Friday, February 02, 2007

Tips for Fine Hair and for Straight Hair

Note: I forgot to mention in my other articles that there are pins that are better for the hair than regular bobby pins are. Beauty supply stores usually carry french pins that are made especially for putting hair up. These are kinder to the hair than regular bobby pins. However, you must have some volume to your hair to wear them well. Ask the clerk at your local beauty supply store to help you find these hair-friendly pins.

This is the last in our current series about hair. Today, I thought I'd talk about fine hair and perfectly straight hair (1a). I have fine hair of (barely) normal volume, and my hair is somewhere between straight and wavy. (1c or 2a).

We'll look at fine hair first. Remember, fine hair is not the same thing as thin hair. It simply means that each strand is narrower in diameter than normal or coarse hair. This fineness produces hair that is delicate, shiny, feminine, youthful, and soft.

As you can imagine, it takes more strands of fine hair per inch of scalp to produce the same amount of volume as normal or coarse hair strands. And, equal numbers of coarse strands will look thicker and more voluminous than the same number of fine strands.

In his wisdom, God has provided for this. Blonde-haired women, who often have fine hair, have more strands of hair on their heads than do darker haired women, who are more likely to have normal or coarse strands of hair. Thus, many women with fine hair have enough of these fine hairs to create normal volume.

Both a fine-haired woman and a coarse-haired woman may have a ponytail that measures three inches around. But, the fine-haired woman will have more strands in those three inches than the coarser haired woman will. (See the post from Jan. 31 to learn how to measure the volume of your hair).

Remember, fine curly hair may look fuller than fine straight hair, simply because the curls take up more space. However, straight fine hair has a beauty all its own.

While fine hair may be of normal volume, it will look thin if it is allowed to become unkempt. Scraggly ends pull down fine hair, flattening it and making it look thinner. Also, if the hair is weighted down with dirt and grease or from the wrong hair products, it will clump together and look flatter and thinner. If fine hair is too dry, it will become flyaway or even damaged. This also takes away from its natural fullness.

The trick with fine hair is to play up its soft, feminine, delicate, shimmery qualities, while at the same time, making the most of the volume you have. If your hair is both fine and thin, be extra, extra careful with it. If your hair is fine and of normal to thick volume, you still need to be attentive.

Remember, fine hair is the fine silk or fine lace of the hair world. It can't take a lot of abuse. Women of normal hair texture can get away with a little hair neglect. Unfortunately, fine hair "tattles" on us if we don't give it a little TLC. (Again, I don't believe in spending too much time on hair; once you understand what your particular type hair needs, you should be able to take care of it without becoming a slave to it).

Here are some tips for taking care of fine hair:

1) When it's time for a cut or trim, look for a stylist who understands and is patient with fine hair. Just as some stylists do well with curly hair, others do well with fine hair.

2) Some stylists automatically recommend that you keep fine hair shorter than the shoulders, preferably as short as chin length. They do have some ground for this. Many of our long-haired, fine-tressed sisters have not known how to take care of long locks, giving long fine hair a bad name. Also, the weight of long hair does pull your hair down, which can make it look flatter.

If shorter hair works for you -- great. Try a bob that is anywhere from chin to shoulder length, as the bob is a great haircut for fine hair.

However, if you want to grow your fine hair into a long crowning glory, do not let your stylist intimidate you into cutting it. Many women have beautiful long, long fine hair. Do some research about growing and maintaining long hair. Look for advice that is particularly geared to fine hair. Keep your long locks in good shape. Have the ends trimmed often enough that they don't get ragged. If you keep your hair in good shape, you will probably find that you can grow your fine hair long with no problem.

3) If your fine hair is long, you can pull it up on top of your head with a suitable ponytail holder while you sleep. You can do this if your hair is wet or dry. Keeping your hair up like that all night gives you extra volume. Some women braid their hair, as well. When I got married, I made a promise to myself that I wouldn't sleep with curlers in my hair for my dear hubby's sake. Dear hubby did not ask me to do this, but I think he appreciates it. For the most part, I've kept that promise. I have done the ponytail on top of the head thing, however. I don't think most husbands would mind if you put your hair up in a simple ponytail. Ask to be sure.

4) While too much oil can weigh your hair down, too little makes fine hair flyaway and flat, as well. Like everyone else, you should try to go at least two or three days between hair washings to allow your own natural oils to coat your hair. If you just can't bring yourself to do that, be sure to condition your hair properly.

