Having fine hair and an oily scalp is a huge pain if you’re trying to wash less. Today I’m giving you all of my tips, tricks, and product recommendations on how to deal with this tragic combination. To begin, it’s important that you understand the difference between thickness, mass, and texture. Discovering what combination of all three of these categories you have is super important when determining what products to use and how often you need to wash your hair.
Fine Hair: the shaft is quite thin and breaks easily.
Medium Hair: the shaft is somewhat full and breaks when treated roughly.
Thick Hair: the shaft is strong with a thick diameter and is durable.
Smooth: your hair feels smooth and slippery to the touch when air dried with no products. You most likely have straight hair. Prone to fly aways.
Average: your hair feels somewhat smooth with little to no slip when air dried with no products. You most likely have mild waves-to full waves. Prone to frizz, fly aways, or both.
Coarse: your hair feels rough and textured when air dried with no products. You most likely have very wavy or curly hair. Prone to frizz.
Thin: fewer than average strands of hair. You don’t have to break your hair up into many sections to style. Prone to fly aways.
Medium: average amount of strands. You have to break your hair up into around 4 sections to style.
Full: more than normal amount of strands. You have to break your hair up into 6+ sections to style.
Getting It Right
For the longest time I believed I had thick hair. I believed that hair was either fine, normal, or thick. When my hair dresser schooled me on all the other factors that go into one’s hair type, everything clicked. As it turns out, my hair is a fine-medium thickness, smooth texture, and a full mass. The strand is not thick like I believed, but it I have a ton of hair. I was under the impression that my hair was full and I treated it as such with tons of masks and oils based on popular advice for thick hair. But my hair isn’t dry, in fact it quite oily. Figuring out what kind of hair you have makes finding the right products and methods to take care of it so much easier.
Fine Hair Shampoo and Conditioner
Everyone with fine hair wants volume and thickness. Even if you have a normal amount of fullness, fine hair can make it seem like you have less strands than you really do. Achieving volume starts with shampoo and conditioner. I’ve tried every volumizing shampoo and conditioner set under the sun in the past 6 years. It’s harder to find quality volumizing shampoo’s that are affordable, but the best one at a decent price that I’ve tried is the Kenra Volumizing Shampoo $10.50–not the cheapest, but if I was willing to spend for efficacy. I quite liked that this seemed to dry my scalp out a bit, because I have an oily scalp, but if you don’t I would try one of my other recommendations.
I’ve had the best luck with higher end volumizing shampoos. If you have very fine hair and you want volume, you’re going to have to accept that it’s going to cost a bit. The best of the best is Christophe Robin Volumizing Shampoo With Rose Extracts $38. Christophe is an incredible Parisian hairdresser who’s line I am obsessed with. All of his products do wonders for my scalp and hair condition and I can’t recommend them enough. A few other notable options are the It’s A 10 Miracle Volume Shampoo $15.99 and the Fekkai Full Blown Volume Shampoo $15.18. I’ve rotated all of these on and off because my hair thrives when I rotate shampoos.
Fine to medium-thickness haired people need to be picky with their conditioner. A lot of conditioners emphasize massive hydration, but if your hair is thinner that will just weigh it down. So, it’s important to pick a lightly hydrating conditioner that doesn’t negate the volumizing your shampoo is doing. I tend to grab cheap conditioners and spend a bit more on a high quality hair mask. My personal favorites are John Frieda Luxurous Volume Conditioner for Fine Hair $4.99 and Sachajuan Volume Conditioner$29. I’m currently using the regular version from Sachajuan, but I prefer the volumizing one.
I make sure to never put conditioner past the bottom of my ears because I have an oily scalp.
Fine Hair Styling Products
Volume powders, dry shampoo, and texture sprays are the best way to pump up volume. I’m not a fan of mouse or any kind of gels in my hair. I think those type of volume products are best left to people with thicker or coarse hair. Below I’m going to post one affordable option and one higher end option of each type of product.
Volume Powder: I love Bumble and Bumble’s Pret A Powder $13-$27 for volume, plus it doubles as dry shampoo. It’s not perfect, because it needs to really be worked in, but the volume is insane and it extends my hair for an entire day. The affordable option is one I can never find in stores anymore, but thankfully amazon carries double packs for $15. It’s Got 2B Powder’Ful Volumizing Style Powder 2 for $15.39. This powder has a ton of tack to it, so it really holds each strand on top of the other to create a ton of volume. This is best used on the last day before washing.
Dry Shampoo: In my hair essentials post I spoke of my love for the Elizabeth and James Nirvana Dry Shampoo $28, but if you don’t want scent or are looking for an affordable option, I love the Not Your Mother’s Clean Freak Unscented Dry Shampoo $4.99. I’m currently out of both, and using the R + CO dry shampoo, but I don’t love it.
Texturizing Spray: Texturizing Spray is my favorite thing for my hair because it adds fullness and body to the length of the hair. The Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray $46 is a cult-classic for a reason, but Kristin Ess just came out with a line at target and the Dry Finish Working Texture Spray $14 is a solid dupe. I’m super excited to have found her line and can’t wait to try more.
Dealing With An Oily Scalp
Having an oily scalp can be terrible for some people (like myself) and a hidden blessing for others. If you have an oily scalp, but have thick or coarse hair, you’re in luck. Those oils can be brushed throughout your length with a Bamboo Brush to hydrate and nourish your ends. Read more about that technique here. I use this brush to practice the technique on myself. It can be performed on any hair type so long as you have an oily scalp.
If you’re constantly using dry shampoo’s, texturizing sprays, and volume powders in your hair its essential that you deep clean and rehydrate your hair every so often. I make sure to keep a clarifying shampoo and a hair mask on hand at all times. The clarifying shampoo I use is Christope Robin’s Cleansing Purifying Scrub With Sea Salt $53 (the big tub will last you forever). You can read the full review of this product in my latest empties post. Lastly, I love using the Shiseido Fino Premium Touch Hair Mask $15.48 to deep condition. There’s some sort of magic in this tub, I swear. It gives diamond shine and makes my hair feel like cashmere.
Let me know down below what you do to combat oily scalp or fine hair troubles! I hope the little guide at the top helps you all find your hair type. Also, if any of you have tried Krisin Ess’ products please let me know. The concept of her brand is speaking to me right now, but I want to know if the products are as good as they seem.
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