Styling Tips for Fine, Thin Hair

Updated on August 3, 2017
lindacee profile image

Linda has written content for national fashion and beauty websites. She enjoys sharing style trends and tips with her readers.

Does this sound familiar? I have lived with fine, thin hair all my life. And, as frustrating as that is, my hair is thinning even more as I age. So, what’s a girl to do to get more volume and bounce? If you are among the scores of women battling gravity-challenged tresses every day, here are a few styling tricks you will certainly appreciate!

Product Tips

Look for lightweight products that won’t weigh down your hair. There are many shampoos, conditioners and styling products formulated especially for fine, thin hair. If you have been using wax-based products (check the label), switch to a light, airy foam instead.

Those of us "blessed" with fine, thin hair do have a number of styling options to increase volume.
Those of us "blessed" with fine, thin hair do have a number of styling options to increase volume. | Source

Pick up a root booster to give your hair added oomph. Root boosters use lightweight polymers keep your hair from falling flat before the end of the day. And if you must, use a super light hairspray to keep flyaway strands in place.

A Good Cut

Find a stylist that specializes in fine and thin hair. Ask for client references, if you are unsure of their ability. I have found a chin to shoulder-length bob is the best cut for me.

Find a stylist that specializes in cutting and styling fine, thin hair.
Find a stylist that specializes in cutting and styling fine, thin hair. | Source

Keep layers to a minimum, if you do them at all. To keep this style from getting stale, vary the length from time to time. You can wear it straight or add gentle waves and curls for an ultra-feminine look. This versatile style works with bangs or without.

The Right Hair Brush

Choosing the right hair brush will make a world of difference when it comes to styling your hair. There are many types from which to choose--made from a variety of high tech and natural materials.

A vented barrel brush is a body booster for limp tresses.
A vented barrel brush is a body booster for limp tresses. | Source

You will most likely choose at least a couple of different hair brushes to perform different tasks, but the one you can't live without is the vented brush. It will be your best friend when it comes to blow drying. The vents allow currents of warm air to pass through, giving your fine, thin hair the added body it needs.

Proper Blow Drying Technique

A good hair day typically begins with a good blow dry (and, of course, low humidity!). Frist of all, ditch the nozzle attachment—it concentrates air flow and heat, which can actually flatten your hair.

Set the dryer on a medium heat setting then lift and dry individual sections of your hair with your vented brush. When your hair is completely dry, “set” the volume with a cool air shock from the blow dryer.

Styling for Special Occasions

I wouldn’t advise using this curling technique on a daily basis, but it is great for a night on the town or special event. It involves styling your entire head with a curling iron—also obviously not something you want to attempt if you’re short on time.

For special occasions, consider using a curling iron to create all-over curls.
For special occasions, consider using a curling iron to create all-over curls. | Source

Wrap small sections of your hair around the curling iron, starting at the root and working out to the ends. Hold each section in place for 10 to 15 seconds. When you have completed curling your entire head, give your hair a finger fluff while bending over. I’m told you won’t even need styling products for this one—I’m dubious, but willing to give it a try!

Things to Avoid if You Have Fine, Thin Hair
Wearing ponytails and braids. Ponytails and braiding cause hair to break. If you do this daily, you can cause permanent hair damage. Fine hair has a tendency to break easier and any hair breakage is extremely detrimental to hair that is already thin.
Overuse of heavy styling products. Don’t let your stylist sell you products that just won’t work on your hair. Steer clear of product made with wax and oil—they weigh hair down and tend to melt from the heat of styling tools. The combination of heat and goo aren’t good for your fine, thin hair!
Teasing your hair. Do not, under any circumstances, tease your hair! This is a guaranteed way to make your hair thinner. Teasing gradually wears away the cuticle, or outermost layer of the hair shaft.
Coloring your hair. Sure, coloring your hair can plump up your hair initially. However, long term use of bleaches and dyes, whether permanent or semi-permanent, can change inner hair structure, resulting in dryness and a limp appearance.
Daily use of heated tools. Curling and flat irons and heated rollers may just be the single biggest enemy of your fine, thin hair. Heat results in changes to the chemical makeup of our hair shafts, creating dull, lifeless strands. You can cause irreparable damage by using heated tools on a daily basis.

