How to look after Fine Hair
If you would like advice on how to look after fine hair, you are not alone.
Because I’ve worked in the salon business for over 35 years, I’ve worked with many clients who have fine hair.
So whilst I believe in taking an individual approach, many common questions come up in my client consultations, from the best products for fine hair to tips on how to style for volume to choosing the best cut.
Have you got a question about how to look after fine hair?
I’ve compiled a list of common questions, sharing my salon know-how for everything you need to know about how to care for fine hair.
Table of Contents
- How to look after Fine Hair: Good Hair Habits
- How to look after Fine Hair: Leave in conditioner for Fine Hair
- How to look after Fine Hair: What’s my Style?
- How to look after Fine Hair: Styling for Volume
- How can I blow dry my hair to make it look thicker?
- How to look after Fine Hair: Best Products for Fine Hair
- Beauty Bible Review of Styling Mist for Volume
- Expert Tips for looking after Fine Hair
- About the Author
- Beauty Bible Recommends
How to look after Fine Hair: Good Hair Habits
How often should you shampoo fine hair?
There’s a lot of noise out there about how often you should wash your hair.
For instance, you may have heard that it’s not good to wash your hair daily because it strips the hair of its natural oils.
I don’t agree.
Over the years of washing hair, my experience is that the frequency of hair-washing depends on the individual.
Because every hair follicle has an oil gland attached to it, people with fine hair tend to have more individual hairs, making fine hair types more prone to oiliness.
Therefore, if your hair is prone to oiliness, it’s best to wash your hair more often and, if needed, every day.
So keeping the scalp clean should be your priority. If your scalp is clean, it gives the best environment for healthy hair growth.
As a general guide, I’d say most people need to wash their hair 2-3 times a week.
However, if you find that your hair looks and feels better by washing it every day, then go for it.
The most important thing is to choose a good quality shampoo that’s gentle on the scalp.
Salon Know How: How to look after Fine Hair
Have you ever noticed how your stylist applies shampoo in the salon? They work the product up with a little water in the palm of their hands before applying it to the scalp. That way, you get an even spread on the hair and scalp. To get more lather, add more water, not more shampoo.
Should you use conditioner on fine hair?
I can’t stress this enough.
Fine hair needs moisture too.
When hair is too dry, some common problems occur. For instance, your hair can become prone to breakage, tangling and flyaways. The only way to combat this is by keeping hair hydrated. The best way to keep hair hydrated is with regular conditioning.
However, I understand why fine hair types might want to skip the conditioner.
Because a lot of mass-market conditioners contain silicones, they can be heavy on your hair. Silicone is a type of plastic that coats the hair and gives it a slippery feel.
So, the thing about silicone is it gives your hair the feeling of being hydrated. But without actually giving any moisture to the hair. That means this coating can be heavy on your fine hair.
How to look after Fine Hair: Leave in conditioner for Fine Hair
Leave in conditioners are an excellent choice for fine hair. I’ve written a piece on leave in conditioners, which gives you the heads up on how to use them and why they work.
Leave in conditioner works on all hair types; from fine to frizzy, dry to damaged and curly hair. The best leave in conditioners detangle, reduce static and frizz, whilst speeding up drying time and leave hair with shine.
Is conditioner making your fine hair flat? Choose a product that is more suited to your hair type.
I use pro vitamin b5 in our natural conditioners. That’s because it’s one of the few ingredients proven to penetrate the outer layer of your hair.
Pro vitamin b5 adds moisture in a way that plumps out the cuticle. That means your hair feels and looks fuller with more body and volume.
For fine hair, apply conditioner to the ends of the hair and mid-lengths of the hair.
Avoid the roots. Work the product up in the palm of your hands before you apply. With fine hair, in particular, it’s vital to get an even spread of conditioner.
Avoid applying too much product to one area.
Salon Know How: After shampooing, always gently squeeze the excess water out of your hair before applying conditioner. That’s because conditioner slides off excessively wet hair.
Should I comb conditioner through my hair?
Hair is most vulnerable when it’s wet, so it’s best to avoid combing if you can.
