11 Celebrity Haircuts and Colors to Make Thin Hair Look Thicker
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By the time we hit 50, more than 40 percent of us struggled with some degree of hair thinning. The good news? The right cut and color can make hair appear thicker and healthier. From cocoa crops to silver pixies, Hollywood’s top hair pros reveal the most beautiful age-defying looks. Keep scrolling to find the one that will make you shine!
This article originally appeared in our print magazine.
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Jennifer Garner Hair
Jennifer Garner's Rich Truffle Sweep
“A shoulder-sweeping style with soft face-framing layers is feminine and sophisticated — plus, its curves give hair movement for full-looking locks,” says celebrity colorist Debi Dumas, who has worked with Sharon Stone and Candace Cameron Bure. “And the subtle highlights that adorn the layers add texture amid the darker hair for the illusion of chunkier strands.” Plus, a middle part creates a curtain of hair that conceals any thinning spots around the temples.
GET THE CUT: Ask your stylist for a cut that hangs right past the shoulders with choppy ends and face-framing layers.
GET THE COLOR: First, apply a neutral brown base (like Garnier Olia Oil-Powered Permanent Haircolor in #5.03-Medium Neutral Brown, $7.97, Walmart) to dry hair from the roots to the tips. Let process for 25 minutes, then rinse and blow-dry hair. Next, apply highlights using a kit for brunette hair (like Revlon Frost & Glow in Honey, $6.98, Walmart). But instead of using the provided tools, Dumas recommends using a thin paintbrush to swipe the bleach onto just a few strands in small sections (about 1/2 inch each) around the face. Let the highlights process for 30 minutes, then rinse.
Viola Davis Hair
Viola Davis' Soft Cocoa Shag
“A texturized bob with sideswept bangs concentrates fullness toward the front of the face to hide any thinning along the hairline while the style’s swing gives hair bounce and body,” says celebrity hairstylist Mike Petrizzi. Also flattering: The subtle change in color at the top of the part line pulls the eye up for the illusion of a full head of hair.
GET THE CUT: Ask for a shoulder-length bob with sideswept bangs that are long enough to be tucked behind the ear.
GET THE COLOR: For tawny, caramel highlights, use a highlighting kit for dark hair (like L’Oréal Paris Superior Preference Glam Lights in #GL50-Medium to Dark Brown, $8.09, Amazon). Then with a clean toothbrush (which helps highlights look less contrived), paint 1/2-inch sections of hair along the part line. Let process for 30 minutes, then rinse.
Carrie Underwood Hair
Carrie Underwood's Golden Beachy Wave
“Concentrating hair in front with an asymmetrical cut adds width to the temples and cheekbones. These are areas where hair — and the face — tend to fall flat, so it has an anti-aging effect,” says Dumas. Plus, the contrast between blond locks and slightly grown-in roots visually boosts volume at the crown.
GET THE CUT: Ask your stylist for a bob that’s longer in front with side- swept bangs and graduating layers.
GET THE COLOR: Use a kit (like L'Oréal Paris Feria Multi-Faceted Shimmering Permanent Hair Color, 100 Pure Diamond, $7.99, Amazon) to paint one-inch sections throughout the head. Let sit 30 minutes; rinse.
Helen Mirren Hair
Helen Mirren's Spun Sugar Shell
Heavy layers at the back of a bob and sideswept bangs in the front create a rounded silhouette of hair that looks full from every angle, says celebrity colorist Kari Hill, who has worked with Julia Roberts and Amy Poehler. What’s more? Turning wiry grays into a light-reflecting silvery blond helps hair appear thicker and silkier.
GET THE CUT: Ask for an ear-length rounded crop with full fringe (about three to four inches in length) and long blended layers throughout hair.
GET THE COLOR: Apply a permanent platinum-blond dye (like Herbatint Permanent Haircolor Gel in #10N-Platinum Blonde, $11.49, Vitacost) all over and let sit for 30 minutes. Since gray strands are notoriously hard to penetrate, at the 15-minute mark, take small sections of hair and massage the color upward (from tips to roots). This helps open the cuticle so color can deposit deeper.
Lucy Lawless Hair
Lucy Lawless' Brown Sugar Faux Hawk
This gravity-defying style not only makes hair seem fuller over- all, but the added height expertly masks sparse spots throughout the crown, says celebrity hair- stylist Marc Anthony, who has worked with Uma Thurman and Catherine Zeta-Jones. Even better? A soft brunette hue with subtle highlights helps strands appear thick and lush no matter how hair is styled.
GET THE CUT: Ask for a pixie with choppy layers that are shorter on the sides and longer on top.
GET THE COLOR: Grab a permanent dye two shades lighter than your current hue (like Garnier Nutrisse Nourishing Color Creme in #53-Medium Golden Brown, $6.99, Target) and paint streaks onto 1/2-inch face-framing sections. Let sit 25 minutes; rinse.
