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13 Best Haircuts for Thin Hair That Make Hair Look Fuller From Every Angle

Plus, styling tricks from celebrity hairstylists that amp up the volume even more

If it seems like with each birthday, you’ve noticed more hair in your brush and in your shower drain and less on your head, you’re not alone. A large number of women deal with some degree of thinning. And while there are many factors linked to hair loss, including stress, hormonal fluctuations and genetics, it’s easy to create the illusion of a lush and voluminous head of hair with a quick visit to the salon. Here, we gathered the best haircuts for thin hair and turned to celebrity hairstylist for the simple styling strategies guaranteed to help your tresses look thicker and healthier, and help you appear 10 years younger. Keep scrolling to see the stunning styles.

1. The fringed shag: Conceals a widening part

Reba McEntire smiling at camera with a shag hair cut
Taylor Hill/Getty

The movement and “bulk” of a heavily layered, shoulder-sweeping cut tricks the eye into seeing a mane that’s much thicker than it may be. Plus, says hairstylist Stephen Knoll, who’s worked with Cindy Crawford and Kathy Ireland, feathery fringe helps mask thinning along the part.

What to ask for: A shoulder-length shag with face-framing layers that taper from the temples down and full, wispy bangs that skim the eyebrows.

Styling tip: Apply a dollop of a volumizing mousse all over damp hair to give strands added grip. Next, blow-dry hair with a round brush until dry, then wrap various 2-inch sections of hair around a 1-inch curling iron and tousle with fingers. Set with hair spray. (Click through for more tips on how to style thinning hair.)

2. The sassy slant: Detracts from all over thinning

Angela Basset with a shoulder-length haircut that's shorter on one side and longer on the other side
Angela Bassett, 65Shutterstock

“The uneven shape of a slightly askew mid-length style draws attention to the ends of hair and away from any thinner spots throughout the head,” says hairstylist Carrie Butterworth, who has worked with Sigourney Weaver and Mena Suvari. And adding choppy texture to the ends of hair not only causes strands to appear more “solid” overall, but also offers a touch of youthful edge to the style. (Click through to learn how sandalwood essential oil can combat thinning hair.)

What to ask for: A midi cut that’s slightly shorter on one side with textured ends that are cut with a razor.

Styling tip: Wrap 1-inch sections of hair around the barrel of a 1-inch curling iron, leaving out ends (which is key for creating effortless beachy waves) and alternate the direction curls fall (one section toward the face and the other section away from the face). This “expands” strands while also making waves look more natural. Once all of the hair is curled, gently comb through with fingers. Set with hair spray.

3. The cheeky chop: ‘Bulks up’ fine hair

Martha Stewart with a shoulder-length hairstyle that's one of the best haircuts for thin hair
Martha Stewart, 82

A bob with “tiered” layers provides added depth and dimension to finer strands by ensuring they won’t lie flat against the scalp. And an off-center part helps hair sweep over in a curtain-like way to conceal any sparseness along the hairline and temples. Adds Knoll, the softness of this cut offsets and disguises any aging woes like fine lines or jowls. (Click through for more layered hair for women over 50 that optically thicken hair.)

What to ask for: A below-the-chin bob with soft layers that graduate starting at the cheekbones and movement-creating point-cut ends.

Styling tip: Mist a volumizing spray, like Rahua Voluminous Spray (Buy from Dermstore, $34), all over damp hair to plump finer tresses. Next, blow dry while using a round brush on 2-inch sections of hair, gently lifting strands up and out at the roots to prop them off of the scalp. When nearing the ends with the brush, pull hair slightly inward to create flippy, hair-thickening texture. Set with hairspray.

4. The modern taper: Conceals a receding hairline

Tamron Hall with a pixie haircut that's one of the best haircuts for thin hair
Tamron Hall, 53Gilbert Carrasquillo/Getty

Not only does a pixie give facial features the spotlight, but one with a heavily layered, rounded silhouette “plumps” the entire head of hair, says Butterworth. And adding choppy, full fringe that brushes forward instantly covers up thinning temples and a receding hairline. What’s more, a crop that’s longer up top and tighter along the sides helps hair appear more dense overall. (Click through to see how bangs for receding hairline can help hair look thicker too.)

What to ask for: A pixie cut that’s short and stacked on the sides and back with long, textured layers on top and full, piecey bangs.

Styling tip: Apply a dime-size amount of a smoothing cream all over damp hair to nix frizz. Next, blow-dry with a paddle brush, lifting slightly at the roots. Once dry, brush bangs into place, mist with hair spray, then tousle with fingers.

