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All about fine hair - how to cut & style fine hair

Lya Navarra

Author Lya Navarra

    The majority of people may have fine hair, but many stylists are not confident with the limits and capabilities of this delicate fabric. Let's take a look at the different types of fine hair and what they mean.

    Low Density Fine Hair: Cut longer layers to help slenderize; elongated faces need the illusion of width, so keep fullness at the bottom and diamond shaped faces should have length below the widest part of the face.

    High Density Fine Hair: Best when worn shoulder length or longer. Take a zig zag section close to the hairline.


    What is Fine Hair? Fine hair is separated into two categories, low density and high density. Yes, all fine hair is limp and lays flat to the head, and all fine hair can be cut and styled beautifully, but the secret to success lies in the technique used for each type.

    Low Density Fine Hair: Hair shaft is thin and grows far apart. Think of a forest where the trees have a lot of space between them.

    High Density Fine Hair: Hair shaft is thin and grows close together. Think of a forest where the trees are dense.

    How To Cut Fine Hair: It'’s important to maintain weight and bulk around the perimeter of fine hair to create fullness and dimension. It’'s also important not to cut too many layers or the shape will collapse.

    • High Density: Begin at the temple area and take zig zag sections around the hairline, isolate section in a ponytail and do not cut. This will maintain weight and shape.
    • For sections that will be cut, slide fingers down strands and notch cut ¼ to ½ inches in. When hair is cut in a horizontal blunt line, the ends spread out and look frayed and thin, notch cutting makes the ends look more chiseled and chunky. Fine hair tends to break, so notch cutting helps camouflage stressed ends.
    • Low Density: Best if cut into shorter styles minding face shape. Take larger zig zag section, higher above the hairline to maintain more mass.

    Tips For Fine Hair: Keep it simple and work with the texture. Go for a short cut that doesn'’t require volume or a longer smoother style. Don'’t worry so much about creating volume, there are many great styles that simply don'’t need it.

    Fine hair looks great when cut asymmetrically. Eyes automatically go to the longer/thicker/fuller side of the head and the shorter/thinner side can be tucked behind an ear. Fine hair starts to suffer when it looses its shape, and the first sign is the ends start to look lifeless and lonely. More than any other type of hair, fine hair needs to be cut on a regular basis to keep the shape in tack and ends looking full.

    Fringe: Cutting a fringe can make fine hair look fuller, especially when hair is sparse at the hairline. Take a triangle section of hair (crown area point to outer points of eyes) brush forward and cut fringe.

    NOTE: Hair must then be blown-dry forward, in the opposite direction of its natural falling pattern, to create fullness and mask thinning hairline. 60% of women in North America have fine hair. Sam Villa's CutOuts DVD teaches you everything you need to know about cutting and styling fine hair.

    Hair: Sam Villa & Geneva Cowen
    Art Direction/Color: Geneva Cowen
    Hair Assistants: Tina Calzaretta & Mary Urban
    Make Up: Paula J Dahlberg
    Fashion Styling: Michelle Boucher
    Photography: Shalem Mathew