I recommend using a detangling conditioner such as Revive and Shine Conditioner to take care of fine hair.
After shampooing, squeeze out the water with a small towel. Apply your conditioner to the ends of the mid-lengths of the hair.
Gently use your fingers to work the product into the hair but don’t pull tug to get rid of the knots and tangles. That is the job of your conditioner.
Leave for anything from 30 seconds to a couple of minutes and rinse. As you rinse, Revive and Shine Conditioner leaves your hair tangle-free.
How do you stop fine hair from tangling?
Fine hair is more prone to tangling than most hair types, even more so if your hair is long. Many environmental factors such as heated styling or sun and wind all conspire to make hair dry.
When hair is dry, it becomes prone to breakage and tangles.
However, there are things that you can do to prevent tangles when caring for fine hair.
- Keep the cuticle smooth and reduce breakage with regular conditioning and a weekly hair mask.
- Squeeze, don’t rub when you towel-dry your hair.
- Sleeping on cotton pillows can cause hair to become matted. Choose a silk or satin pillowcase to reduce the tangles.
- Use a heat protector before styling to reduce heat damage and breakage. Our multitasking Styling Mist for Natural Hold and Volume detangles, offers heat protection and contains Keratin and Argan oil to treat split ends.
How do you prevent flyaways?
Turn down the heat on your hairdryer to avoid excessive heat on your hair.
Excess heat can cause static, helping flyaways to flourish.
So, opt for a cool setting on your hairdryer.
It may slow down drying time, but it will give you a better finish.
Help is at hand with Styling Mist for Natural Hold and Volume as it speeds up drying time even at a cooler setting. Plus, it contains Honey to reduce static which means you don’t have to worry about flyaways.
Whilst you’re at it, turn down the heat in the shower. Try not to wash your hair in hot water. Opt for a warm temperature that’s better for your hair, scalp and your skin too.
How to look after Fine Hair: What’s my Style?
What’s the best hairstyle for fine hair?
Short and mid-length styles generally give more options for fine hair.
That doesn’t mean you have to go for boyish cuts or pixie crops if that’s not your thing. Bob variations are a good option. The main thing is that hair should be well-cut and balanced.
Shorter and mid-length cuts can be textured to give weight to the hair, helping you maximise body and movement when you style at home.
Grey Hair is considered coarse, but the truth is hair becomes finer as we age. With the right care, fine grey hair can look shiny, smooth and full. I’ve written my definitive guide to caring for grey hair. You can find it here.
Are layers good for fine hair?
Layers can be a good option for fine hair, but not in all cases.
Because layers give weight to your hair, when your hair is well cut and balanced, the layers create movement and body.
However, you have to be careful because layers don’t work well in all cases. So if your hair is long or not properly balanced, it’s possible to take too much weight out of the ends. That can leave hair wispy at the ends, making it fly-away, and if your hair is too thin at the ends, it may curl up.
My advice? Talk to your stylist about the best options for your hair.
Are short hairstyles better for fine hair?
If you want texture and movement in the hair, short hairstyles are more versatile for fine hair.
Well-cut and balanced short hairstyles are easier to style at home.
Are you considering which short hairstyle is best for your hair? I recommend thinking about your hairline and the growth pattern of the hair.
For example, if you have a cowlick at the front of your hair, use it to your advantage because a cowlick can create volume at the front of the hair.
The hairline at the back of the neck is also vital. So if hair grows in an upwards direction at the back of your neck, it can lift, meaning it won’t lie flat. That can make a difference in the type of style you choose.
My advice is to work with what you’ve got. Enhance what you’ve got, don’t fight it.
Will dying my hair make it look thicker?
Yes, having your fine hair coloured can make it look thicker. Because when you colour your hair, the cuticle swells, making it look thicker.
However, over-processing hair care can lead to breakage. Ensure you get the best results. Firstly, I recommend getting colour done professionally at a salon and make sure you have a consultation beforehand. Secondly, when taking care of your colour-treated hair, it’s vital to keep it well hydrated.
Treating your hair to a weekly hair mask will help to maintain hydration in colour-treated hair.
