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Styling Tips for Fine, Thin Hair

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

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.

How to Manage Thin, Fine Hair

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!

In this article, you'll find:

  • Product Tips
  • Haircut Tips
  • Hairbrush Tips
  • Blow-Drying Tips
  • Styling Tips
  • Things to Avoid

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.

Pick up a root booster to give your hair added oomph. Root boosters use lightweight polymers to 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.

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

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

Haircut Tips

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

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.

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

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

Hairbrush Tips

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

You will likely want to choose at least a couple of different hairbrushes 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.

Blow-Drying Tips

A good hair day typically begins with a good blow-dry (and, of course, low humidity!). First of all, ditch the nozzle attachment—it concentrates airflow 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.

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.

Styling Tips 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 a special event. It involves styling your entire head with a curling iron, which is not something you want to attempt if you’re short on time.

Wrap small sections of your hair around the curling iron. Start at the root and work 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. In some cases, you may not even need styling products.

Things to Avoid if You Have Thin, Fine 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 products 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 isn’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 it up initially. Long-term use of bleaches and dyes, however, 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.

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.

© 2013 Linda Chechar

Start a Conversation!

Natasha on April 20, 2020:

Thanks for the info!

Linda Chechar (author) from Arizona on August 29, 2019:

Natasha, coloring fine and thin hair does help plump up the strands. I've stopped coloring my hair because it does cause damage. Mine is thinning even more due to aging so I simply use a thickening shampoo and conditioner to keep it as healthy as possible.

Natasha on August 29, 2019:

I have fine thin hair. Great tips! I do color my hair since grey looks gross but i use ones that are less damaging like Naturtint .

Linda Chechar (author) from Arizona on October 08, 2018:

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 from Kingston-Upon-Hull on October 07, 2018:

Useful suggestions for those with thin or thinning hair thanks Lindacee

Linda Chechar (author) from Arizona on August 03, 2017:

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

Sue on August 03, 2017:

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.

Linda Chechar (author) from Arizona on July 16, 2015:

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 from Australia on July 16, 2015:

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!

Linda Chechar (author) from Arizona on June 14, 2014:

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.

Vespa Woolf from Peru, South America on June 14, 2014:

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.

Linda Chechar (author) from Arizona on March 12, 2013:

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 on March 11, 2013:

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.

Linda Chechar (author) from Arizona on March 05, 2013:

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! :)

Dianna Mendez on March 05, 2013:

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!

Linda Chechar (author) from Arizona on March 05, 2013:

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

Vespa Woolf from Peru, South America on March 05, 2013:

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!

Linda Chechar (author) from Arizona on March 05, 2013:

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! ;)

Vespa Woolf from Peru, South America on March 05, 2013:

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!