7 Harmless Tips for Great-Looking Thin Hair

You can immediately improve the look of thin hair with clip in hair extensions. But many use hair growth products for women and vitamins to combat thin hair. While those work, you can focus on the outside with these 7 tips to make your hair more flattering and easier to style.

At Your Next Hair Appointment, Request Layers

If your hairstylist hasn’t already convinced you to go for layers, try it at your next appointment. Light, swingy layers of hair add volume, not only around our faces (the part we look at most in the mirror) but behind our heads — where thin hair flattens first. 

Washing Is Not Your Friend

Of course it’s important to be clean, but thin hair can easily be overwashed. Hard water, conditioning too long and too close to your roots, even shampooing for too long can make your hair seem limp and tired. Experiment with skipping a hair wash now and then, and see how your tresses respond.

Lift At the Roots

Volume begins at your scalp. Make sure you give the most attention to your hair’s roots. When you comb or brush your hair, do it by lifting at the roots. Don’t scrape the strands of hair back over your head. Remember this when you use hairspray as well. 

Use Gentle Tools

Thin-haired ladies need gentler tools than their thick-haired sisters. Ask your hairstylist for a lightweight shampoo and conditioner that won’t draw down your hair. If you dislike his or her recommendation, see if you can try some sample packs or travel-sized bottles of different products until you get one that works with your hair. Although many people are brand-loyal to their hair products, it can help to switch now and then. 


Your hairbrush and comb should be optimized for thin hair, too. For example, thin hair can be caused by hair loss, so choose a softer-bristled brush. When blow-drying your hair, don’t use the hottest setting as this can make your hair limper. Medium to low heat works best for putting volume in while you carefully employ a vent brush to make sure the drying gets all the way to the roots. Use only the lightest hairspray possible. A good test for this is to spray some product in your hand. If it looks milky, then it’s too heavy. 

Tricks to Vamp Up the Volume

One of the drawbacks to thin hair is that it falls flatter on our scalps than we might like. Volume is the key for creating the illusion of more hair or thicker hair. Try this method to bring some height to your crown: First, part your hair as you normally do. Next, use a flatiron to heat thumb-width sections of hair at the roots for 10 or 15 seconds per section. Start at the top and then do the lower layers. This should provide volume that looks natural and doesn’t tangle your hair like backcombing does. 

Be Brave: Get Bangs

A lot of women who prefer to wear long hair, or who have round faces, put their feet down when it comes to bangs. Perhaps it’s memories of poorly done cuts before school picture day, but there are women who believe that bangs are not for them. The same principle for layers in thin hair applies for bangs. Shorter, swingier locks of hair add volume and shape to your hairstyle. Bangs also bring focus to the wearer’s eyes — never a bad thing! 

Boy Cuts Aren’t Just For Boys

Extremely short hair styles work best on women with extremely thin hair. These chic, edgy hairstyles can work even on round and square faces, if done correctly. These haircuts should involve layers as well. 



About the Author: Kara Newton has been a hairstylist for 25 years and co-owns a salon in Los Angeles.