair.
Fine hair tends to be stronger than thick hair because of the way it breaks.
“This is actually a statistical thing, which is a bigger piece will have a greater possibility of having a defect. It’s a bit surprising to see this in hair as hair is not a brittle material, but we think it’s because of the same reason.” says co-author Robert Ritchie at UC Berkeley.
To understand why fine hair is stronger, we need to take a look at the structure of hair.
Structure of Fine Hair
Human hair consists of three main parts: the cortex, medulla, and cuticle.
The cortex is the innermost layer and it’s made up of long, coiled proteins called keratin. This is what gives hair its strength.
The medulla is the middle layer and it’s made up of cells that have a spongy texture. It’s not always present in every strand of hair.
The cuticle is the outermost layer and it’s made up of overlapping cells that protect the hair shaft.
Fine hair has just two layers: cortex and cuticle. (2) The medulla is usually absent, which means that the cortex takes up a larger percentage of the hair shaft. This makes fine hair stronger than thick hair.
Fine Hair vs Thin Hair
Fine hair and thin hair are often used interchangeably, but they are actually two very different characteristics of your hair.
Fine hair refers to the texture of your hair, while thin hair refers to the density.
Fine hair is small in diameter and feels like silk or satin. You can have a lot of fine hair, but it still might look like it’s lacking volume because the actual diameter of your hair strand is thin.
Thin hair, on the other hand, refers to the amount of hair on your scalp. The follicles have a greater distance between them than other types of hair, so there are fewer strands of hair growing.
This means that even if you have thick strands of hair, if you have thin hair, more of your scalp will be visible.
Can I Have Fine and Thin Hair?
You might be wondering if it’s possible to have both fine and thin hair. After all, they seem like two completely different aspects.
However, it is possible to have a combination of both fine and thin hair.
People with this hair type will need to take gentle care of their hair, as too much strain or heavy manipulation can cause the strands to break or weaken. In addition, you might want to avoid using harsh styling products or heat-styling tools, as they can also damage your hair.
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Instead, focus on using products that will help to add volume and body without weighing down your strands.
No matter what, though, remember that all hair types have their own unique beauty. Embrace your fine hair, and take care of it the best you can. It’ll thank you for it!
Do you have fine hair? What are your best tips for caring for it? Share them with us in the comments below!