8 ways to fake thick hair, according to hairstylists

A woman runs her hands through thick hair.

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A bad hair day can really affect your confidence. If you’re struggling with thin or lackluster locks, you’re not alone. Many of us dream of voluminous, thick hair, but genetics, natural aging, hormones and the ways we style (and sometimes damage) our hair can often leave us feeling like we’re falling short.

That’s why we’ve gathered expert advice from top hairstylists who explain how to fake thick hair. From strategic cuts to clever styling techniques, get ready to transform your tresses and embrace a fuller, more luxurious mane.

The Right Cut


A good haircut is the foundation for all your great hair days ahead and can even help flat or thin appear fuller. Los Angeles, California-based celebrity hairstylist Andrew Fitzsimons helps the Kardashians, Jennifer Lopez, Megan Fox and more top talent to look their best.

“Certain haircuts can make your hair look thicker than others. If you have naturally thin hair, steer clear of heavily layered haircuts, as they can make your hair lay flatter,” he says. “You can ask your stylist to keep as much weight as possible and for a cut with clean, sharp edges to give the illusion that your hair is thicker than it is. If you like to rock shorter looks, ask your stylist for lots of texture.”

The Right Shampoo

Andrew Fitzsimons Body Volume Boosting Shampoo

$11.20 at Ulta

Fitzsimons recommends that you start your hair thickening routine in the shower.

“Try incorporating ingredients that have been proven to stimulate the roots, such as caffeine, to ultimately give a lifted and voluminous look,” he says, recommending his own range of volume-boosting shampoo. Other caffeine-based options include Briogeo’s Destined for Density range (a personal favorite of our commerce editor) and the Hers Full Volume line.

Certified trichologist Helena Gibson, founder of upcoming brand Unveil Restorative Hair Care, also recommends switching up your hair care.

“Thickening shampoos are formulated to give the appearance of thicker, fuller hair. While they may not increase the number of hair strands, they typically contain specific ingredients that can temporarily enhance the volume and thickness of the hair,” she explains. “They do this with volumizing agents — ingredients like panthenol (a provitamin of B5) that can help increase the diameter of individual hair strands, giving the hair a thicker appearance.”

Hair Extensions

Fliace Clip in Black Hair Extensions for Women


$23.89 at Amazon

Gibson also recommends hair volumizers like clip-in extensions to make your hair appear thicker. They are available in different colors to seamlessly blend into your hair.

“Hair volumizers can be added at the top of the crown for volume or under the bottom of the hair for length,” says Gibson.

Nikki Corzine, master stylist and owner of The Canyon Salon, in Westlake Village, California, agrees.

“Hair extensions offer a straightforward solution for enhancing both volume and length,” she says. “Whether clipped, glued or professionally sewn, they provide an immediate and seamless transformation, perfectly matching your hair’s color and texture for a fuller appearance.”

MORE: The best hair growth products for women, according to experts

Plus, hair extensions come in a few different types. These include:

  • Clip-in extensions: Temporary extensions that can be easily clipped into your natural hair for added length and volume.
  • Tape-in extensions: These provide a more seamless and natural look and typically last for several weeks before needing adjustment.
  • Halo extensions: These are temporary extensions that sit on top of your head like a halo, with a thin wire hidden under your natural hair. They provide instant length and volume without the need for clips or bonds.
  • Sew-in or weave extensions: With this method, your natural hair is braided into cornrows and then wefts of hair extensions are sewn onto the braids. It provides long-lasting results but requires professional application and removal.
  • Fusion or bonded extensions: Individual strands of hair extensions are bonded to small sections of your natural hair using heat or adhesive. This method offers a natural look and can last for several months with proper care.

Use Rollers

Conair Heatless Hair Curler Assorted Sizes and Colors Hair Rollers


$8.74 at Amazon

“Velcro rollers can give you a bouncy lift at the root, giving the impression of a fuller head of hair,” Fitzsimons says. “If you don’t have the time to put your damp hair in rollers and wait a few hours for it to dry, blow dry your hair and roll it into rollers while it’s still warm. Spray with a light hold hairspray and then take the rollers out.”

Resist the temptation to touch your hair until it’s cool to maintain the ultimate volume and bounce.

Add Volume With Dry Shampoo

Batiste Dry Shampoo, Tropical Fragrance


$8.14 at Amazon

Dry shampoo is a lifesaver if you wake up with greasy locks and don’t have time to wash your hair. But these powdery formulations can also make your hair look thicker.

“Dry shampoo absorbs excess oils while providing a foundation for your roots to lift instead of lying flat,” says Fitzsimons.

Dry shampoo also makes your hair more manageable so that you can create hairstyles that add volume and fullness, further enhancing the appearance of thicker hair.

Add Some Curls



$149.99 at Amazon

Using a heated hair styler like the T3 SinglePass Curl X can also help you fake thick hair by adding texture, movement and width to your style. It comes with nine heat settings so that you can customize it to your unique hair texture and type. Alternate the curl direction and leave the last inch of your hair out of the roller barrel for an undone look that adds interest and even more volume.

Add Dimension With Color

Professional hairdresser dyeing hair. Multicolor


Corzine says you can fake thicker hair at the salon with clever color techniques.

“Dimensional coloring techniques such as highlights or balayage not only enhance your hair’s aesthetic but also create an illusion of depth and thickness,” she says. “These methods contribute to a rich, multi-dimensional appearance, emphasizing the hair’s natural fullness.”

Treat Your Hair

No.3 Unveil Thicker Hair Serum


$57 at Unveil Restorative Hair Care

Give your hair some extra love with a special serum. Simply massage the product into your scalp where you notice thinning hair and leave it in to do its magic.

“Hair growth serum, used regularly over a full hair growth cycle (90-100 days), can produce a noticeable difference with your hair and scalp,” Gibson says.  She recommends her brand’s Unveil Restorative Hair Care’s No.3 Unveil Thicker Hair Serum which is designed to help with shedding, breaking, and thinning.

Whether you’re working with your natural hair or trying out extensions, the key lies in understanding your hair type and experimenting with different approaches until you find what works best for you. With a little creativity, patience and expert advice, anyone can make their hair appear thicker and fuller.

About the Author
Fiona Tapp

Fiona Tapp is a British award-winning writer and former teacher living in Canada. Her work has appeared in National Geographic, Popular Science, Parents, Rolling Stone, The Atlantic, and many more. In addition to travel, parenting, and education stories, she loves writing product reviews and gift guides which she produced for CNN Underscored for two years as well as for The Spruce, Reader's Digest, Forbes, and Brit + Co. More.