The Best Hairstyles for Thin Hair

Thin hair might seem easy to style. It requires less blow-drying time and it can be twisted easily into a low bun or ponytail in a pinch. But for those of us with thinner-than-thin locks, a thick head of hair is at the top of our wish list. We know all too well the challenges of adding volume or getting strands to hold a curl. The good news is, you don't have to be born with tons of hair to fake a fuller mane. If you’ve got limp, lackluster locks, but crave the look of thick, voluminous hair we’ve got the hairstyles, tips, and products you need for bigger hair in minutes.

The Best Hairstyles for Thin Hair

These hairstyles will have your locks looking bigger than you ever dreamed possible.

Angled Lob with a Deep Side Part

Shorter cuts are always a good idea if your thin hair is falling flat. A lob creates a defined shape for fine hair to fall into. An angled lob is longer in the front, building up the weight in one place, which makes your hair look fuller. The deep side part pushes all your hair together on one side, creating the most volume. It also creates lift at the roots. For a perfectly tousled lob, style with a beach hair spray.

Layered Asymmetrical Bob

An asymmetrical cut means one side is cut shorter than the other, resulting in hair that seems fuller than it really is. This cut works well on just about any type of hair, but it can do wonders for creating volume on pin-straight fine hair. Ask your stylist to strategically place subtle layers throughout your bob and stack it in the back. To style, flip your head over when blow-drying to create lift at the root, and blow it straight forward with a vent brush. Then massage a volumizing powder into your scalp for volume that lasts all day.

Davines french braid how to tutorial

Asymmetrical French Braid

Plump up the classic french braid by braiding it asymmetrically along one side. This makes it stick out a little further from your scalp without looking unrefined or messy.

How to do an asymmetrical french braid:

  1. Run a texturizing serum through damp hair to prevent flyaways, and part it slightly to one side. 
  2. Take about a two-inch chunk of hair from the front of the right hairline, and begin a french braid. 
  3. Section this portion of hair into three even strands, keeping them separated with your fingers. Now, start a normal braid; take the right strand and cross it over the middle strand. Next, take the left strand and cross it over the middle strand. 
  4. Once you have this foundation, begin adding more hair with each crossover. To do this, gather a small bit of hair from the hairline, add it to the rightmost strand, and then cross it over the middle strand. Pull it tight, but keep the strands separated at all times. 
  5. Repeat on the other side by gathering a small bit of hair closest to the side part (away from the hairline), adding it to the leftmost strand, and then crossing it over the middle strand. 
  6. Continue this braiding pattern until you’re an inch away from the right neckline. At this point, start to braid horizontally across to the left neckline. All of the hair should be gathered into the french braid by the time you hit the bottom of the left ear. 
  7. Once all the hair is incorporated, finish braiding traditionally. Secure with a hair tie 

Shattered Collarbone Bob

Add mega body to a thin head of hair with a shoulder-length hairstyle that just grazes the collarbone. Light layering close to the edges and an A-line side bang creates a textured, volumized look.

Choppy Pixie Cut

A pixie haircut adds fullness to already-thin strands. Short hairstyles are stronger than long, so even very fine hair can benefit from a super-short crop. Try a pixie with choppy layers to add volume. Ask your stylist to leave the top section a bit longer around the hairline (especially the ears) to create a softer, more feminine appearance. Work a matte hair wax through your hair to give your pixie definition.

Davines tall ponytail how to tutorial

Sky-High Pony

By pulling your thin hair into a super high ponytail, you add the illusion of height. Try wrapping some hair around the base, instead of a hair tie, to add even more volume. Or if you like to accessorize, try using a scrunchie for an even more voluminous ponytail.

Faux Bob

Rocking a faux bob makes thin hair look thicker and more voluminous. 

How to do a faux bob:

  1. Divide the hair into two loose pigtails and secure them with clear elastics. 
  2. Loop the length of the hair up and under, securing the ends with three U-shaped pins on each side. 
  3. Place a singular bobby pin perpendicular to the other pins to lock them in place. 
  4. Repeat this process on the second side. Don't worry if it's slightly uneven, the texture gives the look an unspooled casualness. 
  5. Gloss over loose tendrils with a shine spray.

Long, Choppy Layers

Choppy layers create movement, but the key to this hairstyle is keeping those layers to a minimum. This preserves the hair’s fullness and body. Ask your stylist to start your layers at the midway point between your crown and ends.

Loose Spiral Braid

Instead of a tight three-strand braid that can shrink the look of already-fine hair, try deeply parting your hair and loosely twisting two sections to the side. For more on How to Braid Your Own Hair, see our previous post.

Blunt Bob

One of the easiest ways to add texture to fine hair is with a short, blunt cut. Since all the hair at the bottom gets cut off, a blunt bob gives the illusion of density and instant volume. For the bluntest of cuts, ask your stylist not to use a razor unless it’s a straight edge. Perfect your bob with volumizing mousse. Apply it from your roots to ends with a comb for an instant boost, without the weight.

Davines crown braid how to tutorial

Crown Braid

Wrapping braids around the top of your head is a perfect way to show off a romantic style while giving the appearance of thicker hair.

