What’s the difference between fine and thin hair?
When it comes to describing hair, the terms ‘fine’ and ‘thin’ are often used interchangeably, to the point where it becomes easy to assume that they are the same thing. This just isn’t true though and this misconception can leave you styling or treating your hair incorrectly. That’s why below I’ve outlined the key difference between fine and thin hair.
- Fine hair refers to the thickness of individual strands – When your hairdressers alludes to your hair as being ‘fine’ what they are actually referring to is the thickness or diameter of each individual strand. If your hair strands are thinner than a sewing thread then generally, you are considered to have ‘fine’ hair; however this doesn’t mean that your hair is also thin. In fact, it’s possible to have lots of hair strands that are thin.
- Thin hair refers to the overall density of your hair – In contrast to fine hair, thin hair refers to the overall density of your hair follicles, or how tightly they are packed together on your scalp. If your hair is thin, then more of your scalp is visible, especially during the styling process. It’s also worth noting that any hair type can become thinner for a number of reasons – hormonal fluctuations, age and stress are just a few triggers!
So as you can see, fine and thin hair are very different – fine hair doesn’t always denote the thickness of your hair overall whereas thin hair can occur even in coarser hair types for any number of reasons. However, that’s not to say that these terms don’t share any similarities – both hair types tend to be more susceptible to damage and can present problems when it comes to styling.
How do you treat fine or weak hair?
Knowing which products to use on fine or weak hair can be tricky so I’m going to take a more in depth look at each hair type and the problems they can present.
Starting with fine hair, this type of hair actually has fewer cuticle layers which means that it can absorb products more readily – whether or not this is a bad or a good thing depends entirely on the type of products you are using. Surprisingly, fine hair actually has an advantage compared to other hair types – it’s capable of retaining more moisture. However, this distinct benefit is actually offset by another negative – fine hair often lacks protein, which can make it weaker and more prone to breakages.
So, if you’re attempting to style or treat fine hair, you really need to use products that contain as few harsh chemicals as possible and that preferably focus on strengthening your hair. Fine hair can sometimes be difficult to style as it can become a bit flat and lacklustre so adding in a volumising element here might also be an advantage.
That’s why when it comes to choosing a shampoo or conditioner for fine hair, I always tend to recommend Jason’s Volumising Lavender Shampoo and Conditioner. These products are rich in natural ingredients, such as sweet almond oil, calendula and chamomile and are also fortified with wheat protein to help strengthen hair. They’re ideal for adding a bit of body and oomph back to dull fine hair.
Once you’ve shampooed and conditioner your hair, it’s time to consider style. As I’ve mentioned, styling fine hair can be tricky – not only do you have to contend with fine, wispy flyaway locks, styling serums and sprays can easily weigh your hair down. However, our customers here at Jan de Vries seem very pleased with Green People’s Hair Serum with Avocado and Quinoa so it’s definitely worth a shout out. Not only is this serum extremely rich in antioxidants, it can also help to tame stubborn flyaway without any sticky residues!
Okay, so I’ve covered fine hair but what about thin hair? What challenges does this type of hair present? Well hair that’s thin is going to be weaker and more vulnerable to breakages, split ends and damage. It’s also worth noting that, when it comes to thin hair, it’s important to give your scalp some attention too as this can contribute to unhealthy, weak locks. Ideally what you’re after are products that are lightweight, hydrating and suitable for sensitive scalps.
Thankfully, here at Jan de Vries we do have some products in mind. First let’s look at shampoos and conditioners. As with fine hair, you’re going to want to go as natural and organic as possible and once again, Jason delivers with their Thin to Thick Extra Volumising Shampoo and Conditioner. Crammed full of antioxidant-rich vitamins and minerals as well as hair-strengthening biotin and panthenol, these products help your hair to retain more moisture. Also, they can help to restore your hair’s vitality leaving it shiny, smooth and naturally thicker.
After this nourishing treatment, you’re going to want to think about styling your hair, in which case, some form of thermal heat, whether it’s from a blow dryer or a pair of hair curlers, is to be expected. This is unfortunate as thermal heat can weaken your hair, contributing to hair loss and breakages which is why it’s important you consider ways of protecting your hair against these damaging effects.
The best way to do this would be to invest in nourishing hair oil. Argan oil is perfect here as its chockfull of omega-6 fatty acids to counteract any breakages and to protect your hair follicles from damage. John Masters’ Argan Oil is our preferred choice here as it contains no added ingredients – just 100% pure argan oil which you can apply to damp hair before laying on the heat.