When it comes to styling your hair, volume is usually high on the priority list. This can be a struggle when you have fine hair. (Double whammy if it’s also thin—which refers to density rather than individual strands.) Though fine hair has its selling points, like being incredibly soft, lack of volume is often a challenge. So what happens when you’re considering your next chop? How can you try a new style without sacrificing too much shape? Here are 32 stylist-approved short haircuts for fine hair, from edgy bobs and buzz cuts to flirty fringe and face-framing layers, plus advice on how to style them for maximum volume and hold.
32 Short Haircuts for Fine Hair, from the ‘Mixie’ to the Blunt Bob
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Meet the Experts
- Fabio Scalia is the owner of Fabio Scalia Salons in New York City, which has salons in Soho and Brooklyn Heights. Scalia has been working in the industry since he was 12 and is an expert in hair growth and trichology. He has trained at multiple academies, including Aldo Coppola, Vidal Sassoon and TONI&GUY, in addition to working in top salons from Milan to Monte Carlo.
- Chaz Dean is a celebrity hairstylist, colorist and the founder of WEN hair and body care line. Dean has over 25 years of experience, and his salon has served the likes of Ming-Na Wen, Nicole Murphy, Gilles Marini, Alyssa Milano, Gwyneth Paltrow and others. WEN is also the winner of multiple QVC Beauty Awards.
- Jason Tavares has decades of experience as a celebrity hairstylist, makeup artist and founder of the hair care line BCAVI. His clients have included Princess Love, Cynthia Bailey and Sheinelle Jones.
- Tom Smith is a celebrity hairstylist and the international color creative director for Evo Hair. With over 15 years in the beauty industry, Smith serves as a consultant for global haircare brands, advising them on trends and education development, among other things.
- Jennifer Korab is the owner of Renaissance Salon & Spa and Revival Barber Shop in New Jersey. Korab has extensive experience working New York Fashion Week and celebrity photo shoots.
- Brian O’Connor is a celebrity hairstylist and the co-founder and chief innovation officer of Good Dye Young, a haircare line tailored to color-treated hair. O’Connor has worked extensively with Hayley Williams of Paramore and is well known in the Nashville area for his bold, creative styles.
How to Style Short, Fine Hair
Fine hair can be tricky to style when it won’t even hold a bobby pin (never mind hold a curl). This hair type is known for being silky soft, but is also prone to falling flat quickly and often lacks elasticity.
When it comes to styling fine hair, celebrity hairstylist Kristin Ess previously shared three tips with PureWow. The first is to always use a volumizing product as soon as you step out of the shower—but not use so much that it weighs down your strands. “Too much product can weigh down your hair, so if it’s a spray, start with a few light spritzes, and if it’s a mousse, work a small, palm-sized dollop of [it] through your roots to ends,” she advises.
The second thing to do? Try blow drying your hair upside down. According to Ess, you should do a rough dry (using your hands) until its about 70 percent dry, then finish with a drying brush. And the last step: let your hair set. If it’s long enough, pull it into a loose bun while it’s still warm and leave it to cool for about 20 minutes before unraveling it.
Good Haircuts for Fine Hair
1. Inverted Bob
For round and square faces, try an inverted bob with a slight A-line. The A-line will help elongate your face and soften the sharpness of square cheekbones. Dean shares that it’s a great haircut for fine hair because it helps give the illusion of density without layers. “A soft A-Line cut in the back creates more bulk and volume naturally,” he says. To style, Dean recommends a leave-in conditioner, nourish mousse and a smoothing styling creme. “Be generous with your products and blow-dry it with a large boar bristle brush. You'll notice your hair will be full of weightless volume.”
2. French Bob
The French bob can fall anywhere between the cheekbones and chin—where it ends will depend on your face shape, lest it make your face appear wider. The haircut works well on straight hair, but can work on curly locks, too. When styling, Scalia recommends first applying mousse on wet hair. As you blow dry, you want to remove the cow lick that dictates the direction your hair falls. Using a brush (like Scalia’s favorite La Bionda) take a horizontal section of your hair and blow dry downwards to give the style a little roundness. Finish with light misting of hairspray to hold.
3. U-Shape Haircut
The U-shape haircut is a great choice for fine hair and can work on long, medium and short lengths. Benefits include increased volume—the U-shape lends softness and fullness to your strands. “In short, you get the best of both worlds: the volume of a single-length cut without the bulk that generally comes with one,” writes PureWow beauty director Jenny Jin. Be sure to ask your stylist for light layers in the back and some face-framing strands in front. When it comes to styling, this is a low-maintenance haircut that air dries well. (We love air-drying ours with Odele’s Air Dry Styler.) You can also blow dry it if you want more polish.
