The quest for learning how to thicken hair is real—and it can be a major struggle. From having naturally fine hair to age or stress-related thinning and damage-related breakage, there are many reasons why people have thin-looking hair. Luckily, there are some effective workarounds you can use to help your hair look and feel thicker.
For example, you can employ certain styling techniques—like teasing and backcombing—for boosted volume and methods for brushing that reduce breakage. You can even use products that protect and nourish your strands to repair strength, or certain styling products, such as texturizing sprays, that add oomph to your mane.
For the full rundown on how to thicken hair visibly, we’re detailing all the above.
Care Tips For Thicker Hair
Trying to figure out how to get thicker hair? First thing’s first: It’s important to make sure your hair is its healthiest. Damaged or stressed strands are susceptible to breakage. Here’s what to do.
Choose the right hair care system for you.
Every shampoo and conditioner formula has an end result in mind, whether that’s clarifying or adding shine. If thickness is your main concern, choose a system that claims to be “volumizing” or “densifying”. These hair thickening shampoos, conditioners, and products are formulated specifically to nourish your strands, prevent them from getting flat or weighed down, and can even temporarily boost volume.
Also note that the way you use the system is just as important as the product’s formula, so pay close attention to the instructions on the back of both bottles.
Brush with care.
Breakage happens to all of us, but minimizing it can help your hair appear thicker. It’s important to treat your hair gently so as to avoid snapping strands. Because undue breakage can often happen during overly-rough brushing, it’s important to remember how fragile each strand is. We like to place a hand mid-hair shaft, then brush in small strokes. Start with your ends, then slowly work your way up to the root. Easy does it. (Do note that everyone experiences a little bit of fallout during styling. It’s normal!)
Don’t skip heat protection.
The name of the game is maximizing the look of hair you actually have, so it’s important to take good care of it. Regular blow drying and heat styling may make hair feel dehydrated and brittle, so it’s extra important to guard your strands against damage. Before hitting the “on” button, use a heat protectant like Kérastase Résistance Ciment Thermique Blow Dry Primer, which helps protect damaged hair during blow dry sessions.
Air dry when you can.
Choose several days a week to put down the hair dryer and opt to air dry instead. We love to apply a texturizing product like L'Oréal Professionnel Tecni.Art Volume Envy Extra Mousse, which texturizes, volumizes, and enhances the natural shape of the hair for an effortless, tousled look. No heat needed.
Protect your tresses while you sleep.
Here’s a lesser-known tip that’s worked wonders for our hair over the years: Before going to sleep at night, we recommend tying back your hair with a no-crease elastic. This genius hack works to make your hair look and feel thicker in two different ways.
First, you can avoid the static and stress potentially put on hair by being dragged across your pillow’s surface for eight hours a night. Secondly, a loose side braid or topknot is a heat-free way to achieve bounce and a gentle wave for the next day. Also, we recommend not sleeping in a ponytail. The style doesn’t really protect your ends, and may also leave you with an unfortunate crease that’s practically impossible to get rid of in time for work.
Seek out guidance from a pro.
Real talk: It’s not healthy for your mind, body, or hair to stress out over your hair. If breakage, hair loss, or general thinness is getting you down, it may be time to take your concerns to a professional. Schedule an appointment with your tried-and-true dermatologist for more clues about what may be causing any hair loss or thinning.
Styling Tips For Thicker-Looking Hair
In addition to thoughtfully caring for your tresses, there are some “cheats” if you will, for how to get thicker hair by way of styling techniques.
Use a high-quality boar bristle brush.
It’s important to realize how much hair thickness is actually just your eyes playing a trick on you. If you have oily hair, the natural oils may weigh down your mane at the root and make it seem limp and flat. Instead of agonizing over the reality of the situation, pick up an inexpensive boar bristle brush to replace your paddle brush. The bristles may help distribute the oil throughout your hair more evenly, making your strands seem less weighed down and more voluminous. By the way, make sure you’re brushing dry hair, not wet, to avoid unnecessary breakage.
Backcomb and tease for extra volume.
Southern girls can attest to the fact that teasing hair is truly a way of life, particularly if you can get the technique down. Eager to know how to make your hair look thicker using this technique? We’ve got you. First, using a comb, choose 1-inch sections around the crown and gently comb the hair toward the root. Slow and steady is the best strategy, especially since we’re focusing on ways to minimize damage.
