Let’s be real: Figuring out the best hair care routine and cuts for your hair type, color, and length can be tricky. Especially if your hair type requires more know-how and maintenance compared to others. If we had to rank them, thin hair definitely makes the top three of the most difficult to care for and style, closely followed by curly hair. Fuse these two traits and we can see why you might feel overwhelmed.
We’re here to assure you that there is no need to feel overwhelmed. With the right tips, products, and a trendy haircut, you’ll be equipped with everything you need to find your signature look. From at-home maintenance to tricks that make your hair look fuller to some of the best haircuts for thin, curly hair, we’re covering it all.
How Do You Take Care Of Thin, Curly Hair?
Thin, curly hair is a bit of an enigma: Curl patterns can create larger-than-life styles while fine hair can appear fragile and lifeless. The key to properly caring for thin, curly hair is choosing products that nourishe, protect, and define your curls without weighing down thin strands. Here are products we love.
Shampoo & Conditioner
The cornerstone of any hair care routine is a quality shampoo and conditioner system. To address these specific hair types, we recommend the Redken Volume Injection Shampoo and Conditioner For Fine Hair. Formulated with Redken's Bodifying Complex with Filloxane, Volume Injection helps to provide instant volume to fine, flat, or processed hair.
Another all-round great option is Matrix Total Results A Curl Can Dream Shampoo, which moisturizes strands and controls frizz while defining curls. Pair it with the A Curl Can Dream Rich Mask For Curly And Coily Hair for even more shine and dimension.
Leave-In Conditioner & Stylers
Anyone with curly hair knows that leave-in conditioner can make or break your style. The right leave-in treatment will nourish, strengthen, and protect hair without product buildup.
We love Mizani’s 25 Miracle Milk for thin, curly hair because it achieves all the above. The lightweight, leave-in spray delivers 25 benefits (hydrating, strengthening, and working as a primer—to name a few) and works great alone or with a styling product.
For curls that need little help in the definition department, look no further than Mizani’s Perfect Coil Oil Gel. Apply it to very wet hair and air dry. This product 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.
A daily routine is important to make sure your hair looks and feels great day-to-day, but you’ll want to give your strands some TLC at least every other week. This hair type is especially fragile, which makes your strands susceptible to damage.
One of the best (and easiest) ways to stop breakage is by incorporating a strengthening treatment into your hair care routine. We love L'Oréal Professionnel Inforcer Anti-Breakage Masque, which targets split ends and thin strands specifically. With consistent use, it helps fragile hair look and feel stronger.
Matrix Total Results Miracle Creator Nourishing Strengthening Mask is an excellent option if you don’t have time for a full mask and an extra-long shower. In 60 seconds, it intensely nourishes and strengthens strands.
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 permanently 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 hair to look and feel as thick as possible, you’ll want to incorporate thickening products into your routine from beginning to end. For example, Biolage’s Advanced Full Density Densifying Treatment For Thin Hair is a hair thickening treatment spray that helps to reduce hair loss and increases the diameter of existing strands by up to nine percent. Another solid choice is Kérastase Densifique Masque Densité Hair Mask, a daily treatment that restores shine and resilience while amping up hair density.
You can also try a texturizing spray, such as Redken’s Triple Dry 15 Dry Texture Finishing Spray, to help create all-over volume. A root lifter, like Matrix Total Results High Amplify Wonder Boost Root Lifter, is another way to fake the look of thicker, fuller hair.
Are Layers Good For Thin, Curly Hair?
The answer to this question is yes and no. If you have shorter hair, then layers can make hair look thinner than it already is, so we don’t recommend going that route. However, long layers on long hair (meaning at least past your shoulders) create dimension and enhance texture while still keeping volume in the top to mid section. Face-framing layers are another option. With this approach, you get a dynamic and piece-y appearance around your face while volume is left elsewhere.
What Is The Best Way To Cut Thin, Curly Hair?
We turned to our resident hair pro, Mattison Peron, for advice on the best way to cut thin, curly hair. 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 depending on their hair type.
“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 and curly haired 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 “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. Conversely, 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 creating the 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 people 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,” she 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 13 favorite hairstyles for thin, curly hair.
“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.”
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 add volume at the root and create subtle movement throughout the cut, so it doesn't feel heavy.”
Curtain bangs are one of the hottest haircut trends, 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.
“For those who are looking for a little more style with their cut, a modern shag is a great way to enhance natural texture,” Peron says. “While lengths can vary, short, piece-y layers are an effortless way to let your curls go wild with style.”
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!
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.
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 frequent haircuts to maintain your short ‘do, you’ll never deal with split ends ever again.
Like the idea of an afro but want to go bigger? Opt for a more-is-more and carefree approach, instead. Go as big and undefined as you want—that’s the point! Bonus: the extra length can lend to the look of more volume, as well.
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 2022 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.”
If you like the idea of a pixie but want to keep some of the length in your thin, curly strands, opt for an asymmetrical cult. It requires a bit more upkeep in terms of visits to the salon, but this hairstyle for thin curly hair maximizes volume where you want it and feels fresh.
Full Curly Bangs
One of the best ways to create the illusion of fullness is to focus the volume of your haircut around your face with curly bangs. Not to mention, fringe is super on-trend.
Wispy, Curly Bangs
If you’re not ready to commit to a full set of curly bangs, opt for a wispy version instead. You’ll get the extra volume and face-framing pieces, but it’ll look and feel a bit lighter.
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.
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