5. The shoulder sweep: Hides thinning at the temples

Courtney Thorne Smith in 2019
Courtney Thorne-Smith, 55

A cut with blended layers throughout and swings at the shoulders gives hair movement and creates the illusion of a thicker head of hair, says hairstylist Nunzio Saviano, who has worked with Brooke Shields and Anjelica Huston. And when accompanied by full bangs that blend seamlessly into layers, it provides added coverage near sparser areas at the temples. Even better? Fringe also instantly conceals deeper-set forehead furrows and makes beautiful, bright eyes a focal point. (Click through to see more bangs that help turn back the clock.)

What to ask for: A shoulder-length cut with wispy, eyebrow-skimming fringe that transitions into longer layers around the face.

Styling tip: Blow-dry damp hair with a round brush, pulling hair up at the roots and inward toward the ends to create voluminous movement. Once hair is dry, spritz strands all over with dry shampoo. This will give locks some grip and texture while absorbing any oil or sweat that can weigh strands down.

6. The lovely “lob”: Creates thickening movement

Laura Leighton with an above-the-shoulder haircut
Laura Leighton, 55

The simple way to ensure a long bob (aka lob) looks beautifully buoyant rather than limp? Snipping in long layers and textured ends, says Saviano. The layers release the weight of hair so it moves more freely and pushes hair up and out for even more volume. Even better? The symmetry created with a middle part draws the eye vertically, “stretching” the face and neck so both appear longer and leaner.

What to ask for: A long bob that floats right above the shoulders with long, blended layers throughout and choppy, point-cut ends.

Styling tip: Part hair down the middle, then gently backcomb at the roots with a teasing brush, to lift hair off of the scalp. Next, loosely wrap 1-inch sections of hair around a 1.5-inch curling iron. Once all of hair is curled and cooled, gently tousle and comb with fingers. Set with hair spray.

7. The curly crop: Camouflages bald spots

Glenn Close smiling at camera
Glenn Close, 76

“The beauty of a tousled crop with layers throughout is that it helps ‘fill in’ — and take attention away from — sparse spots,” says Knoll. Infusing the style with bouncy curls not only boosts the bald patch-masking benefits, but also gives hair mega movement for 360 degrees of volume.

What to ask for: An ear-length cut that’s longer on top and shorter on the sides with stacked layers and side bangs. (Click through for more pixie cuts for women over 60 that are flattering.)

Styling tip: Work a quarter-size amount of a curl-enhancing cream through damp hair from roots to ends. Next, use a diffuser attachment and blow dry hair in 2-inch sections, gently “scrunching” from ends up to roots with your free hand at the same time. Repeat until all of hair has been dried and curled.

8. The classy coif: Builds body at the crown

Maye Musk with a cropped hairstyle that's one of the best haircuts for thin hair
Maye Musk, 75Shutterstock

A longer-on-top pixie infuses the shorter cut with mega volume. Not only does it help hair look fuller but by directing the eye upward, features like eyes and cheeks get a lift, counteracting the aging effects of gravity. Plus, says Rodney Cutler, a hairstylist who has worked with Rachael Ray and Emma Watson, a cut that’s longer on top and shorter on the sides helps give cropped style a softer appearance.

What to ask for: An ear-length crop with light, blended layers that’s longer through the top and shorter on the sides.

Styling tip: Wash hair with a thickening shampoo to bulk up strands and lock in that fullness. Next, blow-dry damp hair while brushing it back with a paddle brush. Once dry, gently tease at the roots, then smooth up and over to one side. Set with hair spray. (Click through to learn how Nizoral shampoo for hair loss can thicken hair.)

9. The blunt bob: Helps hair appear more dense

Allison Janney smiling with a blunt bob haircut that's one of the best haircuts for thin hair
Allison Janney, 63

The combination of a bluntly cut style (it makes hair appear more “solid”) and side fringe (it hides sparse spots along the temples) creates the illusion of a fuller-looking mane. Adds Cutler, the mid-length cut “chisels” the jawline and sideswept bangs “lift” cheekbones.

What to ask for: A blunt crop with point-cut ends that rest below the chin, and side bangs long enough to tuck behind the ear.

Styling tip: Blow-dry damp hair using a paddle brush until all of hair is dry. Next, use a flat iron on 1-sections of hair to smooth out any natural waves or kinks. Finish by misting strands with a dry texture spray. The spray provides finer tresses with some grittiness so the smooth style doesn’t lie flat against the head.

