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16 Ways to Give Thin Hair Visible Volume and Body

We’re sharing all our secrets to faking fuller hair.
June 28, 2024

Search “how to get thicker hair,” and you’ll likely find a slew of purported solutions. But, the truth is, there are some things about your mane that you just can’t change.

While your haircare routine and styling habits can help your hair grow healthy and strong, it won’t alter the diameter of your strands. Much like your genes determine your eye color and height, the thickness of your strands is determined long before your mane is lengthy enough to style. The good news, however, is that you can do plenty of things to create the appearance of thicker, more voluminous hair.

Learning how to make thin hair look thicker is also easier than it may seem. It's all about creating the illusion of density and fullness. Whether you switch up your hairstyle or upgrade your haircare routine, rest assured you don't have to be an expert to pull it off. If you're ready to transform your thin strands into a voluminous-looking, full head of hair, check out these 16 simple tips.

How Do I Make My Thin Hair Thicker?

When trying to decide the best strategy to thicken hair, you'll want to examine your haircare routine and go-to styles. The products you use, techniques you rely on, and style you opt for will go a long way in changing the way your mane looks and feels. Below, we've curated a range of tips from product recommendations to ideas for your next big chop—all intended to get you closer to your thick hair dreams.

Choose the right haircut

One of the easiest ways to add volume to your hair is with the right haircut for your thin strands. If you're hoping to give your thin hair the appearance of fuller ends and more density, ask for a blunt cut. Short haircuts such as a bob or a wavy lob are particularly flattering for thin hair as they lack the length that can weigh hair down.

When you have naturally thin hair, keeping up with routine trims will make a big difference in maintaining the shape and fullness of your hair. While many overlook this step, an excess of split ends or hair breakage can make your strands appear even thinner. The best way to fix this is with a trim or haircut.

Switch up your part

Not ready for a big chop? No worries. You can still achieve some volume at your roots with this simple styling hack. Consider swapping out your middle part in favor of a deep side part to enhance the look of your thin strands. A side part can make your hair appear thicker, creating the appearance of a side-swept hairstyle with natural fullness. Flip your hair to one side, and as it settles into place, you’ll recognize an extra lift at the roots to complement your new part.

Use a volumizing shampoo and conditioner system

A volumizing shampoo and conditioner are an easy pick when you have thin, flat hair, so reach for the L’Oréal Paris EverPure Volume Sulfate Free Shampoo For Reviving Fine Hair and L’Oréal Paris EverPure Volume Sulfate Free Conditioner For Reviving Fine Hair. This duo is formulated with lotus botanicals to revive fine, flat hair, infusing luminous shine and lasting volume.

Apply lightweight styling products

Thick hair masks and heavy serums can weigh down thin hair. After washing your hair, finish with the L’Oréal Paris Elvive Hyaluron + Plump Moisture Plump Serum, Paraben-Free, to give your style a surge of hydration, added body, and enhanced shine. Try the L’Oréal Paris Elvive Dream Lengths 8 Second Wonder Water Lamellar Hair Treatment in place of a heavy hair mask. This ultra-lightweight, in-shower treatment leaves you with shinier, softer, and healthier-looking hair in as little as eight seconds.

Air-dry your hair the right way

Air drying your hair is a great way to take advantage of your hair's natural volume and texture. Not to mention, it can help cut down on heat damage, which can lead to the appearance of thin hair. After washing your hair, those with curly or wavy hair can reach for a curl-enhancing cream like the L'Oréal Paris Elvive Dream Lengths Curls Non-Stop Creamy Curls Leave-in Conditioner to define their hair's natural wave pattern. Apply a dime-sized dollop of product to your palm, rub your hands together, and work it through the length of your curls.

Creating heatless waves is a breeze, even if you don't have naturally wavy hair. Simply apply a styling gel like the L'Oréal Paris Studio Line Invisi Gel, divide your damp hair into two equal sections, and braid each side. Once your hair is dry, undo the braids, and you'll have effortless, heatless waves that add a natural fullness to your hair.

Blow dry your strands upwards

While heat can cause hair damage, when used correctly and with plenty of heat protection, it can also be a valuable tool in your journey to get thick-looking hair. After applying a heat protectant like L'Oréal Paris Elvive Dream Lengths Heat Slayer Leave In, use your blow dryer to set the volume at your roots. Instead of holding the blow dryer above your head and drying your hair downward, bring your hand down and blow dry your hair upward. This simple change in direction can do wonders to boost volume because it lifts the roots off your scalp, adding height to your style.

Another way to do this is to lean over and flip your head upside down and blow dry your hair downward. When you flip your head back up, you'll have noticeable volume and lift.

Try a voluminous blowout for special occasions

The ultra-bouncy and chic '90s blowout that social media can't get enough of is the perfect style for transforming fine strands. To get the voluminous look, start by applying the L'Oréal Paris Advanced Hairstyle BOOST IT Volume Inject Mousse evenly throughout damp hair. This lightweight mousse is a must for thin hair as it helps to provide long-lasting volume and fullness, plus heat protection.

