Sometimes it’s easy to just give up when it comes to styling your thin hair. Many women with thin hair either want to chop it all off or leave it long and pull it up into a pony, leaving the notion of “style” to those blessed with thicker locks. But good stylists know that there are many haircuts that can work magic in making thin hair look thicker. A good haircut can literally create the illusion of more hair.
You may even be able to trick the eye into believing you have thick hair with the right cut and style. In fact, many celebrities have thin hair – but you’d never know it because they’ve found the cut that works. And once you’ve found the right cut, there are many styling solutions out there, both styling products and tools such as hair volumizing irons, that can give that great cut even more volume. But first, let’s start with some rules for the best haircuts for thin hair to look thicker.
Rules for Haircuts on Thin Hair
As a general rule, all of these cuts focus on ensuring that the ends of the hair look as dense as possible. There is nothing like wispy, flyaway ends to signal that hair is on the thin side. So for thin hair, you’ll see a lot of stylists choosing some version of a fairly blunt cut like a bob or a lob. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t have some layering too. Layers can take weight off the hair and lift it up and off the scalp. But unlike layers in thick hair which can be quite extensive since there is so much hair to work with, layers in thin hair need to be longer, softer and more refined. They also need to leave enough weight on the ends so the ends do not take on a wimpy, sparse look.
In terms of length, most haircuts for thin hair tend to land somewhere between the ear and the collarbone. However, as previously mentioned, depending on your face shape and hair texture, there are both long and short haircuts that can look gorgeous on thinner hair. On longer haircuts, you need to focus on keeping those ends trimmed so they stay chunky, and on lifting the roots with a hair volumizing tool such as VOLOOM. On shorter cuts, like Pixie cuts, you’ll need carefully sculpted layers and texture added to hide sparse spots. Remember, with shorter styles in particular, don’t be afraid of adding styling products that are on the heavy side such as gels and pastes.
With those few rules in mind, let’s look at the best haircuts for thin hair.
Face-Framing Blunt Cut
Photo courtesy of Short Haircuts Models
A chin-length blunt cut is the “go-to” cut recommended by stylists for clients with thin hair. The trick here is to create a focal point for the style with a longer point toward the face, as opposed to just a straight line all the way around. And keep the edges nice and sharp but curved inward. You can give the roots more volume with a volume spray or mousse (our favorite for fine hair) or use a few clamps of a hair styling iron in the underlayers of the hair, close to the crown. This cut gives the illusion of thickness because the ends stay dense, not wispy, and at the same time, frame the face nicely. Karlie Kloss’ sleek look is a great example of this cut. January Jones also sports a fabulous version of this cut with a sharp part straight down the middle, creating face-framing symmetry. This cut gives the appearance of maximum hair density.
The Classic Lob
Photo courtesy of Vogue
We like to think of a lob as the happy medium of hairstyles for thin hair. Not too long, not too short, it hits right above the shoulders. It’s universally flattering on just about anyone. It’s usually free of layers and is super blunt. Like a carefully manicured hedge, this cut needs to be kept trimmed on the ends, lending the appearance of extra weight at the bottom. Remember, sparse ends equal thin-looking hair. The longer length on this cut makes it easy to toss it up into a messy bun or high pony. Bella Hadid and Margot Robbie have both sported this versatile cut.
Photo courtesy of Pixie Cut
For the right face type, such as Michelle Williams, a pixie cut is one of the best low maintenance strategies for thin hair. And with the right layers, it can create that illusion of much fuller hair. And since it’s so short, gravity won’t drag thinner hair down. The key is to keep the top section a bit longer, especially around the ears and the hairline, giving you a softer, feminine look rather than a boy cut.
A lot of people use a Pixie cut to camouflage thin or sparse areas. The trick is to shape the hair in different directions and keep it there. You can even add to the illusion of thicker hair by creating texture on the crown of the head through heavy-hold products that keep the hair in this flattering shape. Or you can run the product through the hair with your fingers creating a sexy spiky pixie. It’s a badass look that signals anything but thin hair.
Sculptured Tight Shag
Photo courtesy of Hola!
