Every hairstylist will say the best haircuts for thin hair are those that create the illusion of more hair (duh!). Unfortunately, figuring out which haircuts those are—and which one’s right for your unique dome—is no simple task… unless you’re LA-based hairstylist Sara Willner. Below, you’ll find her recommendations for four of the best haircuts for thin hair; what type of balding each one is best at concealing; and how to style them when you get home from the barbershop.
The Haircut: The Crew Cut
What It Hides: Receding Hairlines
What to Ask For: “The hair in the back should be as short as possible while still blending up into the thinning area up top,” Willner explains. “Leaving plenty of length on top that gets even longer towards the front (somewhere around one and a half or two inches) will give the illusion that you have more hair than you actually do.” That’s why this is the best short haircut for thin hair.
How to Style: “The best way to style a crew cut that adds the appearance of volume to your hair is to create a side part,” Willner says. “To do this, apply a thickening spray after towel drying your hair, then blowdry it into place. Once the hair is dry, apply a light paste or pomade for any finishing touches. Go easy on the products, though—using too much paste or pomade will create a clumpy, wet look, which shows off a lot of scalp.” This, of course, is the last thing anyone with thin hair wants.
The Haircut: The Slick Back
What It Hides: Balding at the Crown
What to Ask For: “Leave the top long and the sides short to hide as much of the scalp area as possible while still looking sharp and clean,” Willner recommends.
How to Style: “Apply a thickening spray and a bit of pomade to wet hair, then create that slicked back shape by using a paddle brush while blow drying,” Willner explains. “Finally, apply a medium to strong hairspray to keep your hair in place.”
The Haircut: The Textured Spiky Top
What It Hides: Thinning Towards the Front
What to Ask For: “Having height and texture will reduce the appearance of thinning, so it’s important to leave any hair above the temples long in order to cover the thinning area,” Willner explains. “The sides can be as long as finger length or completely buzzed (whichever you prefer), but they must be blended into the longer hair up top.”
How to Style: “I recommend applying a hefty amount of sea salt spray when your hair is wet, then either air drying or loosely blow drying,” Willner says. “This will keep the hair looking full and textured, while also maintaining that natural bedhead look.”
The Haircut: The Buzzcut
What It Hides: Completely Bald Up Top
What to Ask For: “You can go completely shaved or a #2 clipper all over,” Willner says. “It’s low-maintenance, easy and perfect for anyone who’s over trying to hide their growing baldness.” In other words, it’s another effective short haircut for thin hair.
How to Style: “Simply keep the scalp hydrated with an argon or jojoba oil,” Willner suggests.
There you have it: Four of the best haircuts for thin hair. For more tips on dealing with thinning hair, check out the barber’s guide to going bald gracefully.