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Pump Up the Volume: Hairstyles for Thin Hair
Pump Up the Volume: Hairstyles for Thin Hair

Not everyone is blessed with bountiful locks that would make Rapunzel jealous⁠—but that doesn’t mean thin-haired ladies have to throw in the towel. It’s all about illusion. You know how the right lipstick can plump up your pout, and the right mascara can make your peepers pop? The right hairstyle can help you achieve that dramatic oomph you dream of without too much effort. If you’re looking for hairstyles for fine hair that are flattering, not flattening, it turns out your options aren’t so limited after all.

01

Deep side part

Deep side part CoffeeAndMilk / Getty Images

One hairstyle to avoid at all costs? The dead-center part. This look completely flattens out fine, thin hair. Instead of parting in the middle, pick a side and form a part three inches away from the center. It might feel a little comb-overish at first, but once your hair settles, it will look noticeably fuller. Piling your hair up on one side gives you lift at the roots and creates the impression of volume.

02

Wavy lob

Wavy lob JNemchinova / Getty Images

The lob, or a long bob that ends just above the collarbone, is one of the hottest hairstyles for a reason. The ever-flattering cut frames the face is easy to volumize and is just short enough to never fall flat. This means it’s especially perfect for thin, limp hair. Ask your stylist to chop in a few light layers for movement, and style with a texture spray to create soft waves for structure. For the biggest boost, keep the ends blunt rather than feathered.

03

French girl fringe

French girl fringe filadendron / Getty Images

Popular with French women for decades, thick, choppy bangs add density to your ‘do. Leave the wide-set blunt edge to the thick-haired ladies, and go with uneven, eye-skimming, unstructured strands favored by Frenchies. This will give you the freedom to part your bangs to the side, or split them down the middle.

04

Perfect pixie

Perfect pixie Happycity21 / Getty Images

One of the best hairstyles for fine, thin hair? Hardly any hair at all! A short haircut can actually make thin hair appear thicker than it actually is. Try a choppy, layered pixie for instant texture and volume, and style it with a light balm or paste to add definition without weighing your hair down. Bonus: a pixie cut is extremely low maintenance. In addition to looking adorable, you’ll have extra time for your busy life!

05

Shoulder-length blunt cut

Shoulder-length blunt cut CoffeeAndMilk / Getty Images

Hair is pulled down by its own weight. The longer your locks, the flatter your hair can seem. Fight the force of gravity by keeping your thin, fine hair medium-length or above for a fuller look. If you want shoulder-sweeping strands or longer, leave the layering behind and always make sure to go for a blunt cut to add sharpness and definition. The bluntness at the ends will make your hair appear thicker and healthier. Make sure your stylist sticks with scissors to trim your tresses, and never uses thinning shears or a razor unless it’s a straight edge.

06

Wrapped ponytail

Wrapped ponytail PeopleImages / Getty Images

For an instant injection of volume, there’s nothing like a wrapped ponytail. Ladies with thick hair can make do with their own locks, but when you have thin hair, you have to fake it ‘til you make it. Pull your hair up into a messy ponytail⁠—the higher, the better. Then, with an imitation hair ponytail wrap that matches your hair color as closely as possible, fasten your pony in place. Not only does this give the illusion that you have hair for days, it also gives your ponytail some height off your scalp better than a standard band.

07

Milkmaid braid

Milkmaid braid CoffeeAndMilk / Getty Images

When you have thin hair, regular hanging braids can look scrawny and tend to just accentuate how little hair you have. But that doesn’t mean you have to give up on braids altogether. A milkmaid braid, or a braided crown, is the perfect alternative. Not only is it a ridiculously simple look to pull off, but it creates the illusion of having more hair than you actually do by adding much-needed height and texture at the crown. Simply make two braids, one on each side of your head, and secure them over and across the top of your head like a headband. Instant updo!

08

Angled bob

Angled bob CoffeeAndMilk / Getty Images

Stacked or angled bobs have long been the go-to hairstyles for women with thin, fine hair. Hair is shortest and layered up at the nape of the neck, adding instant volume to the crown. But unlike a classic bob, the hair gradually gets longer as it approaches the face, usually falling below the chin. The asymmetry of this cut adds unexpected edginess to an otherwise ordinary ‘do. To keep your angled bob looking its best, always use a volumizing shampoo and conditioner, then blow dry or straighten.

09

Slicked back and sculpted

Slicked back hair Camrocker / Getty Images

Add effortless dimension and lift to your fine, thin hair simply by slicking it back. Forgo your part, and comb your fingers back through your hair with wax or pomade for instant texture and hold. Shorter hair can be secured with bobby pins, while longer hair can be held back with a hairband. Slightly rough it up at the roots for volume before finishing with a spritz of hairspray.

10

Accessories in action

Floral headbands portishead1 / Getty Images

Headbands and other hair accessories are a shortcut to adding bulk to your hairstyle, creating the illusion of body.

  • A floral headband or clip that compliments your hair color is an easy way to add instant height to your hair. If you’re blonde, go with pale pink or yellow blossoms. Redheads should choose jewel hues like magenta, while dark-haired ladies should pick deep purples and dark reds.
  • A sparkly or metallic headband breaks up the texture of your locks and adds visual interest, making your hair appear thicker.

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