Long, thin hair is a challenge to style. Thin hair lacks volume and may not hold curl well. The weight of long hair makes it lie flat against the scalp, which might be unflattering to your face. To add to your frustration, styling products designed to add body and volume only weigh your hair down more. When it comes to long, thin hair, styling problems can be solved when you remember that less is more.


Function

Hairstylists are quick to point out that shorter styles make hair look fuller and bouncier. So even though you’re loath to chop off your tresses, your look will still benefit from a little less hair. A trim to even the length and eliminate split ends makes hair look healthier. Unless your thin hair also has some wave, avoid layers. A blunt cut will make thin straight hair look fuller.


Effects

If you have a broad forehead, add blunt bangs, cut at the eyebrow, to accentuate your long sleek hair as well as your eyes and cheekbones. This is also a good way to visually shorten a long face. To make the surface of your hair shimmer, use a tiny amount of shine-enhancing product on just the surface of the hair. Do not rub the product into the deeper layers of hair or scalp; this will only accentuate hair thinness.


Benefits

With plenty of length left, you can execute a wide variety of updos. A chignon fastened either neatly or loosely at the nape of the neck is classic. Hair fastened higher on the head makes for a romantic look. Pull small pieces of hair loose around the face to accentuate your features. Use a curling iron to add subtle wave, but avoid ringlets, as these are old-fashioned.


Considerations

Using less product and losing just a smidgen of length is good for long, thin hair, but when it comes to the ponytail, more is more. If you’re a fan of the ponytail, consider extensions to fill it out. Temporary extensions are available at beauty supply stores, in natural or synthetic hair. Natural hair can be dyed to match your shade and styled just as you’d style your own hair. Synthetic hair is cheaper, but must be purchased in the shade you want. Style synthetic extensions cautiously; some synthetic hair will melt. Also, even the best synthetics tend to sparkle unnaturally in certain lighting.


Potential

To create curls that stay in long, thin hair, begin with clean hair–avoid moisturizing shampoos and conditioners. Blow-dry hair upside-down. Isolate a 1-inch section of hair. Spray with a curl-holding setting lotion. For loose waves, place a hot curling iron near your scalp, and finger wind the hair along the length of the iron, finishing at end of the hair. For tighter, bouncy curls, place the curling iron at the end of your hair, and wind toward the scalp. When the curl is set, gently slip the curling iron from the curl. Let curls cool completely, then fluff gently with fingers. Use a light coat of humidity-resistant hairspray.