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10 Hairstyles That Will Look Amazing on Fine and Thin Hair

Photo by Tristan Fewings / Stringer/Getty Images

Whether you're headed to the salon to permanently switch up your cut or you looking to try a new hairstyle at home, two things you'll want to immediately consider are your hair type and how thick or thin your hair is. Haircuts and temporary hairstyles can look dramatically different depending on the density of your strands.

According to Greg Cassese, a master hairstylist and the director of education at Cutler Salon in New York City, short haircuts like bobs, lobs, and pixie cuts tend to be some of the best haircuts to make thin and fine hair look fuller. "It may seem that when the density of your hair is fine, growing it longer will make it appear fuller but it’s actually the opposite. Having long, fine hair can appear stringy and see-through at the ends, which can draw more attention to the lack of density."

Looking for some ideas on how to temporarily or permanently switch up your thin or fine hair? Maybe you're looking for some tips on how to help make your locks look a little bit more voluminous? Continue reading below for 10 of the best hairstyles and haircuts for thin hair.

About the Expert:

Greg Cassese is a master hairstylist the director of education at Cutler Salon in New York City.

1. Blunt Bob

Close-up of Jenna Dewan rocking a gold smoky eyeshadow makeup look and blunt bob hairstyle
Photo by Frazer Harrison / Staff/Getty Images

Cassese's top choice for those with thin or fine hair are bob haircuts, like Jenna Dewan’s. "My first choice would be a nice chin-length bob with no layers and just enough texture," he says. "With this cut, you can flip it around throughout the day and tuck it behind your ears on one side, which not only looks cute and stylish but will draw attention away from a hard part which can highlight that you have less density at the root. Moving your hair back and forth through your day will also give the illusion of more volume."

While blunt bobs feature minimal layering, they're still super versatile when it comes to styling options. Use a flat iron to make those tresses look super sleek, or spritz on a bit of sea salt spray for casual, beachy waves.

2. Chic and Slicked Back

Close-up of Kendall Jenner rocking a neutral eye makeup paired with bright coral lipstick and a slicked back hairstyle
Photo by Michael Loccisano / Staff/Getty Images

For a red-carpet ready look like Kendall Jenner’s, try using a strong hold gel to slick back your thin or fine hair. Because this hair type is typically easy to manage, the gel will likely hold better than it would on thick hair, allowing you to lock in that wet look for hours on end. The focus here is around the scalp, so it can also work flawlessly whether you're sporting a long bob or a longer length haircut. If you opt to comb it back in a style like this, you'll also eliminate a part, which can help to disguise any lack of density at the roots.

P.S. To capture a similar vibe without all the hair product, you can also try sporting a statement headband that pushes the hair back while still disguising your part.

3. Short Pixie Cut

Close-up of Janelle Monae smiling while rocking a neutral makeup look, pixie cut hairstyle accented with gold and silver headband, and black and gold choker necklace
Photo by Frazer Harrison / Staff/Getty Images

We’re big fans of Janelle Monae’s cut here. "Depending on how fine your hair is, a short pixie cut can work really well," Cassese says. "As long as the hair is not too see-through at the root, a pixie cut is a great option. You can throw a light styling cream in and that will help it look thicker as well. It’s also low maintenance and a lot of fun."

4. Angled Bob

Close-up of Gwyneth Paltrow rocking a no-makeup makeup look and middle parted angled bob hairstyle
Photo by Pascal Le Segretain / Staff/Getty Images

If you have fine, straight hair that tends to lay flat, use that to your advantage by trying out an angled blunt bob, like Gwyneth Paltrow. This cut is characterized by a sloping incline that gradually gets shorter from the front to the back. The incline could be as minimal or severe as you like. There's no ideal length here. It will work flawlessly on anything from a chin-length to shoulder-length lob that brushes your collarbone.

While blunt cuts like this are often tricky to pull off if you have fuller hair or frizz-prone hair, it will suit silky, finer strands beautifully.

5. Volume-Boosting Blowout

Close-up image of Gemma Chan rocking a neutral makeup look, white dress, and blowout hair
Photo by Jeff Spicer / Stringer/Getty Images

"There are some ways to style fine hair that help it appear fuller, but at the end of the day it is still fine hair, so creating long-lasting volume can be challenging," Cassese says. To create the illusion of volume, it's all about using thickening hair products. He suggests applying a volumizing mousse before blow-drying with a round brush and using a volumizing spray afterward to keep the hair as bouncy and voluminous as possible (see Gemma Chan above!) for as long as possible. To boost your volume even more, you might also consider using a volumizing shampoo, which can temporarily plump your strands.

6. Long Pixie

Close-up of Emilia Clarke smiling and rocking a neutral makeup look and long pixie cut hairstyle
Photo by Frazer Harrison / Staff/Getty Images

If you're slowly making the transition to a classic pixie cut, you're looking to go just a bit shorter than your already short cut, or you have a round face, a long pixie, like Emilia Clarke’s, is a great option. With face-framing layers and lots of texture to play with, this cut can instantly add dimension to your fine hair while also being super easy to manage every day.

7. Messy Top Knot

Close-up of Julianne Hough smiling and rocking a no-makeup makeup look and messy top knot hairstyle
Photo by Kevin Winter / Staff/Getty Images

For another quick hairstyle that you can sport daily, try mastering the messy bun à la Julianne Hough. While those with long, thick hair may find it difficult to keep all their hair secured and locked in place at the crown of their head, those with finer, mid-length strands often have just the right amount of hair to sport this low-key look.

If you're currently rocking a medium-length or short hairstyle that won't reach all the way into a high bun, instead try creating a half-up-half-down style, by only pulling the top layers up into a knot.

8. Deep Side Part

Close-up of Margot Robbie rocking a white eyeshadow makeup look and deep side parted hairstyle
Photo by Tristan Fewings / Stringer/Getty Images

Never underestimate the power of switching up your part. Exhibit A: Margot Robbie. "The way you wear your hair can make a huge difference," says Cassese. "For instance, wearing your hair in a hard middle part all the time may draw attention to the lack of density at the root, but if you get a shorter cut with no part or wear your hair looser or flip it around throughout the day, that can give the illusion of more hair at the root."

9. Crown Braid

Close-up of Zoe Saldana rocking a smoky eyeshadow makeup look and crown braided hairstyle
Photo by Frederick M. Brown / Stringer/Getty Images

For those with thick hair, updos often require heaps of hairspray and bobby pins to stay in place, but if you're sporting a mid-length cut with fine hair, like Zoe Saldana, a style like a crown braid should work flawlessly. To add more texture, try using a curling iron and a touch of texturizing spray before braiding to create loose waves with a little bit of grit.

10. Face Framing Curtain Bangs

Close-up of Dakota Johnson rocking a curtain bangs hairstyle and pursing her lips
Photo by Vittorio Zunino Celotto / Staff/Getty Images

French-inspired curtain bangs or sweeping side bangs will look fab on those with fine hair and a square, round, or oval face shape. These face-framing layers, seen here on Dakota Johnson, can flatter everything from blunt, straight hair to shag-inspired tousled beach waves with lots of layering. Plus, the wispy nature of these bangs means less maintenance than straight-across thick bangs.

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About the author
Cortney Clift
Cortney is a New York-based freelance writer who has written about beauty and wellness for more than six years. She was previously the senior writer and special projects editor at Brit + Co where she covered a wide range of news and lifestyle topics.
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Article Last Updated December 20, 2020 12:00 AM