How to make thin hair appear thicker

girl with long thick wavy hair

Hand on heart, we’re pretty sure that every gal wishes she’d been born with a mane , but thin hair’s an incredibly common problem, and we *really* don’t think it has to be a big deal. Celebs like Kylie Jenner and Naomi Campbell have been keeping their thin hair on the down-low for years now, and there’s plenty you can do to follow suit; amping up your strands and creating the illusion of volume without doing anything drastic to your mane.

To help you out, we quizzed some of our top stylists on their top thin hair tips, and then pulled together this super-in-depth article, ft. long and short term tips. And yes, before you ask, all of these tips do apply to blokes too. Hair is hair after all, and we’re always trying to raise our #equality game…

Now, lets get stuck into some top tips for hiding thin hair:

Get acquainted with a thickening shampoo or conditioner

First things first, you’ll want to get your hands on a good thickening shampoo. These specialty products are designed to (temporarily) plump up individual strands of hair to create a fuller, more voluminous look. Now, thickening shampoos probably aren’t going to solve all of your thin hair woes on their own, but they *will* help to provide a pretty significant volume boost, and they’ll also help you to hide any particularly thin patches while you’re working on a long-term solution.

Good thickening shampoos are also seriously nourishing in their own right, and tend to be packed with all manner of vitamins, proteins and botanical extracts.

When it comes to picking a thickening shampoo, we’d (strongly) recommend that you hold out for a top-notch product like Pump Haircare’s Thickening Shampoo. Packed with all natural ingredients, it targets thin and fine hair to give it that fuller and thicker look it desires. You can use it all the time for optimum effect and it doesn’t leave a nasty build up, which is pretty important stuff  if you’re using it day in day out.

Thickening conditioners are another great shout, and again, PUMP is our go too brand here. In fact, their thickening conditioner is pretty much the best thickening conditioner we’ve ever tried so if you’re looking for a quick fix to thin hair, we’d definitely recommend starting here!

Whilst these thickening products kick into gear and even after, who knew.. Volume can make your hair appear full and thick – not to mention fabulous. 

PUMP Haircare Thickening Shampoo
PUMP Haircare Thickening Conditioner
Redken Volume Injection Shampoo
Redken Volume Injection Conditioner
Anti Caviar Anti Aging Multiplying Volume Shampoo
Anti Caviar Anti-Aging Multiplying Volume Conditioner

Cut your hair short(er)

For those of us with thin hair, shorter styles are definitely where it’s at. See, long hairs are *heavy* and all that extra weight tends to pull your hair down flat against your scalp – emphasising your lack of volume and (shock horror) drawing attention to any thinner patches, where your coverage is skimpy or uneven.

Meanwhile shorter styles  tend to emphasise fluffy, feathery textures that help to create the illusion of volume. They’re also less prone to dragging your hair down flat, and tend to be heavily layered, which really helps to break up the flat textures that you’d normally associate with thin hair, and add a bit of structure to your mane.

Supercuts Salon Guest Shot

So, if you’re battling thin hair and want to inject a quick volume boost, drop into your local Supercuts salon and ask one of our stylists to sort you out with a brand new do. Anything above the shoulder is good, but we’d recommend that you focus on choppy, blunt styles because they tend to make your hair look a bit thicker, and add some much needed definition to your look. That means blunt or asymmetrical bobs, face-framing lobs or (if you’re feeling super brave) a grown out pixie cut like Kerry Washington’s Oscar ‘do.

Bangs are a good shout too, in the sense that they create a clear focal point for your new style, and help to draw the eye away from thin hair. Just remember to pick something that really speaks to you, and make sure your stylist knows that extra-volume is your main concern.

Add a root lifter (or some dry shampoo) to your daily routine

Dry shampoo is your new best friend. Seriously though, A quick spritz of this magical stuff will transform limp or lacklustre locks, and we’d be hard pressed to think of a better “quick fix” for thin hair.  See, dry shampoo adheres to each, individual strand of your hair, which helps to space them out and creates the illusion of extra volume in what? Like, 20 seconds?

You can also apply dry shampoo direct to wet hair, which amplifies the effect even more and we have to admit that we’ve resorted to spraying our freshly washed hair on more than one occasion. It’s a quick and easy way to amp up your mane and there really aren’t any downsides as long as you’re careful to apply it evenly, and you wash it out at the end of the day.

We’re living in the golden age of dry shampoo too, which means there’s no shortage of top-notch products to choose from. We’re a big fan of EIMI’s Volume Dry Me and Nioxin‘s Instant Fullness Dry Shampoo  is another great choice if you’re looking to seriously up your hair game.

Ofc there are some great root boosting products out there as well, and it’d be pretty shady of us to send you shopping for dry shampoo without first drawing your attention to products like Tigi’s Queen For a Day Thickening Spray, or Redken’s Thickening Lotion #06. These nifty little miracles work in much the same way as a dry shampoo – coating each, individual hair fiber so that they stand apart, and create the appearance of extra volume.

