Ok people, I am not going to lie…. These are generalisations. These tips for fine and coarse haired curlies may not cure all your hair woes but they are a good starting place.
I’ve found most of them to be true (for my fine hair), but as you know, curly hair likes to have a mind of its own and to keep you on your toes so these tips might not apply to you all the time! You also need to take your porosity into account when using these tips and I’ll explain a bit more about that at the end. If you haven’t already read about your hairs porosity you can do so here, here and in this post here.
Hair texture is basically the thickness (circumference) of the hair strand and it can be fine, medium, or coarse. Texture does not describe the density or amount of hair you have and it is not related to your curl type e.g. 3C, 4B etc – different curl types can have different textures. There is an article which explains hair texture here.
- Fine hair gets weighed down easily. Nobody wants flat, lifeless or greasy looking curls so choose lighter products that will still moisturise your curls without taking the spring out of them. Use light oils like jojoba or grape seed oil and avoid emollients and humectants.
Get A Dose Of Protein
- Fine hair has less protein in comparison to other textures so products with protein or regular protein treatments can be used to strengthen and add weight to the strands. You can do a specific treatment or incorporate products containing protein into your routine. Be careful not to over do it though as protein can make your hair brittle and frizzy (is there anything that doesn’t make curly hair frizzy?!).
- Fine hair is prone to breakage and excess heat will only make it worse. Try to minimise how much heat you use on your hair by air drying as much as possible. If you need to use a diffuser, reduce the temperature!
Remove Build Up
- Since fine hair can get weighed down easily you may find that doing a clarifying wash once in a while or shampooing with a low-poo will help to remove product build up and bring back the spring to your curls. If you hair falls flat and looks dull you can may just have excessive build up.
- If you have coarse hair you’ll probably find that light conditioners don’t weigh your hair down enough to be effective. Try creamy, thick conditioners or add a couple of drops of oil to a lighter conditioner. Products with humectants and emollients are also good for coarse hair. Coarser hair can also stand thicker oils such as coconut oil or castor oil.
Be Careful With Protein
- As coarse hair has abundant protein its best to avoid products or at least be cautious with protein as this can make coarse hair drier and more brittle. This doesn’t mean avoid it like the plague, coarse hair just doesn’t need as much protein or as often as fine hair.
Moisture Moisture Moisture
- Coarse hair loves moisture! Add a leave in conditioner and a moisturiser like aloe vera, a curl cream or butter then seal your products with a gel or oil. This is sometimes referred to as a LCO (Leave-in/Cream/Oil).
- Fine hair is fragile and it needs some TLC. Regular deep treatments will ensure your fragile hair is not prone to more breakage. Coarse hair needs loving too and it also benefits from deep treatments – it means hair detangles easily and it promotes clumping to reduce frizz.
Curls Need Protection
- All curls need protecting while you sleep. Not only will it help you get frizz free 2nd day hair, but using a silk scarf or silk/satin pillowcase will prevent tangles and stop your hair from breaking as you move your head in your sleep.
Take It Easy
- Fine hair breaks very easily as its very fragile. Coarse hair is thick as it has lots of protein but this can also make it brittle. Treat your hair carefully, no tugging and pulling! Use metal free hair bands and tie them loosely if you can. Use your fingers to detangle your hair if you can (failing that use a wide tooth comb). Start at the ends and work your way up to your scalp. Fine hair tangles very easily, particularly at its ends – using a lighter conditioner provides more slip which means it’s easier to detangle.
Like I said these tips are meant as a guideline and as you’d expect there are exceptions to the rule. You also need to take you porosity into account. For example, a coarse curly generally won’t need much protein but if that same curly has a high porosity then they could benefit from protein to help fill in the damage. Getting the protien/moisture balance right is crucial for great curls. As you learn more about your own individual curls and their needs then you can start to make the right choices for your routine.