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How to Thin Hair | 2024 Guide & Things to Consider

When you have thick hair, it’s often difficult to style. You’re more likely to have frizz, and some people are constantly trying to find the right solution. We’re here to show you how to thin hair and make it more manageable.

How to Thin Hair: A Summary

There are several different ways to thin your hair. Some people use thinning shears, while others change their hair styles and their hair care routines. We suggest following these steps:

  1. Get Thinning Shears
  2. Shampoo and Dry Your Hair
  3. Section Your Hair
  4. Start Thinning
  5. Get Layers Cut into Your Hair
  6. Use Your Hair Dryer
  7. Try a Flat Iron
  8. Consider Chemical Straightening
  9. Use Cold Water
  10. Reduce How Often You Shampoo

How to Thin Hair in 10 Steps

Step 1. Get Thinning Shears

The first step is to buy a pair of thinning shears. The best place to purchase them is at a beauty supply store, but you may also find them in the hair care section of large department stores. 

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They are similar to scissors. But they have a serrated edge that is thicker. Hair stylists frequently use them, and they cut around 15% of your hair to reduce its volume. If you aren’t sure what they look like, go to a beauty supply store and ask them.

Step 2. Shampoo and Dry Your Hair

It is important to make sure that your hair is clean and dry before you start thinning it. It doesn’t matter whether you blow it dry or let it air dry. The best thing to do is to follow your normal hair care routine so that your hair looks the way it does on a regular basis.

This is significant because you don’t want to overdo it when you are thinning your hair. Don’t add any styling products before you start thinning because they may prevent you from thinning it properly. Just make sure that you shampoo and dry it, and you’ll be ready to start.

Read Next: Best Shampoo for All Hair Types

Step 3. Section Your Hair

Before you start thinning your hair, you need to split it into sections. Take two- to three-inch sections and clip them so that they are separated. You might also want to use a clip to keep the hair that you’ve already thinned away from the rest of your hair. This will help you keep track of what hair is thinned and what hair still needs thinned, and it will prevent you from thinning the same spot twice. Trust me, you don’t want to do that.  

Step 4. Start Thinning

Now, take the first section and hold it up. Take the thinning shears in your other hand and hold them with the serrated edge downwards. You’re going to focus on the area that’s about three inches from the ends of your hair. If your hair is super long or thick, you can thin a bit higher. However, you should never thin near your scalp, as it creates shorter hairs that push on long hair to create volume. Stay three to five inches from your scalp.

Hold your shears at a 45-degree angle and close the thinning shears over this section of hair. Open them and move about an inch, and then close them again. Continue doing this until you reach the bottom of your hair.

The reason why you have the serrated edge facing down is that you’ll have longer hair on the top layer, and it will hide the thinned sections. Comb through each section of hair as you thin it, as this will help remove all of the pieces of hair that you cut.

If it still looks thicker than you want, make a few more cuts. Try not to cut in the same place too many times. Repeat this process throughout all of your hair. Keep track of how many cuts you make in each section so that you keep it the same.

Step 5. Get Layers Cut into Your Hair

Another great option for thinning your hair is to change your hairstyle. Cutting layers into your hair works well, especially for people with thick hair. It is also a great option for people who have short hair, as the thinning process is often a bit trickier.

When you have layers cut into your hair, you’ll reduce the volume to create a less full appearance. Make sure that you stay away from blunt cuts, as they will make your hair appear even thicker. Consider asking your hair stylist to cut layers in to reduce the thickness of your hair.

Read Next: Layered Haircut Inspiration

Step 6. Use Your Hair Dryer

When you want thinner-looking hair, you should use your hair dryer to style it. The best way to do this is to start at the roots and work your way from there to the ends. Use a round brush with your hair dryer and pull the hair down as you blow the hot air on the top of your hair. This will smooth your hair, allowing it to lay flatter.

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Try not to lift the hair while drying because you don’t want to add lift and volume up by the roots. You might consider using anti-frizz serum after you finish because the heat often leads to frizz.

Step 7. Try a Flat Iron

Another great styling tool that will help make your hair look thinner is a flat iron. This tool has metal plates that heat up, and you apply them to your hair to make it flat and thin.

Your hair needs to be dry before you use this tool. Start by creating sections that are approximately one inch wide. Slowly place the flat iron on the hair, one section at a time, clamp down, and slide it from the top to the bottom.

You may want to go over each section twice to completely straighten it. Another important thing to remember is that you need to use a heat protectant if you plan to use a flat iron. It will protect your hair from heat damage.

Don’t iron sections of hair more than two times because it will cause your hair to become brittle and damaged. If you find that you need to straighten your hair more, switch to a flat iron that uses ceramic or tourmaline plates.

Read Next: Best Flat Irons

Step 8. Consider Chemical Straightening

Some people have such thick hair that they want a more lasting solution. A chemical straightening treatment changes the chemical structure of your hair to keep it thin and sleek. While there are at-home straightening kits, you really need to go to a hair stylist to have this done. It is an involved process that includes applying a chemical to your hair, heating it, and styling it.

It is a more lasting solution, but it is necessary to have it touched up every few months or so. It is also expensive. If you don’t want to put chemicals on your hair, you might not want to get a chemical straightening.

Read Next: Keratin Treatments

Step 9. Use Cold Water

Although people are accustomed to taking hot showers, the hot water opens up the hair shaft and it leads to extra volume as well as frizz. However, when you use cold water, your hair shaft closes and lies flat against your head. The end result is shinier hair that lays flat on your head.

You don’t have to take a cold shower. Try making the water warm, and then rinse with cold water before you get out of the shower. If you aren’t shampooing your hair that day, put your hair in a shower cap and then let it out to rinse with cold water.

Step 10. Reduce How Often You Shampoo

Frequent shampoos cause frizz and increased volume. When you shampoo your hair every day, it will be thicker, bushier, and frizzier. For this reason, you shouldn’t shampoo your hair more than two or three times each week. This way, your hair will continue to stay moisturized and protected by its own natural oils.

Rinse your hair with cold water on the other days and use dry shampoo when you need to freshen it up. 

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Another great option is to replace your conditioner with apple cider vinegar. When you finish with shampoo, take a mixture of water and vinegar and use it to rinse your hair. This cuts down on the frizz and helps your hair look shiny and soft.

Why apple cider vinegar? Conditioner has ingredients that coat your hair, so it appears thicker than it is. Apple cider vinegar has some of the same therapeutic effects as conditioner, but it doesn’t make your hair thicker. Only use enough to rinse your hair, as it often has a strong smell. You may want to use a scented spray after you get out of the shower.

Read Next: How to Get Rid of Hair Frizz

Things to Consider

For a piece on how to thin hair, a pair of scissors thinning hair

Artiom Photo/Shutterstock

When you set out to thin your hair, there are certain things to consider, including the following:

Things to Do

  • Use thinning shears
  • Try a flat iron
  • Cut layers in your hair
  • Rinse your hair with cold water
  • Consider chemical straightening
  • Use your hair dryer

Things Not to Do

  • Don’t shampoo every day
  • Avoid lifting your roots
  • Reduce using hot water

So, How Do You Thin Hair?

Thinning your hair requires that you make an effort. There is no simple fix, but with some patience, you will be able to reduce the thickness and the frizz. Use thinning shears and style your hair with layers. A hair dryer also works well, and a flat iron does wonders. Read the full article above for more tips to make your hair look thinner.

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