Ask a Hairstylist: I Have Thin Hair—Which Products Will Help?

Updated 04/29/19

It’s time for another installment of our Ask a Hairstylist series featuring celebrity hairstylist Mark Townsend! Townsend shapes and snips the hair of Hollywood’s A-list (think Mary-Kate, Ashley, and Elizabeth Olsen; Rachel McAdams; and more) and will be answering all your pressing hair questions. In his last column, he helped us decide if a lob was right for us. This month, with volume on the mind, we posed him a question: What products should every thin-haired girl own?

Keep scrolling to find out.

#1: Texturizing Dry Shampoo

Dove Invigorating Dry Shampoo $5
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Anyone who knows me is aware of my dry-shampoo addiction. But there’s a reason for it. Not only does it cleanse oily hair and give it amazing texture, but a good starch-based dry shampoo (like Dove’s Invigorating Dry Shampoo, $5) can make your hair look and feel thicker! A lot of fine-haired girls struggle with getting any volume at their crown. They tease and use hairspray, only to have a flat tangled mess within an hour. Instead, spray some dry shampoo before gently teasing your roots and crown.

The starches from the product will actually build up on themselves and give you the illusion of thicker, fuller hair.

#2: Volumizing Mousse

Sally Hershberger 24K Supreme Body Volumizing Mousse $32
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Mousses are back! Fear not; the crunchy mousses of the ’80s and ’90s have been replaced with amazing products that leave hair voluminous and shiny; I love Sally Hershberger 24K Supreme Body Volumizing Mousse ($32). The key to getting your fine hair to look full with mousse is all in the application. You want to start with damp hair and go section by section, targeting the roots with your mousse. Then blow-dry as you normally would.

#3: Clip-In Extensions

Clip it up! When some women think of extensions, they think about long mermaid locks and a lot of hassle at home. But investing in just two three-clipped hair extensions can be a total game changer. This isn’t about length; think of it as adding some much-deserved thickness to your sides. Purchase some quality human hair clip-ins that are as close to your color as you can (I’ve been using GarlandDrake.com for all my extensions for 15 years; they are the best!), and bring them to your stylist next time you get your hair cut or colored.

Have him or her cut them to your length and add a root or some lowlights so it’s a seamless blend. Once the hair is customized, putting in the extensions in the morning should take no more than a couple minutes. You don’t have to worry about the tracks showing or how it looks in the back. This is all about adding some va-va-voom to your sides!

#4: Hot Rollers (Yes, Really)

Paul Mitchell Neuro Cell Premium Hot Roller System $192
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If you’ve ever wondered how your favorite ’90s supermodels had all that amazing volume, I have two words for you: hot rollers. This old-school staple is back in a big way, and fine-haired girls should listen up! Today’s hot rollers use ionic technology and are fast and portable. Paul Mitchell makes a great set that gets hot in under five seconds. Don’t think of this as trying to achieve ringlets—this is all about volume, so use as large a roller as possible. Once you’ve set your hair in the rollers (this isn’t a perm set, so four or five should do), let your hair cool in them before dropping them.

You’ll be left with runway volume that will last much longer than if you used a wand or iron. 

Do you own these must-haves? Click here to see Townsend’s suggestions on the best cuts for stick-straight hair.

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