5 Ways to Make Thin Hair Look Thicker

Updated on October 31, 2019
Willow Sidhe profile image

Willow Sidhe is a nature enthusiast with over a decade of experience creating natural health and beauty products for herself and her family.

Learn how to make your thin hair look thicker.
Learn how to make your thin hair look thicker.

Thinning hair can be devastating to self-esteem, especially for women. And the worst part is you might lose up to a third of the hair on your head before you notice there’s a problem. I didn’t notice I had thinning hair until my hairdresser pointed it out.

If you wake up one morning and find your locks aren’t as thick as they used to be, don’t give up hope. There are several ways to make thin hair look thicker. In this post, I’ll share the things that worked for me (and those that didn’t).

But first, it’s important to address any underlying condition that might be causing your hair to thin. In my case, I had polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), which caused a hormonal imbalance. See your doctor right away if you notice thinning hair to rule out any health issues.

Why Is My Hair Thinning?

A vitamin deficiency could be causing your thinning hair.
A vitamin deficiency could be causing your thinning hair. | Source

Hormonal imbalances, thyroid problems, vitamin and mineral deficiencies, stress, certain medications, or even heredity can cause women to experience hair thinning. Could any of these common causes be affecting you?

  • Hormonal Imbalance – Women going through pregnancy and menopause may lose more hair than normal. This is often temporary. PCOS causes excess androgens and dihydrotestosterone (DHT). High levels of these hormones cause hair loss by latching onto follicles and preventing them from growing new hair.
  • Hypothyroidism – Left untreated, hypothyroidism causes diffuse thinning. Low levels of thyroid hormones mean the body can’t regenerate new cells – including hair cells. Luckily, proper treatment with prescription medication can stop and even reverse the problem.
  • Vitamin and Mineral Deficiencies – Many different vitamin and mineral deficiencies cause hair issues. The most common include iron, zinc, essential fatty acids, and vitamin D. Taking a high-quality multivitamin every day and eating a well-balanced diet may alleviate deficiencies and reverse thinning hair.
  • Physical or Emotional Stress – Physical stressors such as surgery, severe illness, or even trauma can cause hair to fall out due to shock. This is temporary, and your hair should return to normal in three to six months. Emotional stress caused by things like divorce, loss of a loved one, work stress, etc. can also cause hair loss.
  • Medications – Birth control pills, anticoagulants, beta blockers, anti-depressants, and some anticonvulsants may cause hair thinning. If you’re taking any of these, talk to your doctor to find out if they’re the culprit.
  • Genetics – Female pattern alopecia or female pattern baldness may be the result of genetics. Unfortunately, the hair loss gene is passed down from parent to child. If your mother or father experienced thinning hair, you might have inherited the gene.

What Can I Do About It?

A balanced diet rich in fruits and vegetables can help thinning hair.
A balanced diet rich in fruits and vegetables can help thinning hair. | Source

Start by asking your doctor to test for hormonal imbalances, hypothyroidism, and vitamin and mineral deficiencies. Eat a well-balanced diet, exercise regularly, and take a multivitamin every day.

It also won’t hurt to take an extra vitamin D supplement if you don’t see much sun. And take an essential fatty acid supplement if you don’t eat much fatty fish.

In the meantime, here are five ways you can make your thin hair appear thicker. I have personally used all these methods and found them effective. It might take several months to see results, so start now. And remember to take good care of the hair you currently have.

1. Minoxidil (Rogaine)

No, it’s not just for men. Rogaine is my number one choice for women with thinning hair. I use it daily and it has made a huge difference in the thickness of my hair. Although it takes about three months to see optimal results, nothing else out there works better. (Believe me. I’ve tried everything.)

Purchase Minoxidil over-the-counter. It comes in a liquid or foam formula. Personally, I think the liquid formula is easier to apply to your scalp, and it’s much easier to measure with the included pipette. There are two types of Minoxidil available:

  • Women’s Formula – Weaker version of the Men’s formula (only 2% minoxidil) to be used twice daily.
  • Men’s Formula – Contains 5% Minoxidil and approved only for men.

I am a woman and I use the men’s formula. I have never used the women’s, so I can’t speak for its results. I use an off-brand men’s liquid formula once a day. I have lots of new hair growth and my bald spots are filling in. I apply it directly to my scalp just before bed each night and wash my hair in the morning. It works if you give it time.

