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Hair

How to Style Thinning Hair So It Looks Twice as Thick — 9 Tricks You’ll Wonder How You Lived Without!

Give your hair that extra oomph it's looking for!

When it comes to our beauty routine, we’re big believers in the old adage, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” But because our hair becomes thinner with age, the styling techniques we’ve been using for years may not flatter our now less-than-lush locks—in other words, they’re broke. The only problem though? We’re not always sure how to style thinning hair.

Thankfully all it takes is to create some strategic volume, says hairstylist Cesar Deleon Ramirez, who has worked with Jennifer Lopez and Mariah Carey. Most hair pros do this by adding in extensions to hair to bulk up thinner tresses, but Ramirez says, “styling tricks can work just as well.” Read on for the easy ways for how to style thinning hair and create the illusion of a thicker head of hair fast.

1. To give layers life: Spritz on a texture spray

“My go-to trick for adding volume to limp layers is adding some texturizing spray to add volume at the root,” says Ramirez. “This works perfectly for tousled hairstyles, up or down.” And unlike strong-hold sprays that leave hair stiff, texture sprays offer hold but allow hair to move more freely and look lush.

Beauty influencer and former hairstylist Betsy Mikesell, agrees and swears by by Aiir Texture Styling Spray (Buy from Amazon, $16). And to build even more volume into layers, she also likes to use a crimping tool as shown in the below video from her YouTube channel.

The crimper is used under the top layer of hair to give the sections underneath texture so layers won’t lie flat against the head.

How to get the look:

First, clip up the top layer of hair from ear to ear to keep it separate. Then, use a crimper like MovSou Volumizing Hair Iron (Buy from Walmart, $41.99) just at the roots. Repeat around the head, spraying the texture spray between layers. Once hair at all of the roots has been crimped, unclip hair and gently comb through to blend the sections together. Finish with another light mist of the texture spray.

2. To add volume to straight hair: Use hair filler

A woman in her 40s with thin hair that's lifted by a texturizing spray
Getty

Having thin hair might make you think you can’t wear your hair in a straight style. But that’s not so! The key is to give hair a boost, which can be done by applying hair filler to strands post-straightening. Hair fillers are made with colored keratin, the protein that makes up hair, and blend seamlessly because they have a natural static charge that creates a magnetic effect. The allows the filler to tightly bind to even the finest strands of hair, “bulking” them up.

“Using a hair filler is a quick and easy way to naturally boost the appearance of thinning hair or sparse hairlines to make hair look thicker and fuller,” says Ramirez. “You can use it with any style from a middle part to a sleek updo to create a more flattering frame around the face by filling in thin areas.”

How to get the look:

After straightening hair, shake Toppik Hair Filler (Buy from Ulta, $24.95; available in 4 shades) and use its spray applicator to apply the filler to the thinnest areas first, until you reach your desired density. Finish by filling in sparse areas along the hairline; set with hairspray.

To see the hair-thickening magic of this hair filler yourself, check out the below video from YouTuber Helen Avery.

3. To make curls look thicker: Curl hair tighter

A woman with gray curling hair who has styled her thinning hair so it looks thicker
Getty

Whether you already have curls and want to define them or simply want to add tons of volume and definition to finer, thinner hair with smaller curls, the key is using a one-inch curling iron. The reason: A smaller barrel will help your curls keep their shape better. Plus, creating curls that are less than one inch in diameter makes thinning tresses look fuller and more dense. says online influencer, hairstylist and makeup artist Gabriela Soares, who shares her tips @GlamGirlGabi on Youtube. Tip: Before curling hair, lightly mist hair with a dry shampoo, like Drybar Detox Thickening Dry Shampoo (Buy from Ulta, $28), to give curls some grip to help them retain their shape.

How to get the look:

Wrap a 1″ curling iron around 1″ sections of hair. Start by wrapping hair towards the face, and then with the next section, wrap hair away from the face. This creates added dimension and ensures curls don’t fall on top of each other. Once all of hair is curled and cooled, gently brush through with a wide-tooth comb to separate curls. Set with another light layer of dry shampoo to lock in curls.

Check out the below tutorial from hairstylist Gabriela Soares of the GlamGirlGabi YouTube channel to see how these curls take hair from flat to fabulous in no time.

