Your ultimate thick hair cheat sheet: Easy hacks for maintaining (and faking) fullness

Tresses looking a little limp? Don't worry, we see a crop of bouncy, thick hair in your future!

Less is might be more in the fashion world, but when it comes to beauty (and especially, hair) bigger is always better. No matter what the occasion or outfit, thick hair adds a polished, put-together element to any look.

You can easily fake your way to thicker-looking hair with a few simple hacks – Elena Diaz, ATH’s resident hairstylist

If, like us, you’re continuously chasing supermodel-hair vibes, then get ready to bookmark this page.

Packed with products recommendations and Pin-spiration, our expert tips will help you take your locks to the next level.

Your new mantra? Big hair, don’t care, ofc.

Model joan smalls with thick hair
Thick hair, don’t care. Credit:

1. Pick the right products

Volumising products, we salute you. From wash and care must-haves to styling essentials, these are our top 5 formulas that deliver fuller-looking tresses:


  1. Tigi S Factor Stunning Volume Shampoo and Conditioner – When you’re trying to create thicker-looking tresses, it’s important to start with the right wash and care combo. This formula with jojoba, nettle and pro-vitamin B5, uplifts dull, lifeless hair and adds weightless shine.
  2. TONI&GUY Sky High Volume Dry Shampoo – Elena says, “Spray on dry hair from root to tip to create the appearance of added body and absorb oil (that can be weighing the hair down) at the roots.”
  3. VO5 Big Volume Mousse – This formula not only adds volume to your tresses, it also helps protect against damage from styling tools. Damaged hair = lacklustre hair, so make sure a heat protectant is part of your beauty routine.
  4. VO5 Volume Creation Hairspray – Lock in your voluminous look with this spray that not only holds the style in place, it also helps build the appearance of extra volume in your hair, giving you thick-looking tresses in a flash.
  5. TONI&GUY Root Lift Sculpting Powder – Root powders are one of the most underrated products when it comes to creating the illusion of thick hair. Adding texture and lift, this formula is a styling essential.
Brunette model with thick hair
The right cut gives the appearance of thick hair. Credit:

2. Learn how to maintain thick hair

Blessed with naturally thick hair? We’ll put our jealousy aside for a moment to guide you through some easy fixes for the most common thick hair problems.

The problem: Not being able to find the right haircut for your thick hair.

Solution: Whatever length your locks are, we’ve got endless styling inspo. Head to our short, long and medium-length thick hair guides to see how to style yours.

The problem: Managing frizzy or unruly tresses.


Solution: The two best ways to tackle frizz on thick hair? “With a host of made-for-the-job products like the TRESemmé Keratin Smooth Shine Oil paired with easy hairstyles that will give you a perfectly polished finish,” Elena reveals. Win-win.

The problem: Styling thick hair with no time to spare.

Solution: Heading to the gym? Check out our easy styling options for while you sweat, and if all else fails, our a-z guide on how to style thick hair has all your occasion options covered.

Kaia Gerber on the runway with thick hair
Don’t have naturally thicker hair? We’ve got just the answer… Credit:

3. Fake thick-looking hair with the right haircut

If you’re trying to get thicker-looking tresses, a fresh cut can help. “Layers can really enhance the look of full, thick hair,” advises Elena.

This reigns true whether you’re opting for a choppy pixie or longer lengths, adding dimension to the hair can help it appear thicker. Need some visuals? We’ve rounded up 7 of the best haircuts for thin hair that promise to help add the illusion of volume. Credit: @maneaddicts

Asian woman with thick hair
Thicker hair hacks to help you create the illusion of fullness. Credit:

4. Create the illusion of thick hair

Want to fake your way to fullness? It all comes down to some clever styling. Even if you don’t have the thickest hair, your first port of call is to get to grips with backcombing.

“Teasing sections of the hair, especially at the crown can help give the appearance of fuller locks,” reveals Elena. Follow our simple tutorial to learn how to tease hair properly using a fine-tooth comb. The key for adding instant (and visible) volume to your tresses.

From preppy ponytails to a textured lob, check out our top thick hair styling hacks for creating plenty of body and bounce, with minimal effort.

Elena’s top 5 hairstyles to help give you thicker looking tresses:

  1. The beehive
  2. The messy ponytail
  3. The donut bun
  4. Tousled waves
  5. Pull-through braid
Model with thick hair
Overnight waves will give the illusion of thick hair Credit:

5. Learn how to get thicker looking hair overnight

The quest for voluminous locks requires commitment so if you’re looking to spruce up the appearance of limp tresses, make sure your hair is working for you while you sleep.

If you’ve got naturally curly hair, try using the hair plopping technique to help define your curls. This will ensure they are perfectly formed and totally frizz-free, leaving you with volumised, VS angel-worthy waves in the morning.

“Adding a wave to naturally straight hair can also help it look visually fuller,” says Elena. If you haven’t got time to style with a curling iron, try using the sock bun technique to get overnight tousled tresses while you catch some Z’s. Genius.

Remember ladies – when it comes to thick hair, fake it ’till you make it…



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