Thin and Fine Hair Explained, & What Women Can Do About It

Women in America spend $1.4 billion a year on hair treatments for fine and thinning hair. If you’re unhappy with your lack of hair fullness, you’re not alone.

Whether your hair has been baby fine since you were a baby, or you are part of the 30 million women in the U.S. experiencing hereditary hair loss, not having a full mane can leave you feeling deflated. It's been a long quest for cuts, colors, and products to help.

Luckily, there are a few affordable breakthroughs in the beauty market that can help— and we’re not talking products. We’re going to let you in on a little secret on how you can achieve Pinterest-worthy hair.

The Struggle is Real

First, let’s review why you are unhappy with your hair. Either you have thin hair, fine hair, or both. What’s the difference?

“Quite often people will confuse fine hair with thin hair,” says HairFinelyFixed.com. When referring to fine hair,  it is actually the diameter of the hair stand we are talking about. When referring to thin hair,  it is the amount of hairs in a square inch.”

It’s normal to lose between 50 and 100 hair strands a day, according to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD). Women who experience more than that, especially if they do not have a lot of hair to spare, are experiencing hair thinning. We see women with thinning hair due to aging, pregnancy, stress, damaging hair regiments, and other health conditions. Thyroid disease, diabetes, lupus, and anemia are among the almost 30 diseases that can cause sudden hair loss, according to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD).

But perhaps even more frequently, we see women of all ages who were born with fine hair.

“As someone who has ultra-fine hair, I've dealt with a lifetime of limp, pathetic waves and lifeless, stick-to-my-forehead bangs,” described an author at Byrdie. And forget flat ironing—unless I want to look like the girl who crawls out of the well in The Ring, it's not an option. If you've got fine, flat hair, you know: the struggle is real.”

The Real Fix

First, we’re going to be frank about the only real fix to fine and thinning hair— The only solution that’ll put you in the running for “Best Hair” superlative amongst your friends: Hair extensions and care.

Semi-Permanent Hair Extensions - Not as Expensive as You Thought

Yes, most celebrities have hair extensions. And yes, you’ve probably seen them on your salon menu with a hefty starting price like $2,000+. Hair extensions have gotten an expensive reputation because of a single method: fusion extensions. Fusion extensions are literally glued, strand-by-strand, to your hair and need to be replaced every 6 to 8 weeks. We have news: That’s not the only method available on the market today.

In just the past few years, less expensive and less harmful semi-permanent extension methods have been on the rise.

Microlink and strip-adhesive extensions enable stylist to double your volume and length with natural human hair. With proper care and maintenance every 6 to 8 weeks, you can reuse the same hair for 1-2 years. Due to less installation labor time and the ability to reuse the hair, the pricing is more like a monthly gym payment than a celebrity service.

Human Hair Extensions

Human Hair Extensions

"Having a head full of thick, healthy hair was incredibly exciting when it came to playing with fun hairdos, said Chelsea of Collegefashion.net in her adhesive strip extension review. "My hair looked great in its naturally straight state, but looked fantastic curled into loose waves. Fishtail braids looked fancy and dramatic. I could build a bigger top knot than anyone else I encountered. My previous limp, lifeless hair that looked awful air-dried suddenly looked earthy and cool without a blow out. Even lazy high ponytails suddenly looked fashion-forward and chic!"

Adding more hair to your head is the only way to truly solve your thin and/or fine hair problems. For women born with fine and/or hair, this can be extremely life changing. In fact, many women who get on a regular hair extensions regiment find that they spend less annually on their hair because they no longer splurge on experimental cuts, colors, and products to wrestle with their limp hair. 

You can find hair extensions salons in your area by searching "micro link hair extensions" or "tape in hair extensions" on Yelp or Google Maps in your area. If you live in New York, we recommend you get a head start by reading our guide on NYC Hair Extensions Salons By 5 Methods.

Go Long  - The Commitment to Fuller Hair

As mentioned, the cost of semi-permanent hair extensions is an ongoing maintenance commitment, comparable to the cost of a gym membership. But they also come with a bit of commitment to care:

Enhance, Don’t Beyonce

Often times, we see women who are so elated with their hair extensions that they request the longest lengths and the most hair they can possibly load on their head. This isn’t recommended because the hair you have installed is attached to your own hair— It can weigh on the hair and cause breakage.

So when you do embark on the hair extensions, we don’t recommend going for Little Mermaid. Go for a better you, asking your stylist for fullness and length that won’t risk breakage. If you want “big” hair for an evening, you will definitely be able to achieve it with a bit of styling!

Use the Right Products

When you get hair extensions, your stylist will likely recommend a set of products for you. If you are experiencing hair loss, this might include a regiment of anti-hair loss products. Also, to maintain the extension hair longevity, it’s recommended you don’t use products with oils and extracts. For suggestions, read our blog on top hair products for extensions.

Don’t Fry

Good hair extensions are composed of natural human hair that damages the same as your hair. For this reason, we recommend using a heat protectant on the ends and refrain from using straighteners and curling irons every day.

Available at  Sephora.com , Living Proof Heat Protectant is great for hair extensions.

Available at Sephora.com, Living Proof Heat Protectant is great for hair extensions.

In Summary

While many products and stylists will promise fuller hair, the only true fix is to apply hair extensions.