A blast from the past— shaggy looks are back again. This style features thinner tapered ends with bangs to balance it out. It’s a sculpted version of the classic shag and it’s great for thinner hair because the layers provide movement and texture and create the illusion of fullness. It works well with volumizing or texturizing styling products. This cut has so much personality that who can even tell how thick the hair is? Barbie Ferreira rocks this low-maintenance cut.
Mid-length With Long Layers
Photo courtesy of Beauty Frizz
This cut features long but minimal layers that create movement but preserve the overall fullness of the hair by leaving enough density on the bottom. It works best on hair with some natural texture that enhances the appearance of volume through the various lengths of the layers that start midway between the crown and the ends. You can give the illusion of even thicker strands by adding a volumizing or texturizing product to your styling routine. Think Joan Small’s sexy mid-length style.
Long, No Layers
Photo courtesy of Pop Sugar
If you have thin hair, and want to wear it long, you definitely want to avoid too many layers as they will take much-needed weight off the bottom and violate our rules for haircuts for thin hair. In fact, this cut requires a perfect, sharp line. This cut looks great with a length just past the shoulders, such as Kate Bosworth’s lovely long take on it. For a voluminous version, set in hot rollers or bend in soft waves with a curling iron, giving it movement and texture. Keep it sharply trimmed to maintain the healthy look of thicker hair.
Textured, Layered Shag
Photo courtesy of ELLE
If your thin hair is on the wavy or curly side, this cut is perfect for you. The choppy layers add texture and movement and have the impact of much thicker hair. It’s longer and less sculpted than the tighter shag styles that are so popular now. The fringe around the face is universally flattering. And the whole look is casual and cool with a sexy, lived-in feel – think Miley Cyrus and her retro shag.
One Length With Curtain Bangs
Photo courtesy of The Hair Styler
This cut is mostly one length, giving the ends much needed density, but is softened by some face framing with long, tapered bangs that don’t take away too much volume from the ends. It gives the hair movement and texture around the hairline, creating more fullness. And it’s easy to style the rest of the hair up, leaving the bangs to softly frame the face. Think Elizabeth Olsen’s on-trend style.
Photo courtesy of Hairs London
For women over 60, this is one of the best haircuts ever. The base of the hair around the face is jaw-length but it’s stacked in the back to boost the appearance of volume and fullness. A little VOLOOMing at the crown gives it that sexy height and dimension. You can add a fun texture to change up the look. The key is to not add too many layers in the back— it should look tapered but not thin on the bottom. Often the back is the thickest part of the hair and this cut makes it look even thicker. It’s a fun and fabulous look for women of a certain age. But it does require some maintenance to keep it looking sharp and fierce.
Long with Collarbone-Length Layers
Photo courtesy of Love Ambie
This is a variation of the long, blunt cut that adds soft, flowy, point cut layers starting at the collar bone and moving toward the bottom of the hair, which still looks dense. Use a round brush or brush dryer to smooth it and add a light wave that highlights the layers at the ends. It’s a modern look that is long enough to pull back but has shape and style when worn down. Lovely, feminine and flattering.
These are some of our favorite haircuts to make thin hair look thicker. A great cut is the critical foundation. But it’s just the start. There are many other styling products and tools out there that can take your thinner hair to the next level. The most effective tool to give a great cut a boost is the VOLOOM Hair Volumizing Iron. This is a patented tool specifically developed to create lush lasting volume in any hair type – and is particularly effective for finer, thinner locks. Its beveled, ceramic-coated checkerboard plates impart volumizing structure in the underlayers of the hair, lifting the top layers up and away from the scalp.
It’s all about defying gravity and getting those finer, thinner hairs to perform like thicker hair. And not only will your hair look thicker, the volume that you get will last for days. This means that your finer hair will get healthier over time because you won’t be shampooing, blow-drying and heat styling nearly as often. Most women with fine thin hair end up washing their hair every day just to give it some lift. But too much shampooing and heat styling can result in fragile hair that’s prone to breakage. So start with a great cut, and then add some glamorous lift with VOLOOM, and get healthier hair to boot. It’s a win-win.