How To Straighten Fine, Thin Hair

Straightening fine, thin hair can be quite challenging as it usually results in a lack of volume, plus, it can easily be damaged by improper practices, such as applying too much heat regularly or using shampoos and conditioners containing harsh ingredients.
However, this shouldn’t prevent you from straightening your hair because, thanks to new technologies and the availability of amazing products, especially designed for fine hair, you can now safely straighten fine hair using a flat iron while keeping it smooth, shiny, and bouncy.
Keep reading to see the tips we have on how to straighten fine, thin hair using a flat iron.
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Table of Contents

How To Straighten Fine, Thin Hair?

It All Starts in The Shower

Having fine and thin hair means that your hair is less dense than normal. This is why you must take your wash routines seriously.
As for shampoos and conditioners, it’s best to use volumizing ones that are specially designed for hair thickening and strengthening, formulated with ingredients that boost hair volume, while providing it with moisture.
Avoid ingredients like silicone as they can weigh the hair down and also make it look lumpy.
Also, your washing technique matters, first, you should wash your hair in a gentle manner to avoid breaking it or causing damage to it, second, you should use shampoo on your roots and scalp and massage it gently to stimulate your hair follicles.
As for the conditioner, make sure to apply it only on your strands, from the neck area down to the ends, this is because you don’t want your hair to look greasy and thinner than it is.
Here’s a list of the best shampoos and conditioners for fine hair:
Shampoos:
  • Jason thin to thick extra volume shampoo which helps to avoid breakage.
  • Plantur 39 Phyto-Caffeine Shampoo which is suitable for thinning hair.
  • Sachajuan Ocean Mist Volume Shampoo for extra volume.
  • Aveda Pure Abundance Volumising Shampoo that is packed with nutrients for strengthening fine hair.
Conditioners:
  • Living proof sulfate-free conditioner that is especially suitable for color-treated hair.
  • Jason Thin-to-Thick. Extra Volume Conditioner that is packed with vitamin E and biotin.
  • Sachajuan leave-in conditioner for extra moisture and as a styling primer.

Prepare Your Hair for Straightening

Now that your hair and scalp are clean, the next step is drying. So many people make mistakes when it comes to drying their hair. Ditch the old method of using terry cloth towels and opt for a microfiber towel to avoid getting frizzy hair.

Some of the best microfiber towels include the Aquis Lisse Luxe Hair Turban, Tiitc Microfiber Hair Towel, and let’s not forget DuraComfort Essentials anti-frizz Microfiber Hair Towel.

Wait Until Your Hair is Completely Dry

Your hair is in its weakest condition when it is wet, that’s why so many people get heat damage from straightening their hair before it is fully dry.
There are two options: air drying it, though this will take longer. The second option is to blow dry it while bending to increase volume.
This step will reduce the amount of time and heat you’ll use before flat- ironing it.

Comb Your Hair to Remove Tangles

Did you know that using the wrong brush for your hair type can affect the health of your hair and can result in split ends and hair breakage? This is because fine hair is too fragile, so it needs to be managed with extra care.
Using a suitable hairbrush, comb through your hair to clear all the tangles and knots on your hair, start at the ends and slowly work your way up to avoid breakage.
Below is a list of suitable brushes for fine hair:
  • Macadamia Professional Boar Bristle brush.
  • Mason Pearson brush for sensitive scalp.
  • Tangle teezer hairbrush that works for detangling both wet and dry hair.

Don’t Forget to Use Heat Protectant on Your Hair

You have probably seen your hairstylist use heat protection spray on your hair or see various YouTube influencers raving about certain protective sprays. Do they work?

Yes, they do! Think of it in this way, your skin can, at times, get dry, tight, and flaky, well, the same happens with your hair, that’s why you need a barrier between your hair and any heat styling tool.

Some of the benefits of using a heat protectant on your hair include:

  • Detangles hair and makes it more manageable.
  • Acts as a protective barrier that prevents moisture loss caused by using heat.
  • Smoothens the hair follicles hence reduce frizzing.
  • Fasten the hair drying process which means less time blow drying.

There are key ingredients you should look out for when shopping for a heat-protective spray, these include hydrolyzed wheat protein, and quaternary70.

The Heat Protectant Plus with Argan Oil, L’Oréal Iron Straight Heatspray, and TRESemmé Thermal Creations are among the most popular heat protectants.

Use a Quality Hair Straightener

There’s no bargain when it comes to choosing a flat iron. Cheap straighteners continuously break down and end up being expensive in the long run, plus, they can cause damage to your hair. You need the right straightener for your fine hair that allows you to control the settings and control heat.

Here are some of the features to look out for in a hair straightener:

  • Ceramic plates- Avoid flat irons that are coated and are not made from ceramic. This coating is dangerous because it will likely chip off after a few uses and damage your hair. Tourmaline plates are also a great option for smoothing fine hair.
  • A heat indicator- a quality straightener should indicate when the flat iron is at the ideal temperature. You should also look for ones with heat dials to help you customize the best temperature settings for you.
  • Have the right width- If you have fine hair, then the right flat iron should be 1 inch wide or less.
  • 360 cord- This will help you straighten your hair from all angles.
  • Automatic shut off- This comes in handy when you realize that you forgot to switch off your flat iron and are halfway on your way to work.

As a word of caution, always make sure to use lower heat settings (250-340°F) for your fine hair, the reason is simply that the hair is fine, so applying too much heat can cause damage to it.

Some of the flat irons to look out for include:

  • CHI Expert Classic Tourmaline Ceramic 1″ Flat Iron in Onyx Black.
  • FHI Heat Platform Tourmaline Ceramic Pro Styler.
  • BIO IONIC Onepass Straightening Iron, 1 Inch.
  • RUSK Engineering Heat Freak Professional Ceramic and Tourmaline Straight Iron.
If you’re looking to buy a quality hair straightener for fine hair, don’t forget to check out our article that outlines the Best Flat Irons For Fine Hair.

Separate Your Hair into Sections

Before starting your hair straightening process, it’s advisable to always divide your hair into 1-inch sections, this will ease your work and also prevent you from straightening the same section over and over. Remember that we want as little heat as possible on your fine hair.

Pass the Iron Through Your Hair Quickly in Even, Smooth Passes

Making even and quick passes will prevent you from going over a section several times and will reduce the time your hair is exposed to heat hence reduce the level of heat damage.

Use Anti-Frizz Products after Straightening

You might be asking yourself, do I need more products? Yes, you do. The good news is that these products will last you a lifetime and will likely save you from the torture of having to cut your hair due to heat damage.

We can use the L’Oréal frizz finish serum, which is both budget-friendly and non-greasy. Make sure to wait till your hair has cooled down before spraying any anti-frizz product.

Self Care Checklist

Tips for Caring for Your Heat-Treated Fine Hair

It goes without saying that if you straighten your hair regularly, then you need to give it extra care in order to ensure it stays healthy and strong.
Here are some tips to help you care for your heat-treated fine hair:
  • Use deep conditioning treatments every week.
  • Give your hair some time-off before straightening it again.
  • Regularly trim your hair ends.
  • Maintain a healthy diet that is rich in vitamin A, zinc, vitamin B5 and iron.
  • Take care of yourself and avoid stress as much as possible.

Tips to Help Thicken Fine, Thin Hair

Here are some simple ways to make your hair look fuller, thicker, and healthier:

Judy Rose

Hi, it’s Judy!

I’m a passionate skincare specialist and writer. I have more than 7 years of experience as a beauty, fashion, and lifestyle writer and editor, and I’m extremely passionate about what I do.