Questions & Answers

    © 2013 Linda Chechar

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      • lindacee profile imageAUTHOR

        Linda Chechar 

        10 months ago from Arizona

        Ethel Smith, thank you for reading and commenting. Thinning hair is a big pain in the #@%! I wish I had started out with thicker and fuller hair. But unfortunately I got super thin and fine hair from my father's side of the family. I follow these tips and it seems to help.

      • ethel smith profile image

        Ethel Smith 

        10 months ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

        Useful suggestions for those with thin or thinning hair thanks Lindacee

      • lindacee profile imageAUTHOR

        Linda Chechar 

        2 years ago from Arizona

        Sue, that's a very good way to create the appearance of fuller hair. Thanks for sharing!

      • profile image


        2 years ago

        Hm regarding thin hair - well its taken me till my 70s to get my thin hair right. I need height on top and I suddenly realised Wow!

        if my hair is shoulder length or longer there are umpteen styles that enable s my to gain height effortlessly. Putting my hair 'up' by taking upper hair and pinning it so that it lifts up at the top- with a bit of judicial teasing - then the rest of my hair can go into a largish scrunchy at the back of the neck, which makes my hair look thicker.

      • lindacee profile imageAUTHOR

        Linda Chechar 

        4 years ago from Arizona

        Glad you liked the Hub! You're right. Now there is an entirely new generation of volumizers that work. I'm certainly enjoying them. Between good product and a good cut, I look like I actually have some hair! lol! I guess better late than never! :)

      • Anne Harrison profile image

        Anne Harrison 

        4 years ago from Australia

        A great hub - thank you for sharing. At least now there are better volumizing products around which don't weigh down the hair - if only they'd existed in my youth!

      • lindacee profile imageAUTHOR

        Linda Chechar 

        5 years ago from Arizona

        vespawoolf, I'm resisting the urge not to color until I can no longer stand the grays. Right now it is not an issue, but when things accelerate, I will have to deal with them somehow. The good news is color plumps up hair shafts giving the illusion of thicker hair. Maybe I will try some semi-permanent hair color when that time comes.

      • vespawoolf profile image

        Vespa Woolf 

        5 years ago from Peru, South America

        These are helpful tips. My hair has also thinned with age. Not coloring is a hard one for me. I think I need to switch to lighter products. I like the idea of curling for special occasions.

      • lindacee profile imageAUTHOR

        Linda Chechar 

        6 years ago from Arizona

        Om, you are so lucky! I would love to get a pixie cut. I have tried super short hair in the past and it is not a good look for me. :( I'd prefer not to have to blow dry my hair every day--but, like yours, mine looks flat and lifeless if I don't. Thanks for the read and comment!

      • Om Paramapoonya profile image

        Om Paramapoonya 

        6 years ago

        These are great tips! I, too, have REALLY thin hair! The pixie cut works best for me. I agree with you that proper blow-drying is very important. Whenever I let my hair dry naturally, my hair just looks so flat.

      • lindacee profile imageAUTHOR

        Linda Chechar 

        6 years ago from Arizona

        Thank you, teaches. This is good advice for your hair as well. Fine hair, whether thick or thin, is delicate and requires special styling and care. Good to hear from you this evening! :)

      • teaches12345 profile image

        Dianna Mendez 

        6 years ago

        I have fine hair but it is thick. I believe most of what you posted here also applies to my hair style and type. Thanks for the advice and tips. Voted up!

      • lindacee profile imageAUTHOR

        Linda Chechar 

        6 years ago from Arizona

        vespawoolf, I will definitely check out Suzie HQ's Hub. Anything to help with the gray!

      • vespawoolf profile image

        Vespa Woolf 

        6 years ago from Peru, South America

        lindacee, that's very inspirational! I do think it's healthier not to put all those chemicals on our hair. Suzie HQ has a Hub with a tea rinse recipe that's supposed to help the grays blend in better. I'm considering it!

      • lindacee profile imageAUTHOR

        Linda Chechar 

        6 years ago from Arizona

        vespawoolf, I haven't colored my hair in 5 years. At first, it was quite a shock to see my natural color (and gray). Now I'm used to it, and at least to my eye, my gray hair looks like subtle highlights. I can't say what I'll do as more gray begins to appear! ;)

      • vespawoolf profile image

        Vespa Woolf 

        6 years ago from Peru, South America

        My hair has also gotten thinner with the passing of time, so this is very helpful information. Some of it came as a surprise...I didn't realize the nozzle attachment will actually keep my hair from having volume. I know a good cut is important. Ditching hair color is a difficult one for me. I will limit ponytails now, though. Thanks!


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