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 satin pillowcase. If you always wake up to tangles, consider swapping your cotton pillowcase for a satin version. While cotton can rough up your hair as you toss and turn, satin reduces friction, meaning less breakage, fewer tangles AND better hair in the morning. Some even claim that 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. I also blowdry upside down. Garnier fructis has good dry shampoo and voluminizing mousse. I apply the mousse on damp hair and use my fingers to rub it in before i blowdry. I works pretty well it just goes flat if i play with my hair too much so i hairspray it lightly

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  2. I see above lots of people saying extensions have ruined their hair I can 100% tell you that you’re getting them done in the wrong place. I had extensions for a year and they were amazing, my hair grew underneath and the condition was perfect. It stopped me from washing every day and the hair quality was outstanding. I would reccomend talking in depth to your chosen extensionist. They should give you a good consultation first. She also told me if I don’t look after it, she wouldn’t put them in any more! Which showed she was passionate about my hair not the money I was about to give her. The key is taking bigger sections of your natural hair and attaching thinner pieces of extension hair. This takes longer for the extensionist. If you have a tiny piece of root hair and your extension hair is double that, you have a lazy extensionist who doesn’t care about your hair health at all. I can however, tell you that this is not cheap (hence me only having them for a year 🙁 ouch!) but still, ladies, if you can afford it do it! But make sure they are reputable, have serious qualifications and scout out their true feelings towards your hair health! I will be going back soon! Thanks for the tips in the article and comments I will definately be taking your advice in between my extensions!

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  3. I have very fine hair and get a halo of staticy hair in the winter, I’ve found that Patene BB cream works wonders to moisturizer my hair and use and a heat protector/detangler before styling.

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  4. awesome tips, however I cannot help but to say how much it irks me when people use fine and thin interchangeably. one is qualitative and the other is quantitative. i have relatively thick hair that is extremely fine, and its so hard to find tutorials and tips that apply to me because of the fact that people think fine and thin mean the same thing. its so frustrating!

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  5. I have very fine thin hair 🙁 I started using Deva Curls No Poo and One Condition a couple years ago and it has completely eliminated static. I live in the North-East, so static is a MAJOR issue, I am happy to be done with it! I wash my hair every other day and every 3rd or 4th wash I swap in a different shampoo, as the Deva Curls does weigh my hair down after repeated use. I let my hair air dry most of the way then finish it with an upside down blow dry, then I set it with curlers while I finish getting ready which gives me great volume. I have volume and static under control. What I can’t seem to fix is the breakage. I can’t get my hair to grow past shoulder length. I have been taking prenatal vitamins for a couple years and I am going to start taking Biotin as well. Has anyone found a great way to prevent breakage?

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  6. do NOT use clip in extensions. They killed my hair. literally I lost so much hair and they smell and it’s disgusting. Do NOT use clip ins

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  7. Thank you for sharing your tips. Some of these things i already to but, I did learn a few new tricks. I too was born with extremely thin, fine hair and as I get older the thinner it gets. I do use the clip in hair extensions and they work great. Also, I have used a product called Toppik (if I’m spelling it correctly) I buy it at Sally bauty supply. It is a powder substance that matches your hair color. You apply it to your roots and scalp then add a short spritz of hair spray to set it. It sure makes covering up thinning spots, like the temple area, much easier.

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  8. Sadly these tips are stuff I already do, however crimping the bottom bits of my hair from the roots to half way down really helps. Try it!

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  9. I found it helpful to take a shower before you get ready for bed; then spend about 20 (?) braiding your hair into about 6 small braids ( depending on how thin your hair is, the smaller the braid the better). Then in the morning, let the braids out, and brush it out. My hair will puff out. I then straighten it so it appears thicker.

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  10. Great work. Thank you so much for sharing these tips. I learned so much from your post. I hope to read more of your blogs. Again, thank you.

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  11. Please help. My hair has always been my pride and joy. I figured since it is pretty damn healthy, it could deal with some bleach damage. And I figured the master stylist who did all the color-corrections would know how much would be too much. I was wrong, and now I want to burst into tears every time I look at my hair or touch it. I just don’t know what to do. my hair has also NEVER been shorter than this and it breaks and falls out. What should i do to regrow hair?

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  12. I wanted to share my story with everyone, as I’ve found my cure, and think it might help other folks.

    I’m 43 and have fine hair. As I’ve gotten older, it’s also started to break off as it’s gotten longer, despite the expensive shampoos, conditioners, and less frequent washings. I had started to seriously consider extensions, but have heard how badly they wreck the hair you have left, so didn’t want to take that leap.

    The last time i was getting my hair done and complaining, my stylist mentioned that a sales rep from a new holistic company had dropped off some samples of a product called “Hair” that was supposed to address a lot of my problems and he wasn’t kidding. The results have been fantastic! After a month i noticed my hair had gotten thicker, and after three months, it’s grown about 2 inches. It hasn’t been this long, or felt this healthy in years. I’m hooked! What’s better, is i don’t have to use root boosters or styling gels like I used to, as my hair just “holds” better. And it’s all natural, which I love! Here’s where I get it: http://www.fleurlabs.com/products/hair/

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  13. Wow, I never knew brushing wet hair was bad for your hair. I usually brush my hair when it’s wet cause it’s easier to have it where I want it. Didn’t know I was slowly damaging my hair to no end.

    Thanks!

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  14. The first time I went to a “professional” hair stylist he told me I had “fine” hair, being a pre-teen I thought that meant good. I later learned that was not a positive thing. I know use a non-alcoholic beer rinse for body, Helen of Troy Hot Air brush to dry my hair, then add velcro rollers for about two hours to my hair. This gives me body clear to the roots and lasts several days.

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