4. To add volume to roots: Switch to a side part

Brunette with a side part that helps her thinning hair look thicker
Getty

Easily give fine strands a boost with a deep side part, which creates the appearance of natural fullness. “Changing your part actually helps your hair get more volume and more lift,” says hair expert and TikToker Kristen Freutal. She explains in the video below that “your hair gets weighed down when it’s parted the same way.”

@kris10bunny

Easy Hair Tip for instant volume and to help reduce thinning hairlines. Try it, let m eknow what you think 😊 What side do you normally part your hair? hairhelp hairtips hairvolume flathair limphair hair curlyhair curlymom haireducation hair101 hairstyle hairpart hairline thinninghairline thinninghair hairsolution hairhelper hairtok curltok hairtalk hairchange fyp fyphair foryourpage hairthoughts hairtip

♬ original sound – Kristen

Once you part hair a different way, it makes hair stand up and away from the scalp, so more body is created instantly. To keep the hair looking thick, Freutal says to switch up your part every month or so.

How to get the look:

Spritz a root-lifting spray like Nexxus Unbreakable Care Root Lift Thickening Spray (Buy from Walmart, $15.98) at the roots to help lift hair up and off of the scalp. Then, use a comb to create a side part. Tip: Use the arch of the eyebrow as a guide and start right above the peak of your brow arch. Set the part and lock in volume with a quick blast of warm air with your hairdryer.

5. To give hair all-over volume: Blow dry it like this

Woman using a round brush while blow-drying hair to creat volume
Getty

“Blow outs are the original volumizing style and can absolutely help hair look fuller,” says Ramirez. And while it might seem like you can’t achieve the same hair-thickening results of a salon blowout yourself, you absolutely can! When it comes to the ins and outs of how to style thinning hair at home with a blowout, its best to work in small sections using a round brush.

“Drying hair in sections along with a round brush can lift hair and add tension exactly where it’s needed,” says Rachel Swire, hairstylist at Salon Cabelo in Atlanta, Georgia. “The shape of a round brush paired with a blast of heat is what really helps create amazing volume.”

How to get the look:

Separate damp hair into four equal sections. Leave one section down, clip up the rest, then use a round brush to lift hair up off the scalp and blow-dry the top few inches from the roots down to the midsection. “The trick is to leave the round brush in the hair for 30 seconds to 1 minute while applying heat, which really boosts volume,” says Swire. “Most people skip this part, which results in hair that falls flat quicker throughout the day.” Once dry, continue from the midsection down; blast with cool air for 10 seconds (this sets the hair but also seals the cuticle for dimension-inducing shine). Repeat on the other three sections.

If you’re a visual learner, check out the below tutorial from hairstylist and trichologist Tabitha Fredrichs, who shares tons of hair-volumizing tips and ticks on her YouTube channel.

6. To restore bounce to curly hair: Use a diffuser

Ladies with curls have a fuller-looking hair advantage, but if those curls aren’t dried just right, they can fall flat, canceling out any natural What can help: using a hair dryer’s diffuser attachment. Just take it from TikToker Sophie Marie Graf, who shared her experience with diffusing hair for the first time in the video below and was shocked by the volume it creates.

@sophiemariegraf

Reply to @andweawamiwez you were right 🤯 #wavycurly #wavyhair #curlyhair #curlygirlmethod #diffuser #curlcream #bowlmethod

♬ Dissolve – Absofacto & NITESHIFT

“Hair that is on the fine side can appear fuller with a diffuser,” says Swire. The hair-lifting power of this drying tool lies in the ‘spikes’ on one side that helps create volume by dispersing the air over a wider area in a steady stream. “While styling hair this way, keep moving your head around so the hair isn’t laying flat against the head,” Swire explains. ”This method helps give roots a lift, while ensuring hair doesn’t get frizzy.”

How to get the look:

Work a nickel-size amount of a curl cream like Not Your Mother’s Curl Talk Defining & Frizz Taming Hair Cream (Buy from Ulta, $8.99), which is packed with hydrating and plumping rice extract, through damp hair from roots to ends. Then dry hair on lowest setting in 2″ sections with a blow dryer’s diffuser attachment. Gently scrunch hair with hands as you blow dry, moving head from side to side as you do. This prevents hair from lying flat against the head, while also giving hair lots of bounce so strands appear much thicker.