Bethenny Frankel Hair
Bethenny Frankel's Mocha Banged Lob
“The blunt lines on a straight bob help hair appear more ‘solid’ while a rich chocolate color brings out a high shine—both of which help hair read as full and healthy,” says celebrity colorist Debi Dumas. “And bangs easily camouflage a receding hairline.”
GET THE CUT: Ask for a chin-length bob with texturized ends and diagonal brow-skimming bangs.
GET THE COLOR: “Brown looks most natural with a bit of warmth,” says Dumas. Her tip to achieving a brunette with a hint of auburn: Mix one box of a medium brown dye with one-quarter of a box of a medium red brown (like Clairol Natural Instincts in #5-Medium Brown, $12.69, Target, and #5R-Medium Auburn Brown, $11.99, Walmart). Apply to dry hair from roots to ends. Let sit 25 minutes; rinse.
Reba Mcentire Hair
Reba McEntire's Chic Copper Swing
Choppy bangs and graduated layers expertly mask sparse spots on the hairline. Plus, the kaleidoscope of red, yellow and brown pigments in a copper hue infuses hair with optical depth.
GET THE CUT: Ask your stylist for a shoulder-length crop with short layers at the crown and full fringe with a few layers.
GET THE COLOR: Look for a dye infused with keratin peptides (like AGEbeautiful Permanent Liqui-Crème Hair Color in #9RC-Light Strawberry Blonde, $6.49, Sally Beauty) which help strengthen strands. Apply all over, brush through with a wide-tooth comb to distribute color evenly. Let sit 40 minutes; rinse.
Sigourney Weaver Hair
Sigourney Weaver's Caramel-Kissed Crop
“Adding layers to a bob gives the style youthful energy, plus its texture creates voluminous bounce and the rounded shape helps counteract a long face,” says celebrity hairstylist Mike Petrizzi. Even better? Color that’s richer at the roots with thin light pieces woven in helps define layers for even more movement.
GET THE CUT: Ask for a chin-length bob that has a rounded shape from wispy layers throughout hair and sideswept bangs.
GET THE COLOR: An easy way to achieve a lustrous base color and soft, shimmering highlights: Look for a 2-in-1 kit (like L’Oréal Paris Couleur Experte Express Multi-Tonal Color System in # 6.1-French Éclair, $13.24, Amazon). First, apply the base color all over dry hair and let process for 30 minutes, then rinse and dry hair. Next, use a clean mascara wand to paint on ultra-thin face-framing streaks. Let sit for 30 minutes; rinse.
Melora Hardin Hair
Melora Hardin's Crème Brûlée Chop
“When combined with the movement and texture of a choppy shag, the dimension of highlights makes strands appear plumper,” says Petrizzi.
GET THE CUT: Ask your stylist for a short textured shag with razored, blended layers and soft side fringe.
GET THE COLOR: For the most natural, sun-kissed effect, Petrizzi suggests using a free-hand technique called balayage. To do: Paint pieces of hair from one to two inches away from the root area using a crème lightener (like Ion Color Brilliance Crème Lightener, $11.79, SallyBeauty) and a children’s toothbrush for precise placement. Let the lightener process for 30 to 45 minutes, then rinse.
Glenn Close Hair
Glenn Close's Polished Silver Pixie
“Lots of layers throughout the crown of a piecey pixie adds dimension on top to help hair look dense while infusing the once-matronly style with a fun, youthful feel,” says celebrity colorist Debi Dumas. “And wispy spikes stand out even more in a shimmery silver shade.”
GET THE CUT: Ask for a short pixie with stacked layers that’s cropped on the sides and longer on top.
GET THE COLOR: Paint bleach (like Manic Panic Flash Lightening Super Strength Bleach Kit, $9.29, Sally Beauty) onto 1/2-inch sections of hair. “Bleach causes the hair shaft to swell for added thickness,” says Dumas. Let sit until hair is a whitish hue (about 30 minutes).
Tina Fey Hair
Tina Fey's Chestnut Cascade
Going shorter isn’t the only way to restore youthful volume to thinner tresses. “To maintain a longer, shoulder-sweeping style, simply snip layers through the last three inches of hair,” recommends celebrity colorist Kari Hill. “The buoyant curves ensure tresses don’t have that tapered-off look at the ends.” Plus, the luster from a warm brunette shade reflects light for the illusion of bouncy body.
GET THE CUT: Ask your stylist for a cut that rests an inch below the collarbone with long layers that start at the cheekbones.
GET THE COLOR: To achieve a striking chestnut hue, reach for a dye infused with argan oil as well as mango and shea butters (like Revlon Luxurious ColorSilk Buttercream in #58IR-Light Iridescent Brown, $11.94, Amazon), which deeply nourish follicles while the color develops. The result? Healthy, lustrous and hydrated hair. Apply evenly all over hair and let sit for 40 minutes, then rinse.