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Here’s Why Your Fine, Thin Hair Won’t Hold a Curl

November 2, 2020

1 Min read

If you have fine, thin hair, styling can be a challenge. When your curls flatten after a couple of hours, bouncy, voluminous curls can seem like a distant fantasy. 

But fear not because the curls of your dreams are closer than you think. In fact, your styling routine may be the very thing keeping you from the perfect hair day. Here are some reasons why your curls won’t hold and what you can do about it.

Your Hair Isn’t Totally Dry

Drying your hair completely is the first step in any styling routine. Even the slightest bit of moisture can keep your curls from holding—especially with fine, thin hair. After blow-drying with warm air, switch to cool for an easy way to detect damp spots. For a heatless method, opt for a fast-drying hair towel wrap to preserve your hair’s natural texture. 

There’s Too Much Product in Your Hair

Too much product can weigh down anyone’s hair, no matter how thick it is. As the saying goes, you can always add, but you can’t take away. So start small during product application to avoid overdoing it. Or take it one step further and choose specially formulated products that won’t be too heavy, like this custom hair oil from Prose. 


What does your hair need to thrive? Take the consultation to get your custom formulas.

Your Curling Iron Is Too Hot

Curling your hair seems straightforward, but this is one skill that requires a different technique for each hair type. While 400 degrees might be the right temperature for someone with thicker hair, thin hair will flatten under the heat. 

Experiment with lower settings—anywhere between 300 and 350 degrees—to give your hair curls that will last. Just don’t drop the heat too low, or your hair will fall flat in a matter of minutes. It’s all about balance! 

Your Products Don’t Wash Out Properly 

Even the perfect curling technique can’t withstand the effects of bad products. Unfortunately, some shampoos and conditioners leave a waxy residue on your hair, even with a thorough rinsing. When this happens, fine, thin hair gets heavier and resists the heat of the curling iron. 

To prevent this, choose quality products that wash out like they’re supposed to. Custom shampoos and conditioners like those from Prose are formulated to cleanse and nourish your hair without leaving any residue behind so that you won’t be weighed down.

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You Shampoo Every Day

When you have fine, thin hair, it’s natural to want to shampoo every day—after all, who wants to deal with that greasy feeling? But too much cleansing can keep your hair from developing the natural second-day texture it needs to hold on to curls. So how do you cleanse less without the excess oil? Two words: dry shampoo

Dry shampoo will prevent your hair from getting greasy while maintaining a coarser texture that will help you hang on to your curls all day long. Opt for a specially formulated dry shampoo from Prose for improved hair texture.

Your Curling Iron Is the Wrong Size

Just like the wrong temperature can keep your curls from holding their shape, the wrong barrel size can affect them too. With fine, thin hair, thick curling irons tend to create curls that fall flat not long after styling. 

To troubleshoot this problem, switch to a model with a smaller barrel (around 1-inch thick). Whether you’re looking for tight curls or loose waves, a thinner curling iron will give you curls that last. 

Your Room Is Humid

It’s tempting to start styling your hair as soon as you step out of the shower. Unfortunately, a steamy bathroom is the last thing you want when curling your hair; it will add moisture to your hair, stopping it from keeping its shape. For an easy fix, move your curling iron to a different room before styling. 

Your Hair Isn’t Cool Enough 

It’s tempting to drag your fingers through your hair seconds after you unclamp the barrel. But for curls that last, give your hair time to cool before touching it. Let it sit for two minutes until it’s cool to the touch, then tousle away. 

Finding the Right Styling Products for Fine, Thin Hair

The perfect head of curls starts with the right products. From dry shampoo to hair supplements, how you care for your hair determines how it looks after styling. 

At Prose, you’ll find custom products crafted for your hair only. Take the Prose hair consultation and get your customized hair care formula.



The Prose Staff is here to share the best hair tips and tricks to help you achieve all your hair goals with custom hair care, breakthrough innovation and more

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  1. I’m doing everything you suggest above to keep curl in my hair but none of these work for me….and i have naturally curly hair! it frizzes so i smooth it with a straight iron first. I don’t know whether to use a curling cream or not… Because that dries my hair out. if i don’t, my set just flops. I am wondering if i just have a badly done haircut. my hair simply will not stay combed no matter what. please help. thank you. (i do live in a very dry climate.)

  2. Btw sometimes the answer is just that it won’t curl unfortunately.
    Mine is very thick but fine and I can’t get it to hold a curl for more than a few minutes, even with a stylist and a ton of hairspray.

  3. This article was informative for me. Everything in this article describes every one of my problems when I curl my hair. I will be saving this one. Thank you.

  4. Sorry but none of your above’causes’ apply to me. My hair is very fine. I only use shampoo once a week. I have a heated roller brush which does curl my hair but the curl drops out in about an hour

    1. Hi Sue! All of our products are free of Parabens, Mineral Oils, Dyes, Sulfates, GMOs, Phthalates, and Methylisothiazolinone (MIT) 🙂

      -Keely, Prose Community Manager

  5. My hair is very dry very porous and doesn’t hold a curl. I’m trying to figure out how to go natural. My hair is thin so I want something they can look full.Is there anyway that I can twist my hair and it hold the curl and it will stay loose and bouncy? If so how can I achieve that look.

  6. Nothing in your comments apply to me. I let my hair dry on it own but still I’ll not hold a curl. I have done hair. Only way I can get curl is to use mousse and hair spray. Only last 4-6 months. Changed nothing!

  7. Ok so I have tried all differant techniques, iron sizes, temp, no products, and crimping. Everything I have tried I mean everything can’t hold a curl for more than 30 min. I have 2a hair please, I beg you, explain.

  8. “Let your hair cool down for _two_ minutes” Said nobody who has experience with styling fine hair.😃