Being born with naturally thin hair used to dictate your hairstyle—for life. But not anymore. Now, with the right hairstyle (and stylist), no one will be the wiser about how much hair you have. After all, that’s what having thin hair means: “Thin hair is generally used to describe the density of the amount of hair on your scalp,” says celebrity hairstylist Monaè Everett, who’s worked with clientele like Tia Mowry and Yara Shahidi. “A way to guess if your hair is thin is if large parts of the scalp are visible through hair.”
Which means that anyone can have thin hair, even if you have shoulder-length curls or coils. “Hair can come in tons of combinations, including fine and coarse hair, or thin and fine hair,” Everett adds. Need some help finding out what works for your combo, though? Ahead, Everett’s favourite styles and techniques for thin hair.
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“A great go-to hairstyle for fine and straight hair are short pixie cuts and bobs,” says Everett. “Consider shorter haircuts and layers that help you create volume.”
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Even if you don’t opt for short, layers can still give you a boost. “I’m a big fan of layers on fine and thin hair. It helps to create the ever-illusive volume most are trying to create when styling their hair,” says Everett.
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Everett likes bangs for fine and thin hair if you have “enough hair to spare” for it. “If you have fine strands of hair or lack density all over the scalp, bangs can be a great way to frame your face,” she says. “Sometimes thin hair is particularly sparse around the hairline and top corners of the head. In those cases, bangs are not recommended because it makes the thinness more noticeable.”
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It’s easy to understand that fine and thin hair is, well, finer and thinner—so, more likely to experience breakage. “Extra tension or weight on fine hair can cause damage to the already sensitive strands,” says the hairstylist. “I like to recommend cornrows for fine hair instead of individual braids or crochet braids. Cornrows reduce the amount of tension on the individual strands and are great protective styles that allow hair to rest without extra manipulation.”
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Everett also suggests taking up the loc commitment, since it’s easy to style them however you please, including half-up and updo styles. “Locs are an awesome way to make your fine or thin hair look beautiful,” she explains. “Locs are created through hair that normally naturally sheds, attaching to other hair and creating locs. It allows the hair as a whole to look fuller.”
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Here’s a good rule of thumb: “All curls aren’t coarse,” says Everett. “Generally the curlier the hair, the more fragile it is. I have plenty of clients whose hair is fine and curly.” For that hair type, the hairstylist recommends keeping the cut above shoulder-length “to allow for more volume.”
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Ultimately, you can always use a work-around, too. “I also love to include hair extensions when styling my celebrity clients because it provides versatility and helps the styles to last longer,” Everett explains. “I use everything from wigs and partial wigs to clip-in hair extensions. I like to say this openly because the average woman’s hair is not thick. They look to celebrities and influencers for popular styles and can be disappointed when they are unable to achieve those styles.”
This story originally appeared on Harper’s BAZAAR US.