15+ Tips & Tricks for Girls with Thin Hair

The best tips for making thin hair look thicker are revealed, with tips on adding volume to thin hair and the best haircuts for thin hair.

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Thin hair tips and tricks: Best products for thin hair plus styling tips to make hair look thicker

This is for the girls who seethe with jealousy every time they watch a Victoria’s Secret commercial. For the ladies who have tried every single thickening spray on the market. For the women who treat the detangling process like open-heart surgery, desperate to preserve every possible strand.

This one goes out to all of the thin-haired ladies of the world — I am one of you, and I feel your pain.

Yes, I’ve battled static-y, flat, flyaway hair my whole life… and it hasn’t been fun. However, in my years of experience, I’ve also gained some pretty good knowhow about the best ways to combat thin, flat, lifeless hair. And today, I’m going to share them with you!

Quick disclaimer before we begin: I’m no hair expert — I’ve never been to cosmetology school, and I’m definitely not a “beauty guru”, whatever that even is. These are just the tricks that have worked for me. (YMMV.) Share your own tips by leaving a comment!

Related reading: Want Perfect Hair in the AM? Try These Easy Hairstyles for Sleep

1. Avoid tangles like the plague.

When your ponytail’s diameter measures a half an inch, losing any strands to rough brushing is something you want to avoid. The problem is, thin hair is more susceptible to static and wind, which are both major contributors to tangly hair. Also, teasing combs and hairspray, staples in a thin-haired girl’s styling kit, can also cause serious tangling.

Of course, loading up on conditioner seems like an obvious fix. However, the heaviest, most tangle-busting formulas come with the unfortunate side effect of weighing down your hair, canceling out any natural bounce your locks may have. It’s a total catch-22.

However, all is not lost! After much trial and error, here are my best tricks for avoiding knots and tangles:

Brush your hair before you shower. Dry hair is stronger than wet hair, so de-tangling before you shower will preserve more strands.

Use good quality shampoo and conditioner. I swear by Peter Lamas’ Chinese Herbs Stimulating Shampoo and Conditioner, but I only use them every other wash because they’re kind of pricey. I really do think they’ve made my hair much fuller and thicker, and the conditioner is great for lightweight detangling.

Condition your hair, but don’t go overboard. Only apply conditioner to the bottom 2/3rds of your hair, and be sure to rinse thoroughly.

Spot-treat tough tangles with leave-in conditioner. There’s no need to weigh down your entire mane if there’s only a couple trouble spots.

Never brush wet hair!! It’s age-old advice for a good reason. If you have to detangle wet hair, a wide-tooth comb is much gentler than a brush, and you’ll have much less breakage.

Sleep with your hair in a loose braid or ponytail. I’m no stranger to those awful, dreadlock-like knots that develop behind the nape of your neck. Give your hair a quick brush before bed, and tie it back to avoid some trouble.

Invest in a silk pillowcase. If you always wake up to tangles, consider swapping your cotton pillowcase for a silk version (this one is our all-time favorite). While cotton can rough up your hair as you toss and turn, silk reduces friction, meaning less breakage, fewer tangles, AND better hair in the morning. Some even claim that silk and satin pillowcases give you better skin

2. Make your haircut work for you.

Julianne Hough bob haircut

In my experience, it’s a myth that thin-haired girls can’t pull off certain haircuts. From long manes to chin-length bobs, I think you can pull off any style with a little bit of research.

When I had a bob haircut, I found that layering my hair worked best. Layers gave my hair a fuller appearance, and worked well with the styling I did with a large round brush and blow dryer. When my hair was short and cut more bluntly, it kind of gave me a weird, triangle-shaped news anchor kind of look. Not cute.

Now that I have long hair, however, I actually prefer fewer layers. I don’t want to take any volume away from my ponytails, braids, or curls, so I like to have as much hair as possible to play with. I typically don’t use a round brush when I blow dry anymore, so maintaining a specific shape isn’t as important.

However, this is just my experience: I’ve heard many girls say the complete opposite about their own cuts. My best advice is to talk to your hairdresser about your morning routine and your level of blow-drying knowhow. Together, you can come up with a great cut that will work with your hair.

3. Have some great styling tricks up your sleeve.

This is probably the most important arrow in a thin-haired girl’s quiver. There are hundreds of products out there that promise to solve your flat-hair problems. Although I’ve yet to discover a magic bullet, here are a few styling tricks that work well for me.

Make friends with dry shampoo.

Thin hair tends to get oily fast — there’s just not enough of it to sop up the amount that your head produces. However, constant washing and blow drying will cause breakage. To counter this, dry shampoo is an absolute lifesaver. Not only does it keep your hair looking clean and smelling fresh, but the powder gives your roots a ton of body, especially if you tease them a bit as well.