When each teased section is finished, gently comb a top layer of hair over the top of it to hide the teasing. We like to finish with a light spritz of hairspray, just to make sure your amped-up ‘do stays in place. Backcombing is an excellent choice for ponytails and updos, as well. Practice teasing your hair in front of a mirror, so you can see exactly what you’re doing. Every stroke of the comb is important, especially on thin-feeling hair. Invest in a set of extensions.
Embrace texturizing spray.
We live and die by texturizing sprays and they’re about to change your life, too. Like a magical combination of dry shampoo and mousse, the right hair thickening spray can help your hair feel bouncier, sexier, and (of course) look thicker. This stuff doesn’t mess around, so don’t be surprised if you become addicted. Need a starter product? Try Redken’s Windblown 05 Dry Finishing Texturizing Spray, formulated to create a windswept effect, or Shu Uemura Art Of Hair’s Wata Wave Texture Spray.
Consider investing in extensions.
It seems like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how many women never really consider extensions a viable option. There’s no better guarantee to achieve the look of thicker hair quite like adding more hair to your head, whether that’s through clip-ins or keratin-bonded extensions.
Whatever your preference, we understand that the world of extra hair can be overwhelming for newbies. Your best option is talking to your stylist to review your options (don’t forget to share a rough estimate of how much you’d like to spend). Rest assured, there’s a custom solution that will work with even the busiest lifestyle.
Our Best Products For Thicker-Looking Hair
Our Best Thickening Shampoos And Conditioners
Biolage Advanced Full Density Shampoo And Conditioner
Kick off your hair care routine with a hair thickening shampoo and conditioner like Biolage Advanced Full Density Shampoo And Conditioner. This system helps make thin hair look and feel thicker and healthier while removing impurities and preventing hair loss.
Kérastase Densifique Bain Densite Shampoo And Densifique Fondant Conditioner
Don’t add those extensions to your shopping cart just yet: Kérastase Densifique Bain Densite Shampoo And Densifique Fondant Conditioner can help you create the illusion of thicker hair with just one wash. This hyaluronic acid-infused system eliminates product build-up while strengthening, moisturizing, and increasing hair density.
L'Oréal Professionnel Serie Expert Pro Longer Shampoo and Conditioner
Growing your hair out is a process. While thicker hair types typically have no problems maintaining density from root to tip, those with thin strands may notice their ends appear thinner than the rest of their mane.
If that’s the case, invest in a shampoo and conditioner system like L'Oréal Professionnel Serie Expert Pro Longer Shampoo and Conditioner. This thickening system, made with a combination of amino acid and filler-A100, brings strength to the hair fiber while thickening and renewing thinned ends.
Matrix Total Results High Amplify Shampoo And Conditioner
Adding volumizing hair products to your routine is one of the easiest ways to boost the look of fine or thin hair. Start in the shower with Matrix Total Results High Amplify Shampoo and Conditioner. This silicone-free system acts as a plumper for fine, limp hair, boosting the structure for long-lasting volume and fullness.
Shu Uemura Art Of Hair Muroto Volume Shampoo
We’ve got one more shampoo option to help create the look of thicker hair. Specifically formulated for fine hair types, this lightweight shampoo gently cleanses your strands while delivering long-lasting volume. In addition, it helps create a rebalance of natural oils on your scalp for healthier feeling hair.
Our Best Thickening Styling Products
Redken Volume Maximizer Thickening Spray
Figuring out how to thicken fine hair? This lightweight volumizing spray is a real game changer. Simply disperse the fine mist across your strands to enjoy all-day volume and body. It’s approved for all hair types and can be used on air-dried or blow-dried strands.
Redken Thickening Lotion 06
This multi-tasking formula doubles as a thickening hair product and
strengthening treatment. Apply a quarter-sized amount throughout towel-dried
hair to give your mane body, texture, and shine while proteins work to
reconstruct and fortify each strand.
Kérastase Densifique Densimorphose Hair Mousse
This hair mousse is formulated with hyaluronic acid to strengthen each hair fiber and prevent future breakage. It also provides lightweight volume and touchable thickness throughout your mane for healthy-looking hair.
Matrix Total Results High Amplify Anti-Frizz Hairspray
You can amp up any hairstyle with a few spritzes of Matrix Total Results High Amplify Anti-Frizz Hairspray. This ultra-fine mist hairspray creates all-over volume and shine, giving your mane a fuller appearance that lasts from day to night.
