Hairstyles for Very Thin Hair

Updated April 17, 2017

In the midst of celebrities with hair extensions, models with perfect blowouts, and hair product advertisements that feature impossibly luxuriant lengths, having thin hair may seem like the end of the world. But it isn't. Say goodbye to long, scraggly hair, and welcome in the new you: shorter, thicker-looking hair, accentuated features and increased confidence.

The Cut

Yes, long hair is tempting. But if you have thin hair—whether because of genetics, medication or ageing—long is definitely not your best option. When thin hair grows long, its sparseness becomes increasingly evident, since hair is naturally thinner at the ends. The right haircut will add volume and life to your thin hair, if you keep a few things in mind.

Go shoulder-length or shorter. Pick the length that works best for your face shape. Shoulder-length with a few layers can be blow-dried for volume; a layered bob will be even better for hair that's thinning towards the ends.

Side-swept fringe attract attention away from the rest of your hair and hide facial structure imperfections.

If your hair has thinned because of damage, cut it off. Hair is dead, and no matter how many products you apply to the outside of your hair, some damage can't be reversed. Start from scratch with an adorable crop or pixie cut, and take great care of your hair as it grows out.

Be careful with layers—if your layers are far apart, the longest part of your hair can look super-thin and scraggly. You don't want too many layers, either, because that will remove too much bulk from your hair. Stick with a few close-together layers to give your ends some life and movement. If your hair is particularly thin anywhere on your head, ask your stylist to cut a few shorter layers to disguise it.

Drying Tips

Drying is a great way to add volume to your hair, and volume will give the illusion of thickness. Flip your head upside-down while drying, then spray with a strong finishing spray. Or, if you wear your hair parted on one side of your head, part it on the other side while it's drying. When pushed back to your normal side, your hair will be full of volume.

If your hair is fragile, use a diffuser. This will distribute the heat more evenly and prevent heat damage. Diffusers give your hair curls, waves and body, especially if you apply a volumizing mousse before drying, all of which look great on thin hair.

If your hair is seriously damaged, skip the dryer altogether. Gather hair in a ponytail on the top of your head, or braid it. When hair is dry, take it down and shake it out, teasing it gently with your fingers. You'll find that your hair maintains more volume when dried this way.

Styling Tricks

Tucking your hair behind your ears makes it seem like your hair is thicker. You can secure it with a few hair clips, and gently fluff the hair on the top of your head to give it volume.

Part your hair in a zigzag pattern. This will give the top more volume, and helps to disguise any thinning on the top of your head. If your scalp is showing through, try a strategically placed flower pin, a wide headband or a vintage-inspired hair scarf.

Put hair in curlers or hot rollers for volume. Curled hair can be pinned up to create an up-do with body.

When all else fails, wear your hair up, but not in a ponytail. Thin hair is almost completely disguised in an up-do where the ends are hidden. Try a sleek, shiny chignon if you're feeling bold, or a messy bun. Pull a few strands out to create a feathery, carefree look.

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About the Author

Autumn Jones has been working as a freelance writer since 2007 with work appearing on various websites. She majored in creative writing at Vassar College and continues to pursue her passion for the written word as much as possible.