However, talk to your stylist about the best options for you and how to look after fine hair that’s been colour-treated.
How to look after Fine Hair: Styling for Volume
Below you can see the same haircut in both photos. Firstly, I wash and rough-dried the model’s hair to take out the excess water.
Secondly, I prepped the model’s fine hair with Styling Mist for Natural Hold and Volume. Her hair was still damp for application.
Thirdly, I dried the hair upside down, using fingers to create root lift.
Fourthly, I used a couple of small Velcro rollers to create lift and wave.
Finally, I created extra volume by using a fine tooth comb to backcomb hair.
Which brush is best for styling fine hair?
I recommend the Denman hairbrush or the vent hairbrush for creating body and volume in fine hair. I love the versatility of the Denman hairbrush.
It comes in different sizes, which means you can use a small brush to create gentle movement or a larger hairbrush to create bigger volume and waves.
Check out my blog Short Bob Hairstyles: 3 Styles for your Bob Haircut for tips on how to work with this hairstyling essential.
How can I give my hair more volume?
I have some favourite tools and techniques for creating volume.
Nothing new. They are tried-and-tested salon techniques that work.
For getting volume in fine hair, I recommend four styling tools for your hair care kit bag; the Velcro roller, the Denman or vent hairbrush, the fine-tooth comb and a quality volumiser.
Anyone of these styling tools can help you to create volume. I’ve shared some examples below of how you can use them.
Create volume in fine hair with Velcro rollers.
- Prep your hair – shampoo, condition, and rinse. Squeeze out excess water with a towel spritz with a volumizer. Blow-dry, being careful not to over-dry the hair.
- They come in various sizes, so they are great for different hair lengths and creating different looks. Four Velcro rollers should be plenty. Use two at the crown and one at each side.
- Give your hair a quick blast with the hairdryer, leave to cool and remove the rollers. Use your fingers, to gently push the hair in place.
For long, fine hair, try the Denman hairbrush to give hair more volume.
- Prep your hair – shampoo, condition, and rinse. Squeeze out excess water with a towel spritz with a volumizer. Blow-dry, being careful not to over-dry your hair.
- Take a section of hair where you want to create volume, place the Denman brush a the end of the hair, and roll it down to the roots.
- Give your hair a quick blast with the hairdryer, leave it to cool and gently remove the brush.
For short, fine hair, try a fine tooth comb to give hair more volume.
- Prep your hair – shampoo, condition, and rinse. Squeeze out excess water with a towel spritz with a volumizer. Blow-dry, being careful not to over-dry the hair.
- Take a fine-tooth comb and gently back-comb wherever you want to create lift. Avoid going right down to the roots. Position the comb about half an inch away. The trick is to back-comb in small sections and be as gentle as possible.
How can I blow dry my hair to make it look thicker?
A simple way of blow drying your hair to make it look thicker is to turn your head upside down and dry hair from underneath.
Follow these simple steps:
- Shampoo, condition, and rinse to prep your hair.
- Blot out as much excess water as possible with a towel. Hair should be damp, not soaking wet. A common error when blow-drying hair is to leave too much water in the hair. That can lead to over-drying, making hair fly-away.
- Spritz a good volumizer on towel-dried hair, turn your head upside down and give hair a blast with the hairdryer. The aim is to dry hair from underneath.
- Use your fingers, gently lifting the roots. That is what we call a rough drying technique. However, it should be anything but rough.
- Once the hair is dry underneath, you can use your fingers or a brush to finish the style. Don’t be too heavy-handed at this point. You don’t want to flatten the lift you’ve created. A light touch is what’s needed.
How do I get volume in the front of my hair?
Here are some quick and easy ways to create volume at the front of your hair:
- Use a Denman brush, a fine-tooth comb or a Velcro roller to create lift at the roots. See my Styling for Volume tips above.
- Forget centre partings – they leave fine hair looking flat. Instead, create a deep parting, left or right, and flip the hair over for instant volume.
- Put hair in a bun and sleep in it overnight.
- Blow-dry upside down (see above).
