Every fine-haired woman knows the struggle of styling voluminous curls only to watch them fall flat in minutes. Or, leaving your house with freshly washed hair and coming home with oily, limp strands by the end of the day. For most women with flat hair, the struggle to maintain volume and keep your strands grease-free for more than a day is absolutely real.
If you’re at a loss on how to care for fine hair, we’re here to help! We reached out to Matthew Morris, Kérastase artistic director and brand ambassador, for everything you need to know about fine hair. Whether your fine strands are long, short, or somewhere in between, we’re breaking down the best fine hair products and styling tips you need to know.
How can someone tell if they have fine hair?
Before we get into the nitty-gritty of caring for fine hair, you might be wondering what exactly is fine hair and how you can tell if you have it. According to Morris, there’s a big difference between thin and fine hair—although women frequently confuse the two.
“The actual diameter of the hair is smaller when it comes to fine hair,” Morris says. “The difference between fine hair and thin hair is density. It’s very common to have a lot of fine hair. I, myself, have a lot of fine hair. If your hair follicles are fewer, your hair density is thinner. Fine hair is commonly limp, flat, and lacks volume.”
Still unsure about determining your own hair type? Consider seeking out a professional for all of your burning hair questions.
How often should you wash fine hair?
How often you should shampoo your hair is still a major source of confusion in the hair world—no matter your hair type. You might have the urge to shampoo your hair the moment your roots start to get greasy but if maintaining volume is your main concern, using shampoo too frequently can easily flatten your mane. For fine hair, you’ll want to limit washing your hair to three or four times a week.
What should you avoid doing if you have fine hair?
Morris warns that applying more conditioner than directed on the package and using heavy products designed for coarse hair can severely weigh fine strands down. While conditioner is typically used directly after shampoo, the stylist offers an alternative method for fine-haired gals.
“My suggestion is to use products like these overnight so the condition and repair can be done and then washed clean in the morning with a volumizing or densifying shampoo and lightweight conditioner,” the stylist explains.
Because the right haircut is the key to keeping fine hair looking fabulous, Morris recommends maintaining a regular salon visit schedule.
“Get your haircut on time, and don’t try to grow it too much longer as fine hair can get ‘see-through’ when it’s too long and appear stringy,” Morris says.
This may seem counterintuitive is growing your hair into a long, luscious mane is the goal, but keeping your strands at a reasonable length can help your fine hair appear voluminous and full.
While excessive or unprotected heat styling can cause damage for any hair type, Morris says people with fine hair should be particularly cautious about reaching for their hot tools. Since fine hair already tends to lack volume, straightening it can easily take away any body and texture you may have.
Searching for a bit of styling inspiration? Below, we’ve gathered nine of the trendiest hairstyles and haircuts for fine hair and the products you need to achieve them.
The Best Hairstyles And Haircuts For Fine Hair
Good hair day by @hairbyamberjoy.
Face-framing haircuts are on-trend and suit every face shape—what’s not to love? If you have fine hair, you can’t go wrong with face-framing layers.
Good hair day by @bstyled3.
Half-Up Top Knot
If you don’t have a lot of time to dedicate to your styling routine, a half-up top knot is a five-minute hairstyle with serious payoff for fine hair. Apply a few spritzes of texturizing spray throughout your hair before you style to give your strands a bit of grit.
Good hair day by @alimrozhair.
When you’re in a styling rut, a simple hair accessory can make all the difference. Slip in a hair clip or two to give your fine strands an on-trend finishing touch.
Good hair day by @krazy4hair.
If you have fine hair, hair extensions can offer you a bit of help. While you might not be blessed with naturally thick locks, clip-in extensions let you play with length while instantly adding volume and density.
Good hair day by @sarjane_paints.
If you have fine locks, opt for simple hairstyles that give your mane movement and body. Use a curling iron or wand (and a heat protectant!) to create bouncy, voluminous curls.
Good hair day by @calvyncasshair.
Can we be blunt? A long, one-length haircut can seriously weigh your fine hair down. Instead, ask your stylist for a chic blunt cut that falls just below your chin. This cut will also help to make your ends look thicker and fuller.
Good hair day by @escapehairoslo.
If you’re hoping to stick with long hair, ask your stylist for layers—but not too short! Choppy hairstyles can make fine strands appear thinner. Instead, opt for long layers to give your mane movement and fullness instantly.
Flat irons might be a no-go for fine hair, but styling with a hair dryer can give your mane maximum lift and body—with less heat damage.
“One of the great things about fine hair is that it dries faster, so a lower heat setting on your hairdryer will suffice and keep your hair in better condition,” Morris says.
Before heat styling, be sure to apply a heat protectant like the Kérastase L'incroyable Blowdry Hair Lotion.
Good hair day by @jacqui.swan.
You’ve nabbed the perfect length for fine hair, but now it’s time to give your mane a little oomph. Apply a heat protectant throughout your strands and grab a 2-inch barrel curling wand. Wrap 1-inch sections at a time around your wand. Once you’ve finished curling all of your hair, gently brush through your strands to create soft waves. Lock in your look with a few spritzes of light-hold hairspray like the Pureology Style + Protect Soft Finish Hairspray.
Good hair day by @maayanbirnstein.
You may not be able to actually change the density of your hair, but why not fake it? The a-line bob features stacked layers towards the back of your head while the length gets gradually longer towards the front—perfect to create the illusion of thicker strands!