7. To mask sparse spots: Try root cover-up

While they’re great for covering grays and camouflaging sparse spots and bald patches along the hairline, at the temples, part line and more, root concealers can also give thin tresses a boost. “You can instantly add a little more volume or texture to fine hair by using a powder-based color cover-up,” says celebrity hairstylist Scotty Cunha, who works with Martha Stewart and Kris Jenner. These products are formulated with texture that sticks to strands and gives hair body, making it appear thicker.

Molly Gardner of the GirlGetGlamorous Youtube channel, says it’s best to use powders with a sponge applicator because they make it easy to focus the product exactly where it needs to be placed. Plus, the sponge also allows you to more easily blend the powder into the rest of hair when covering a large surface area as she shows in the video below.

Bonus: If you notice any sparse spots when hair is in an updo, Cunha says the powder quickly fills them in.

How to get the look:

Use a hair concealer, like Style Edit Root Touch-up Powder (Buy from Amazon, $35.99; available in 10 shades), which has fibers, pigments and binding agents that adhere to strands so they appear plumper. Lightly pat the application sponge included with the powder at the base of hair to 2 inches past roots. Then use fingers to blend seamlessly into the hairline and the rest of the hair. Tip: When applying to sparse spots, skip the sponge and use a fluffy makeup brush to apply powder in a tapping motion to the area where it is most needed for the most natural looking coverage.

8. To give hair lift at the crown: Backcomb it

When it comes to how to style thinning hair 101, backcombing is an oldie but goodie: Hairstylists have been backcombing hair for decades. “It’s well known how brushing your hair from the ends to the roots, against the direction of hair growth, can give thin locks instant volume,” says Cunha.

His trick that makes backcombing easier, and take less time so your arms don’t get tired? “Use a teasing comb or backcombing brush to lightly backcomb hair starting at mid-length, not the root, to create more va-va-voom volume.” And he says all you need is to push hair upward only once. This concentrates the volume closer to the roots (this better holds up strands that sit on top of back-combed sections) and ensures hair won’t get damaged.

How to get the look:

Lift up the top layer of hair from ear to ear and clip up. Then, starting on one side of the head, work in 2″ sections of hair and use a teasing brush, like Cricket Amped Up Teasing Brush (Buy from Ulta,. $5.85), to comb the underlayer of hair from the midsection toward the roots in one stroke. Repeat until you reach the other side of your head. When finished, unclip the top layer and smooth over the back-combed sections. Set with hairspray.

Watch this simple how-to from hairstylist Keelie Bradshaw @KeepingitKeels on TikTok to see how the va-va volume backcombing gives to thin hair.

@keepingitkeels

How to back comb hair 🤎 #hair #howto #backcomb #backcombing #hairtutorial #hairtok #bighair #volume #hairhack #hairstyle #EndlessJourney #fyp

♬ Too Much – Spice Girls

9. To create a thicker pony tail: Create two

Woman with a thick ponytail
Getty

You’d love to wear your hair up in a ponytail, but feel like your hair more closely resembles a mouse tail than anything near a pony’s? Boost it by creating two ponytails as shown below in a TikTok from celebrity hairstylist Chris Appleton, which is perhaps one of the most foolproof ways to go when it comes to learning how to style thinning hair. “This is going to make you look like you have double the amount of hair,” he promises. By creating space around the base of the first of the two ponies, you’re adding thickness all the way around, which in turn makes hair look thick.

@chrisappletonhair

Try this hair hack for any one that wants to make there hair look thicker and upgrade there pony game 👱‍♀️@kittybluuuu

♬ Toxic x Pony – ALTÉGO

How to get the look:

Work a dollop of a volumizing mousse, like Garnier Fructis Sky-Hi Volume Mousse (Buy from CVS, $5.99), through hair from roots to ends to plump strands and give them some hold. Then, create a top and bottom section of hair by dividing hair horizontally in half. Next, pull the top section into a high ponytail and secure with an elastic, then separate the bottom section of hair into two pieces and wrap them up and around the top ponytail and use an elastic to secure it in place over the original pony.


For more gorgeous ways to style thinning hair, click through these stories:

Hush Cuts Are the Latest Way to Add Beautiful Volume to Thinning or Flat Hair

Celebrity Colorists: Make Brown Hair Look Two Times Thicker *Instantly* Just by Adding Subtle Highlights

If You’re Over 50 and Worried About Thinning Hair + a Sagging Face, Top Stylists Have One Word For You: Bangs

8 Updos That Add Volume To Thin Hair: Celebrity Stylists Give the Easy How-Tos

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