The Ultimate Guide to Caring for Fine Hair

Different folks need different strokes: A customized guide for women with fine hair. 

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Photo by Paul Westlake

Wash

"Because fine hair is smallest in diameter, there are more hairs per square centimeter," says Anabel Kingsley, a trichologist at the Philip Kingsley Trichological Clinic. And each hair follicle has its own oil gland, so it takes less time for you to get greasy compared with your thick-haired friends. To avoid limp strands, wash every day to every other day using a volumizing formula, like in Klorane Shampoo and Conditioner with Flax Fiber, "which are lightweight and won't weigh down hair," says Timothy Brad Wandrey, the director of education for Cutler/Redken Salons.

Cut

Trim your hair every 8 to 10 weeks. "Fine hair tends to be weaker and can't take as much abuse as medium/course hair can, leading to split ends quickly," says Wandrey. Ask for very light layers or a more blunt type of cut (as opposed to getting the ends snipped into or razored). This will make your hair appear fuller.

Color

"Fresh, vibrant color can make hair look and feel fuller," says Black. To cover grays, touch up your roots every four to six weeks. "Just refrain from pulling the color through the ends. Only do that every other time, depending on how faded your ends are," says Justin Anderson, a colorist at the Chris McMillan Salon, in Beverly Hills. "Fine hair can be porous, which means it can grab color quickly and look darker than planned." If you get highlights, space out your appointments to every eight weeks to avoid overlapping the bleach, which can weaken strands and lead to breakage.

Style

Volumizing sprays, root lifters, and texturizers, like John Frieda Beach Blonde Sea Waves Sea Salt Spray, are a boon to any fine-haired woman. When it comes to blow-drying, get an added boost by using a round boar-and-nylon–bristle brush. In between washes, try a dry shampoo, like One Love Organics Healthy Locks Dry Shampoo Powder. It contains rice and cornstarch instead of talc or silica, "which can clog hair follicles," says Christyn Nawrot, a national educator for Phyto and a licensed cosmetologist.

Hair Hack

Apply dry shampoo at night—not in the morning. This will give it more time to absorb excess oil, and any tossing and turning you do will give your hair more texture and volume the next day.