- Do you have a fringe? Pop in a couple of small Velcro rollers when your hair is still warm after you’ve blow-dried it. Leave to cool and gently remove the rollers.
How to look after Fine Hair: Best Products for Fine Hair
Which is the best shampoo for fine hair?
The best shampoo for fine hair is one that creates volume.
That may sound obvious. However, it’s vital to avoid shampoos that contain heavy ingredients.
For example, silicone coats the hair, making it flat.
Similarly, look for ingredients with that give the hair moisture.
For instance, Revive and Shine Shampoo contains volume-boosting Baobab. Because I blend it with pro vitamin b5, this shampoo formulation gets moisture right to the core of your hair.
When the cuticle swells with moisture, it makes hair look thicker and fuller. After rinsing shampoo from your hair, it shouldn’t leave any residue.
Residue on fine hair will make it flat, so choosing natural products that nourish the hair is an excellent way of giving body and volume to your fine hair.
What’s the best conditioner for fine hair?
When choosing the best conditioner for fine hair, select a lightweight formulation. Fine hair needs moisture, and the best conditioner should be nourishing enough to give your hair hydration.
Similarly, it easily rinses from the hair. No residue.
Choose Revive and Shine Conditioner for its lightweight conditioning, zero residue, detangling and volume.
That means you’ll notice the difference when you style your hair.
Are hair masks good for fine hair?
In my experience, many fine-haired clients believe that hair masks are not for them.
Often this is because they have had bad experiences with heavy hair masks.
So if you’ve found that a heavy hair mask has made your fine hair flat, you may need some convincing.
However, finding the best hair mask for fine hair is not as tricky as you might think.
For instance, I believe the best way to boost volume in fine hair is to add moisture to your hair.
Because moisture makes your hair cuticle swell, it looks thicker. Similarly, when the cuticle is hydrated, it lays flat to reduce tangling and flyaways.
Use a hair mask weekly.
The best way to achieve hydrated hair is to use a hair mask once a week, every week.
For fine hair, products shouldn’t be too heavy.
I recommend avoiding anything that contains silicone. Silicone, a plastic that coats the hair, can leave fine hair flat. Avoid heavy oils for the same reason.
When developing my hair mask, many of my customers had fine hair.
So I wanted a hair mask that would hydrate and add moisture without leaving any residue. But I’m demanding, so it had to do more.
As a salon-developed, natural hair care range, I wanted salon-professional results. A hair mask should hydrate your fine hair, leave it with body, reduce fly-aways and detangle.
Make a good quality hair mask part of your hair care routine, and you will see and feel the difference in your hair.
What styling products should I use for fine hair?
The best styling products for fine hair are lightweight.
Therefore when thinking about styling and how to look after fine hair it’s best to avoid heavy products such as waxes, oils and industrial-strength hairsprays!
Styling products aren’t what they used to be, and, as with most things, they have moved on.
What that means is that you can now find lightweight styling to give the hair body without weighing it down.
How to look after Fine Hair: Less is more
When it comes to hair styling products, my mantra is ‘less is more’.
That’s why I’ve chosen a light mist application for my styling range.
Because successfully styling your hair is not just about what you put on your hair, how you put it on your hair is equally important.
Here’s what I mean. When applying styling products to fine hair, it’s easy to overload the hair. That’s why my styling range has a super-fine mist pump that enables you to get an even spread on the hair, and the lightness of application is perfect for fine hair types.
I believe styling products should give control without restricting the natural movement of the hair. That’s why I developed Styling Mist for Natural Hold and Volume.
Perfect for fine hair, it delivers a natural-looking finish with volume whilst leaving the hair with plenty of movement.
Here’s what the Beauty Bible had to say about my Styling Mist for Natural Hold and Volume,
“We are never, ever short of recommendations for luscious 100% pure hair masks. There are more and more excellent natural shampoos around, too. But natural styling options? Rarer than hen’s teeth. Hats off, then, to Ogario London* for this lightweight styling mist, which makes for increased hold and volume while making your hair smell fresh, citrusy and downright gorgeous. (It’s infused with lemon zest.)
