8 Rules For Men With Fine & Thinning Hair
“How do I make it look like I have more hair?” If you have fine or thinning hair, you probably ask your stylist this every time you get a haircut. That’s why men’s grooming expert Matty Conrad (@mattyconrad) is sharing his 8 rules for men with fine and thinning hair, so you can get fuller, thicker-looking hair every day.
Rule #1: Learn the difference between fine and thinning hair.
These are not the same thing!
- Fine hair means the hairs themselves are very skinny, which can result in limp and lifeless-looking hair.
- Thinning hair is not necessarily fine, it just means there is a lot less hair.
For thinning hair, it’s best to visit a dermatologist to understand the cause. But these tips can still help you style your hair to appear fuller.
Rule #2: It all begins with scalp health.
“Stop using abrasive, chemical-filled shampoos and conditioners. In fact, stop using conditioner all together. All it does is weigh the hair down and make the hair heavier,” Matty says.
Instead, use a moisturizing hair wash that is designed for optimum hair and scalp health. Matty recommends Victory Barber & Brand WASH because it’s made of gentle botanical cleansers, uses activated charcoal as a detoxifier and contains protein and nutrient-rich oils that will keep your hair and scalp in tiptop condition.
Rule #3: Make sure your haircut suits your density.
You may think that the best way to disguise fine hair is to simply cut it short, because your hair will stand up and give the appearance of fullness. However, this isn’t always the best solution. “The problem is when you cut it really short, you see a lot of scalp,” Matty says.
The opposite problem is that when you grow fine hair really long, the hair is weighed down. “There’s a point where the length has diminishing returns,” says Matty.
So what haircut is best for fine or thinning hair? Matty’s rule of thumb: Keep the hair on top between 3-5 inches. This leaves enough hair to blow-dry and style, but not so much that it weighs the hair down.
Rule #4: Use the right products.
The correct hair products can offer the volume and fullness you’re looking for, but the wrong ones can weigh it down, so choose wisely.
- Thickening Tonics: Salt-based thickening tonics can make your hair feel thicker, but can also make it feel dry. That’s why Matty recommends PRIMER from Victory Barber & Brand, a sea salt-based thickening tonic that has conditioning elements to keep moisture in the hair and keep the scalp from drying out.
- Pomades & Creams: Looking for texture and hold? Avoid water-based products like pomades or oil-based creams. These will make the hair look shiny or greasy, which won’t look good on fine hair. Instead, use a matte finishing product like Victory Barber & Brand SUPER DRY. The oil-free matte texturizing paste works really well in fine hair because it doesn’t clump the hair together (which makes it look even thinner), but still provides all-day weightless hold.
Rule #5: Use a blow dryer.
You AREN’T blow-drying your hair? You should be. “You should always style your hair from wet to dry, especially with fine hair,” Matty says. Why?
Ok, let’s talk science. Inside each hair shaft are carbon bonds that give the hair shape. These bonds break down in two ways—they get wet, or they get hot. If the hair is cool and dry in a flat shape, it’s hard to build volume, no matter what products you use. The only way to achieve the volume you want is to get it wet and get it hot.
Here’s what to do:
- Start with wet hair and apply your choice of product (more on this later!), then blow-dry completely.
- Set the blow dryer to medium heat and high air flow to get the most movement in the hair.
- You can use a brush, but you can also use your hands.
The SECRET to creating volume? Go back and forth over the direction the hair falls and lift the hair away from the scalp to create volume. “Keep in mind you only want to create volume at the front on top—you don’t want to create volume EVERYWHERE,” Matty says. “Make sure you refine the shape a little bit.”
Rule #6: Use the cold shot button on the blow dryer.
“This is something important that most guys miss. Most people don’t even know what the cold shot button does,” Matty says.
Hair acts a lot like plastic. When you heat it up, it gets really soft and bendy. When you cool it down, it gets rigid. So, after you’ve used heat and airflow to sculpt the hair into place, use the cold shot button to “lock” the volume in by cooling the hair down quickly.
Rule #7: Apply finishing products before you blow-dry.
The blow dryer will help remove excess moisture from the product you put in your hair, but you’ll still get the benefits of the styling technology in the product. Plus, it helps break up clumps of hair, which can make the hair look thinner.
Here’s Matty’s recommendation: Apply SUPER DRY to wet hair, then blow-dry it into the hair. “Afterwards, I’m amazed at how natural and effortlewss the finish looks,” he says.
Rule #8: Don’t use too much product.
“I know, it seems like you should use a lot of product, because more product should equal more hold, right? Wrong,” Matty says. More product ACTUALLY means more weight and more moisture, and the more moisture, the heavier and weighed-down the hair is.
“Stay away from gels or anything that is gonna seem like it’s a really strong product but is ultimately just gonna be really heavy,” Matty says. The ONLY product you should use in abundance is one designed to make it feel thicker and fuller, like PRIMER. “Load that stuff in there—but use the other products sparingly,” he says.