Youth is wasted on the young—that is true. And so is good hair and good skin. That’s what I’m particularly salty about. These days, as an adult (or someone who’s very close) I’m always brought straight back to reality whenever I’m styling my hair or pulling it into a ponytail, only to feel how much thinner it is than when I was a kid. The good news, though, my fellow adults? There are cuts and styles that help disguise less density.
Hair thinning is inevitable in everyone, but then there are those who just have less hair. That doesn’t mean your hair has to actually look thin or flat, though—so keep scrolling for the professional hair stylist tips on the best hairstyles and haircuts that make thinning hair look thick again.
The most volume-boosting haircuts for thinning hair
First things first: You can easily chop off your hair to a pro-approved length that magically adds thickness to your strands. “The best haircuts [for thinning or thin] hair are clean, crisp, blunt lines through the perimeter,” says Lindsay Victoria, master stylist at Spoke & Weal Los Angeles. “Even if you would like texture or layering, the stronger line you have through the base of your hair, the stronger your hair appears and feels.”
As far as length goes, LP Giardino, Whiteroom’s lead stylist, prefers the above-the-shoulders look to enhance volume, though you can also go shorter for a similar effect. “Having hair cropped above the shoulders gives it a bit more swing and bounce,” he says. “If you want, you can also add bangs to frame your face and avoid hair looking flat at the top.”
If you’re into longer haircuts, you can go below the shoulder and still give the illusion of thickness. “Mid-chest to mid-neck length is ideal length and creates fuller-looking hair,” says Victoria. “It makes it look and feel thicker because of the strength of the line. The shorter the hair goes, the stronger the hair gets.”
6 of the best hairstyle tips for thinning hair
Play with your bob: Deciding on the bob look? Giardino has some styling tips to give it more va-va-voom. “If you get a graduated bob at a shorter length, it keeps most of the hair at the outline,” says Giardino. “The difference here is the graduation which helps build volume and a fuller silhouette.” Or, he says you can go in the opposite direction. “If density at the length isn’t your visual preference and height and volume at the top is, then a short shag would be a great look,” says Giardino. “This haircut gives body, movement, and texture throughout.”
Use a styling cream: Whichever cut you may have, both Giardino and Victoria say that the secret is all in texture and volume-boosting products. “All of these haircuts are completely versatile,” says Giardino. “They can be blow dried straight using a styling cream, which protects fine hair from heat damage without weighing it down.” His fave product to use? Sachajuan Styling Cream ($32), which is “weightless” and “acts as a great foundation for any hair type.” Just use a dime size amount to work from ends to roots.
Work with your texture: It’s also key to understand your texture and do what works best for the type that you have. “If your hair gets too flat when blown out smooth, learn how to style and manipulate your natural texture using products and hot tools and skipping a brush,” he says. More texture is the way to go anyways, as Victoria points out that it helps with the illusion of fullness. “The width of the waves will create volume,” she says. “If it is straight, it will condense the hair—so any texture and wave will expand the hair to help create volume and thickness.”
Incorporate a hair mousse: To amp up the volume, Giardino loves using a product like Leonor Greyl Mousse ($46) to give your strands volume, texture and hold. “Use this air dried or diffused,” he says, adding that you should start with a smaller amount of the product and work your way up depending on how your hair reacts to it. “Apply and focus on the mousse to the roots, bringing it down through the ends,” he says.
Spritz a salt spray: Salt sprays can also transform thinner hair into a more thicker, fuller-looking type (and give you all the mermaid vibes). “The Australian Salt Spray by David Mallett ($45) is another great styling product for fine hair,” says Giardino. “It’s light weight and versatile, and easy to use for air drying, blow drying, or heat styling and offers a beach look.” Just spritz 10 to 14 sprays from your roots to your ends while lifting the top sections to get underneath.
Hair tools are your friend: The hair product fun doesn’t stop there. “I like thickening tonics, volumizers, and styling foams on wet hair to help to prep for your style when blow drying,” says Victoria. Whatever you choose to swipe or spritz onto your hair, Victoria says to blow dry your hair in the opposite direction to dry the root and add volume. “On dry hair, add a loose wave with a curling iron, finishing with a dry shampoo for oil control throughout the day and finally adding in a dry texture spray or light dry hairspray to hold it for the day.”
Is frizz more of your issue? Try this hair mask for frizz that literally works wonders. And here’s the definitive guide on how to fight frizzy hair according to two hairstylists that know the secrets.
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