The 5 Best Styles for Thinning Hair, Experts Say
Hair looking flat? Ask for one of these cuts the next time you're at the salon.
Looking in the mirror and noticing that your hair suddenly appears flatter and less abundant is disheartening. Hair sometimes thins temporarily, but the change could be more permanent due to heredity, hormonal changes, or medical conditions, according to Mayo Clinic. It also might just be an unfortunate aspect of the aging process. But whatever the reason, you don't have to give up the appearance of thicker locks. According to experts, certain cuts and styles can help thinning hair look more lustrous and voluminous.
"The look of thin hair can change dramatically with the power of the humble scissor—and the correct cutting hand," Alice Rawling, hair stylist and chief editor at Hairdo Hairstyle, tells Best Life. Read on to find out the five best styles you can rock with thinning hair.
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While you might not be eager to part with any length, a trendy French bob might actually be the way to go when it comes to thinning hair. This look differs from a standard bob thanks to the way it's cut, and it traditionally includes bangs that graze the eyebrows, according to Glamour.
"French bobs are cut so that the most noticeable part of your hair lies at the cheekbones," Ghanima Abdullah, cosmetologist at The Right Hairstyles, tells Best Life. "They also put more weight at the bottom of the hair shaft. So eyes will be drawn down and more to your face."
The French bob can also be altered to suit your preferences, according to Fae Norris, stylist and colorist at the popular Rock Paper Salon in Los Angeles. "What I like for women with thinning hair… is the classic, French, asymmetrical look as well as the 1920s style bobs," she explains. "They allow the hair strands to feel thick and healthy and can be customized to fit a personal style."
That said, you can go without the bangs if you prefer. And if you want to further disguise thinning, Abdullah recommends switching up your part when asking for this cut. As bonuses, this style exudes the relaxed, model-off-duty vibes so many of us are after, and it saves time when blowdrying.
Across the board, hairstylists recommended a blunt haircut for those with thinning hair, particularly one that's on the shorter side.
"The haircut of choice for those with thin hair is a blunt cut; it keeps the bulk of the weight at the ends, which gives a thicker, fuller, healthier appearance as opposed to a highly textured look that accentuates breakage or thinness towards the ends," Rawling says. She recommends a single-length, classic bob "for maximum density."
And whereas the French bob is particularly popular right now, the traditional bob never goes out of style.
"It's the perfect choice for a timeless cut you'll never get sick of, unlike some trendier hairstyles," Rawling tells Best Life. "Even if you don't want to go super short, wearing the length at the collarbone level or close to it will give the illusion of more density on the bottom edge."
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A pixie cut is a daring choice, but if your hair is feeling thinner than usual, it might be time to consider this super short—and chic—look. "Pixie cuts are great for making thin and fine hair feel and look thicker," Norris explains.
And contrary to popular belief, there are several different ways you can style this cut. "The styling options are endless, but if keeping some length on top is the goal, the blunt edge rule still applies," Norris says. "A deep side part will give better volume than one in the middle."
Jean Lopez, co-founder at LilyHair, explains that a medium-long pixie cut can make hair appear more voluminous, especially if you don't like to spend too much time on your haircare routine.
If you opt to go shorter, Norris recommends introducing a saltwater spray or dry shampoo to your routine to achieve that "tousled, messy look."
Sound like something you might want to try? When you go to the salon, "ask for a haircut with a few layers that use your length, although it's short, to swirl around your head," Abdullah advises. "This sort of haircut helps mask your scalp if it's showing. That can't be done with long lengths of hair."
With a pixie cut, be warned that you might also find yourself getting your hair cut more often "for touch-ups," Rawling says. "The more trims, the better for your thin ends—no matter the length of your cut."
According to professionals, thinning hair can also look better with the addition of bangs.
"Bangs or fringes deliver a great look too, particularly if the hair around the front hairline is losing density," Norris explains. "A blunt edge is ideal for the bottom and adding a few invisible layers to the crown will deliver some volume with nominal impact on thickness."
There are a few different variations of bangs to try out, including trendier curtain or side-swept bangs.
"Typically women thin at the temples and front hairline most, so getting a soft side sweep or longer curtain bangs gives a soft frame around that face and allows you to 'fill' or cover the hairline," Lisa Abbey, professional hairstylist and founder and CEO of Strength x Beauty Hair Care, says.
Abbey adds that an off-center part should be used when you brush your bangs to the side so that you have enough hair on both sides. "Parting too deeply to one side exposes the thinning hairline at that side," she says.
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While professionals assert that a shorter, blunt cut is important to maintain volume and fullness for thinning hair, those who can't stomach a pixie cut can consider layers.
"A long layered cut creates an illusion to give the hair much volume and density," Lopez says. "This haircut is perfect for those people with thinning hair who don't want to sacrifice their hair length."
When going with a bob, you can also ask your hairdresser for stacked layers—those that are shorter and rounded in the back—Abbey says.
"Anyone with fine hair knows getting layers can be risky—too many and they tend to look choppy, remove too much bulk and it makes the hair look thinner and lay flatter," she explains. "The beauty of stacked layers is that they're undercut to lift the hair and add a ton of volume and body without looking 'layered' or choppy."