How to Make Fine, Thin Hair Reach New Heights
Does your hair appear full and lush in the morning only for it to deflate by night? Chances are you may have a fine mane, but there’s nothing fine about it.
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“First, it is important to note that fine and thin hair are two different things,” explains Fernando Salas, creator of White Sands Hair Care. “If your hair is fine, it just means your strands are on the thinner side. You can have fine hair, but have lots of it.
“Thinning hair, on the other hand, is classified by an increase in shedding or noticing a decrease in density,” he adds.
No matter which type you were born with, suffering from limp, lifeless tresses can easily out beat your body-boosting efforts. And all that heat from irons and dryers is only making your delicate hair break, causing more harm than good.
Fortunately, you’re not doomed to possess an eternal bad hair day. According to several celebrity stylists, fine hair is actually common among many Hollywood starlets and styling it doesn’t have to be a chore. Find out how to make your fine hair speak volumes with these expert tips below:
Get the Right Cut
Fine hair is prone to falling flat, but you don’t have to settle for heat, which can easily break and damage tresses if used frequently. Instead, stylists say the right haircut can give you the volume Mother Nature couldn’t provide. “Layers will help to texturize the hair, adding volume and [holding] wand curls or beach waves longer, which will make thin hair look thicker and fuller,” explains Riqua Hailes, owner of Just Extensions Salon in Los Angeles. Hailes says specific looks, like the classic bob, create volume and fullness without excess product or heat.
"Shoulder grazing cuts work great with finer hair textures,” says Salas. “This style will never make tresses look too limp at the ends. Loose ringlets are also an easy way to add body to fine hair. But height at the crown will also help finer strands appear fuller. Take a round brush when hair is damp to lift around the roots using heat from your dryer and pair it with a thermal spray.”
Ask for a Rich Color
While the perfect cut can breathe new life to your dull mane, stylists also say too many layers can actually make hair appear thinner. Instead, consider a rich, luminous color for similar results. “I would definitely recommend color or highlights for ladies with fine hair,” says hairstylist Tori Kitagawa of Nelson J Salon in Beverly Hills. “It creates dimension in your hair. Also, color amplifies your hair so it actually gives you a little more volume.”
Less is More
Unlike other types of hair, less is more for maintaining thin tresses. While fine hair is prone to oil, washing it every day will cause your scalp to produce more, giving your hair a greasy, unwashed look. Instead, stylists recommend using several spritzes of dry shampoo during the week to soak up excess oil, all while giving your hair a fresh, clean scent and some extra bounce. “I would also stay away from oily serums, which weigh down the hair,” adds Pasquale Caselle, stylist for IT&LY Hairfashion. “Also, don’t over-condition the hair. I would even skip conditioner and use a light leave-in on the ends to avoid weighing it down.”
While fine hair can feel silky smooth to the touch, it can also be pretty difficult to grow. And while stylists recommend daily vitamins to promote overall good hair health, as well as extensions for an instant fix, it just doesn’t compare to the satisfaction of already having a naturally long mane. While you wait, make sure your hair is loaded with body to ensure it’s always looking its best, no matter how long or short it is. “Using volumizing shampoo, root amplifier, or texture spray, like dray shampoo, helps with the body and hold,” explains Los Angeles-stylist Lionel Renard. “It gives hair the appearance of fullness and enhances lines of a layered cut.” Stay away from any serums or lotions as they can make hair limp and greasy.
Achieve Curls the Proper Way
“For achieving a beach wave or curl, it’s important to pinch the strand with your fingers and then wrap it around your iron,” says Courtney Nischan, stylist for New York’s Ted Gibson Beauty. “If you don’t, and you instead put it between the barrel and clip, it will compress the hair, making it look thinner. Pinching and winding releases the hair, allowing the curl to expand, which will give it a thicker and fuller result.”
Look for Two Things
When it comes to finding hair products that will maximize your hair, there are two things to keep in mind. “Look for products with panthenol in them,” recommends Nischan. “This compound will plump each individual strand’s cuticle, helping the appearance of a more medium texture." As for conditioner, make sure the formula is as light as possible to avoid a too-slick finish. “I would rake the conditioner from the mid-shaft to the ends, avoiding he scalp,” she warns. “Applying it to the scalp can weigh the base down, so avoid it to ensure volume.”
Make Air Your Friend
Since fine hair dries faster than other types, stylists recommend leaving it to air dry. Not only will this save you time from using the iron or blow dryer, but your hair is less likely to break from excess heat, promoting growth. After washing your hair, use a towel to pat dry gently, soaking up any excess water. Never rub, as this will create tangles and frizz.
Dry Upside Down
For days when you must use the blow dryer, make sure you style it a certain way. “Do blow dry your hair upside down,” says Hailes. “This will create more volume, making your hair appear thicker and fuller.”
Prep for Night
Styling your hair for bed is just as important as working your mane for the day. Stylists suggest combing out the hair with a wide tooth comb to prevent tangles that cause breakage and putting it in a loose ponytail or bun. The elastic should never be tight, as this can cause damage to your delicate tresses, preventing new growth from occurring.