4. The Lob
If you decide to go for the lob, there are several options. Straight, wavy, angled—it’s easy to make it your own. The long bob hits the shoulders and can be blunt cut or layered. You can do this on straight or curly hair. If you have curly hair, Scalia advises using Kerastase’s anti-frizz spray when styling to control frizz, smooth hair and provide heat protection. If your hair is straight, try Oribe’s Grandiose Hair Plumping Mousse to add density. Blow dry using a flat brush and then switch to one that will give you more tension (like Scalia’s La Sophia boar bristle brush). Section off your hair and then dry from the roots down, before finishing the look with a little hair oil on the ends only.
5. Tapered Feathered Crop
Think of this as a long pixie with layers meant to evoke, yep, bird feathers. If your face is angular, this can help soften your features. Plus, the extra layering will help give fine hair more volume and texture. When it comes to styling, Scalia likes adding mousse to lend density and thickness. Use a flat brush to dry the hair, lifting from the roots.
6. Classic Pixie Cut
The classic pixie has endless variations and generally works on all face shapes—especially heart, oval and round. There are also many variations of the cut. Try asking for long and/or angled layers for extra shape, a spiky cut à la Pink, or a pixie-bob if you’re on the fence. The hairstyle will give thin hair a lot of body when styled correctly, Dean says. Start with a styling cream and thickening spray, and then use your fingers while blow drying to give the hair shape.
“Once dry, you can take a small amount of pomade on your fingertips and push in at your roots to help hold your shape,” he says. “You can also use a little more to piece out your ends and set your fringe in place.”
7. Classic Bob
The classic bob is great for oval face shapes and can help soften the cheekbones. To change it up, you can ask for a blunt cut (no layers) or a textured bob (choppy layers). When it comes to styling, you can keep it straight or give it a wave. Start with wet hair and use a comb to distribute styling cream or spray (Scalia recommends Oribe’s Très Set Structure Spray.) Then, use a flat brush to blow-dry from roots down, following your hair’s shape. Finish off the look with some hairspray.
8. Mullet with Bangs
As you may have noticed, the ‘70s are back and thus, so are mullets. The beauty of this haircut is its versatility, as it works with most face shapes at various lengths. Consult your stylist, but generally, mullets do well on diamond and square faces. Take a page from Miley Cyrus and opt for a mullet with bangs. The choppy layers will give your fine hair a boost of volume. This is best left to air dry, but you can style with pomade and/or gel to hold it all in place.
9. Buzz Cut
Let’s just say the internet was abuzz (sorry) when Florence Pugh showed up to the 2023 Met Gala with a shaved head. This cut might be the definition of low maintenance, style-wise, but if you want to keep it that way, you’ll need regular trips to the salon for trims. (Or, if you’re brave, do the touch-ups yourself.) It’s best for those with angular faces (high cheekbones, strong jawlines), but your stylist should be able to make it work for your face shape. “A buzzed cut is great for thin hair because any thinning or balding spots will not be as obvious as they may be in a longer haircut,” stylist Erin Courtney previously told PureWow.
10. Face-Framing Layers with Fringe
“A shoulder length and above, face-framing, layer cut with fringe is a great way to add fullness and volume,” Dean says. “Creating a fringe instantly adds drama and fullness around the face.” When you go to the salon, ask them to give you a blunt cut straight across, and then add choppy layers to soften it out. Dean notes that textured layers are easier to style for volume. Add a light mousse and volumizing spray before rough-drying with a hair dryer. To maximize volume, Dean recommends over-directing the hair at the roots, and then use a medium-round brush to add subtle waves and movement.
11. Transition Shag
The shag haircut is made up of layers, layers and more layers. As Dean already explained, a layered cut can be instrumental in giving fine hair a volume boost. As seen in the feathered crop, this hairstyle works well at super-short lengths, but could also be cut as a shoulder-grazing lob. To style it, apply heat protectant and your volume-boosting product of choice. Blow dry and then use a flat iron to add waves if desired.
12. Asymmetrical Undercut Pixie
Adding an undercut to the pixie hairstyle will help amp up volume. “Having asymmetry instantly bulks up the hair, especially on the longer side where you part your cut,” Dean explains. “The undercut encourages lift in the hair because short hair, slightly stacked, pushes longer hair up, which creates much-needed fullness.” As a variation, you can ask for a temple undercut. To style it, Dean applies mousse and volumizing spray, and then lifts at the roots while drying. He finishes by smoothing with a paddle or sculpting brush and some finishing spray. Don’t forget to spray the roots for extra volume.
