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Ask a Hairstylist: The Best Haircuts for Fine, Thin Hair With Cowlicks

Keep it simple.
Haircuts for fine thin hair

Welcome to our Hair Consultations column. Bill Angst is a celebrity hairstylist and the owner of Angst Hair in Toronto, Canada. To request an online hair consultation, follow the instructions here

Q: First off, I am very grateful for this opportunity and for your time. I have quite a few issues with my hair. It is very fine, and there isn't much of it. Also, I have very deep and prominent cowlicks on my forehead, where my hair is also thinning. 

Haircuts for fine thin hair

Zora's hair is fine and thin, with cowlicks at the front.

I have mainly been wearing it in a bob with a side-swept fringe. However, I have been wondering lately whether there is a hairstyle that allows me to work with what I've got, rather then trying to fight it. 

Haircuts for fine thin hair

Zora is looking for a chic new hairstyle and colour.

I would love a change both in style and colour—I'm dreaming of some vibrant colour that would go well with my skin. And a style that would be both chic and "happy," as my facial features are not so soft, due to my bone structure.

Haircuts for fine thin hair

Zora currently wears her hair in a bob with a side-swept fringe.

I cannot wait to hear some suggestions. It is unfortunate that I am on the other side of the world, so I cannot come in person. Many thanks! — Zora

A: Zora, thank you for sending along your request for a hair consultation. You actually seem to have a pretty good grasp on how to work with your hair issues instead of fighting them. With a just few small tweaks, I think we can get you feeling better about your hair.

First of all, your current bob is an ideal style for fine, thin hair. It's hard to tell from your pictures, but if you have any layering, I would recommend growing that out and keeping it closer to all one length with crisp, blunt ends.

Marion Cotillard Blood Ties Cannes photocall 2013

Marion Cotillard at the 2013 Cannes photocall for 'Blood Ties.'

Another detail is the part. Right now, your part appears to be just slightly off-center instead of over to one side. If your cowlicks will allow it, a deep side part will redistribute your hair to give it more fullness on one side, as well as a flattering sweep across your forehead.

Olivia Wilde Vanity Fair Oscar Party 2018

Olivia Wilde at the 2018 Vanity Fair Oscar Party.

Don't be afraid to experiment with different positions for your part. Flipping your hair over, in the opposite direction of where it wants to go, is an easy way to create volume and texture.

If you want to sport a fringe, then it will have to be combed forward from the crown to add enough weight for it to work. 

Mariska Hargitay Emmys 2007

Mariska Hargitay at the 2007 Emmys.

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From The Skincare Edit Archives

With cowlicks, your fringe always needs to be heavy enough to weigh them down or cover them. 

Aubrey Plaza Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates Los Angeles premiere 2016

Aubrey Plaza at the 2016 Los Angeles premiere of 'Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates.'

For a complete change, going even shorter will your make your hair seem thicker and fuller. Here is a pixie cut that I think would be perfect for you, with a long fringe and deep side part.

Jessica Stroup Young Hollywood Awards 2010

Jessica Stroup at the 2010 Young Hollywood Awards.

Here is the same cut, but a little more grown-out.

Jessica Stroup Chrysalis Butterfly Ball 2010

Jessica Stroup at the 2010 Chrysalis Butterfly Ball.

If you'd rather keep your hair at its current length or slightly longer, I would suggest using hot rollers to style it. To show you what they could achieve, I'm going to bombard you with some pictures of Ines de la Fressange, a style icon who has similar problems with her hair.

Ines de la Fressange Rust and Bone Cannes premiere 2012

Ines de la Fressange at the 2012 Cannes premiere of 'Rust and Bone.'

Ines de la Fressange Midnight in Paris Cannes premiere 2011

Ines de la Fressange at the 2011 Cannes premiere of 'Midnight in Paris.'

Ines de la Fressange Mad Max Fury Road Cannes premiere 2015

Ines de la Fressange at the 2015 Cannes premiere of 'Mad Max: Fury Road.'

Be sure to use a setting lotion (try Oribe Très Set Structure Spray), sprayed lightly on each section before you roll it onto the hot roller. This will give you a lot more control when wearing your hair either forward or back off your face.

Oribe Tres Set Structure Spray

Oribe Très Set Structure Spray

Let the rollers cool before removing them and then rake out the waves with your fingertips. 

T3 Volumizing Hot Rollers LUXE

T3 Volumizing Hot Rollers LUXE

As for colouring your hair, I would not bother because your hair is so fine, and your current colour suits you so well. Hot rollers will be all your hair can handle in terms of wear and tear.

Any of these styles should be inspiration for you, as your cowlicks will never go away. Remember to keep the cut simple at any of these lengths, whether you wear it straight or with added body. Too many details in the cut will not work.


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