Once you've applied the mousse, pick up a round brush and a blow dryer and work the hair over the round brush, flipping it under as you dry it. After each section of hair, place velcro rollers at the front of your face, starting at the ends of your hair and rolling downward toward the root. Repeat this process until your hair is fully dry and you've placed all the velcro rollers.

Allow your style to set (the hair will feel cool), and remove the velcro rollers. Now, for the final touch, flip your head upside down and shake through your strands with your fingers. This will reveal body and noticeable face-framing volume, giving your '90s blowout the perfect finishing touch.

Use clip-in extensions for added volume and length

If long, voluminous strands are your ultimate hair goal, hair extensions might be a good option for you. While options like tape-in or sew-in extensions require a trip to the salon and quite a bit of maintenance, clip-in extensions are perfect for anyone looking to quickly add length and volume without fully committing to the extension lifestyle. If you're pleased with the length of your mane, you can still use a few clip-ins to create the illusion of denser hair.

Whether you opt for clip-in extensions, tape extensions, or beaded extensions, they can help give your thin strands a top-to-bottom makeover, adding instant length, body, and volume.

Try a thickening hair paste

The right hair-thickening products can make all the difference when styling your thin strands. To create the illusion of fuller hair, consider applying a thickening hair pomade, like the L’Oréal Paris Studio Line Overworked Putty. This hair pomade is an excellent complement for short hairstyles and creates texture that doesn’t feel or look crunchy. Use a pea-sized amount of product and reach for more if needed. Too much product can weigh down your hair, exacerbating the appearance of thinness.

Use the right dry shampoo

Dry shampoo should be your best friend if you have thin hair because it can refresh oily roots and instantly add volume. To avoid a pesky white cast, reach for a tinted dry shampoo that will blend perfectly with your mane hue. Spray it directly onto your roots, holding the can six to eight inches from your head. Use your fingers to massage the product into your roots to ensure it is evenly distributed.

Double up your ponytail

Even those with fine hair can effortlessly transform their thin ponytail into one that is bouncy and lively sans hair extensions. The trick is to create two ponytails instead of one. By stacking one on top of the other, you can fake the appearance of a full, voluminous ponytail. Start by parting your hair horizontally down the back of your head, creating a top and bottom section. Remember to keep them even in size.

Clip your top section of hair up to keep it out of the way. Take the bottom section of hair, smooth it into a ponytail at the middle of your head, and secure it with an elastic. Then, unclip the top section of hair and create a ponytail above the bottom section of the ponytail you just created. Secure it with an elastic, and there you have it—an easy, voluminous ponytail with some extra length and bounce.

Backcomb away

A healthy dose of backcombing can do wonders to give your hair instant volume and a little lift at the roots. Grab a teasing comb, separate an inch of hair on each side of your part, and clip it up. Then, take the teasing comb and backcomb (comb downward) the hair near the roots.

Once you’ve evenly teased the hair on both sides of your part, spritz the L’Oréal Paris Elnett Satin Extra Strong Hold Hair Spray - Unscented to set your style. Then, unclip your hair and smooth it over the sections you just teased to reveal your revamped ‘do.

Add volume with braids

To create the appearance of a thicker braid, use the pancaking technique. This technique involves carefully tugging the braid apart to create the illusion of a fuller-looking plait. It can elevate any braided hairstyle, from French braids to rope braids to fishtail braids and more.

Add fullness to your roots

A telltale sign that you have thin hair is when your part looks sparse and your scalp is visible. For an instant upgrade, spray your roots with the L’Oréal Paris Magic Cover Root Touch Up to fake the appearance of fuller strands in an instant. The product will settle on your strands, making them appear thicker, and hide any visible scalp, giving your mane a fuller look. This easy hack is a game changer for thin hair and a great way to also conceal grays or outgrown roots.

Try lowlights

Lowlights are darker pops of color that add depth and dimension to your hair, both of which can help make thin hair appear thicker and more plentiful. Next time you head to the salon, ask for some lowlights to accompany your highlights, and the optical illusion will help bulk up the appearance of your hair.

Use a smaller barrel when curling your hair

Loose waves are undoubtedly gorgeous, but they tend to fall flat on fine strands, losing their volume over time. Tighter curls, on the other hand, take much longer to loosen and fall, making them better for long-lasting volume. If you want to try this styling hack, look for a curling iron with a one-inch barrel or smaller and use that to style your hair. Not only will a smaller barrel curling iron help your curls hold better, but it will also add definition and volume to your thin strands, helping to boost fullness.

Before you apply heat to your hair, always prime with a heat protectant, like the L’Oréal Paris EverPure Sulfate-Free Weightless Blow Dry Primer, Heat Protectant to shield your strands from the scorching temperatures of your hot tools.

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