Fine hair needs its own particular type of TLC. Because the strands are so delicate, you’ll want to limit both the amount of heat and product you’re using on them, which means that creating a style that works can require some creative thinking. But fear not—there are plenty of low-maintenance hairstyles for thin hair that can be achieved with very little effort at all.
First up, it’s important to understand that thin hair—which is also referred to as fine hair—is different than thinning hair. “Fine hair relates to the diameter of each hair, which although fine, can have good density,” says Colin Ford, education director at Sachajuan. In other words, you have plenty of hair on your head, but the individual strands are ultra-thin. These smaller strands are texture agnostic, which means they can occur in all hair types from pin straight to tightly coiled.
To help you create looks that will give fine hair a little extra va-va-voom, we polled stylists for their tips on crafting low-maintenance hairstyles for thin hair. Keep reading for what they had to say.
How to fake the appearance of thicker hair
1. With your haircut
Tricking people into thinking your hair is heavy on the volume starts in the salon chair. “Keeping hair length at the shoulder or above will give a fuller appearance,” says Cory Aaron Scott, a celebrity hairstylist based in Los Angeles. “Too much length can weigh the hair down, taking away the much-needed volume.” Ford adds that long hairstyles can be challenging to maintain on thin hair because the ends become wispy and the hair lacks the appearance of density.
Because of this, both pros recommend going for a bob or lob (long bob) style cut. “The lob will frame the face without weighing you down,” says Scott. If you aren’t ready for a major chop, try long layers. “Layers can add movement and volume too, but taking too much off can backfire,” says Scott, who suggests sticking with light layers and keeping the ends blunt.
2. With your part
One of the easiest ways to make hair look fuller is with an artfully crafted part. “Though Gen Z may not like to hear this, the side part is your best friend when it comes to faking fullness,” says Scott. “Taking your part a little deeper than normal will add height.” To do this right, pros recommend figuring out which side of your hair is thicker and parting from that direction because it will “give the illusion that your hair is thicker all over,” says Nick Stenson, artistic director at Matrix.
3. With your products
With thin hair, keeping your look light is key, which means avoiding any products that might goop it up. “As a rule of thumb, stay away from heavy oils or thick, goopy products that could weigh down your hair if overused,” says Scott. “Stick to mists and foam textures.” He’s a fan of Davines Liquid Spell Reinforcing Bodying Fluid ($45) because “it adds body and shine while reinforcing weak or sensitized hair,” and Milbon Creative Style Volume Thickening Mist 4 ($43) which “will add body and fullness that lasts with the added benefit of a heat protector.”
The best low-maintenance hairstyles for thin hair
1. Beach waves
“Beachy waves are fine hair’s best friend,” says Scott. “It’s an easy, achievable style for any skill level.” If your hair is naturally straight, try using a tool like the Beachwaver S1 ($129) to curl your hair away from your face, then run your fingers through your hair to loosen up the waves. If you have naturally curly or wavy hair, a spritz with some texturizing spray, like Captain Blankenship Sea Salt Spray ($28) will help you look fresh from the ocean.
2. Side bangs
Remember that side part we talked about? Consider taking it to the next level with a set of side-swept bangs. “Side-swept bangs will add fullness and height around the face,” says Scott. “Make sure to use a good texturizing mist at the root for added lift.” It’s worth noting that crafting this look requires some use of a blow-dryer, but only on the front-most part of your hair. “Dry your bangs using the nozzle attachment of the blow-dryer, blow-drying your hair straight down,” Eliut Rivera, hairstylist and owner of Eliut Salon in New York City, previously told Well+Good. “Once they’re smooth, use a round brush to create volume and brush them to one side. Just make sure your hair is completely dry before styling to one side.”
3. Flipped-out ends
Embrace your inner mod (or channel Anya Taylor-Joy in The Queens Gambit) with some flipped-out ends. “This retro moment makes fine, limp hair appear thicker,” says Scott. To create the look, grab a round boar bristle brush during the final steps of your DIY blowout. Hold the handle vertically and wrap your hair around the bristles toward your face. Point the blow-dryer in the same direction that the hair is going, and pull it slightly while using the blow-dryer alongside the brush. For an added element of smoothness along the top layer of your hair, pull the hair taught and quickly move the dryer up and down along the hair shaft.
For more tips on how to hack your styling routine based on your hair texture, check out the video below:
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