5) Look for products that are kind to fine hair and that don't weigh fine hair down too much. Use any products -- even those for fine hair -- with a light hand. For example, mist hairspray instead of spraying clouds of it.

John Frieda's products for blonde hair work well on fine hair. Experiment to find what works for you.

Volumizing products can make your hair appear fuller. Since they do work by coating your hair, be sure they are especially made for fine-textured hair. Experiment with a bit to make sure tha tit doesn't weigh down your hair. If you find a volumizing product that you love, but you suffer from occasional product build-up, wash with a clarifying shampoo once a week or so.

6) Rag style curlers are great for fine hair.

7) Age, stress, and certain medications can make your normally abundant fine hair start to thin. These factors affect people with normal and coarse hair, too, but the thinness is more noticable when the hair's texture is fine. If you are losing volume, be sure to take extra care of your hair. Seek a doctor's help. Watch your stress levels. If you are placed on a thyroid medication, discuss with your doctor or pharmicist any effects it might have on your hair.

8) If you wear your hair long, watch out for things it might catch on, such as seat belts, buttons on coats, etc. You don't want your fine strands to break. (Actually, this is good advice for any kind of hair, but especially so for fine hair). Now that I am old enough to need reading glasses, I have developed a bad habit of pushing my glasses up on the top of my head when I don't need them. When I wear wire-rimmed glasses, the rim pulls on my hair -- just at the point where I don't need to have it yanked out. I am trying to remember to be careful here.

Even if your fine hair is short, watch out for things like rings, glasses, watches, etc, than can pull your find strands out or break them. Be careful about what kind of curlers, brushes, combs, and pins you use.

9) If you wear your hair up, you may want to try specially made stuffed forms that will add volume to a bun or a French twist.

Tips for stick-straight (1a) hair:

1) Straight hair can be of any texture: fine, coarse, or medium. It can be of any volume: thin, normal, or thick. Like fine hair, straight hair tends to have loads of beautiful shine. The hair's natural oils are able to coat straight strands more easily than they can curly strands.

2) Like fine hair, straight-haired women need to attend to the ends of her hair. You can see sraggly ends on straight hair more easily than you can see them on curly or wavy hair. In a way, this works to your benefit. You will be able to see split ends and ragged ends early enough to take care of them before they lead to further hair damage.

3) During some fashion cycles, straight hair is highly coveted, and curly-haired women go to great efforts to get the curl out of their hair. During some fashion cycles, poofy or big hair or curls are more coveted, and straight-haired women feel they must do something to obtain curls. While you do want to keep up-t0-date, you don't have to let fashion cycles jerk you around. Learn to appreciate your beautiful straight hair, no matter what the latest fad is. Maybe, you will take some measures to curl your hair or even to get a perm once in a while. But, keep in mind that straight hair -- like every hair type -- has its own particular kind of beauty. If you want to keep your hair in its natural state, you can always find some lovely way to make the most of your straight locks.

4) As you age, letting your straight hair hang down closely around your face can make your face look older and more fatigued. Long, straight lines pointing downward draw the attention to similar lines in the face. A lovely way for a mature woman to wear straight hair is to pull the sides up and back with decorative clips or combs. Be sure not to pull the hair so tightly that it looks severe and the clips cause damage. Wearing your straight hair with some of the lines pulled upwards gives softness to your face.

5) If you hair is straight and of normal texture and volume, you just might have the easiest time of all when it comes to finding a stylist who can give you a great cut or trim. However, don't take this for granted. Look for someone who understands both your hair type and your personal taste.

6) If your hair is long enough to pull up into a ponytail on the top of your head, the same volumizing trick that is mentioned for fine-haired girls will work for you.

7) Straight hair looks lovely in a ponytail. However, be sure not to pull your ponytail too tightly. And, you might consider the idea of not wearing a ponytail every day. Otherwise, you may break hair and experiencing unwanted thinning.

Note to Everyone: When you are looking to copy a "do", look for an example of someone who has comparable hair texture, hair volume, and straightness or curliness to your own hair. If someone you know has hair like yours and you admire the way it looks, ask her if she would share her personal hair tips with you. If you are looking through a magazine in search of hair styles to copy, study the hair of a model or actress whose hair is like yours. In that way, you will be find ideas that work for you.



Julieann said...

Thank you for that---I have fine straight hair--lot's of great tips.

Have a great Saturday Elizabeth!!


Elizabeth said...

Hi Juliann: Glad you enjoyed the tips for fine and straight hair. There's more information out there, so I hope that you will use this as a starting place to do your own research.

Happy Hair Day!