Thin hair doesn't have to get you down—or flatten out your look. With the right style and cut, your locks can appear full and voluminous.

By Rachel Wermager
Updated January 03, 2020

Whether you’ve always had thin hair or your locks have thinned out over time, thin and, consequently, flat hair can make styling a daily challenge; it can be frustrating to go to great lengths for a little extra volume—we get it! Fortunately, stylists have quite a few tricks up their sleeves to help thin hair look full and photo-ready, and it starts with getting the right cut.

“Thin or fine hair, while easy to maintain, does lack some of the natural volume that those with thick hair have,” says Christinah Nicolasien, hairstylist and the president of Nikita Hair. “But, with the right cut and styling tips, you can make your hair look voluminous without spending extra cash.” 

The best way to pin down the perfect style for your thin hair is to have a conversation with your hairstylist about what styles and cuts you feel confident in—and then let them handle the rest. “The key is sporting a cut that has texture and depth,” Nicolasien says. “Texture, curls, and sleek layers give off the illusion of thickness because they don’t allow the hair to lay completely flat, in effect covering any limp strands or sparse areas.” 

If you’re looking to change up your look, check out these flattering, expert-recommended styles to add volume.

Make the Cut for Bangs

Although some of the stylists we spoke with warned against bangs for fear they could potentially look stringy, the majority encouraged the trim. Anna Jackson, a stylist at Chicago salon BOSS HAIR GROUP, says bangs can be a great help to disguise a thinning hairline. If full-out bangs feel like too much of a commitment, Jackson also suggests trying out a long swoop bang, which falls more to one side of your face versus laying across the whole forehead, for an easier transition.

Frame Your Face With Layers

Soft layers that taper near the chin or chest are one of the best ways to add movement to thin hair, Nicolasien says. However, make sure your stylist doesn’t go overboard with too many layers. “While face framing is successful in giving off the illusion of thick hair, overcompensating with too many layers can make thin hair look stringy instead of full. So, be selective. If you wear your hair longer, stick with long layers that taper inward, and if you wear a pixie cut, keep them scrappy and fresh to help build strength.”

Go for a Pixie Cut

With the right texture and length, chopping hair down to a fun and flirty pixie cut can add a ton of volume and help hair look fuller. Celebrity hairstylist Paul Labrecque says when he does a super short cut, it gives the opportunity to play with layers and create an edgy look. “With a style like this, you can keep the top area more weighted and heavy, giving it the appearance of being as full as possible,” he explains.

Get a Blunt (But Chunky) Bob

We’ve seen blunt bobs trending for a while now, but this stylish cut is particularly ideal for those with thin hair. “Blunt haircuts work for thin hair because the weight pools at the base of the hair, making it look and feel full,” Nicolasien says. She suggests wearing it in a deep side part for intensified volume. 

Pro Tips to Keep the Volume

So, you’ve left the salon with a great new cut that has your hair looking healthy and full—but what about keeping up that volume for the days to come? The answer is simple, and probably already in your beauty arsenal. “Dry shampoo can do the trick when it comes to volume—just be sure to apply it a few inches above the hair to avoid filmy white streaks around your part,” Nicolasien says. For tools, all it takes is a comb. “For example, teasing and backcombing your hair and throwing it into a low pony or messy bun will give off the illusion of depth and texture—all while looking effortless.”

Comments (1)

October 9, 2019 I had gotten a pixy haircut from the above hair salon called Blades International and I love it! They put my picture on their website and also had me do a model session with a local TV station here in CT. My hairdresser is Angel. The owner of the salon is Jay. Excellent salon. Cindy Andrews Manchester, CT