Helpful Styling Tips for Thin Hair

Updated 05/15/19

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Living with fine or thinning hair can be extremely trying, especially if you're passionate about all things beauty and hairstyling. If you've often found yourself pining away after photos of thick braids and voluminous updos, it's time to rejoice. With these simple hair hacks, you can now style your thin hair and enjoy the same fabulous results as everyone else.

01 of 09

Use Lightweight Products

Side profile of woman with long red hair
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Using the right styling products is key to getting any hairstyle right. However, with thin hair, choosing the right products can be a challenge in itself.

Regular products will weigh your hair down, making it greasy and/or limp. Look for lightweight, volumizing products. These will make hair strands softer and plumper, giving you weightless body and movement without adding bulk to your hair.

02 of 09

The Long and Short of It

You might be tempted to rock a Rapunzel-esque braid, but super-long cuts and hairdos usually don’t work as well with very fine hair. This is because long hair needs major natural volume.

Instead of long hair, opt for hair in shorter or medium lengths and add layers to create volume. Feathered-out cuts can be a godsend for fine hair and you can still rock braids, updos, and whatnot. And if you do need major lengths sometimes, there are always hair extensions to turn to.

03 of 09

Plump Braids with Pancaking

Person braiding woman's hair
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Speaking of braids, it can be frustrating to create an intricate braid only to have it look flat and thin. But with the pancaking technique, you can fake thicker, bigger braids in no time at all. Simply tug on the loops of a braid gently, then pull it out to fluff it up a bit. Instant volume.

04 of 09

Pump up the Volume

A root-lifting product and a teasing comb can be your best friends when you have thin hair. Look for hairstyles with volume at the crown, such as a bump, beehive, or bouffant. Not only do these hairstyles create the illusion of more hair, they're also easier to style (and lighter to wear) in fine hair.

05 of 09

Blow-Dry the Right Way

Woman blow drying hair at home
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Utilizing a blow-dryer while styling your hair can be a great way to add volume to otherwise lifeless hair. However, If you have thin hair, daily blow dryer use can be drying. To minimize damage, it's important that you pick the appropriate styling tools, such a blow dryer with ionic technology.

Once you ready to blow-dry, work a volumizing styling mousse into your hair for some lightweight volume and dependable hold, then flip your hair upside down and direct the air at the roots. This will create tons of volume.

06 of 09

Avoid Products That Are Drying

People with fine hair should steer clear of products that contain sodium lauryl sulfate or ammonium lauryl sulfate. Ingredients such as drying alcohols, polymers, ammonia, and detergents are the reason why traditional hair cleansers lather up and feel so creamy and powerful. But in truth, they’re stripping your scalp and hair of natural (and very essential) oils.

While they’re damaging to all hair types, thin hair can look exceptionally scraggly and have absolutely no strength after being treated with such products. Look for SLS-free/organic shampoos or try a DIY shampoo recipe.

07 of 09

Fringe Benefits

Woman with long brown hair and fringe bangs
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A receding hairline can be one of the hardest things to get used to in life and is also one of the most common hair woes associated with fine/thinning hair. One of the best ways to disguise the problem is by asking your stylist to cut short, blunt bangs. These create a thick, rounded-out fringe which adds volume at the hairline.

08 of 09

Parting Ways

Avoid parting your hair. A clean part can add crispness to a look, but it can also expose thinning hair if you end up showing a lot of scalp. Hairstyles that don't feature parts typically involve volume at the crown, messy texture, or just simply end up looking like there’s more hair because more area is covered.

That said if you do want to wear a hairstyle with a part, switch things up by taking it to the opposite side. Over time, hair flattens out on the side you normally wear your part and flipping it over can create some lift at the roots.

09 of 09

Opt for Different Texture

View from behind of woman with wavy hair
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Straight hair, by virtue of its texture, sits flat. This means it invariably looks thinner when compared to other hair textures. Curls always look most voluminous, but other hair textures can also look good. If your hair is naturally straight, consider using foam rollers or diffusers while drying to change your hair texture.

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