There are a ton of clever ways to make thin hair appear thicker. With the right products, styling, and cut, you can fake extra full, bouncy hair even if your strands typically aren’t (I won’t tell if you won’t). Although adding mousse to your locks or using a hot brush are a few simple volume-boosting hacks, the best way to create the appearance of more fullness is by getting a volumizing haircut from your stylist. The right volumizing cut can add extra body and texture to your strands, and when maintained properly, can also help give flat hair a lot more life.
If you’re seeking out a change this fall, you’re in luck. I asked celebrity hairstylists to share the best strategic cuts that boost volume for all hair lengths and types. Keep scrolling—good stuff is ahead.
“Thinner hair types definitely need layers,” says celebrity hairstylist Laura Polko. “Layers really help and don’t let your hair get too long. I find that sometimes people with finer hair can get attached to long hair because they think longer [hair] looks fuller, but it’s better to keep it shorter.” Polko also has a few tips on what to ask your stylist for. “Don’t ask for choppy layers, longer layers are better and face-framing. Choppy layers are best for thicker hair types because it takes out bulk, but if you don’t have the bulk, then there is nothing to remove.”
She also thinks it’s important to keep the right tools handy. “Use a tool like the T3 AireBrush Duo to build volume. Use the round brush attachment of the AireBrush Duo and blow it up at the root to get the volume. This blow-dry brush is easier than having to worry about a traditional round brush and blow-dryer.”
Celebrity stylist Jennifer Korab loves this particular style for thinner hair types. “A one-length bob is timeless, classic, and doesn’t go out of style,” she says. Her tips for boosting volume include a few more classic ways. “Thickening lotions, volumizing mousse, and root lifter are great products to add volume while blow-drying. When finished, using a texturizing spray can also help to enhance volume without weighing your hair down.”
I know bangs aren’t for everyone, but they’re just extra cute on those with curls. Curls do tend to have a bit more volume naturally, but if you have them and want to add even more lift, try this one on for size. A good curl cream is absolutely key when wearing curly bangs like Design Essentials’ almond and avocado-infused formula. It will add a ton of hold and hydration so your curls won’t lose shape throughout the day.
Korab also loves this no-nonsense style—it boosts strands in a strategic way. “I like a blunt haircut for thinner hair types,” she says. “This haircut keeps the bulk of the weight at the ends, which gives a thicker, fuller, healthier appearance.”
Ghost layers, also known as invisible layers, are another easy way to add some volume to the hair. Korab broke down the benefits for us. “These are layers that are seamless and can be strategically placed throughout the hair to encourage movement. This is opposed to traditional layering which can sometimes make fine hair appear thinner. “
Celebrity hairstylist Kevin Kelly loves a stacked bob for fine hair because it has stacked layers in the back that add volume. “It creates the illusion of thicker hair while keeping some length,” he shares.
Shag cuts are popping up everywhere RN. Luckily, a shag cut is really versatile and works for straight, wavy, and curly hair. The varying piecey layers in this cut add volume and extra body to thinner hair types. The feathered layers offer a little more lift around the crown of your head, making your hair appear fuller.
If your hair is long and thin, and you don’t necessarily want to cut off much length, opt for longer layers with a few to frame the face. Kelly loves this for fine to medium hair types. To build more volume when styling, Kelly keeps a few things on hand. “Some products that I like to use to build volume are mousse or something that’s going to expand the cuticle like Paul Mitchell’s Extra-Body Thicken Up, or my favorite is hairspray. Section by section, spray at the root and blow-dry in an upward motion.”
Although this is more of a style than a cut, parting your new layered look on the side instead of in the middle can add some serious volume. You can blow-dry it this way in the morning using a product like Kristin Ess’s Style Assist Blow Dry Mist or blow-dry and then part your hair for a naturally tousled look.
Curtain bangs give any style a little extra oomph. Paired with strategic layers, they also sneakily make your hair appear a lot thicker than it actually is. Add a little bit of texturizing spray or mousse at the crown if you’d like some extra lift, too.
Similar to a shag cut, a pixie cut that’s a little mussed adds a boost of volume to the hair. If you’re feeling extra brave and want to chop your strands completely, give it a try. Those with finer curls can really rock a pixie cut and it adds so much body to the top of your head.
Making your cut a little shorter in the back pumps up the volume in a really natural way. An A-line bob (or graduated bob is perfect for this and is another great option for those looking to go shorter. Celebrity stylist Michelle Cleveland says, “In the world of haircuts, the rule of thumb for fine/thin hair is ‘short pushes long,’ she says. “What that translates to is that shorter hair underneath pushes longer hair above creating instant volume. With this theory in mind, a good haircut that follows this rule is a graduated bob (think Victoria Beckham’s famous cut).”
Cleveland has finer hair herself so she has a few styling tips as well. “I have fine hair so in my arsenal of products I have a good root lifter (Root Werk from NuMe Hair), which I spray on at the scalp after washing and massage in before blow-drying, and then [I use] a dry texture spray such as Living Proof Dry Volume & Texture Spray to finish.”