13. Sharp Layers
In contrast to the shag and feathered cuts, sharp layers are more angular, choppy and jagged. This style works on a variety of face shapes, including round, square, heart-shaped and oval. You can style sharp layers the same way you’d do the face-framing layers with fringe. Add your mousse, volumizing spray and heat protectant, then rough dry. Finish with a medium-round brush and really concentrate on the roots for maximum volume.
14. Curtained Shoulder Cut
There are many options when it comes to doing the curtained shoulder-length or collarbone cut. And the good news is that it can work on all face shapes. Ask for a blunt cut and you can do a sleek, grazing blowout (aka the “clavicut”). Or you can opt for some choppy layers to frame your face, creating the curtained effect. To style your locks, use a round brush and curl it towards your jawline as you reach the ends to give it a slight curl. You can also use a flat iron or large-barrel curler to get relaxed waves.
15. Layered Bob
The layered bob is similar to Dean’s inverted bob—just nix the A-line. Again, when it comes to volume, he says that layers are your friend. You can make them subtle, choppy or feathered, depending on what you request from the stylist, and then accentuate their attributes with your styling method of choice, whether that’s a simple blowout, beachy waves or ‘70s shag.
16. Coily Pompadour
If your face is oval, round or square, Tavares recommends the coily pompadour. “Ask your stylist for a short fade on the sides and back, leaving the top longer for the coily texture,” he explains. “Use a curl-enhancing shampoo and conditioner to maintain the texture. Styling requires a curl-defining cream or mousse, applied to damp hair.” Finish by using your fingers (or wide-tooth comb) to shape the hair so that the coils frame your face.
17. Tendril Bangs
Smith shares that tendril bangs can be a great hairstyle if you have a high forehead or heart-shaped face, because the bangs can help soften the upper face without hiding it completely. If desired, they can be cut long to graze the jaw, which Smith says can help slim wider and rounder faces for a flattering look. At the salon, ask your stylist to softly cut the ends so that they’ll frame your face instead of sitting in chunks. When styling, Smith says that because hair on or near the face is susceptible to getting oily, dry shampoo (like evo Water Killer) is essential for light, fluffy bangs. You’ll want to keep other styling products to a minimum.
18. Deep Side-Part
Also known as the comb over bob, the deep side-part can give fine hair the appearance of volume by moving the hair to one side of the face. The key is to make sure that the cut and layering are in balance, so communicate to your stylist how deep you want the part to be. To style, he recommends using a hair primer and then volumizing powder before air or blow drying.
19. Razor Cut Bob
Sharp and sophisticated, the razor cut bob is a jack of all trades and can work for any face shape, depending on the length, layers and styling. Just ask your stylist for a timeless, modern cut that accentuates your face shape, says O’Connor. When styling at home, he says that a good volumizer is crucial before styling with a hot tool.
20. Asymmetric Bob
With the asymmetric bob, the key consideration is length, says Korab. It’s important to communicate to your stylist where you want the ends to fall (chin, shoulders, longer) and how asymmetrical you want it to look. This cut is great for round, oval and heart-shaped faces, and is best styled using a light mousse. Blow-dry with a round brush or use an iron to create movement. Korab finishes with texture spray for extra hold.
21. Wavy Shag
“The extra width a shaggy bob offers is great for balancing out a long or narrow face. Cutting cleverly and skipping the heavy bangs can also add angles to a rounder face shape,” Smith says. At the salon, have the stylist cut your hair in line with your chin or the corner of your jaw. According to Smith, if you have medium or fine hair, you’ll want to layer minimally, but thick, wavy and curly hair will benefit from layering throughout to create a better silhouette. To style, Smith likes using the evo Shebang-a-Bang Dry Spray Wax, which provides structure the hair needs to stay in place and sit around the face.
22. Full Bangs
“When asking for full bangs or straight-across bangs, make it clear that you're interested in getting bangs that cover your forehead horizontally,” Korab says of this cut, which does well on heart-shaped, oval and round faces. You’ll want to be specific about the length and tell the stylist you want them to fall in one of three places: just above, at or slightly below the eyebrows. Then you need to decide what texture you want: straight, textured or wispy. To style, Korab recommends blow drying with a round brush to keep things smooth while obtaining the desired volume and shape.