2. Nioxin Shampoo and Conditioner

Nioxin is a brand of shampoo and conditioner specifically formulated for thinning hair. I also use these daily, and I love the way my hair feels. According to Nioxin, their products gently remove residue and DHT from the hair and scalp, and provide nourishing vitamins, proteins, and amino acids.

There are six different Nioxin “systems” on the market:

  • System 1 – For natural hair with light thinning.
  • System 2 – For natural hair with progressed thinning. (This is the one I use.)
  • System 3 – For colored hair with light thinning.
  • System 4 – For colored hair with progressed thinning.
  • System 5 – For chemically-treated hair with light thinning.
  • System 6 – For chemically-treated hair with progressed thinning.

Each “system” includes a shampoo, conditioner, and scalp treatment. I skip the scalp treatment because I use Rogaine instead. I also don’t buy the “kits” for sale on the Nioxin website. Instead, I buy large bottles of the shampoo and conditioner separately on Amazon, and they last for months.

I can’t be 100% sure that Nioxin’s claims are true, but based on my own experience, it has made a difference in my hair growth. I use it in conjunction with Minoxidil to get the best results. And if nothing else, I use a salon-quality shampoo that doesn’t increase hair loss. Why not try everything we can to help our hair, right?

Tip: Only apply conditioner to the ends of your hair. Applying to your roots can weigh your hair down and make it appear thinner. This even applies to Nioxin or other “thickening” conditioners.

3. Thickening Mousse

My third secret is thickening or volumizing mousse.

Even the most inexpensive brands will help give your hair volume. My favorite brand is Herbal Essences Body Envy Volumizing Mousse. The volume boost literally lasts all day – even after a grueling workout at the gym. I’ve also used Suave Professionals Firm Control Boosting Mousse. This one costs about $3.00 and works quite well for the price.

I work the mousse into my damp hair after washing and towel drying in the morning and then blow-dry. It gives me a nice lift to make my hair look thicker. If I don’t have time to blow dry, I apply the mousse and allow my hair to completely air dry before brushing it out.

Find a mousse you like in your price range and give it a try.

4. Get a Shorter Haircut

This chin-length bob with subtle layers adds volume to thin hair.
This chin-length bob with subtle layers adds volume to thin hair. | Source

If you have super thin hair like me, you don’t want a full-blown Pixie cut. But you do want something above shoulder length with voluminous layers.

Talk to your hair stylist. Tell them your concerns about your thinness and see if they have ideas for a style that will add more boost. My stylist recommended a chin-length bob with plenty of layers in the back to really make it look thick, and I couldn’t be happier.

A side-part can also help, but avoid bangs at all costs. Bangs will highlight your thinness, especially in the front.

5. Weekly Aloe Vera Treatment

A weekly scalp treatment using pure aloe vera gel may stimulate new hair growth.
A weekly scalp treatment using pure aloe vera gel may stimulate new hair growth. | Source

I love natural remedies, but unfortunately there aren’t many that actually work when it comes to thinning hair. Aloe Vera might be the exception. Some of the reported benefits of aloe for hair loss include:

  • Increases blood flow to the scalp
  • Resolves scalp inflammation
  • Removes excess oil from hair follicles
  • Promotes hair growth
  • Strengthens existing hair

If you want to try it, buy a pure 100% aloe gel (or better yet, get it straight from the plant). If the product contains alcohol or other additives, it can dry out and irritate your scalp.

Apply the gel directly to your scalp and allow it to sit for 30 – 60 minutes, then rinse and wash your hair as usual. Repeat once a week to get the most benefits from this treatment. Although I can’t say for sure if this has helped with regrowth directly, it has improved my scalp health. And that can only be good for trying to grow more hair.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • Willow Sidhe profile imageAUTHOR

      Willow Sidhe 

      2 years ago

      You are lucky! I've been able to keep my thin hair looking reasonably good by using these methods. I'm just about to start my aloe treatment for the week. I think it really helps. I hope your friend has luck with it!

    • Blond Logic profile image

      Mary Wickison 

      2 years ago from Brazil

      I am lucky, I don't have this problem. However, my friend does. I will pass this on to her. She will likely try the aloe vera method as she loves using natural products on her hair and skin.

      Thanks for the information.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, bellatory.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://maven.io/company/pages/privacy

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)