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Fine hair? Here’s everything you need to know

January 1 | 4 minute read

Haircare Routine For Fine Hair Hero 16x9

Words by Gemma Dawkins

Originally published on | December 31

‘You’re so fine’ is usually a compliment – but if it’s directed at your hair, then you might be on the hunt for some tips to pump up the volume and take things from limp to luscious. Luckily, help is at hand.

We spoke to MECCA’s customer education lead Francesca Hyde to get the low-down on all things fine hair, and how to care for it. So put down the heavy-duty hairspray, pack away your Velcro rollers and sit tight, because it turns out there’s more to fine hair care than endless back-combing and teasing (and thank goodness for that!).

If you’re ready to take notes, we’ve even got the inside scoop on exactly which products will boost volume and strengthen strands, and some of them might surprise you (apparently even your pillow has a role to play). Want to know more? Fine by us!

Fine strands are soft and delicate and need to be treated with gentle care
Francesca Hyde

How do you know if you have fine hair?

Fine hair is a category of hair texture – hair can be classified as fine, medium or coarse. Fine hair is the thinnest hair type by diameter and has a more fragile structure than other textures, which can make it more prone to damage and breakage. Unsure if that’s you? Hyde has a simple trick: “Grab a single strand of your hair and feel it between your fingers. If you can’t feel anything, it's likely you have fine hair!” If so, don’t worry – knowledge is power, and knowing your hair type is essential to curating the right products for you.
Caring for fine hair starts in the shower
Francesca Hyde

Gentle wash only, please

Those with fine hair need to treat it with the respect it deserves. “Think of fine hair like a delicate silk scarf or cashmere sweater,” Hyde advises. “Fine strands are soft and delicate and need to be treated with gentle care when washing and drying and fortified with nourishing and strengthening formulas.”

Just as you wouldn’t throw your favourite silk cami in with a load of towels, if you have fine hair, you’ll want to approach wash day with the same caution and care. According to Hyde, protecting and supporting fine hair's delicate nature can be as simple as using a gentle shampoo, conditioner and nourishing treatment mask. “If you want to target lack of volume, build on your basic routine with a volumising shampoo and conditioner, a scalp exfoliant and styling products designed to plump up fine strands,” she advises.

The best products for fine hair

With a whole universe of products out there, it can be hard to know where to start. Hyde’s advice? Look for shampoos and conditioners with volumising or plumping properties: “Caring for fine hair starts in the shower,” she explains. “Choose gentle, non-stripping shampoos that maintain fine hair’s delicate outer layer. Living Proof’s Full Shampoo does just that while plumping strands with volumising peptides.”

And don’t forget your scalp! “Product build-up and excess sebum can be a recipe for flat, limp strands. Reach for a clarifying wash like 3MoreInches' Exfoliating Scalp Shampoo or deeply detox once a week with a scalp scrub like GOOP’s G.TOX Himalayan Salt Scalp Scrub Shampoo,” says Hyde.

As for conditioner, you’ll want to avoid heavy formulations that can leave fine hair looking oily or limp. Instead, Hyde suggests reaching for “lightweight conditioners that strengthen and nourish without weighing down fine strands, while adding much needed volume. Try Living Proof’s Full Conditioner or Briogeo’s Blossom & Bloom™ Ginseng + Biotin Hair Volumizing Conditioner.

Masks and treatments are the perfect way to strengthen and plump fine, delicate hair
Francesca Hyde

Should you use hair masks with fine hair?

Been avoiding hair masks for fear that they’ll weigh your fine strands down? Hyde says it’s all about finding the right formulation for your needs. “Masks and treatments are the perfect way to strengthen and plump fine, delicate hair. Look for multitasking formulas that not only fortify, but also add volume. Bumble and bumble’s Thickening Mask does it all, with rice proteins to add volume and bounce and kukui nut oil to condition and smooth.”

If your fine hair is chemically treated or bleached, restore the disulfide bonds that have broken through the process and prevent further damage by treating your hair with the OLAPLEX No.3 Hair Perfector.

Styling that won’t fall flat

When you reach the styling stage in your haircare routine, look for products that are lightweight. Hyde recommends seeking out foams, mists and powders to add volume where you want it: “Living Proof's Full Dry Volume + Texture Spray or Bumble and bumble's Thickening Dryspun Texture Spray add instant lift to fine hair.” And everyone’s hair BFF, dry shampoo, gets a look in too. “A quick blast of dry shampoo isn’t just for oil absorption; it also does wonders to bump up the volume between washes,” Hyde says. “Dust Briogeo's Blossom & Bloom Ginseng + Biotin Volumising Root Powder & Dry Shampoo at the roots for an immediate boost.”

Beauty sleep (for your hair!)

While your shampoo and conditioner form the basis for your fine hair routine, it doesn’t end there – Hyde says it’s important to care for your delicate fine hair by minimising damage where possible: “Reduce friction by gently towel drying with the Aquis Waffle Luxe Hair Turban and sleeping on a Slip Pure Silk Pillowcase.” Both of these are team MECCA insider favourites – and as an added bonus, the hair towel will cut your drying time right down (so that you can hit snooze a few extra times in the morning).

Putting your hair up? “Keep the silky feel going and minimise breakage when tying up hair by using Slip’s Scrunchies,” Hyde suggests. And don’t forget hair is more vulnerable to breakage when wet. Hyde recommends brushing with a Tangle Teezer Wet Detangler (there’s even one designed especially for fine and fragile hair) and using Oribe’s Run-Through Detangling Primer for damage-free combing.

Related topics and brand tags

Hair careFine hairConditionerShampooHair treatments

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