PUMP Thickening Spray
Moroccanoil Thickening Lotion
Kerastas Densifique Densimorphose Mousse

Ask your stylists for highlights

Yes, ok. You caught us; this one’s a *little* bit sneaky. Still, all the best beauty treatments work by creating utterly believable optical illusions of one sort or another, so we don’t feel too bad for recommending that you drop into your nearest salon, and ask one of our expert stylists to add some artful highlights to your ‘do.

Highlights create contrast and the illusion of depth, which is normally the biggest problem with very thin hair. They help to emphasise the layers in your hair  in much the same way that contouring your face emphasises your best angles, and they also help to break up areas of flat colour, which is key to preventing that limp, lacklustre look we all wanna cancel asap.

Make sure to keep your highlights minimal though; you want delicate, cleverly placed tones that work to create the appearance of depth, and a heavy hand will quickly leave your hair looking washed out and even thinner than when you started. For best results, we’d recommend telling your stylist that you’re trying to add a bit of depth to your hair, and take care to mention that you wanna keep things low-key.

Get familiar with the concept of strategic teasing

Strategic teasing is a great way to create some short-term volume, and seriously up your hair game. Done right, a good tease will help you to cover up any pesky patches of thin hair, and create the illusion of extra volume up top.  It’s actually a pretty easy trick to master too. All you need to do is grab a good comb, a trustworthy hair clip and a can of good hairspray (we’d strongly recommend EIMI’s Flexible Finish Spray, for it’s lightweight qualities).

Alterna Caviar Anit-Aging High Hold Finishing Spray

Once you’ve got your goodies in hand, you just need to section your hair off so that you create a top layer, and an “underneath” layer. We’re going to tease the “underneath layer and leave the top layer alone so that you get plenty of extra volume but still get to enjoy a polished ‘do. To achieve this, start backcombing the underneath layer towards the root; starting about an inch away, and then working your way along the hair.

With us so far? Good, cos all you need to do now is unclip the top section, and brush it back over the teased hair so that your ‘do looks super polished, and there’s no evidence of teasing. Presto! Your hair looks snatched and there’s no evidence of thin or patchy spots. You can thank us later. For now, spritz the whole thing with your chosen spray and get out there! The summer sun won’t last forever.

Upgrade your hairbrush

Believe it or not, the right hairbrush can actually make a big difference to fine hair; giving it a bit of a boost at the roots, and ensuring that you’re not amplifying any pesky static-related problems.

Now, that’s not to say that switching brushes will  transform your mane overnight, but if you were to pick up something like ghd’s Natural Bristle Radial Brush? Well, let’s just say that we’re confident you’d notice a big difference. This nifty little brush has natural bristles, which really help to polish your hair as you brush – redistributing the heavy oils that often leave fine or thin hair looking extra-limp. ghd’s Natural Bristle Radial Brush also smoothes and realligns all of your hairs without causing damage or creating friction, which is exactly the type of TLC that thin hair tends to relish.

ghd Natural Bristle Radial Brush Size 1
Ghd's Natural Bristle Radial Brush Size 1

You don’t need to change your technique or anything either; just ditch your nylon paddle brush and enjoy the ultra-soft and oh-so gentle magic of those natural bristles…

If you wanna read more about picking a good brush for thin hair, you can check out our ultimate guide to choosing the right hair brush right here.

Keep your hair healthy

Finally, it’s worth remembering that healthy, happy hair *always* looks a little bit fuller, and a whole lot more glossy than unhealthy or lacklustre locks. Celebs with thin hair tend to be super careful about keeping their locks nourished and we’d definitely recommend that you follow suit. Particularly if your hair is thin and fine, or just very prone to slicking itself down flat to your scalp.

Sure, it’s a bit of extra work, but trust us – there’s no better way to make the most of the hair you’ve already got, and taking a little time to keep your mane looking super-snatched will also help to amplify the effects of the other tricks we’ve mentioned here.

Nourishing your hair doesn’t have to be a super difficult either; just grab a couple of good hair masks, make sure you’re using a nice, nutritious shampoo and start protecting your hair from the heat. You’ll find some super detailed advice in our guide to healthier, happier hair and you’ll find an absolute smorgasbord of nourishing products on our online shop so there’s absolutely no excuse for letting thin hair suffer!

Need some hands-on advice?

Hopefully this guide will have clued you in to a few #thinhair strategies, and helped you to seriously up your hair game. There’s no substitute for hands-on advice though, so if you’re still looking for the answer, make sure you drop into your local Supercuts salon and ask one of our resident experts for advice. They’ll be able to give you pointers that are tailored to your hair’s individual quirks, and show you how to amp up the volume in no time at all!

By: Mandy Bisla

On: June 14, 2019

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