Our new hair care series takes you back to basics – with the help of hair specialist and trichologist, Philip Kingsley – so you can find the right products for your hair type and concern. First up, we delve into the ins and outs of fine hair – read on to find out more from volume-seeker Grace:
WHAT’S MY ‘TYPE’?
Hair is often described as ‘normal’ ‘dry’ or ‘oily’, but the best way to properly assess it is to look at its size and texture. These can be categorised into four types: fine, medium, coarse or black/afro caribbean. Each hair texture can be straight, wavy, curly or frizzy. Hair specialist and trichologist Philip Kingsley advises to “…look at your hair’s length and level of processing and combine this information to choose a daily hair care regime that is best for you.”
THE DRY/OILY HAIR MYTH
‘Dryness’ is a term that describes the condition your hair is in, not your hair’s actual texture. Your hair can be ‘dry’ and be fine and straight or curly and coarse – you’d just vary the products you use depending on the texture. It can be ‘oily’ at the roots and ‘dry’ at the ends. It’s natural for your roots to get oily – everybody produces natural oil from their hair follicles. Regular washing and some nifty oil-absorbing products can help keep it at bay.
THE ‘FINE HAIR’ GUIDE
“Fine hair is hair in which the diameter of each individual strand is fine, It does not refer to the actual numbers of hairs on your scalp.” Philip Kingsley
Fun fact alert: Most people with fine hair actually have more individual hairs on their scalp, as there’s room for more of them. Each of these strands have an oil gland attached, so they have the tendency to get oily and limp quickly. You’re pretty much born with your hair type, but Kingsley says that environmental factors such as “sun, wind, dust particles, central heating” can have an effect. The vast majority of women – 72%, including me! – have fine hair and they’re all after volume and body. Here’s a list of my trusted allies:
- HER Haircare Rituals is a recent discovery of mine. Their Volumising Ritual includes their Trecento Treatment – a five minute pre-shampoo treatment that renews and replenishes lost proteins. Follow with their Volumising Shampoo and Conditioner, which contain aloe leaf juice and delicate plant-based cleansers to gently clean and fortify, while ginseng invigorates the scalp and wheat germ and macadamia oil strengthen and nourish. I love this stuff because it provides body and weightlessness without making hair dry and straw-like as other volume-promising shampoo and conditioners have in the past – plus, it got me compliments when I returned to the office.
- The KMS California Add Volume Volumizing Spray does what it says on the bottle – it adds volume and protects from heat styling. It contains eucalyptus cinnamon, known for it’s astringent ability to thicken strands at the roots and provide fullness. Work through towel-dried hair, focusing on the roots and blow dry – I throw my hair upside down and massage the roots to build body that lasts all day. It delivers without destroying my hair, as it’s completely paraben and alcohol free.
- My hair tends to get dry in the mid to ends thanks to all the volumising products I’ve tried in the past – the various bleach-jobs over the years certainly haven’t helped! – so I like to turn to oils that when I need to nourish and repair. Montibel.lo’s Gold Oil Essence boasts two sought-after oils; argan and amber that nourish, strengthen, preserve and protect, all the while adding a luminous shine to my strands. I use it on damp hair after washing and let it dry naturally for silky waves, or apply to dry hair after styling to tame flyaways and add shine. Start light and build – a little goes a long way with this stuff.
- I’ve mentioned Bumble and bumble’s new thickening line a couple of times now, but with good reason – it’s seriously great. The Full Form Mousse delivers big results when I want to accentuate my hair’s natural wave without being crunchy at all. The Thickening Dryspun Finish is a backcomb in a bottle – a completely translucent spray that creates full, textured hair in seconds by making the hair shaft stand away from itself. Spray into the roots of dry hair and massage in.
- Don’t forget: Other lifestyle factors like a protein-rich diet and drinking lots of water can help from the inside out. Inner Me’s Lustrous Locks Complex includes MSM, iron and antioxidants to protect roots and feed hair follicles. I’ve noticed a real difference in the length of my ‘baby hairs’ around my forehead after using this for a couple of months. Impressive!
Stay tuned for our Medium, Coarse and Black/Afro hair guides to follow and try out new products for your hair type each month when you sign up to Birchbox!