When it comes to a wavy or curly hair routine, it can be so easy to over complicate things. Trying to follow rules, tips and advice that were never meant for, or best suited to, your hair type. If you have fine hair and it’s weighed down, over-moisturized. Your waves and curls aren’t lasting a few hours past washday, you’re experiencing excess hair shedding, wonky curls or an itchy, irritated scalp. You’ll find out why and what’s causing those issues in this post. So here are the 10 things you shouldn’t do if you have fine hair.
10 Things You Shouldn’t Do If You Have Fine Hair
There’s nothing wrong with many of the tips, advice and techniques listed below. They’re just simply not meant for, or best suited to, fine hair. If I break my leg and wear a cast – that’s great for me, because my leg is broken. But if your leg isn’t broken, then you won’t get any of the benefits I get from wearing a cast – because your leg isn’t broken. Does that make sense? It’s about knowing what tips, advice and techniques are meant for you, and what aren’t.
In short, the popular Curly Girl Method doesn’t work for fine, wavy and curly hair. Not long-term anyway. So here are 10 things you SHOULDN’T do if you have fine hair, and then check out the 10 things you SHOULD do if you have fine hair. Let’s go!
“Fine hair” relates to the thickness of the hair strand, not the density of how much hair you have. You can have fine hair, but a lot of it: thick or high density. Or you can have fine hair, but not a lot of it: thin or low density.
1. Don’t go too long without washing your hair
This comes down to what your intention is. Are you trying to wash your hair less often and go longer between washdays? Or are you trying to increase the health of your hair and get your waves and curls back? Because those aren’t the same thing. If you have fine hair, ideally you need to be washing your hair 2-3 times per week. Certainly no less than twice/week, and no more than three times/week – ideally.
2. Don’t pre-poo
Pre-poo is short for pre-shampoo. It’s a protective moisturizing treatment applied to the hair and scalp before shampoo. To ease through knots and tangles, and reduce breakage on washday. Read more about it here. Pre-pooing is best suited to tighter curl patterns and afro, coily textures. But if you have fine hair, waves or a looser curl pattern, then it’s best to avoid pre-pooing. Great technique, just not meant for, or best suited to, fine hair.
Scalp Treatments applied 20-30 mins before washday are not the same as a pre-poo and can be used if you have fine hair.
3. Don’t co wash
Co-Washing is the foundation of the curly girl method. But not recommended long-term if you follow the Curl Maven Method. Co-wash is a (highly moisturizing!) conditioning wash (shampoo). Or using a conditioner – in place of shampoo – to “wash” your hair. But conditioners can often feel heavy and greasy, especially on fine hair. Due to the oils, butters and emollients. So although co-washing might give great results at first. Long term, it’s going to weigh down and over-moisturize fine hair, waves and curls. Again, great technique if you’ve got really dry, damaged and brittle hair. But not suitable long term for fine hair.
4. Don’t skip clarifying
Clarifying is a huge part of the Curl Maven Method. You can read more about it in this post. It forms the top corner of my Golden Triangle of Healthy Hair. And it’s absolutely essential if you have fine hair! Use a good chelating, clarifying shampoo, such as Bumble & Bumble Sunday Shampoo. Use once/month to remove build up and prevent fine hair from getting weighed down, over-moisturized, lack of root lift, volume and definition.
Here’s where you can get Bumble & Bumble Sunday Shampoo around the world:
- Worldwide at Look Fantastic – CURLMAVEN for 20% off – often goes out of stock, sorry!
- USA & Canada at Sephora
- IRELAND & UK at Boots
- Australia & NZ at Mecca
- Rest of the World at Beauty Bay
5. Don’t use thick, heavy, rich conditioners
Don’t use thick, heavy, rich conditioners full of oils, butters and emollients (moisturizing ingredients) if you have fine hair. For all the same reasons given throughout this post on 10 things you shouldn’t do if you have fine hair. These types of conditioners, hair masks and deep conditioners will over-moisturize and weigh your hair down. Over-moisturized hair can lead to many things, including excess hair shedding. Which can be much more noticeable if you have fine hair.
Here are some of my favourite conditioners for fine hair:
- Innersense Pure Inspiration Conditioner – CURLMAVEN for 10% off at Curl Warehouse in Canada, Kiyo Beauty in the UK or The Clean Beauty Edit in the EU, who ship worldwide.
- Flora & Curl Organic Rose & Honey Cream Conditioner – CURLMAVEN for 20% off at Look Fantastic worldwide
- Bouclème Curl Conditioner – CURLMAVEN for 20% off at Look Fantastic worldwide
- Jessicurl Aloeba Daily Conditioner – CURLMAVEN for 10% off at Kiyo Beauty in the UK
6. Don’t deep condition too often
6 out of 10 things you shouldn’t do if you have fine hair, and you may be noticing a pattern. So much of the tips, advice and techniques meant for dry, damaged, curly and coily hair will over-moisturize and weigh down fine hair. Don’t deep condition too often if you have fine hair. Once a week is most likely going to be too much. Once a month after you clarify is just about right for most people with fine hair.
