We love to tailor our hair care routines and cuts to our specific hair type, color, and length. When it comes to hair types, however, some are easier to deal with than others. If we had to rank them, thin hair is top in the top three of most difficult, followed by curly hair. Put them together and your precious strands can seem near impossible to care for, let alone settle on the perfect haircut. If you have thin, curly hair and you’re at your wit's end trying to come up with the perfect hair care routine and haircut for your hair type, we’re here to save the day.
We sat down with Mattison Peron, Kérastase brand ambassador and celebrity stylist, to get the scoop on everything you’ve ever wanted to know about thin curly hair. Whether you have dark brown hair or ash blonde curls, we’re here to help you achieve your best curls ever.
Continue reading for everything you’ve ever wanted to know, from how to care for thin curly hair to the secret to achieving the best haircuts for thin curly hair.
How do you take care of thin curly hair?
Thin, curly hair is a bit of an enigma. Your curl pattern can create larger-than-life styles, while other times, your fine hair can sometimes appear fragile and lifeless. The key to properly caring for thin curly hair is creating a hair care routine that nourishes, protects, and defines your curls without weighing down your thin strands.
The cornerstone of any hair care routine is a quality shampoo and conditioner system. If you’re looking for a system that will cleanse and condition your hair without weighing down your strands, we recommend the Biolage R.A.W. Uplift Shampoo and Conditioner. Formulated with black sesame and grapefruit, the shampoo and conditioner system purifies flat, fine hair without stripping for lightweight body.
Anyone with curly hair knows your leave-in conditioner can make or break your style. The right leave-in treatment will nourish, strengthen, and protect hair without creating tons of product buildup, which is why we love Mizani’s 25 Miracle Milk for thin, curly hair. The lightweight, leave-in spray boasts 25 benefits and works great alone or with a styling product. If your curls still need a little help in the definition department, look no further than Mizani’s Perfect Coil Oil Gel. It combines the moisturizing properties of oil with the shaping abilities of gel to give your hair a no-fuss style that defines your curls and coils while keeping them hydrated all day long.
Your daily routine is important to make sure your hair looks and feels great day-to-day, but you’re going to have to give your strands a little extra TLC if you really want to care for thin curly strands. Both thin strands and curly hair tend to be fragile—pair them together, and you’ve got a recipe for some major breakage. Help stop breakage in its tracks by incorporating a strengthening treatment into your hair care routine. We love Redken’s Extreme CAT Anti-Damage Protein Reconstructing Hair Treatment and Redken’s Extreme Strengthening Mega Hair Mask.
Good hair day by @pekelariley.
How can I make my thin curly hair look thicker?
Unfortunately, there is no way to make your curly hair naturally thicker. There are no products, techniques, or hair care professionals that can thicken the strands growing out of your follicles. That doesn’t mean all hope is lost, however. Plenty of products on the market can make your strands appear thicker.
If you want your strands to look and feel as thick as possible, you’ll want to incorporate hair thickening products into your routine from beginning to end. We recommend swapping out your regular shampoo and conditioner for the Redken Cerafill Defy Hair Thickening Shampoo and Conditioner. This hair thickening shampoo and conditioner system strengthens the hair fiber with ceramide to prevent breakage. Hair instantly looks and feels fuller with a healthy shine. After you rinse out the conditioner, apply a thickening treatment like Biolage’s Advanced Full Density Densifying Treatment For Thin Hair to your scalp. This hair thickening treatment spray helps to reduce hair loss and increases the diameter of existing strands by up to 9 percent—so you know it means business.
If you feel like your curls need a little extra oomph after styling, use a texturizing spray like Redken’s Triple Dry 15 Dry Texture Finishing Spray to help create all-over volume.
Good hair day by @sakurahartsfield.
What is the best way to cut thin curly hair?
To find out the best way to cut thin, curly hair, we turned to our resident hair pro for advice. Peron says there isn’t much of a difference in how you cut thick or thin curly hair. However, there is a contrast in the types of haircuts requested by clients with thick or thin curly hair.
“Clients with thick curly hair usually complain about their hair being ‘huge,’ while those with fine hair struggle to find a style that gives them fullness without frizz,” she explains. “Most thin curly clients want a style that makes their hair feel full and enhances their natural texture.”