Oscar Blandi Dry Shampoo

Although aerosol dry shampoos are really easy to use, I’ve found that they only last a couple weeks. Also, it’s hard to apply the amount that I like (and let me tell you, I lay my dry shampoo on thick!). I’ve found that powder forms, like my favorite, Oscar Blandi Pronto Dry Shampoo (right), work best for me.

To apply dry shampoo, sprinkle a bit on your fingertips, flip your head upside down, and rub into your scalp in sections. Okay, so maybe an easier way to apply it is to use the convenient pointed nozzle and apply directly to your scalp, but I find that my way disperses the powder a lot more evenly. If you have dark hair, be sure to brush through so your hair doesn’t look gray-ish!

Boost your roots!

A fast and easy way to do this is by blow drying your hair upside down. Be sure to comb your hair really well first, to avoid tangling.

Another way to do this sans-product is to tease sections of your hair at the crown. I’ve found that teasing combs with three rows of teeth work miracles on my hair. (I’m an Oklahoma Sooner – it’s practically part of our uniform to poof the crowns of our heads!)

Big sexy hair mousse

Another good way to add some volume is to spray in some product and go at your roots with a round brush and blow dryer. I’ve used Big Sexy Hair Spray Mousse (left) for probably ten years now, and it’s my absolute favorite root lifter on the market.

Think About Texture.

I have very straight, very slippery, thin hair. It makes curling my hair – or even giving it any form of body – very difficult.

About a year ago, I started spritzing my hair with beachy salt spray before blow drying it — and it has made a world of difference! It gives my hair twice as much volume, and curling it right then or the next day is easier than ever. Bumble and Bumble Surf Spray, although very pricey, is the best salt spray out there.

Bumble Surf Spray

Of course, this might only work because I have straight hair. If you have naturally curly or wavy hair, I imagine that blow drying salty hair could turn it into a crazy, frizzy mess.

If that’s the case, try rubbing a dab of smoothing cream through your hair instead, or even using a combination of salt spray and smoothing cream. Only use a little bit of cream so your hair won’t be weighed down, and blow dry either with a diffuser or a vented brush, depending on the kind of texture you want your hair to have.

4. Here are a few more tricks I’ve rounded up online…

  • Some websites claim that you can add body to your hair by braiding/crimping the bottom layers and leaving the top (or the sections that you can see) straight. This sounds kind of like a crazy mess to me (not to mention time-consuming), but if you’ve tried it before, be sure to leave a comment and tell us about it.
  • Other sources say that taking folic acid or other prenatal vitamins will make your hair grown in thicker and fuller. I’ve never tried this either, but my friend who does it says that she has to pluck her eyebrows and shave her legs twice as often, too… (Um, no thanks.)
  • I’ve heard that massaging one’s head increases blood flow, which might stimulate your hair to grow faster. I don’t have the patience to try this and see if there are measurable results, but I can see how this might be somewhat helpful.
  • Hair extensions are not only great for adding length – they can also add volume and mass. I briefly had glue-in extensions a few years ago, and while I loved how thick they made my hair look, it was hard to ever get my scalp feeling clean. Not to mention, when I removed them, my hair felt thinner and more damaged than ever. I’ve actually heard that clip-in extensions, like the popular HairDo extensions, are really easy to use and won’t damage your hair since they clip in and out so easily. Have you used extensions before? What did you think?

As a final thought, remember to embrace your hair for what it is. While you might get frustrated that you’ll never have the full, waterfall-like mane like the models on TV (who are almost all wearing extensions, by the way), know that there are hundreds of girls out there who are insanely jealous that your hair only takes five minutes to blow-dry.

You’re unique and beautiful in your own way, and now you have plenty of tricks up your sleeve to enhance what you already have!

Share Your Tips!!

Do you have thin hair, too? What tips and tricks can you share your your fellow CF ladies? Have you ever tried hair extensions before? Do you use any kind of special shampoos or hair products? How to you keep your hair tangle-free? Leave a comment and help us out!

66 thoughts on “15+ Tips & Tricks for Girls with Thin Hair”

  1. Thanks so much for some great tips! Since I have long, thin, curly hair, I thought I’d add my 2 cents worth. I love the tip from the commenter about using a t-shirt instead of a towel. Also, I quit using shampoo; there are great cleansing conditioners out there – my favorite, and I try them all, is Pantene Co-wash (in the brown bottle – hard to find, but Walmart has it online). Also, I never use a brush since it just creates frizz. Brushing or combing before washing doesn’t work for me; I need conditioner to ease out tangles from the curls. The number one thing that prevents frizz for me is to keep my hands out of my hair, especially as it is drying. It is hard to resist fluffing it, but trust me, it just adds to the frizz. There are tons of serums out there, but to prevent weighing down your hair, only use it from the shoulders down. As for vitamins for hair, it is all about the Biotin. Target has gummy vitamins for women with enough Biotin that it’s all the vitamin I need. I don’t know if any of this will help anyone else, but these are the things that work best for my thin and curly hair. Now, I am going to get a satin pillowcase!

