We all have our hair battles to fight—frizz, hydration, and dullness, among others—but when you have fine hair, the greatest opponent is volume, or lack thereof. There are a lot of factors that cause the downfall (literally) of our strands, such as damaging hairstyles or the overuse of silicones, but did you know that the wrong haircut is one of the biggest culprits for making thin hair look thinner? That's right—although your washing and styling habits are undoubtedly important, the first step to faking extra volume is the right cut, which can help you eliminate the weight that's pulling down your hair.
Talking to your hairstylist to achieve this goal can prove a bit challenging—especially when you're not familiar with hairstyling lingo—so we asked some top hairstylists exactly what to ask for the next time you're sitting in the salon chair. Below, the best hairstyles for thin hair to feign a fuller scalp.
If you have a finer hair texture but like to keep your length long, Seamus McKernan, hairstylist and Nioxin Top Artist, recommends asking your stylist for a blunt haircut. "Blunt cuts have a solid, clean line at the perimeter of the hair that gives the appearance of fuller hair. All the hair that is at the bottom gets cut off, thus creating the illusion of more bulk."
If you prefer shorter hairstyles, ask your stylist for a box bob. Hairstylists are dubbing this look the "new facelift for your hair," and looking at the plethora of photo inspo, it's not hard to see why. "I always go for a box bob to add fullness and swing to the hair," says McKernan. "The blunt shape provides maximum weight and thickness while remaining easy to style." You can customize the length to hit at the chin or skim the shoulders, but stylists generally advise requesting a center part for this cut as it will ensure your length is perfectly symmetrical. You can also ask your stylist to add some textured ends for the perfect finish.
If you do opt for layers, keep them minimal in order to preserve fullness and body. "A graduated haircut is where more of the weight is focused in the back and nape of the head," says Dereq Clark, hairstylist and Wella Professionals North American Ambassador. "This is beneficial when trying to achieve a fuller look because of the stacked layers that are cut into it." The gradual progression of lengths from short to longer can hold shape and allow for volume to be emphasized.
A shaggy lob—or 'wolf cut' as TikTok is calling it—can add soft volume and texture to your style while looking cool and edgy, says celebrity stylist Ryan Richman. Think of this cut as the marriage of a mullet and a lob—old-fashioned with a modern twist. "To achieve the look on short hair, use a curling iron or flat iron to add waves to blow-dried hair. Use alternating directions and different sized barrels for some variation throughout your style. Finish with a spritz of texturizing spray for weightless volume and texture to complete the look," advises Richman.
Exactly what it sounds, the clavicut is a haircut kissing the collarbone. It's (surprise, surprise) free of layers and super-blunt. The medium length lets you experiment with shorter hair without making too dramatic of a chop—short enough to pass as a lob but long enough to wear in a ponytail. For a cute clavicut hairstyle, try a bent bob. "With the base of the hair bent beneath the top, this effortless style is perfect for the season ahead," says Laura Polko, celebrity hairstylist and Aquage Brand Ambassador. "I like to keep this look soft, shiny, and movable, with a little texture and looseness so it's not too precious."
Asymmetrical triangular bob
Making a huge comeback this year, the asymmetrical triangular bob is great for those looking to add some edge (literally) to a classic bob. This style is intentionally cut unevenly—one side of the hair is longer than the other, creating a chic, ultra-feminine outcome that caters to all face shapes. Although it can work with any hair type, it pairs especially well with straight styles as it emphasizes the striking line.
According to stylists, side bangs can add fullness and serve as a distraction from thin roots. Less is more when it comes to side bangs, since the goal is to appear casual and relaxed. Celebrity hairstylist Julius Michael says it's important to avoid over-styling to prevent your bangs from looking flat. And if you have a cowlick, steer clear of this look as it can add awkward volume in the wrong place.