Thin natural hair seems to be an oxymoron within the natural hair community because when people reflect on natural hair, the image of a colossal afro frequently comes to mind.
Natural hair only seems thick because curls combined with shrinkage give the illusion of fuller hair but in reality, many are still struggling to fully embrace the thinness of their hair. In the grand scheme of hair, many non-Black people might easily confuse thin natural hair as thick but within the Black community, thin hair does not fall into the Black standard of beauty. Although it is something to be celebrated that Black people are beginning to define their own standards of beauty, it cannot be ignored that not everyone falls under thick hair.
Moreover, it should also be taken into account that although relaxer sales are going down, weave sales have remained strong.
This is not to condemn any woman who chooses to wear weaves as it can be a great and creative protective style but it begs the question- do we sometimes promote an unrealistic perception of our hair?
With the surge of natural hairstyles and flawless concealing methods rising in popularity over the past few years (e.g. Marley crochet, faux locs, clip ins, and weaves in our texture), it would be easy to falsely conclude that all, if not most, natural hair is thick and voluminous.
It should be noted, however, that there is a difference between thin and fine hair. Thin hair falls into the category of having low density hair. If one’s hair is thin, then that person has less follicles of hair on one’s head and thus less hair in general. If one’s hair is fine, the diameter of the hair strand is smaller than medium or coarse textured hair. Many people might also fall into both categories.
Jumoke E. Ayo-Ajayi