How to Take Care of Fine Natural Hair

For some people, fine natural hair care is difficult to manage and often requires extra attention to get the desired results. Natural fine hair breaks off too easily and falls flat, failing to deliver the much-needed volume and length retention. However, understanding and catering to the unique needs of fine natural hair allows you to easily manage it better. In this article, we provide a brief guide on how to take care of type 4 fine natural hair for best results.

Understanding Fine Natural Hair

To understand fine hair, you need to think about the diameter or width of a single strand of hair. Fine hair is light, feathery, and often feels invisible. To test whether you have fine hair, pull a single strand from your hair and roll between your fingers:

  • You cannot feel the strand at all  – Fine Hair
  • Your strand feels light and feathery – Medium Hair
  • Your stand feels thick and strong – Coarse Strands

In addition to the texture, fine hair is also defined by its volume and styling difficulties. Since it is so lightweight, fine hair may appear flat with no volume. This makes it hard to maintain certain hair styles.

Common Challenges and Misconceptions

Just like any other type 4 hair, fine natural hair is subject to common myths and misconceptions. Most people think it is hard to manage or that it is always dry and tangled. Some people also think that it will never grow long and that it looks unprofessional. However, with proper care, you can enjoy the texture and versatility that your fine hair offers.

Type 4 fine hair is prone to breakage due to its many coils and curls. However, this does not mean that this type of hair cannot grow. It just needs more tender love and care (TLC) to reduce friction and tension between the strands. 

Daily Care Routine

Fine type 4 natural hair requires gentle handling because it experiences the most breakage compared to all thicker strandsizes. The coils and kinks in a single strand have the potential to break easily, especially with tighter curl patterns. This also makes the hair extremely dry since sebum (the scalp’s natural oil) gets trapped within the coils and never reaches the length of the hair.

A good hair care routine will keep your fine natural hair healthy and in good shape:

  • Cleanse: Washing helps to remove any product, dirt, grease, and dead skin that may build up. For fine hair, opt for a gentle, and sulfate-free clarifying and volumizing shampoo. Aim to wash your hair on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. Avoid hot water and use cold or lukewarm so you do not strip the hair of its natural oils or disturb the scalp.
  • Condition and Nourish: Conditioning the hair helps to detangle, provide moisture, and seal the cuticles. Be sure to apply a conditioner on wet hair. Then squeeze out excess water and leave it for a few minutes before rinsing. Deep conditioning your hair once a week  also provides your hair with extra moisture and nourishment.
  • Detangle: Detangling helps to eliminate knots in your hair and minimize breakage. Gently comb through the lengths of your hair using your fingertips, a wide tooth comb or a detangling brush to remove big knots and tangles. This prepares your hair for styling.
  •  Style: The next step is to style your hair to achieve your desired volume and fullness using styling products.  

Moisturizing and Sealing

Moisturizing your fine hair is important even when you are not washing as it keeps the strands healthy and stronger. On the other hand, sealants contain oils or butter that seal the moisture into your natural hair, ensuring the shafts stay soft and supple. Some of the hair oils with both properties include coconut, avocado, and olive oil. Other good options include almond, argan, and castor oil.

Protective Styling

Protective hairstyles keep your natural hair tucked away from daily manipulation. You can choose to style Bantu knots, twists, braids, buns, cornrows, and buns. These heat-free styling methods will make your hair look great without causing damage. However, make sure to keep your coils underneath the protective styles moisturized.  Remember, if you use heat styling tools, apply a heat protectant spray to protect your hair from heat damage.

Choosing the Right Products

For fine natural hair, it’s important to choose products that provide moisture and manageability without weighing down the hair. Here are some recommended types of products to use:

  1. Shampoo:
    • Lightweight, Sulfate-Free Shampoo: Sulfate-free formulas gently cleanse without stripping natural oils. Look for shampoos with ingredients like aloe vera and chamomile.
    • Clarifying Shampoo: Use occasionally to remove buildup from products and hard water.
  2. Conditioner:
    • Lightweight Conditioner: Opt for conditioners with ingredients like coconut milk, aloe vera, and hydrolyzed proteins to provide moisture and strength without heaviness.
    • Leave-In Conditioner: Choose a lightweight, water-based leave-in conditioner to add extra moisture and manageability.
  3. Styling Products:
    • Lightweight, Water-Soluble Silicones: Products with these silicones provide shine and manageability without weighing down the hair.
    • Lightweight Gel or Mousse: These help define curls and waves without making hair stiff or heavy. Look for products with flaxseed gel or a light mousse formulation.
    • Serums and Oils: Use light oils like argan oil or grapeseed oil for added shine and moisture. Apply sparingly to avoid greasiness.
  4. Deep Conditioner or Hair Mask:
    • Protein Treatment: Use a lightweight protein treatment occasionally to strengthen fine hair. Look for ingredients like keratin or hydrolyzed wheat protein.
    • Moisturizing Mask: Opt for masks with ingredients like honey, avocado, and shea butter for deep hydration without heaviness. Use once a week or as needed.
  5. Heat Protectant:
    • Lightweight Heat Protectant Spray: If you use heat styling tools, a lightweight heat protectant spray can help prevent damage without weighing down your hair.

Healthy Hair Practices

In addition to having a good fine hair care routine and choosing the right products, the following tips will make your natural hair care journey more effective:

  • Maintain a Balanced Diet: A balanced diet with proper nutrients like Vitamins A, C, D, and E, iron, B vitamins, Zinc, protein, biotin, and essential fatty acids helps in treating hair loss and promoting hair growth.
  • Hydration: Proper hydration of your hair will prevent brittle texture and split ends, reducing the risk of damage and breakage. Make sure to use a conditioner and feed your hair with oil.
  • Regular Trimming: Regular trims help to prevent breakages and split ends from traveling further to the hair shaft.
  • Don’t Tie Your Hair Too Tight: This will help in avoiding unnecessary breakage.
  • Sleep on a Silk Pillowcase: Keeps the hair soft and healthy by reducing friction and damage as you twist and turn your head at night while asleep.
  • Limit Heat Styling: Heat styling can strip off the moisture from your delicate hair, and increase the risk of breakage and damage. Instead, opt for heatless styling techniques that produce great results without damaging your hair


While fine natural hair is prone to breakage, caring and nurturing is not as complicated. With the right care and styling routine, you can easily manage your curls to achieve your hair goals. Don’t be discouraged, keep experimenting until you find the right  fine natural hair care regimen that works best for your curls.