If you have fine hair, you'll know that styling can be tricky, waves tend to fall out, and you just don't have enough hair to work with. But with some smart hacks and a few expert-approved products (thanks Laura Rugetti and Gretchen Friese) you'll be able to style your hair with the best of them. In fact, plenty of A-list stars have fine hair, so we've looked to these women to inspire your next hairstyle. From Emma Stone's tousled bun to Alexa Chung's half updo, these 25 hairstyles can show anyone with fine hair how to rock a great look.
Keep scrolling to open up a world of hairstyle ideas for fine hair.
Meet the Expert
- Gretchen Friese is BosleyMD's trichologist and stylist. She is also a hairstylist and salon director at Foushee SalonSpa in Denver.
- Laura Rugetti is a hairstylist and salon owner of The Beauty Can. She is based in Los Angeles.
Before pulling your hair into a bun, tip your head upside down and mist with a texturizing spray like Garnier Fructis Style Texture Tease Dry Touch Finishing Spray ($7). It's the perfect style for day or night. Or, hey, why not both?
Side Bang Layers and Long Layers
Tyra Banks's side-parted hair, partially pulled back and partially cascading down into a luscious, long mane, is drop-dead gorgeous. When considering how to keep tresses from falling flat, "Side bang layers and long layers will make a great cut for volume," comments Rugetti. "The one product I love for volume is [Design.me Puff.me, $26]. It’s a volume powder that keeps hair volumized and works as a root plumper."
Blunt, Textured Lob
A blunt lob will instantly make fine hair appear thicker, but Kate Mara has added soft waves to push the illusion one step further. A mist of salt spray will help the bends of the hair stay in place. Friese highlights the versatility of this style: "With a blunt bob you can wear it sleek and straight or as with Kate’s look, scrunching the hair with a little mousse (for wavy hair) or using a large barrel curling iron will create texture and movement."
Salma Hayek proves the bouffant can be subtle in this modern take complete with a stylish headband. Sectioning hair in front and then pulling back the rest into a high, yet tasteful, volumized bump in back transforms fine strands.
A side part is extremely versatile. It can be worn as a cool-girl slide flip, as popularized by Alicia Silverstone in Clueless, or side-swept and glamorous as demonstrated here on Diane Kruger. It's also a simple and easy style that offers much-needed height and movement, thereby creating the illusion of fuller hair.
Sleek Center Part
If you've got some gel and a bristled brush handy, you can achieve Karlie Kloss's chic and easy updo. Friese instructs, "You can part the hair in the middle with a side part or just all pulled back. Secure in the back with hair pins or a hair tie." She underscores, "Use volumizing products. BosleyMD has some great weightless styling products. Their hairspray is my favorite. I also recommend not using too much product in the hair, as it can weigh it down."
When blow-drying fine hair, it is best to lift the roots with your fingers and get that area completely dry before blowing out the ends.
A topknot is ideal for fine hair. Once the bun is secured in place, gently pull at it to create the illusion that it's larger and fuller than it really is. It's also the perfect style if you're on-the-go and can be achieved in just 30 seconds.
Chrissy Teigen channels the '60s with her retro flipped-out 'do. Flipping out ends is a quick and easy trick to making hair appear fuller. She also rocks volumized roots, which build height and body.
Beachy waves are an easy way to fake the look of thicker hair. Even if your hair is stick-straight, you can still achieve this effortlessly cool style. Braid towel-dried hair, mist with hairspray, and leave it to dry. Unravel, et voilà! Perfect beachy waves.
Here Kirsten Dunst has divided her hair into two sections and twisted it to create a rope braid. Left loose, it makes her hair appear much thicker than it really is. You can also take this braid to the next level by turning it into a messy fishtail.
High Wavy Ponytail
Empire actress Serayah throws her hair up in a simple, high ponytail that is visually effortless. By wearing it wavy, hair appears more voluminous. The effect is an envious mane of natural, undulating hair.
Crown and Face-Framing Layers
Short layers around the face can create texture and fullness. They also "will remove weight and add volume to the hair," notes Friese. To replicate Suki Waterhouse's style, she suggests blow-drying hair with a large round brush, concentrating on volume at the crown, and bringing the layers toward the face. To finish, "Unite smoothing cream ($27) will make it sleek," says Rugetti.
You've seen it before, and you're seeing it here again: Slicked-back hair is a favorite style among celebrities, Shay Mitchell included. By lifting and texturizing at the crown, she creates the height and dimension that is just what fine hair craves.