One thing that doesn't change whether the client has thick or thin locks is Peron’s preferred cutting technique. The stylist likes to use a combination of wet and dry cutting when styling curly hair. Combining both techniques ensures a flawless style every time.
“I tend to use both wet and dry cutting when it comes to curls to ensure the shape and length are desirable as the natural texture dries,” she says.
Cutting your hair when it’s wet is the best way for your stylist to create precise, clean lines. While cutting your curls when they’re dry allows you and your stylist to know exactly how your hair will look when it’s finished. Using both techniques prevents your hairdresser from accidentally giving you that dreaded triangle cut.
While choosing a haircut is a personal choice, and you should feel free to ask for any style that suits you, Peron encourages ladies with thin curly hair to free themselves of any dead weight!
“Curly hair has a tendency to be dry, so not keeping the ends healthy can make the hair look thinner and also change the shape and integrity of the curl pattern,” the stylist explains. “Healthy curls are happy curls, so it will be much easier for a client to manage their natural texture if they avoid hanging onto split dead ends.”
What is the best haircut for thin curly hair?
Now that you’re equipped with all of the information you need to care for your thin, curly hair, all you need is an amazing haircut to go with it. Continue reading to find out our favorite haircuts for ladies with thin, curly hair.
If you’re wondering, should fine curly hair be layered, Peron says some of her favorite haircuts for thin hair incorporate layers.
“For clients who like the option of wearing their hair up or down, a mid-length cut with long layers is a perfect style. It will allow them enough length to play with while keeping the hair full,” Peron explains. “Long layers will allow the client to get volume at the root and create subtle movement throughout the cut, so it doesn't feel heavy.”
Good hair day by @rachel_redd.
Curtain bangs are one of the hottest haircut trends of 2020, and we don’t see their popularity waning anytime soon. We love the way curtain bangs frame your face, and if you’re dealing with thin curly hair, you’ll love the volume they add to your look.
Good hair day by @emily_india.
“For those who are looking for a little more style with their cut, a modern shag is a great way to enhance natural texture,” the stylist says. “While lengths can vary, short, piecey layers are an effortless way to let your curls go wild with style.”
Good hair day by @biancacolour.
If you love the look of layers but want a style that’s a bit more low maintenance, consider face framing layers. Instead of layers throughout your entire head, your stylist will focus your layers around your face, helping to bring attention to what really matters—you!
Good hair day by @lamajbackwards.
Blunt Angled Bob
When you have thin hair, sometimes it can feel like your envious length is all you have. But trading in long, limp locks for a bouncy, blunt bob can make your strands look fuller than you ever thought possible. Take your style to the next level and opt for an edgy angled bob for a style that is bound to turn heads.
Good hair day by @tiarrapearson.
“My go-to cut for curly girls is a layered bob. No other hair type can rock an air-dried bob like a fine-haired curly client,” Peron maintains. “With this length, the curls will be short enough to be healthy and springy, and the layers will add dimension to the cut without it looking like a helmet. With the perfect curl cream, clients can have a chic cut that only takes minutes to style.”
Good hair day by @theresahayesofficial.
TWA (Teeny Weeny Afro)
If you’re looking for a low maintenance cut and style, look no further than the teeny weeny afro. This haircut makes daily styling a breeze and with the frequency of your haircuts, you’ll never deal with split ends ever again.
Good hair day by @dontemitchellhair.
We know the words mushroom hairstyle conjure up images of embarrassing third-grade school photos, but we promise the modern-day mushroom haircut is nothing like the one you had in the ‘90s. The 2020 mushroom hairstyle is all about all-over fullness and movement—exactly what you need when you want your thin curls to look their best.
“For clients looking for a shorter style, a pixie with tapered sides is ideal. Keeping the sides short eliminates the hair from looking puffy and keeps the cut looking clean,” she says. “The top can be left long or cut short depending on the silhouette and versatility the client is looking for.”
Good hair day by @rosibel.hair.
When dealing with thin hair, finding the perfect haircut is all about creating the illusion of fullness. One of the best ways to do that is to focus the volume of your haircut around your face with curly bangs.
Armed with Peron’s expert advice and some killer style inspiration, you can head into your next salon appointment confident you’ll leave with a haircut you love.
Looking for a professional to transform your thin curly strands with an amazing haircut? Use our salon locator to book an appointment at a salon near you.