More Scalp than Hair: Styling Solutions for Fine &/or Thin Hair

Hey beauts!

I feel particularly close to what I have chosen to write about today. One of the things I remember not liking about being relaxed (apart from the scalp burns and hurt that came with retouching) was that my hair always laid so flat on my head. It just never had the kind of body that everyone else I know seemed to have. So for 3 years before I began my transition back to natural, I stopped using relaxers and began texturising my hair. It definitely made a difference, but still, styling my hair to my liking was always an issue. I just always felt like at certain times and from certain angles, I looked like I had no hair.

Apart from getting excited about having my real hair texture on my head, going back to natural for me, was a chance to rock a full head of hair. I had dreams, people, of walking around with a big ass afro that will block doorways. It was a no-brainer: natural hair = thick afro, right? WRONG!

It took me getting heat damage, combined with attempting mini twists to come to the realisation that, some of us have fine and/or thin hair. And I’m here to tell you that ain’t nothing wrong about that! Well, I’m here to tell this to you after spending a week sulking and searching for something that will tell me otherwise. AB is in complete disagreement that I fall in this category, but babe ain’t never seen my hair eye to eye. One day, I will sit down and she will attempt to install mini twists for me and then she’ll see what I’ve been talking about all this time. Luh you boo!

The thing is, when you begin your natural hair journey, chances are that you might not know that you have fine or low density hair until you attain a certain length and are on course to begin enjoying some hangtime. But fear not! There are ways to style your hair in order to create an illusion of volume.

DO…

1. Bantu Knot-outs

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This is number one on my list, because I have rocked this look a couple of times and it has fooled even me. There are two methods I know that can be used for bantu-knot outs. One is where you roll the hair tight between your fingers and then continue into the bantu knot. The other is where you start off with a twist and then roll the twist into a bantu knot. I have tried both methods and I very much prefer the look and definition that I got with the ‘twist first’ method. One reason why this is number one on my list is that unlike the other styles I will mention, you don’t necessarily have to separate the curls you get in order to achieve a volumised look. The style in itself automatically does that for you, and so more often than not, you could separate the curls a little bit and then fluff the roots with an afro pick and you are good to go.

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2. Flat Twist-Out

I am yet to try this out. However, while I have no personal testimony, I have seen the results on other people with similar hair. It looks great and will definitely be the next style I try out. The sort of results I like best are those where the end of the twist are either put in bantu knots or curled with perm rods. Jouelzy has a really good video tutorial that gives you a visual of what I mean.

3. Rod Sets

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If you can tell already, there is a pattern here. Most of the styles that create the illusion of volume for this hair type are styles where the hair is curled upon itself. So these are not styles that stretch the hair and show off length. Personally, I will take volume over length any day. I am currently rocking a rod set that I had done at a natural hair salon in NYC called Mixx Beauty Bar. Erica Watson, the stylist and owner of the salon, was my hero today and I shall dedicate another post to reviewing my experience here. The process of installing these rods by myself, at home, looks daunting to me. But I know that one day when I have enough time, I will try it out.

 

Can Do…

4. Braid-outs & Twist-outs

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Sometimes, you want to show off your length and say “to hell with scalpiness (or lack of body)”. I say go for it. But always always remember to separate your curls, carefully. Separating them will create that desired volumising effect.

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5. Loose Twists

For those with longer hair, you might want to give this a try. The rationale behind this is that the twists should be loose enough not to make your hair look scanty, thereby giving more body to each twist and indeed, to the entire head of hair.

 

6. Pompadours & Buns

Also for sisters with longer hair. Stretching by threading has been reported to be a great way to add volume to hair while also keeping it stretched. So your hair is stretched and you are looking for how to style and create that volume illusion? Go for a pompadour. Go for a bun.

Bun Tutorial

Pompadour tutorial

Do Not…

7. Mini Twists

I have attempted to do this twice and have abandoned them quarter of the way because they literally looked like thread. Unfortunately, I have no picture of my hair to show you, but I will allow you imagine by comparing a picture of AB’s mini twists (Up) to a picture of my bed-time ‘chunky’ twists (Down).

photo 3 (4)photo 3 (5) See what I mean?

