How to get thicker hair, with expert styling tips

Image source: Getty/Dia Dipasupil

  • Many are becoming more open about their experience of hair loss and the fact that their hair looks thicker.
  • Thanks to TikTok, people are discovering tricks to make their hairstyles look fuller.
  • Jennifer Lopez’s hairstylist, Chris Appleton, is a master at making hair look fuller, and he shares his tips for imitating thick hair.

The latest TikTok hair hacks, styling products on the market, and hairstyle trends all point to one thing: everyone wants thick hair right now. People are changing the way they wear their ponytails; brands are expanding into more volume-oriented ranges; and sleek, straight hairstyles gave way to the return of the iconic 90s supermodel blowout.

Unless you were born with voluminous Rapunzel-like waves, chances are you’ve also been looking for ways to add fullness to your hair, whether it’s with a new haircut, a change hairstyle or a style hack after the shower. Some people go for volume-boosting layered cuts like the “octopus,” while others bookmark countless tips to ensure their styles don’t fall flat, especially if their hair is naturally fine.

To help you achieve the full hair of your dreams, Celebrity Hairstylist and ColorWow Brand Ambassador Chris Appleton – the man responsible for Jennifer Lopez’s voluminous styles – shares his tips for getting thicker hair.

How to get thicker hair

Tip #1: Use a round brush at the roots
Sometimes getting thicker hair is as simple as changing the way you style your hair after showering. Appleton recommends using this trick to add volume to the roots of your hair: start by applying a thickening spray to your hair. “Spray dry roots and take a large round brush, wrapping the bits around and lifting upwards while applying heat for a few seconds,” Appleton tells POPSUGAR. The result? “Instant volume.”

Tip 2: change rooms
We know how hard it is to change something as ingrained in you as your hair part, but switching things up once in a while can help make your hair thicker: Positioning it in a new direction gives roots your hair a natural lift.

Tip #3: Try the TikTok Ponytail Hack
This viral TikTok is praised for its ability to give your ponytail a bouncy makeover. Part your hair into two sections and secure the top section with an elastic. “Then divide the bottom section into two more sections and tie them above the first ponytail,” Appleton explains.

@chrisappletonhair

Try this hair hack for anyone who wants to make their hair thicker and up their pony game 👱‍♀️@kittybluuuu

♬ Toxic x Pony – ALTÉGO

Tip #4: Consider Extensions
The easiest way to add thickness to your hair is with extensions, says Appleton. Almost all of your favorite celebrities’ voluminous hairstyles use extensions for added fullness. You can go the salon route and get extensions professionally installed or get clips that you can take and take home.

Tip #5: Sleep in braids
“Sleeping in braids can give fine hair extra fullness without using heat,” says Appleton. Before bed, apply hairspray to the ends of your hair before creating loose braids – either one big braid or two on each side of your head, depending on the length of your hair. “You’ll wake up in the morning to voluminous waves with no heat,” he says.

Tip #6: Change up your messy bun
If you have naturally fine hair, it can be difficult to achieve fullness in a messy bun, but Appleton has a trick for that. Start by putting your hair in a ponytail at the crown of your hair with a scrunchie, then spread the hair around the base of the ponytail and put a rubber band on top. Part the loose hair into two pieces and crisscross it around the base of the bun, securing the ends in place with two bobby pins.

@chrisappletonhair

It’s perfect for anyone with fine hair who wants to make their messy bun triple the fitness in minutes 🌪

♬ Talking to the Moon – Bruno Mars

The best hairstyles for thicker hair

We know which hairstyles are not good for making your hair thicker (sleek cuts, one-length cuts, among others), but what about hairstyles that are? Bobs, for starters, are great for making hair look thicker than it is because there’s no extra length weighing down your ends. “The popular ’90s half-up half-down texture still helps create volume and fullness,” says Appleton. “[And] long layers can help achieve the illusion of fullness.”

The best products for thicker hair

Product is often the secret to any great hairstyle – after all, your curls won’t hold without a little hairspray and frizz can’t be tamed without a good hair oil. Appleton has a handful of favorite products in her kit for thickening hair. On wet hair, apply a volumizing spray or mousse, like ColorWow XL Bombshell Volumizer ($26) or IGK Big Time Volume and Thickening Mousse ($31).

Appleton swears by concealing roots, even if you don’t color your hair or have gray hair, to “fake a fuller hairline.” We love the Madison The Great Cover Up Root Touch Up + Brow Filler ($32) to fill in any thinning areas where your scalp shows. And to instantly add fullness to any hairstyle, look for a texturizing spray, like Living Proof Full Dry Volume + Texturizing Spray ($32). Appleton’s favorite is the ColorWow Style on Steroids ($26). “[It’sagreatcolor-safetexturizingspraythatdoublesasaheatprotectant”hesays”Thisproductisespeciallyamazingforanyonewithfineflathair”[C’estunexcellentspraytexturantsansdangerpourlescouleursquisertégalementdeprotecteurthermique”dit-il”Ceproduitestparticulièrementétonnantpourtousceuxquiontlescheveuxfinsetplats”[It’sagreatcolor-safetexturizingspraythatdoublesasaheatprotectant”hesays”Thisproductisespeciallyamazingforanyonewithfineflathair”

However, while some styling products can be helpful in making your hair look thicker, there are some products that you should avoid if your hair is thin. “Don’t use heavy conditioners or products with lots of oils — any heavy emulsifier that sits on the surface of the hair and doesn’t absorb will make the hair greasy and weighed down,” says Appleton.

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