How to do a crown braid:

  1. Part your hair down the middle and separate it into two sections. Secure one side while you work with the other, so they don't get mixed up. 
  2. Take the loose side and start at the nape of the neck. Split this section into three strands. You can add a hair clip to each of these while you are preparing for the next step. It can be hard to separate three strands all at once. 
  3. Cross each of the strands underneath each other instead of over one another. Work your way around the side of the head, keeping the braid fairly tight. If the braid comes loose, it won't appear as a tight crown. 
  4. Work across the top of the forehead until you finish the braid. Secure the end with a hair tie in order to keep the braid secure. Let it down until you complete the other side. Or you can clip it to the top of your head until the crown is ready to be made. 
  5. Take the opposite side of your hair in hand. Start at the top of the head, instead of the bottom. Split this section into three parts and do the same inside-out braid you did before. Braid around the side of the head, finishing near the nape of your neck. 
  6. Create the crown by pulling one of the braids from left to right, over top of your head. The braid should sit a few inches from your forehead. Secure this braid with a bobby pin. 
  7. Now pull the other braid from right to left, pushing it up against the previous braid. Secure this braid with a bobby pin as well. And voila, you have your crown! 

Thick Bangs

Whether it’s a shoulder-length hairstyle or a short haircut, incorporating a front fringe instantly bumps up your hair look. Just make sure your bangs are thick and blunt. Heavy bangs add density, bringing body and fullness to the front. This hairstyle also draws the eye towards the face and away from your thinner ends. Ask your stylist to start your bangs towards the crown of your head, allowing them to consist of more hair and look thicker.

Style with a Headband

Try pinning up your hair, and adding a headband in a complementary color to your own hair. This creates the illusion of volume in a subtle, but pretty way. For example, blondes should look for yellow or pale pink hues, redheads can try deeper magenta or hot pink, and dark-haired ladies should pick deep purples, navy, or black.

Haircut Tips for Thin Hair of Every Type

The right haircut can make or break your attempt at volumizing thin hair. Keep the following tips in mind before your next appointment with your stylist.

  • Consider your jawline and face shape: layering based on your hair type and face shape is essential for a voluminous look. If you have thin, flat hair, anything shoulder-length will create a look of fullness. 
  • If you have fine, curly hair: try a style that is layered and point cut. Point cutting is a technique used to remove dead weight from the ends to create texture and movement in the hair. Point cutting creates softness at the ends, while the layers encourage movement among your curls, making the fine hair look much more full. For fine, curly hair, try a mid-length cut with very light layering to avoid a bottom-heavy look. 
  • If you have fine, straight hair: for fine, straight hair opt for a one-length cut, like a bob or lob. Layers can make fine straight hair look stringy very easily. Fine hair products are great if you’re blowing your hair out because most provide volume with the added benefit of thermal protection from heat styling. 
  • If you have fine, wavy hair: fine, wavy hair usually doesn’t have the thickness in its fiber to hold its natural waves, so shorter lengths and more layers are best. A shag haircut with lots of layers will help bring out your natural waves. This is an easy-to-style cut whether you rock your texture or add some bends with a flat iron. 

Styling Tips for Thin Hair

These tips will help you get the most bang for your buck when it comes to styling your thin hair.

  • Condition before you shampoo: conditioning before you shampoo is great for adding nourishment to fine or thin hair without weighing it down. It also promotes a longer-lasting blow-dry and primes the hair before cleansing, allowing shampoo to distribute easier and more evenly. 
  • Use dry shampoo: dry shampoo is perfect for adding grip and volume to your hair. Spray some directly on your roots to erase grease, which can make your hair look even thinner. And if you’re a blonde, dry shampoo is the quickest way to create a fuller appearance at your crown. Spray some directly on exposed parts and thin hairlines. 
  • Tease your tresses. Back-combing (also known as teasing) is a classic way to get more volume at your crown. Lift a section of hair just behind the very top of your head, and with a pintail comb push in three to five smooth even strokes from the middle of the hair to the base, creating a cushion. Next, take the section of hair just in front of the cushion and flip back and over. This will hide the teased portion and leave you with smooth height and instant fullness. 
  • Play with your part. Changing the spot where you normally part your hair is one of the easiest ways to get the look of thicker locks (not to mention it’s an instant update on your look). After years of parting your hair to the same side, it essentially becomes trained to lay limp. Flipping your part creates volume and fullness because you’re taking the hair out of its natural fall. Try switching things up and you’ll be amazed at the instantaneous lift. 
  • Brighten up your hue: when your hair is dull, it appears thinner. Adding a deeper hue to your 'do will also give you dimension, making limp locks appear fuller. Use a color depositing shampoo to brighten up your blonde, brunette, or red strands in just one application.

We suggest seeing your doctor if your hair is suddenly falling out or thinning more than usual. Otherwise, adding these hair looks and styling tips into your hair game will give your limp locks the volume they’ve been yearning for!

by Jaclyn LaBadia, featured contributor
cover photo courtesy of @amyclarknyc

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