Good hair day by @caitlintyczka.
If you’re looking for an edgy hairstyle for fine hair, you can’t go wrong with a layered pixie cut to give your mane natural body and movement.
Hair Scarf Braid
Tired of your braids slipping and sliding just minutes after you style them? Here’s a quick trick for you: Use a hair scarf to tie your hair into a low ponytail. Once your ponytail is secured, craft a three-strand braid with the loose hair from the ponytail—using the fabric from a hair scarf as your third section. This will thicken your braid and help to keep it secure all day long.
We never say no to fringe but if you have fine hair, you’ll need to be wary of what style of bangs you choose. While blunt bangs can easily fall flat, layered, wispy bangs are ideal for adding movement and style to your mane.
Good hair day by @amybcolor.
Deep Side Part
If your fine strands fall flat at the root, opt for a deep side part to instantly pump up the volume.
The Best Products For Fine Hair
Matrix High Amplify Volumizing Shampoo
Great hair starts in the shower—so we’ve been told by every stylist ever! If you want volume that lasts throughout the day, kick off your routine with a volumizing shampoo like Matrix High Amplify Volumizing Shampoo. This silicone-free formula cleanses to help boost the structure of fine, limp hair. For best results, follow your shampoo with the matching Total Results High Amplify Volumizing Conditioner.
Matrix High Amplify Volumizing Shampoo, $12.50 MSRP
Redken Thickening Lotion 06
If you want strands thick enough to pull off a high ponytail, pick up Redken Thickening Lotion 06. This volumizing, hair-thickening lotion is enriched with proteins that reconstruct and strengthen hair while adding extra body and shine.
Redken Thickening Lotion 06, $26.00 MSRP
Matrix Total Results High Amplify Wonder Boost Root Lifter
If flat, lifeless hair is your concern, it’s time to get to the root of the problem—literally. Opt for a root-lifting product like Matrix Total Results High Amplify Wonder Boost Root Lifter. This formula features a targeted applicator for extreme lift at the root area or all over volume.
Matrix Total Results High Amplify Wonder Boost Root Lifter, $17.00 MSRP
Biolage Thermal Active Heat Protectant Spray
If there’s one product no girl should leave the beauty store without, it’s heat protectant. ine-haired girls, however, you should be extra wary of excessive heat styling. Be sure to add a heat protectant like Biolage Thermal Active Heat Protectant Spray to your styling routine. The product protects against heat while adding body and volume for long-lasting control.
Biolage Thermal Active Heat Protectant Spray, $17.50 MSRP
Pureology Colour Fanatic Multi-Benefit Leave-in Spray
Searching for a product that literally does it all? You’ll want to pick up Pureology’s Colour Fanatic Multi-Benefit Leave-In Spray. This lightweight mist primes, protects, and perfects while delivering 21 essential benefits for color-treated hair.
Pureology Colour Fanatic Multi-Benefit Leave-in Spray, $27.00 MSRP
Redken Triple Dry 15 Dry Texture Finishing Spray
For those with flat, limp strands, adding texture to your mane is always a great option. That’s why you’ll need a texturizing spray like Redken Triple Dry 15 Dry Texture Finishing Spray on hand. This aerosol dry texturizing spray provides hair with airy volume and beachy texture.
Redken Triple Dry 15 Dry Texture Finishing Spray, $22.00 MSRP
Kérastase Bain Densité Shampoo
If your biggest struggle with fine hair is its thin, straw-like appearance, you’ll want to invest in a thickening shampoo. We recommend the Kérastase Bain Densité Shampoo for hair that’s visibly lacking density. For best results, follow your shampoo with the Kérastase Fondant Densité Conditioner.
Kérastase Bain Densité Shampoo, $33.00 MSRP
L’Oréal Professionnel Tecni.Art Volume Envy Extra Mousse
Whether you’re styling a voluminous ponytail, a sleek updo, or a blowout, you’ll need a styling product that can give your fine hair some much needed volume and grip. Opt for a volumizing hair mousse with an extra strong hold like the L’Oréal Professionnel Tecni.Art Volume Envy Extra Volumizing Mousse.
L’Oréal Professionnel Tecni.Art Volume Envy Extra Mousse, $26.00 MSRP
Redken Quick Tease 15 Backcombing Finishing Spray
If teasing your hair is your go-to technique for adding volume to your hair , you’re going to love the Redken Quick Tease 15 Backcombing Finishing Spray. This volumizing hairspray gives hair volume, texture, and control with a lasting matte finish.
Redken Quick Tease 15 Backcombing Finishing Spray, $19.50 MSRP
Redken No Blow Dry Airy Cream
Looking to stay away from heat styling? Try the Redken No Blow Dry Airy Cream. This air-dry styling cream for fine hair provides a quick air-dry, effortless texture, and volume with a no-product feel for the days you don't want to or can't blow dry your hair.
Redken No Blow Dry Airy Cream, $24.00 MSRP
Shu Uemura Muroto Volume Hair Mask
While heavy hair mask formulas can be a nightmare for your hair type, the Shu Uemura Muroto Volume Hair Mask is a lightweight care treatment that’s specifically formulated for fine hair.
Shu Uemura Muroto Volume Hair Mask, $68.00 MSRP
Interested in more expert tips for fine hair? Use our salon locator to book an appointment at a salon near you.