Other ingredients include antioxidant vitamin E, strengthening pro-vitamin B5, oats (for hydration and strength) and honey (not sticky, by the way, but just a touch to prevent static).
The result? Shiny, swingy hair that holds its shape. And while this formula may never rival the industrial strength styling aids from mainstream haircare brands, it’s going to make for very happy hair days for natural beauties.”
* Ogario’s hair masks are hugely popular with Beauty Bible testers. And with us.
Expert Tips for looking after Fine Hair
I’ve had many questions during the course of my career about how to take care of fine hair. I’ve captured some of the most frequently asked in this article. Similarly, I thought it might be useful to summarise the key points below.
How to Take Care of Fine Hair – Summarised
- For most fine hair types, shampooing 2-3 times a week is fine. If you need to shampoo more often or every day, choose a gentle shampoo.
- Don’t skip the conditioner! Lightweight and detangling conditioners are best for fine hair.
- Be gentle with wet hair. Squeeze, don’t rub with your towel to dry hair.
- Reduce tangling and static by sleeping on a silk or satin pillow, turn down the heat on your hairdryer and wash your hair in warm, not hot water.
- Shorter and mid-length styles are better for fine hair. If you want to keep hair long, go easy on the layers, as they can make the ends look wispy.
- The best styling tools for fine hair; Velcro rollers, fine-tooth comb, Denman hairbrush, vent hairbrush
- Use a hair mask. The best hair mask for fine hair will hydrate, give it body, detangle and reduce static.
- Choose lightweight styling products. Avoid heavy oils, waxes and hairsprays.
About the Author
Norris Ogario is founder and Creative Director of Ogario London. Developed in his London salon, the Ogario London haircare products reflect his belief that hydration is the key to fixing most hair problems. You can style hydrated hair with ease. Plus, hydration leaves hair shiny and healthy. Norris has over 35 years of hair know-how. With expertise in all hair types; from dry hair to fine or grey hair, from frizzy to damaged or bleached hair, curly hair and afro hair, Norris offers his expert advice.
Over the years, I’ve talked to and helped a lot of customers with dry hair concerns. Additionally, I write about all aspects of healthy hair, from tackling frizz to getting rid of split ends and share salon tips and techniques for looking after all hair types.
I’ve suggested some further reading below, but please look at our Healthy Hair Blog to find more articles.
Firstly, the way we style and care for our hair is not the only factor determining hair health and shine. Because, good nutrition is vital.
So, if you want to delve deeper into how you can improve your healthy hair diet, take a look at our blog, Healthy Hair: Choose the Best Foods for Hair Growth.
Add Volume to Hair On-The-Go: 3 Easy Steps
Want to add volume to hair on-the-go? Find out which fine hair tools you should have in your handbag, along with tips and tricks for adding volume to fine hair in between washes. Because your fine hair doesn’t need to fall flat.
Did you know that colour treatments have a significant impact on reducing moisture in the hair? Particularly, if you bleach your hair.
For further reading on dry hair, Salon Know How: How to Moisturise Dry Hair is a must-read.
Have you tried styling your hair with leave in conditioner? It’s a great option for adding moisture to hair, prior to heated styling. Because, it gives hair the best foundation for styling, without compromising the health of your hair.
Find out more no my blog, Leave in Conditioner: We Give you the Heads Up!
Ogario London is a salon developed, natural hair care range. We are passionate about our products, and, delivering the best results is at the heart of what we do. Do you have questions about our products? Or, would you like advice on the best products for your hair type? For instance, do you have another question about how to look after your hair? If you do, please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Beauty Bible Recommends
Our Restore and Shine Hair Masque was awarded best hair mask in the Ultimate Natural Beauty Bible Awards. Here’s what Josephine Fairley and Sarah Stacey had to say,
“Beauty Bible fell in love with this mask when we discovered it at a Cosmetic Executive Women product demo evening. The brand comes from a London hair salon, and the mask is a huge boon for hair – packed with avocado, olive oil, aloe vera, nettle and horsetail, together with sage (which is rich in vitamins A, C and E). Just a sniff of this rich, unctuous creamy mask perks you up. Use for gleaming shiny, healthy hair.”