Redken Full Frame 07 All-Over Volumizing Mousse
Fact: You don’t need thick, plentiful locks to embrace big hair energy. All you’ll need is a volumizing hair mousse like Redken Full Frame 07 All-Over Volumizing Mousse. This medium-control styling foam lifts and volumizes hair from root to tip while protecting your mane from heat and humidity.
Pureology Style + Protect Texture Finishing Spray
Texturizing spray is every fine-haired girl’s best-kept secret. A few spritzes can create touchable fullness, helping ponytails and top knots appear thicker with added grip so that they last throughout the day. We recommend a texturizing spray like Pureology Style + Protect Texture Finishing Spray. This lightweight formula gives hair body, shine, and effortless texture without any crunch or built-up left behind.
Pureology Style + Protect Weightless Volume Mousse
Here’s another goodie from this Pureology series. Especially ideal for color-treated hair, this mousse delivers weightless volume to your strands while shielding that expensive salon color.
Shu Uemura Art Of Hair Wata Wave Texture Spray
We mentioned this texturizing finishing spray above, and we're excited to tell you more about it. It's the perfect way to add touchable texture to your strands to help create the look of thicker hair. The effect is more of a tousled and lived-in look, and the product boasts a long-lasting flexible hold you can rely on throughout the day.
L'Oréal Professionnel Serie Expert Volumetry Anti-Gravity Effect Volume Spray
Kick flat hair to the curb with this anti-gravity volume spray from L'Oreal Professionnel. Ideal for fine hair types, it's meant to be applied at your roots to create notable lift and lasting volume.
Matrix Total Results High Amplify Wonder Boost Root Lifter
Here's another root lifter to try. The nozzle allows you to focus application directly where you want it for immediately boosted volume. When used in conjunction with High Amplify Shampoo, Conditioner, and Hairspray, it provides up to 45 percent boosted volume when compared to not washing your hair.
L'Oréal Professionnel Mythic Oil Huile Originale
If you’re on the prowl for a hair thickening oil, we recommend sticking to an ultra lightweight formula and concentrating application to the midshaft and ends. L'Oréal Professionnel Mythic Oil Huile Originale is a silky formula made with argan oil that helps add shine, heat protection, and frizz protection.
Our Best Thickening Hair Treatments And Masks
Kerastase Specifique Intensive Scalp & Thinning Hair Treatment
If your hair is looking thinner than usual, it might benefit from a system that helps improve the appearance of thinning hair. Kerastase's Specifique Intensive Scalp & Thinning Hair Treatment is an intensive three-piece system that increases hair flexibility, recaptures volume, and lends to thicker-looking hair.
Biolage Advanced Full Density Densifying Treatment
Another one of our best hair thickening products is Biolage Advanced Full Density Densifying Treatment. It helps thin hair look thicker and healthier. This hair treatment is made with biotin to increase the diameter of existing hair by nine percent while smoothing, conditioning, and taming frizz.
Kérastase Densifique Masque Densite Hair Mask
While heavier, thicker hair masks work wonders for coarse hair, a lightweight gel
formula, like Kérastase Densifique Masque Densite Hair Mask, is ideal for fine
tresses. This hair mask helps create the appearance of thicker hair while
adding shine and providing easy detangling.
Kérastase Initialise Scalp & Hair Serum
Maintaining a dedicated scalp care routine is essential when it comes to thickening your hair. Use a hair serum like Kérastase Initialise Scalp & Hair Serum that strengthens hair from the root to the tip. This formula adds substance to thicken hair, reduces breakage, and softens strands for an all-around healthier, fuller-looking mane.
L'Oréal Professionnel Serie Expert Pro Longer Ends Filler Concentrate
If thinning ends are your biggest struggle, this innovative, hair-thickening treatment is a must-have for your routine. L'Oréal Professionnel Serie Expert Pro Longer Ends Filler Concentrate is made with patented thickening technology. The formula penetrates the hair fiber, renewing and thickening thinning ends so your hair can grow longer and stronger.
Now that you’ve been equipped with the right hair thickening products, tools, and techniques for how to thicken hair visibly, may your ponytail be full and your mane voluminous.
Interested in more expert hair tips? Use our salon locator to book an appointment at a salon near you.