Helping Those With Fine and Thinner Hair Through Social Media

By Sara Micallef, Founder of Project Hair Co., West Bloomfield, Michigan

Hair is powerful. It is a huge part of our image and we know it. Creating communities for hair-related issues is a need that is lacking today. The need for a routine is strong for those with thinning or no hair to be with those who are going through the same day-to-day.

Sara Micallef

It is powerful to commune with those whose hair is similar to your own. I am a hairstylist that specializes in non-surgical hair replacement and ironically, I do not have fine hair. I merely felt compelled to connect those with whom I worked on a daily basis with others who struggle with hair issues. They share ideas, techniques, and tips that I can learn by observing their posts and comments. And I do.

I started the Facebook group Fine Hair Friends in 2017. It amazes me how the vision for the group has become exactly what I wanted it to be five years ago — a vision for a safe space where uplifting support is given to those with fine, thinning, or no hair. And even more than the support, it created a community.

In 2017 I was working with one of my favorite hair replacement clients. We were talking about how she would love to be able to talk to other people going through similar issues as she was. Because hair replacement tends to be a secretive topic, isolation comes with it. That was when the idea for the Facebook group came about. Thus, the group was born!

Fine Hair Friends did not have many members for the first couple of years, maybe 14 members at the most. One day, it blew up. I was getting hundreds of requests to join per week and soon celebrated 500 members. I was shocked when within the next couple of weeks it had doubled to 1,000 members. Now, we are at 39,000 and growing every day. I am still not sure what caused the sudden jump in requests to join, although it does seem due to the group having filled a need.

The group covers a range of topics including fine hair styling and washing challenges, hair thinning, breakage, shedding, product recommendations, styling techniques, toppers, extensions, and style and cut advice. Posts are made by people who have learned — and maybe are still learning — how to manage their fine hair themselves. I learn so much from them. Group experts, including hairstylists, from all over the world give advice on topics.

In the group, people have the option to post anonymously if they choose, though most do not. I believe that is due to creating a safe space for the members and carefully monitoring the tone and vibe of the group.

Besides myself, there are two other administrators for the group. Let me tell you about them. Jessica is an admin that has much experience managing large groups. She reached out to see if I would like help as the group started to grow. I am so happy she did. She taught me how to look for red flags on bot accounts, how to spot baiting, multi-level marketing, and scams, as well as how to protect our members from misinformation and bullying. She shares informational articles that shake down the facts so that posts are accurate. These articles can be pinned to the top of the group for easy reference. Also, by using warnings, flagging, deleting, and blocking negative comments or members, it has maintained a positive and encouraging tone in the group.

Becky is the other admin and she is a fine-haired person who said she is happy to be a part of a group with other fine-haired people. We reached out to her and asked if she would be an admin due to her contributions to the group.

The administrators assist in approving and denying member requests to join, approving and denying posts, removing inappropriate comments, and creating conversation. This journey has taught me that to be a leader, you must be strong, consistent, and vigilant. My fellow admins have taught me so much.

We are planning to conduct polls to see what other topics emerge. For instance, we received many posts with questions, and answers, about what shampoo and conditioner others use. We conducted a poll, giving eight choices, and asking everyone’s favorite shampoo-conditioner for their fine hair, and posted the result to our Facebook page.

We have received much positive feedback on the group from members. Here are just a  few of their comments:

“This group is vital for those of us with hair concerns and it is so helpful with truly lovely people. Thank you.”

“I am new to this group and so glad I found y’all! I found my people!”

“I wanted to share this incredible experience with you all, my fellow hair replacement specialists.”

Who knows how this group can grow and change in the future, and what new features we can add to improve our group? Hair is powerful  — especially in a community. 

To ensure group safety and confidentiality, we have group rules members must agree to join.
We have five rules:

  •   Kindness and Respect
  •   No Promotions or Scams
  •   Respect Everyone’s Privacy
  •   Please See Posting Tips:Reasons a post or comment
    may be denied or removed.
  •   Use the Group Search Tool: Search for your question
    before posting.

Members earn badges based on their contributions to the group. A member can achieve the following badges:

  • Conversation Starter – makes engaging posts.
  • Rising Star – new member making engaging posts.
  •   Valued Responder – shares valuable answers to questions.
  •   Group Ambassador – helps grow membership by sharing our group.
  •   Visual Storyteller – shares engaging images or videos.
  • New Member – for the first two weeks after joining.

The positive reinforcement of the badges reassures members that the photos and stories they share are valued. To my surprise, we have members that take before and after selfies, with and without their hair addition. We share these photos in the group to help others to know about the amazing option of hair replacement.