Ah, the natural hair community. Such a wonderful community of fabulous ladies loving and caring for their God-given hair. Since its boom a few years ago, the community has continued to flourish with new techniques and products invented by Black women who have decided to reclaim their hair and image. There have now been more Black women in the media saying no to relaxers and sporting their natural curls than ever before. In the midst of this jubilee of natural hair acceptance, are there still some groups within the natural hair community that remain underrepresented? Do hair types such as thin hair remain in the shadows?
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.
With all this being said, the community of thin naturals has remained underdeveloped because of the lack of information and acceptance of this hair type. Although there are a booming number of naturalistas on blogs and YouTube, hardly any of them have showcased thin hair. This is not to say that this population does not exist, but many who struggle with this hair type find it difficult to fully embrace it and to display it on the Internet. Hopefully the lack of representation improves in the near future as more women begin to embrace the true nature of their hair.
Jumoke E. Ayo-Ajayi
I saw the image of the girl on the left on the Neno Natural Facebook Page and shared it thinking it was her real hair and admitting my #HairCrush.
Then someone quickly pointed out they were havana twists and not her real hair and I was surprised because they look sooo real. These are at the top of my list for my next style.
I discovered that havana hair is:
To create the above look you would need 4 to 7 packs depending on how thick your hair is and how densely packed you want your head to look.
Where can you get havana hair?
It seems to be very hard to get. I can't find any on eBay or Amazon and only one site in the US that is selling it. If you know more than me, hola at your girl!
Okay, we've all seen those naturals with extraordinarily thick hair: when they twist their hair it looks like its braided but yours can never achieve the same look - it's all "gappy".
I have news for you, some people with very thick hair have a rare condition called pili multigemini. This happens when a single hair follicle has multiple hairs growing out of it. Although it is a genetic disorder it's an awesome one to have if it's only on your head. Unfortunately, for some pili multigemini occurs in other regions e.g. on the face, back or even knuckles. Estimates suggest that around 200,000 people in the United States have the condition.
I'm not saying that everyone you see with thick hair has it (I have no idea who in the natural world has it or not) but I am saying that extremely thick hair is not the average. You cannot aspire towards it because everyone has their own genetically predetermined hair density.
I recall someone on the Facebook page stating that Oprah's hair stylist says she has about 3 hairs growing out of every hair follicle on her head resulting in very thick hair. I don't know if this is actually true but how awesome.
It's true that many people view pili multigemini as a problem because they have it in inconvenient places; I hope scientists find a solution to their problem.
On the other hand, I also hope scientists can CREATE pili multigemini scientifically for those of us that want it on our heads because I want thick hair like naptural85 and CharJay! lol, the grass is always greener on the other side.
I won't be ungrateful though, I am happy with my hair's thickness.
I get asked this question a lot.
When we talk about thin hair we're not talking about the density of hair strands on one's head but the actual thickness of each strand of hair.
That said, the two often occur together: many people who don't have loads of hair strands on their head also have thin, individual strands of hair.
Characteristics of Thin Hair:
Below are products recommended by Neno Natural's Facebook fans that have experience with thin hair:
1. Qhemet Biologics
2. Shea Moisture Baobab & Yucca
3. Cantu Product
4. Jane Carter
5. Toni shana who is a stylist recommended, Ms Jessies products
6. Finally, Jamaican Black Castor Oil came up a few times as a product that works well with thin hair and can be added to a conditioner or used as a hot oil treatment.
Click any image below for more information on each product (line):
Get your FREE ebook on How To Grow Long, Healthy Natural Kinky or Curly Hair.
You might also like:
I Have Thin Natural Hair. How Do I Make It Thicker?
I now blog about wealth creation - so if you have any money questions meet me there, you can do all sorts of cool things like leave me a voicemail.
By Heather Katsonga-Woodward
I was a natural hair blogger and mixtress living between London & Chicago from 2012 to 2017. I always thought I was 4C but some say 4B; images below - you decide! Heather xx