Here are some of my favourite deep conditioners for fine hair:
- Bounce Curl Ayurvedic Deep Conditioner – protein free – CURLMAVEN for 10% off the Bounce Curl website in the USA, Curl Warehouse in Canada, Kiyo Beauty in the UK or The Clean Beauty Edit in the EU, who ship worldwide.
- Innersense Hydrating Hair Masque – protein balanced – CURLMAVEN for 10% off at Curl Warehouse in Canada, Kiyo Beauty in the UK or The Clean Beauty Edit in the EU, who ship worldwide.
- Curl Junkie Repair Me! – protein rich – available on the Curl Junkie website in the USA, and Le Curl Shop in the EU.
7. Don’t deep condition for longer than 20-30 mins
Hair is at it’s weakest and most delicate and fragile when it’s wet. So I don’t ever recommend deep conditioning for longer than an hour, no matter what hair type you have. But if you have fine hair, then you can do as little as 10-15 mins. But don’t deep condition for longer than 20-30 mins, max! 10 minutes may be enough for your hair, or it may be longer. The best way to figure out what works best for your hair, is trial and error.
8. Don’t skip protein
Protein not only gives the hair the strength and the structure to define a wave and a curl. But to hold it there, preventing waves and curls from dropping, loosening and going limp and lifeless. Which is especially important for fine hair, waves and curls! Don’t believe the various myths and misinformation that certain hair types don’t like or need protein. That’s as ridiculous as saying “short girls don’t like or don’t need as much water as tall girls.”
Our hair (all hair) is MADE of protein, our hair needs protein. So don’t skip it. The finer the hair, the looser the wave or curl pattern, the more protein these hair types need. Compared to coarser, drier, curly and coily hair that needs less protein and more moisture. See product recommendations above, and read this post for more info on the Protein Moisture Balance.
9. Don’t plop, wet plop, micro-plop etc.
Plopping has become a hot topic lately. But if you have fine hair, loose waves or curls that get easily over-moisturized or weighed down. Or if you’re looking for any kind of root lift or volume, then don’t plop! Don’t wet plop: putting your hair in a shower cap after for a few mins before/after applying your styling products. Don’t micro-plop: this definition seems to have taken on a different meaning recently. But micro-plopping is using a towel or t-shirt to gently scrunch dry the hair before/after applying your styling products.
Using a dry towel or t-shirt with all of these plopping techniques will soak up your styling products way quicker than your wet hair will. For fine hair, squishing your hair onto your head will kill any root lift or volume. Also resulting in over-moisturized hair, scalp issues and wonky curls. If you’re confused as to what you should be doing instead, squeeze out the excess dripping wet water from the hair using your hands, after rinsing your conditioner out. You want your hair wet, but not soaking wet. Then apply your styling products and either diffuse as soon as possible for as long as possible. Or wait at least 10-15 mins before using a towel or t-shirt to gently scrunch dry (micro-plop) your hair. If you want to plop, then don’t do it for any longer than 15-20 mins max!
10. Don’t use curl creams, oils, butters, smoothies or soufflés
These products are not meant for fine hair – simple as that! There’s such a misconception and so much misinformation that (I think) stems from innocent ignorance on behalf of brands who presumed curl creams should be applied to all curly hair types. WRONG! Curl creams, oils, butters, smoothies and soufflés are designed, formulated, made for and best suited to type 4 afro and/or coily hair types and textures. They are NOT suitable for fine hair!
You may get decent results the first couple of times you use any one of these products. But you won’t get good results, consistently, if you continue to use them washday after washday. You guessed it – your hair will become weighed down, over moisturized, lack of definition and hold and limp, lifeless waves and curls that barely hold a few hours past washday.
So how did you do? How many of these 10 things you shouldn’t do if you have fine hair have you been doing lately? Did any of the points blow your mind, but now you realise they actually make perfect sense? Or did you instinctively just know, or figure out for yourself, some of these techniques, tips and advice just aren’t best suited to your fine hair? Let me know in the comments, I’d love to know!
Coming soon on the blog, I’ve still got my Curl Type Guides and product recommendations to come. And don’t forget to read the second part to this post on the 10 things you SHOULD do if you have fine hair.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by all the tips, advice and product recommendations. Click here for more information on my Curl Clinics™. A completely bespoke curl consultation service tailored to suit you and your hair. Designed to help get your waves and curls back and achieve your healthy hair goals. Or book in here!
Don’t forget to subscribe to this blog so you don’t miss a post or announcement. You can follow me on Instagram @curlmaven for more bitesize content, tips and advice in my stories, highlights, reels and videos. Or Check out my YouTube channel for more washdays and tutorials. Follow me on Pinterest or check out my Facebook page.
Gratitude & Support
If you found this post or any of my content helpful, and would like to show your Gratitude & Support, you. can click here to make a donation. I’m so incredibly thankful and grateful to everyone who supports me, my content and my platform. Your support enables me to continue providing FREE, organic content, and keep my blog FREE from Google Ads. And build Curl Maven as a brand and all I’ve got planned. Thank you so much! Gabriella x
*This post may contain some gifted items and affiliate links. Which means I get paid commission on any products you purchase through my links or codes. This in no way affects you, the price you pay or the way in which I write about products featured on this site. My content and opinion is not influenced by advertisers, sponsorships, affiliate partnerships, brands or PRs.