23. Tapered Boyish Cut
“This cut is for those who feel comfortable exposing all of their face, as the shape is so minimal it really draws attention to your features,” Smith notes. “It can work on most face shapes if you have the right confidence and attitude.” He does say that if your face is rounder, you probably want a tad more length on top and less on the sides for balance and structure. This hairstyle is a natural progression of a buzz cut, and Smith advises having the stylist taper the edges and flatten the sides to keep things polished while still retaining some overall length. When styling at home, he recommends using a texture spray for a glossy finish and to seal the hair cuticle.
24. Curtain Bangs
Curtain bangs are popular and work for many face shapes, but Korab recommends it for oval, heart-shaped and square faces. There are three chopping points: right below the eyebrows, at the cheekbones or just slightly past them. “You want the bangs to be pared down the middle, creating a framing,” she explains. The best way to style them is with a round brush, blow drying away from the face. “Using a texturizing spray adds volume and texture giving them that relaxed, lived-in look. Finish with a flexible hold hairspray to set your bangs in place without making them look stiff or unnatural.”
“A mixie haircut is bold and edgy,” Korab says. “This style can work well with a variety of face shapes, but it's particularly suitable for those with oval, heart-shaped, or square faces because they tend to handle the boldness and uniqueness of this cut better.” At the salon, Korab says specificity is key when talking to your stylist. Do you want shaved sections? Length variations? Edgy layers? How long? “This will help your stylist understand the level of dramatic elements you're comfortable with,” she says.
At home, she recommends using a paste or texture spray before air drying or blow drying with a vent brush.
26. Curly Tapered Cut
“The curly tapered cut complements oval, heart, or diamond face shapes,” Tavares says. “At the salon, request a gradual taper on the sides and back, while leaving more length on top for the curls.” When styling at home, he recommends using a hydrating shampoo and conditioner to maintain your curls. Then, you’ll want to add curl cream to damp hair before drying with a diffuser, which will give the curls definition. Light-hold hairspray will help it hold the shape.
27. Parisian Pixie
Think of the Parisian pixie as a little longer than the regular pixie. O’Connor recommends this cut for square, oval and heart-shaped faces. The magic words to use at the salon? “An effortless pixie that has movement and texture,” he says. To style, O’Connor recommends a texturizer and paste that will give you the weightless effect while still providing control.
28. Wispy Bangs
Often times it seems that to rock bangs, you need a long forehead. Not so, say the wispy bangs. “The little gaps between the wisps stop the face from being closed in but give the detail of bangs nicely around the eyelashes and cheekbones,” Smith says. When you go in for the haircut, he says that “less is more.” Make sure your stylist accounts for your natural hair part and any strong growth patterns in your hairline. “The length should softly curve from shorter in the middle to longer on the edges but should be intentionally gappy and longer in the length, so it skims the eyelids,” he explains. To style, lift and volume are key. Smith will use evo Gluttony shampoo and conditioner, which he says will increase the hair’s thickness. He preps the bangs with dry shampoo or texturizing spray at the roots so that the hair looks fresh.
29. Curly Pixie
The curly pixie will lend curves to your strands and can soften sharp corners on square or diamond faces. With curly hair, it’s important to see a stylist who specializes in your hair type. Before committing to the chop, make sure you communicate about how the cut will frame your face. (Smith says reference photos are helpful here.) At home, he recommends evo Liquid Rollers Curl Balm for coarse/dry hair and the Total Recoil Curl Definer for fine hair or curls that drop easily. The products can be used alone or in tandem to give body and personality to your hair.
30. Curly Shag
While the curly shag cut suits a variety of face shapes, Korab says that it is especially flattering on oval, round and heart-shaped faces. The cut’s layers enhance these shapes’ natural features. In the salon, she advises asking for layers that will suit your hair texture and curl pattern. “Mention that you want layers that enhance the natural bounce and movement of your curls.” When styling at home, Korab prefers to air-dry. “I start by adding a curl cream (like Kérastase Curl Manifesto). Scrunch and twist your hair to help enhance your curl. If needed finish with a diffuser to add some volume.”
32. Curly Cut
The curly cut is great for oval, square and round faces. At the salon, Taveres advises asking your stylist to cut layers that enhance your natural curl pattern. When caring for your hair at home, he recommends using a sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner to maintain moisture. “For styling, apply a leave-in conditioner or curl-defining cream to damp hair. Use a diffuser attachment on a low heat setting to dry the curls while maintaining their shape. A wide-tooth comb can help distribute product evenly.”
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