Is your fine hair feeling lifeless? We’ve already discussed the secret reason your thin hair isn’t holding a curl, but there’s another volume-threatening culprit that may have happened a long, long time ago: your haircut. You see, naturally thin hair needs to be snipped and shaped to encourage bouncier, more Gisele-like volume. Without the right technique, no amount of styling, curling, or pulling will give it the fuller look you want.
To make things easier, we’ve put together a little guide on the haircuts that magically add volume to thin hair, along with tips from hairstylists Benjamin Mohapi and Giovanni Vaccaro. So when you go in for your next hair appointment, you can present one of these hairstyles for thin hair and say buh-bye to lifeless locks but hello to major volume. Please note: some of the women featured may already have thick hair, but it's their styles that will help thin-haired individuals feign volume. These cuts and stylings guarantee your thin hair looks thick and full—and no one will be the wiser. Trust us: Your hair will thank you.
Meet the Expert
Keep scrolling for 20 of the best haircuts for thin hair.
A pixie is "the ultimate confidence cut when it comes to thin hair," says Vaccaro. "This is my favorite style to create on thin hair because the transformation of your hair texture is instant. This look can work for any texture; from curly to straight." To style, Vaccaro suggests using a water-based pomade or a matte wax. "Avoid oil-based products because they tend to be heavier and weigh hair down," he adds.
Zoe Saldana's long, sleek layers make her hair appear full and healthy. One thing to keep in mind, though: ends need to be kept well-maintained on thin hair. "When hair is left too long, a lot of individual hairs don’t make it to the ends, leaving them too thin to hold a shape," says Mohapi.
Wavy hair can be worn long or short—though we love Emma Stone's chop, seen here. "What you’ll notice about these celebs is that most opt for mid-length to short hair styles, giving the illusion of fuller thicker hair," says Vaccaro. Use a product such as Kristin Ess Dry Finish Working Texture Spray ($14) for increased texture.
Classic Short Cut
There are so many short cuts to try, but we love Keke Palmer's '90s, baby bang look. "Often with thin hair, the shorter the better," says Mohapi. "Short hair allows for thickest part of the hair (the roots) to participate in the final result."
Lob With Layers
"Perfect for any face shape, this will give you the volume you’re looking for while adding layers for fullness," says Vaccaro. "Take a 1.25-inch curling iron and give your hair a subtle loose bend by wrapping large sections around the barrel horizontally."
Lob With Blunt Ends
If you’re a pro with a curling iron, try adding a wave right in the middle of your hair shaft and leaving the ends straight like Olivia Munn.
"Some face framing or bangs can also be a great way to add dimension and interest," Mohapi says of Felicity Jones' layers. Keep the layers long toward the back of the hair, moving them closer to the face in the front.
Gwyneth Paltrow's one-length strands are manageable and chic. Better yet, the hair looks fuller when it doesn't have too much weight on the ends. "The more sold the shape for thinning hair, the better," says Mohapi. "Layers will take weight away from the ends and that’s the one thing we should try a keep. One length shapes with volume adding products will create the best results."
Jessica Biel's hair looks inches fuller, thanks to loose waves that cascade past her shoulders. "Celebs tend to style with loose waves, which helps make hair look thicker and fuller," says Vaccaro.
Short With Curls
A super-cropped-but-still-curly cut, á la Ruth Negga, will add body and shape to your thin hair.
Retro Waves With Blunt Ends
Margot Robbie's retro, waved look is super classic and flattering. If body and volume are your goals and you prefer your strands long, you can simply ask your hairstylist to add a bit of texture on the ends. Think light, slightly feathered layers that don’t weigh your strands down.
What’s better than a bob? A ruffled, wavy bob, obviously. Light layers and feathered ends, as well as a slight asymmetrical angle, make this short cut an easy one to tousle and volumize. Thanks for the inspo, Jourdan Dunn.
Kate Mara's choppy bob with textured ends and a slight side part is ultra-trendy. To style, we suggest a matte finish styling paste such as R+Co. Mannequin Styling Paste ($28).
Gemma Chan's prim and proper half-up, half-down look helps add volume to the hair via strategically placed barrettes and loose pieces of hair that frame the face. The other great thing about this cut? It looks amazing with barely any styling at all.
A center-part allows you to volumize the sides of the hair. Curling the ends in and scrunching at the roots will leave you with a chic, super-modern look à la Diane Kruger.
Lorene Scafaria's thick fringe makes her entire head of hair appear thick and voluminous. "This fringe will add density and fullness to your hair and work best with no parting," says Vaccaro. "Go for a blunt or lightly textured look, just make sure they’re heavy."
Bangs add volume and shape at your crown while the shaggy layers can easily be manipulated into curls or beachy waves.
The angle on Lucy Liu's curved bob creates the illusion of volume, even on straightened hair. To finish the look, apply a product such as It's a 10 Miracle Shine Spray ($21).
Take a cue from Chanel Iman and pair a full lob with a side part. "An exaggerated side part will give the illusion of more volume and fullness on top," says Vaccaro. "I love this cut with an ear tuck and heavy sweep. It’s flirty yet sophisticated."
Mid-Length Cut With Waves
Constance Wu's wavy layers add beautiful volume to her locks and make for easy styling that always looks effortlessly polished. You can achieve a similar look even if your hair is straight. Just employ a tool such as Hot Tools 1" 24K Gold Curling Iron ($50), which will create loose waves.
Lily Collins's retro, curled-under bob is It-girl approved, and as a bonus, makes her hair appear to have more volume.