 

8. Chunky Braid-outs & Twists-outs

The longer your hair, the easier it becomes to put your hair in chunky twists. However, this hair type cannot really enjoy the luxury of a chunky twist-out as is. What do I mean? Well you cannot just unravel your chunky twists and be on your merry way. You still have to separate those curls to enjoy the beauty of the twist out.

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This is a chunky braid-out on AB’s hair and as you can see, the curls are in tact with little or no curl separation done. This would not necessarily be the result on my hair.

 

And if all else fails…

9. Trusty Ol’ Shrunken Fro

Yup. Like I mentioned earlier, the longer the hair, the more apparent the texture/density. I find that I can always find solace in the loving arms of my shrunken fro (or even a combed out, or no-comb fro). You can wear it as a glorious halo above your head; pin up one side; as a fro-hawk; or even as an afro puff.

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So there you have it. Do you have fine and/or thin hair? What are your go-to styles? Any tips are welcome!

I hope all is well with you! Biko, you people should send some sun and warmth my way. I don tire for this oyinbo cold abeg.

Love all that is you today and always!

– Mee Mee

xx.

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My Hair Last Week

Hello beautiful people!

How are things?

Good?

Yay. Awesome!

Remember when I said I would try to start styling my hair? Last week, I took baby steps in this direction.

I’m not bored of my fro or anything, it’s just that- my hair tangles. A LOT. And I like the fro fluffed to perfection, or as much as I can manage before I get tired, which is really about 13 minutes tops and I cannot be gentle ALL the time. My obsessive detangling leaves me with a considerable amount of broken hair. After combing, the fro does not look like it’s missing anything but sometimes when I multiply the sight of the hair left in my comb by 7, for the 7 days of the week, it makes me a little weak.

So this week was different.

I finger-detangled for the most part.

Before bed, I finger-detangled and moisturised my hair and put it in chunky twists.

Calabar :p

Calabar :p

I think keeping my hair in twists Saturday- Monday and the big twists on other nights helped me retain moisture because:

I only needed to use a leave-in every two days. Water spritzes in the mornings in between were fine.

The twists also helped my hair stay stretched.

AND because I did them at night, I didn’t need to spend a lot of time on my hair in the mornings.

I didn’t really use a comb. I needed it to fluff out my hair after the twist out, and for Fro-day, but I did not use it as much and altogether, I did not lose a troubling amount of hair.

Enough of the talk-talk now, I’m just going to show you the pictures. We can also play a game of guess the filter lol a little editing was necessary, to make me feel better about these photos ( ._.)

Saturday: my Aunt twisted my hair for me after a co-wash.

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Monday: As at Sunday night, the plan was to wear a scarf but I woke up feeling confident about my twists.

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I went to work like this y’all.

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Tuesday: I undid the twists on my way to work.

I think this is what they call curl definition lol

I think this is what they call curl definition lol

Then I combed out a little, when I got to work. I had a bit of a twist-out, and improvised with hair combs- I used three to make a head band. Then I put a fake flower in.

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Hair combs and flower from Fashion Strings.

What do you think? Is a flower unprofessional? Maybe I’ll have the answer to this question soon, when I get a real job.

Wednesday: Woke up and really didn’t feel like undoing my chunky twists. Solution? Headwrap!

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Thursday: Hmmm, what do I call this? *Face palm*

hair last week baby steps

 

Friday: the twa was out to play.

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So, the week wasn’t very pretty lol but it’s a start. A girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do. I’m so happy I got to achieve my short term goal for the week and forget about the comb!

Tip: Like me, keep a scarf close. You may have the courage to stick to your style throughout the day, but there’s something mind resting about knowing you have options.

I didn’t have a plan for Thursday’s hair. I just twisted and tucked and whatever. It was somehow at some point, and my supervisor said she preferred my texture from Tuesday lol. Well, that was nice but Thursday texture was my kinky hair at its kinky best so I just decided to shrug my worries off and enjoy it.

But that’s an idea though. I should stretch a twist out for one day more in future by holding it up in a similar fashion.

I give myself an A for effort, just because I can ( ._.)

LOL

Styling short hair can be a little daunting, especially natural hair because of shrinkage. Do you or did you style your short hair? Care to share a secret or two?

Till next time,

Love,

AB

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