10. The silky shell: Boosts limp locks

Sharon Osborne with a cropped hairstyle that's one of the best haircuts for thin hair
Sharon Osbourne, 70S Meddle/Shutterstock

“A heavily textured crop adds depth and dimension to even the finest of hair so it appears thicker all over,” says hairstylist Diane Stevens, who has worked with Angela Bassett and Regina King. “And all of the layering throughout gives the style fun, flirty flair.”

What to ask for: A jawline-skimming cut with graduating, stacked layers throughout and soft side fringe in front.

Styling tip: Work a dollop of a volumizing mousse through damp hair. Next, blow-dry hair while using a round brush and pull strands up and out at the roots for added volume. Once hair is dry, gently tousle with fingers to enhance layers and create piecey texture. Set with hair spray.

11. The piecey pixie: Lifts up fall-flat hair

Kris Jenner with pixie cut

“This heavily layered cut gives maximum volume and movement to short hair,” says hairstylist Clyde Haygood, who works with Kris Jenner. Plus, the combination of layers on top and piecey bangs camouflage a widening part while concealing a thinning hairline.

What to ask for: A pixie that’s layered throughout, short in the back and on the sides, and longer up top with wispy bangs.

Styling tip: Start by applying a dime-size amount of a thickening hair cream to damp hair, then blow-dry with a small round brush, pulling hair in opposite directions with each pass of the brush. The cream plumps strands, while a two-way blow-dry lifts hair at the root for added fullness. 

12. The wavy bob: Offsets any bare spots

Kate Beckinsale with wavy bob
Amy Sussman / Staff / Getty

A choppy bob concentrates fullness toward the front of the face to help conceal areas with more fall-out, while styling it with waves creates additional texture and body. And celebrity hairstylist Carrie Butterworth explains that movement at the ends from layering creates the illusion of a denser head of hair.

What to ask for: A shoulder-skimming­ cut with long, blended layers and point-cut ends.

Styling tip: To create­ effortlessly volumizing waves without causing your arms to cramp, try an automatic curling wand, like KISS Instawave 101 Automatic Curler. You just place the ends of a 2″ section of hair into the prongs, press the button (so hair will wrap around the barrel) and unravel after 30 seconds to reveal soft, yet buoyant waves.

13. The sassy swing: Volumizes all over

Gayle King with chopped hair
Emma McIntyre / Staff / Getty

The wispy layers and slightly choppy texture of this bob draws attention to ends of hair away from sparse spots. “This cut redistributes the weight in the hair,” says hairstylist Carrie Butterworth, who’s worked with Sigourney Weaver and Mena Suvari. “It’s like cutting volume right into the hair, making strands appear more solid.”

What to ask for: Ask for a bob with long, soft layers at the bottom. “Thin hair can’t withstand lots of layering,” says Butterworth. “A too choppy cut will look thinner, not fuller.”

Styling tip: Before blow-drying hair, mist on a thickening spray, like Biolage Volume Bloom Full-Lift Volumizer Spray through damp hair. It “swells” individual strands so hair looks fuller once dry.

Bonus: 3 shower secrets to thicker hair

Whether you want to boost the hair-thickening power of your new cut or simply achieve more luscious looking locks, try this 3-step shower routine that helps amp up thinning hair.

1. Exfoliate the scalp with a brush

A silicone scalp brush removes a buildup of dead cells, oil and other impurities that clog hair follicles and stall growth. Best of all, studies report that these brushes, like Pacifica Clarifying Scalp Massage Brush, promote new growth as the massage boosts blood flow to the scalp to put follicles in an active growth phase. To use, rub on a damp scalp for 2 minutes before shampooing hair. 

2. Cleanse hair with an apple cider vinegar shampoo  

Remove any volume-sapping product or oil buildup on hair by shampooing with an apple cider vinegar–infused shampoo, like Pura D’or Apple Cider Vinegar Thin2Thick Shampoo. The vinegar’s acetic acid whisks away leftover impurities and cuts down on oil production so hair looks fuller. To use, work a palmful through damp hair. Let sit 1 minute before rinsing out.

3. Condition locks with rosemary

To restore hair-plumping moisture post-shampoo, swap conditioner for a mask made with rosemary oil, like Camille Rose Rosemary Oil 5-Minute Strengthening Hair Mask. Rosmarinic acid in the herb hydrates hair and is study-proven to stimulate growth. To use, apply a nickel-size amount of the mask on damp hair; rinse after 5 minutes.

For more styling tips for thin hair, click through these stories:

How to Style Thinning Hair So It Looks Twice as Thick

Shag Haircuts for Women Over 50 Add Instant Pizzaz + Volume to Any Length Hair

8 Bang Styles That Conceal a Receding Hairline + Make Hair Look Thicker

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