Articles > Fine/ Thinning > Fine Hair: Do You Know How To Handle It?
Last updated: November 15, 2022

Fine Hair: Do You Know How To Handle It?

close formula
Photo Credit: Instagram via @bosleymd

8 Essential Tips For Servicing Clients With Fine Hair

Not every appointment is going to be like the thick-locked mannequins that got us through beauty school. Fine hair will always make up a generous portion of our clientele, but it’s hard to know how to approach coloring, cutting (anything!) unless you know what you’re working with. Keep scrolling to learn the ins and outs of caring for fine hair—and how to send these clients off feeling their very best.


1. Know the difference between fine and thin hair. 

“Fine” and “thin” are sometimes used interchangeably but the two are actually very different:


  • Fine hair is all about the thickness of each individual hair follicle—not the exact number of hairs on a client’s head. When a client’s hair is fine, it’s fine for life.
  • Thin hair is often attributed to overall hair loss caused by androgenetic alopecia, stress, pregnancy or tight hairstyling. Thinning can be reversed or treated with specialized products like NIOXIN 3-Part Systems, BIOTOP Professional 04 Shedding Shampoo or Regrowth Treatment Foam with Minoxidil from BosleyMD.


Check out BTC Team Member Alisha Jared (@alishajaredhairartistry)’s transformation with BosleyMD BosVolumize Hair Thickening Fibers!

Photo Credit: Instagram via @alishajaredhairartistry


2. When lightening fine hair, create more solid pieces for the brightest result.

2022 #ONESHOT Balayage winner Jessica Scott Santo (@jessicascotthair) says that regular highlights don’t cut it on fine hair because it can easily appear over-foiled. Instead, Jessica takes larger, more solid pieces to make the end result appear brighter. Here is her process:
  1. Prep the hair with a protective shampoo and conditioner to ensure the fine hair isn’t damaged.
  2. Take larger weaves when sectioning for thicker-looking highlights.
  3. Thoroughly saturate each weave for the strongest POP of brightness.


Photo Credit: Instagram via @jessicascotthair


Make sure your weaves are fully saturated every time using balayage boards from specialist Carly Zanoni (@the.blonde.chronicles).


3. Use a texturizing spray to add body and volume to hair of any length.

An easy hack to keep up with the voluminous hair trends? BTC Team Member Rachel Williams (@rachelwstylist) always keeps a bottle of amika un.done Volume and Matte Texture Spray on hand. This dry finishing spray adds instant volume PLUS the perfectly imperfect texture we’re crazy about. Just puff onto roots for on-the-spot lift and texture, then evenly distribute throughout.


Check out the volume on Rachel’s shag client!

Photo Credit: Instagram via @rachelwstylist


Up Next: How To Keep Fine Hair From Falling Flat with Surface Culture Artist Dawn McKee (@dawnsurfacehair)!


4. Use this slide cutting technique for ultra-volume layers.

Did you know you can elevate your layers with something as simple as slide cutting? Here’s ULTA Beauty Design Team Member Justin Toves-Vincillone (@ahappyjustin)‘s go-to method for faux volume:


  1. Start on a diagonal side part, then overdirect to the opposite side and slide cut. 
  2. Bring the sections from the crown and sides over to the shortest length.
  3. Elevate each section to 45 degrees and cut, using each previous cut as a guide.
  4. When you reach the back section, comb it up toward the guide in the front. Make sure your sections are neat to ensure an even cut.
  5. Repeat on the opposite side until complete.


Pro tip: Prep the hair with Amplify Cleanser & Conditioner by Authentic Beauty Concept for an extra voluminous blowout. This duo boosts body and volume while leaving the hair soft, fuller and more manageable. It’s a win-win!


Watch Justin’s technique in action here!

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Justin TV | Hairstylist (@ahappyjustin)


Get the look using Justin’s go-to Master Series Paragon II shears from ARC Scissors!


Want more step-by-step tutorials for servicing fine hair? Click here to read Chris Jones (@chrisjones_hair)’s technique for fuller bobs on finer-haired clients!


5.  Add a blended application technique to your extensions repertoire.

Blended extensions can be a great way to create airy volume for clients who want extra thickness, but not additional length. In terms of placement, these extensions are applied farther apart, only where needed and slightly staggered within the row to create natural texture without bulkiness.


However, extensions should NEVER be applied to areas of recession. Putting extensions near the hairline is a really sensitive matter. It can be done by an experienced artist, however it’s A LOT of at home care,” says Line One Hair founder Andrea Henty (@andreahenty), “There are also removable options if your [client is] suffering from hair loss and needs something temporary.”


See the difference between coverage and blended rows!

Photo Credit: Line One Hair


6.  Propose a shorter haircut for your client.

Hair expert Danny San Martin recommends offering clients with fine hair shorter haircuts—think a stylish bob or lob that we always see on the trend charts! While some clients might be hesitant to make a chop, the weight of longer hair causes finer textures to droop.


Pro tip: When cutting, Danny suggests starting with a strong perimeter, then creating soft, point-cut layers from the partial upward.


Watch Manny create a full bob below!


Want to learn more ways to go shorter? This lob cut is perfect for fine-haired clients!


7. No matter the cut, send your client home knowing how to style it.

While bobs can offer a fuller appearance, the client will also need to know how to style it to prevent the cut from falling flat outside the salon. Here’s the routine that Danny sends his clients home with:


  1. Apply NIOXIN Therm Activ Protector to damp hair and comb through.
  2. Work NIOXIN Bodifying Foam thoroughly into the hair.
  3. Starting at the nape, divide the hair into narrow horizontal sections and dry each with a small round brush. Make sure to lift at the root for maximum volume!
  4. Finish with NIOXIN Instant Fullness Dry Shampoo for additional lift.


Recommended: Stop Letting Your Fine-Haired Clients Believe This Myth!



8. Keep your language positive and accepting.

For some clients, fine hair can be a major source of insecurity. During your consultation, swap labels like “bald,” “balding” or “super thin” with terms like “skinny” or “delicate.” Carefully chosen words can go a long way when it comes to rebuilding confidence and helping the client love their appearance.


Want more haircare education? Enroll in BTC-U for unlimited courses on how to leave your clients’ hair happier and healthier!


Products Used

More from
Ulta Beauty