  2. Could not love this article more! And hands down agree about Big Sexy Root Pump Plus mousse being the best tool for thin hair!

    Anyone have suggestions for hairbrushes for everyday and brushes for teasing???

  3. My problem with clip in extensions is that my hair is so thin that you can see the clips. I can usually use 2 (out of about 5) pieces that they give you, and I have to put them in close to my neck. It does still help however!

  4. Please don’t take prenatals for hair! Too many people want to fix things by dosing themselves with medications or vitamins without researching the proper balance for such things. We’re not meant to take that much folic acid all the time, without supporting a pregnancy. And its the pregnancy that causes the great hair, not the vitamins. If you throw your body off balance to what is recommended for you, you could cause yourself health problems down the line. The body is very, very delicate and requires us to walk a thin line between too little and too much.

  5. I also usw revlons wax blast.. it is THE BEST at volume and texture..is not heavy…and doesnt gunk up you hair so that you feel like you have to wash it everyday.. ive tried other products…but i swear by Redken Wax Blast…usually cheaper off amazon

  6. Omg finally I’m around people who I can connect with! I’m south Asian and practically everyone around me has full, thick manes. Anyhoo things that I do to make my hair feel and look thicker. I’ve invested in finese volumizing shampoo and it does wonders for me ! When I really want to add further volume I wash my hair in the sink by flipping it over, i don’t know how but it does add more volume. I regularly oil my hair 15- 30 mins before showering so I don’t really use a conditioner cause the oil does that for me. I wanted to know if there someone out there using babyliss big hair styler? And whether it works or not. Replies would be appreciated.

  7. why spend all that money on dry shampoo when you can simply use corn starch, arrowroot starch or any other starchy you probably already have in your kitchen. May not have that great smell but for $3 a bag vs $9 a can i’ll take the savings.

  8. Okay I have really thin flat hair
    I tried the thing where you flip your head upside down and massage your scalp for a couple minutes before you take a shower and it works wonders for me. My hair grew a couple inches in 2 weeks to one month and it looked fuller. I totally recommend this if you want your hair to grow and look amazing 🙂
    Also, avoid styling your hair with heat if you have thin hair. It burns easier

  9. I Like your Tips.Is there any Suggestions how to Improve thin Hair by using some Natural or Herbal Products or Shampoo’s?

    • Hi Mirela,
      Did you ever find something that has worked to improve your thin hair with a product? If not, would you be open to hearing about a new product on the market that could help with this issue?

  10. Thanks for the great tips! I have struggled with my hair for years, I would like to mention I have tried the crimping the root of the hair to make it thicker, it works to a certain point until you get to the top of your hair where you can see the crimp through the hair, or you get a funny curve at the top of the head by the parting, fantastic if you want more volume but don’t have fine hair

  11. I have very thin, straight hair. I have found that a combination of dry shampoo and hot rollers applied at the root of my hair works wonders! I usually tease my hair as well but it produces beautiful volume and curls that keep for a long time! Hope this helps. 🙂

  12. I would like to share the BEST hair secret that I’ve ever learned. This tip is for everyone but it will help those who battle frizz the most.
    Terrycloth is NOT your hairs friend. The little loops in the towels actually grabs onto your hair and rubs it both up and down, which will catch on every split end and split them further. Also, you would never brush your hair upwards, would you? Well that’s what terrycloth does to hair.
    Next time, instead of wrapping your hair in a towel (or even a turbyrwist which is terrycloth btw), try an oversized 100% cotton tshirt.
    Now that I use cotton to dry my hair, I no longer need to blow dry, straighten or heat style my hair. I only do so for special occasions. 90% of frizz is caused by using terrycloth on your hair.
    Try is just once, and you’ll be amazed. I tried it once, 4 years ago and have never looked back.
    Due to this one tiny little tip, I have finally been able to grow my hair to my waist and salon stylists now compliment me on my healthy (tho thin ) head of hair.

  13. Clip in hair extensions are great, special occasions only as they prob would eventually do harm.
    Dry shampoo works better for me before going to bed. Then it soaks in oil with no powdery look.

  14. There’s a difference between having thin hair & thinning hair. Thin hair is when you have fine hair, comes from genetics & most (everyone I know anyway) people have had it since they can remember. Thinning hair is also called balding because you’re losing more hair than normal, more than you used to, it’s usually caused by something, stress, certain medicines, etc. I posted this because from reading the other comments, it seems some people didn’t know this. These are great tips that’ll help both thin & thinning hair. I personally have thick hair but my oldest daughter has baby fine hair so I can’t wait to try these tips on her!

  15. Hey girls! I just stumbled on this and figured I could add my two cents. With dry shampoo I figured out that a super cheap and VOLUMIZING alternative is face powder. Yes, I said face powder. If you have light colored hair (blonde, brunette, redhead) powder works wonders! I usually stock up on the large Almay powders which last me anywhere from 3-4 months.


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