Long, Wavy Layers
J.Lo is in full-on diva mode here as she models her long, wavy mane. The key to her look, Rugetti tells us, is layers. "A layered cut will make the hair look full and bouncy," she says. To keep it staying that way, Rugetti recommends using Color Wow Dream Coat Supernatural Spray ($28).
All hail Ciara as she dons this double-braided crown of hair that has got us mesmerized. Her braids serve to add texture and height to her hair, creating a divine aura of fullness and body.
To keep this style modern, she opts for letting a few strands hang loose in front and pulls out a few others at the top of her crown (pun intended) for an undone finish.
Although you may be tempted to pat down pesky flyaways to lay flat, Keira Knightley argues for making the most of your hair's wispy texture by embracing baby hairs. Her romantic, undone updo is also a great way to play down a dressy outfit or elaborate neckline.
Half Updo With Curtain Fringe
Half updos can be tricky territory for anyone with fine hair, but Alexa Chung shows us the perfect way to get it right. "Pull the hair at the crown back and secure with a barret or hair tie. Keep the bangs down and blow-dry under for fullness," instructs Friese. A curtain fringe balances out any lost weight and creates "the illusion of thicker hair," she adds.
Long and Straight
On the other side of the layer spectrum lives Gwyneth Paltrow's long-layered 'do. While you may want to avoid too many layers if you've got fine locks, incorporating well-placed long layers can build body and make hair appear fuller than it really is. Wear straight for a sleek and polished finish with the help of Ghd's Platinum Styler ($279).
Blunt Cut With Loose Waves
When it comes to fine hair, it is often the ends that give you away. Kate Bosworth has tonged her mid-lengths through to the tips to give the illusion of thick hair. "Having the hair one length creates a thicker perimeter," affirms Friese. To get this style, simply blow-dry the hair concentrating on height at the crown and curl with a large barrel iron to create volume," she instructs.
Rita Ora never disappoints when it comes to serving as a source of hair inspo. And this sultry, retro updo is no exception. Styled to enhance hair body and volume, slightly teased roots are lifted to create height and extend into a cascading curl in front that pays homage to old-Hollywood glam.
The shag haircut, as seen on Billie Eilish, can be a great choice for fine-haired gals. The face framing layers and curtain bangs all create body and texture. Make sure you stick to strategic layers around the face, versus short layers all over which can make your hair look thinner. This haircut also would work best on those with some natural curl or wave to their hair. Those with stick straight hair should avoid this haircut as it could make your hair look more thin. Work in a volumizing mousse to amp up the volume.
Short Bob With Bangs
Halsey's short bob with fringe bangs puts all the attention on her features and is especially flattering on those with oval faces. This chic look works well with fine hair as the focus is on looking sleek, versus high volume.
Low Messy Bun
A low messy bun, as seen on Cameron Diaz, is an easy and no-fuss hairstyle for those with fine hair. Spray some dry shampoo, such as Living Proof Perfect Hair Day ($26), at the roots for a little volume and leave out some face-framing pieces around the face.
Zendaya's box braids are a stylish look for those with fine hair. To avoid hair breakage, make sure you go a professional that is experienced with box braids. Apply a deep conditioning treatment before you get braided to ensure your hair stays moisturized.
Your braids shouldn't hurt when you lift them or turn your head. If they do, they are too tight and could cause hair breakage.
Long Layered Bangs
Long, layered bangs on medium-length hair adds volume and texture to fine hair. The key here is to avoid layers all over, as that could make hair look more thin. Kristin Cavallari uses a curling iron to add in soft waves for additional body and movement.
Should fine hair be layered?
Those with thin hair should avoid lots of short layers, but long layers around the face works well to add texture and volume. One length hairstyles, however, are always a good choice for thin hair.
Does fine hair look better with short hair or long hair?
Medium length or shorter hair looks best on those that have thin hair. If your hair gets too long, you tend to lose volume on top and your hair can look stringy. If you do go longer, add in some long layers around your face for added volume.
What are the best hair products to make fine hair look thicker?
First of all, make sure you aren’t using too much product as that can weigh your hair down. Use a volumizing shampoo and conditioner (only condition the roots) and work in a volumizing and texturing mousse, such as Keranique Thickening & Texturizing Mousse ($24). Mousses don’t weigh down hair like serums or creams can.