6 Hairstyles That Make Thin Hair Look Instantly Thicker

·6-min read

While trending haircuts come and go and certain hair colours feel more seasonal than others, there's a certain hairstyle that people search for all year round: the best one for thin hair. Sure, it's vague, but it's undeniable that our quest for thicker-looking hair is timeless. Between seeking out the best strand-boosting products and searching for the colours that actually look good on finer hair, we've been really getting our heads down here at Who What Wear to find out what works.

Luckily, with hair experts on hand to answer all of our thin-hair questions, we've come up with a conclusive list of the best hairstyles for thin hair. Yes, from salon cuts to at-home 'dos, these six hairstyles will genuinely make thin hair look thicker.

1. Blunt Bobs

It's a good job that hair salons are open again because thin hair really benefits from regular trims to avoid those straggly ends that can make fine hair look even finer. "Always maintain a six-weekly trim, even if it's just that millimetre to keep things sharp," advises Darren Fowler, Kérastase expert and Fowler35 Salon owner. "At Fowler35, we use a technique that gives invisible structure and support to fine hair in the right areas—it works wonders!"

With this in mind, Fowler is a big fan of sharp, blunt haircuts for thin hair. "Stay with a haircut that has a lot of good, strong, blunt lines," he suggests.

A classic, centre-parted bob always looks good.

Switch to a side parting and use straighteners to curl your blunt ends under for a volume boost.

Textured lengths pair perfectly with blunt ends.

2. Layered Lengths

On the flip side, opting for a haircut with layers is a sure-fire way to add lift to finer strands. "Layers are great for creating the appearance of thickness and volume to any hair look," says Suzie McGill, Schwarzkopf UK ambassador and Rainbow Room International artistic director. "Pairing layers with a bob or lob haircut is a particularly beneficial hairstyle for those with thinner hair, as it allows for further volume while getting rid of any thin and wispy ends for a nice blunt, thick hair finish."

So much volume.

Keeping the layers shorter at the front of your face and longer at the back adds shape and movement to finer hair.

Layers don't have to be dramatic—even micro ones will add lift.

3. Pixie Cuts

If you're ready for a real hair transformation, then a pixie cut is about as dramatic as it comes for a shorter style, and hairstylists swear by it. "For those feeling more daring, pixie cuts are a fantastic hairstyle for those with thin hair," suggests McGill. "Keeping these haircuts choppy on the top helps to enhance your hair's body, and height is key. Pixie cuts can also be styled in a very textured, effortless way for added volume."

A classic pixie cut adds plenty of texture to thin hair.

Keep the layers longer on top if you're not quite ready to chop off all of your hair just yet.

Pixie cuts work well on coily and curly hair, as they emphasise the hair's natural texture for a fuller-looking style.

4. Curtain Fringes

It's a common misconception that a fringe makes fine hair look thinner. In fact, chopping in some bangs just might be a low-maintenance way to help your style look fuller. "If you don't want to change up your look too much, then adding in a curtain fringe is a great idea," says McGill. "This type of fringe helps to frame the face and add dimension—drawing attention to the fringe instead of the rest of your hair. "

This dramatic sweeping fringe looks thick and bouncy.

There's no denying that curtain bangs look incredibly cool.

This style of fringe looks so chic when the rest of your hair is pulled back.

5. The Shag

Possibly the most recommended hairstyle of 2021, the shag is also a sure-fire hit for making thin hair look thicker. "I've loved creating a shag for those with fine hair this season," says Fowler. "It's soft, feminine and cool all in one haircut and really makes the most of fine tresses."

This trending style oozes '70s appeal.

Ask your stylist to chop and change the length of your layers for additional texture.

Curtain bangs + shag haircut = the ultimate hair-thickening duo.

6. Ponytails

A ponytail is the ultimate low-maintenance hairstyle, so it's a brilliant way to cheat thicker-looking hair if you're short on time. Their secret to success? "Ponytails … make your hair look thicker in appearance due to the hair all being in the one place," explains McGill. "You can create waves in your hair before securing your ponytail or apply some mousse or a texturising spray to damp hair before tying into a ponytail for an effortless and textured finish."

Fowler agrees that this hair-thickening style is all about the product. "Add some volume spray or root dust, and twist hair into a low pony, pulling some pieces out on top and at the sides for a chic low-maintenance style," they suggest.

By wearing your ponytail high on your head, you'll create the appearance of thick, cascading strands.

A bubble braid—where you secure your ponytail with multiple hairbands—is one of this summer's trending hairstyles, and it's perfect for thin hair, as the "bubbles" create the illusion of extra thickness.

This fuss-free ponytail is instantly elevated with a chic hair scarf.

Now shop the best styling products for thin hair:

Fudge Xxl Hair Thickener (£15)

Smooth this thickening cream onto damp strands before blasting with your hair dryer—the heat-activated formula plumps and thickens strands for fuller hair. Genius.

NatureLab Tokyo Perfect Volume Shampoo (£15)

Not only does this innovative shampoo immediately make hair look fuller, but it also actually improves scalp health to prevent future hair loss.

Kérastase Densifique Mousse Densimorphose (£23)

"My current favourite for volume on thin hair is the Kérastase Densifique Mousse, which gives hair density and fullness," says Fowler. "It is really lightweight and contains hyaluronic acid, which adds plumpness to the hair to give it bounce and a fuller appearance."

Shu Uemura The Art of Styling Tsuki Shape Heat Activated Blow Dry Spray (£24)

"For styling, I love Shu Uemura Tsuki Shape. It helps to give your hair natural definition and soft texture, which is great on fine hair," explains Fowler.

Schwarzkopf Got2b Beach Matt Texturizing Salt Spray (£3)

This is McGill's salt spray of choice, and she says that a good texturising product is "essential for an instant tousled finish."

Kevin.Murphy Powder.Puff (£22)

Sprinkle a little of this through the roots of your hair to add instant volume and lift.

Philip Kingsley Maximiser (£27)

The name says it all here. This is the ultimate volumising spray, delivering lift, body and bounce to even the finest of strands.

Up next: five hair colours that don't do thin hair any favours and five that absolutely do.

This article originally appeared on Who What Wear

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