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Hair

5 Flattering Hairstyles for Women With Thin Hair

Amplify your tresses.

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It’s a common lament among women of a certain age: ‘The older I get, the thinner my hair gets.’ For me, it wasn’t as if I had Rapunzel-like hair growing up. I teased and sprayed and twisted and banana clipped my thin locks within an inch of their life. (It was the eighties, after all.) Still, I wasn’t prepared for what would happen when I hit the big five-o. There are a lot of wonderful things about aging and beauty, but thinning hair just isn’t one of them. After a little digging, I learned that there are quite a few reasons for breakage and thinning hair, like changes in diet and medication or plain old genetics. Thankfully, I also found that there is no shortage of flattering hairstyles for women with thin hair.

Whether you’ve always had thin hair or are newly adjusting to hair loss, I’m here to help show you how to amplify your tresses and make your hair look more voluminous than you thought possible. Keep reading for all of the best haircuts for thin hair.

Stacked or Layered Blunt Bob Haircut

Reba-McEntire-at-94th-Academy-Awards
Everett Collection

There are many different ways to rock a bob — or just rock a short haircut in general — but my favorite take on the classic blunt cut is a bob with layers, à la Taraji P. Henson. To get this hairstyle, ask your hairstylist for a chop with subtle layers on the sides and in the back — they’ll add volume and dimension to even the thinnest strands.

The great thing about a layered bob is that you can play around with the length so that it works for your hair type and face shape. If you have a round or wide face, try a long bob, or a lob — the longer layers will balance out your face shape. If your face is on the narrow or angular side, go for a short hairstyle with chin-length layers. You can also play around with the layers to suit your personal style. If you like having bangs, add some longer face-framing layers in the front. If you’re feeling sassy, add choppy layers for a piece-y look. The layered bob is so versatile that you can manipulate it to meet nearly any need.

While the layered bob can certainly work for every hair type, I strongly recommend it for women with wavy hair. Waves add an extra level of dimension to perfectly complement those layers and create a casual, beachy look. Pair the cut with subtle highlights, and your friends won’t be able to stop gushing about your new look.

Medium Length Cut With Choppy Layers and Bangs

Jane Seymour in blue dress with bangs haircut for thin hair
Jane SeymourJason Merritt/Getty Images

This may seem specific, but trust me — it’s worth it. If your hair is thinning but you aren’t quite ready to commit to a short hairstyle, ask your hairstylist for a shoulder-length cut with some choppy layers near the front. This cut is especially flattering on women with straight or wavy hair because your relatively flat natural texture makes the choppy layers pop (where they are likely to get lost in curly hair). You can also do this look with side-swept bangs for more laid-back look.

The best part about this hairstyle is that it is very low-maintenance. The choppiness of the layers means that your hair will look natural as it grows out (if you ever decide to grow them out) so there’s no need for frequent visits to the salon to maintain it. 

Pixie Cut

Carolyn Hennesy with a cropped pixie age-defying haircut
Carolyn HennesyGetty Images

The pixie cut has been in style for decades, and there’s a reason for that. It’s a super short hairstyle that’s flattering on every hair type, from tight ringlets to thinner hair, but is especially good for thinning strands that are naturally thickest near the scalp, meaning automatic volume.

It’s a dramatic look, but there is wiggle room when it comes to length and style. If you have thicker hair or fine hair, take a page from Twiggy’s book and try a neatly parted short pixie. Or you can go for a messier, choppier look like Jane Fonda’s current do. You can make a pixie cut work no matter your hair type or face shape, but I think this look is especially flattering on women with angular or finer facial features because the face-framing hairstyle will naturally highlight your bone structure.

No Cut Required

Sarah Jessica Parker with long hair in her 50s
Sarah Jessica ParkerGetty Images

Maybe you’re experiencing thinning hair, but you aren’t quite ready to chop it all off. If so, there are so many flattering hairstyles for you that don’t require a haircut.

One benefit of thin hair is that it can be low-maintenance and make your daily hair care routine a breeze. It doesn’t take long to blow dry, and it’s a lot easier to manipulate than thick hair. With that in mind, here are a few styles that will take you from flat to fabulous.

The Messy Bun

Halle BerryGa Fullner/Shutterstock

My favorite hairstyle for thin hair is probably also the easiest. To create quick, effortless volume with mid-length to long hair, throw your strands into a messy bun with a headband. Despite the name, this updo can actually be very elegant, especially when styled well. It’s versatile, too, as it can be paired with a half-up look whenever you want.

To achieve the perfect messy bun look, comb through your tresses with a round brush, and then add a little volume with a texturizing hairspray. Basically, you want to do your best to create beach waves before putting your hair up — it will create the extra volume that’s required for this look. Next, twist your hair in a loose knot at the crown of your head, and secure it with your favorite hair tie. It may take a couple of tries to strike the right balance of messy-meets-elegant, but once you do, your work is done.

I think this look is especially flattering with blunt-end bangs or curtain bangs because they add a little extra oomph to an otherwise simple updo.

Play Your Part

Allison Janney with a lob short haircut
Allison JanneyDavid Swanson/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

One of the easiest ways you can switch up your look and create more volume is by moving your part. A middle part on a short or medium-length hairstyle emphasizes symmetry and sleekness, but a deep side part creates volume and fullness. Deep side parts are especially stylish with choppy or long layers with a balayage because it creates a more naturally “undone” look. 

Bonus Tip: Use Hair Products Galore

There are a lot of ways to cut and style thin locks for the illusion of thickness, but hair products can do much of the work for you. The products you choose will depend on your hair type. If you have curly hair or natural beach waves, try using a mousse or gel to shape your tresses. Curly hair needs guidance, so a volumizing mousse is helpful in shaping strands while providing protection for their natural volume.

On the other hand, if your hair is on the straighter side, mousse likely won’t do much for you. Instead, try a spritz of texturizing spray or test out dry shampoo. Just spritz a little bit into your roots and run your fingers through the hair on your scalp, heading towards your part. The fluffing motion breaks up residue from the dry shampoo while creating volume. Typically, these products do more than just volumize; they might also add shine, cut frizz, or make your hair color more vibrant. 

Hey, Good Lookin’

Whether you have naturally thin hair, stress-related hair loss, or thinning hair due to aging, don’t worry. There are an endless number of flattering hairstyles and cuts that add shape, volume, and dimension.

Bonus points: Unlike thick hair, thin hair air dries quickly, is easy to style, and requires fewer trips to the salon. Hooray for low-maintenance! So, don’t feel stuck or discouraged by your thin strands — give one of these styles a try, and watch the compliments come pouring in.

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