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Mythbusting time: Just as skinny doesn't mean healthy when it comes to body weight, fine doesn't mean thin when it comes to hair. Some fine hair grows in abundance (like on long-revered hair muse Jennifer Aniston), while others grow more sparse (like on Kate Bosworth).
One thing both fine hair types have in common? They often require frequent hair washing and smaller amounts of styling product.
Styling tips for all fine hair types:
In many style circles, it's believed that the longer one goes between hair washes, the more luxurious and Zooey Deschanel-like the hair. But those with fine hair who try this experiment are likely to meet greasy results.
"Fine hair can get oily very quickly because there's not a lot of hair to absorb the oil produced by the scalp," said master stylist and E! Style Collective Member Marc Mena, who has styled the strands of Christie Brinkley and Jordana Brewster.
The takeaway? Fine-haired ladies of all kinds should wash hair as needed and use a light hand when applying styling products. "Be careful on adding too much product on the root area. If you're going to do a volumizing spray, do a light spray on the root and don't get too crazy with the product," Mena said.
Beyond these basic rules of thumb, those with abundant fine hair and more sparse fine hair should follow different cut, prep and styling guidelines to max out their hair looks.
Fine, plentiful hair like Jennifer Aniston:
Find the right cut: Asymmetrical cuts tend to work best for those with fine, plentiful and straight hair. For those with fine, plentiful and wavy hair, long layers look best, Mena said.
Pick the right products: "Look for products that help build body and volume," Mena suggested, adding that those products labeled with the V word—volumizing mousses, shampoos and sprays (like Natu Volumizing Mist)—help give more lift to fine hair. Conversely, it's best to stay away from ultrarich conditioners or styling products labeled as "conditioning" as they tend to weigh hair down.
Style it right: Make dry shampoo your go-to—and not just for days in which you don't have time to shower. "Dry shampoos are also great as a styling tool," Mena noted. "I like to spray it at the root because it gives it more lift." Further, if you're looking to add volume to your style, try using rollers to add body.
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Fine hair and less plentiful, like Kate Bosworth:
Find the right cut: For those with fine hair and fewer strands, try a cut with sharp lines, like a pixie or asymmetrical bob. "These cuts create strong lines that will look great with this hair type," Mena said. For those with wavy, fine hair and fewer stands, Mena favored above-the-shoulder layered haircuts for maximum style.
Pick the right products: Not sure which type of shampoo to use on your fine hair? Mena suggested this rule of thumb: Stick to clear formulations, like Nuxe Rêve de Miel Gentle Shampoo with Honey. "If a shampoo is clear, it likely won't contain a heavy moisturizing or conditioning agent, which can weigh hair down."
For styling, Mena reaches for a mousse for this hair type. "The foamy consistency is typically very light and won't weigh hair down," Mena said. R+Co Chiffon Styling Mousse is dispensed from the bottle with a soft, air-whipped peak rather than a dense glob, making it a great choice for fine hair type.
Style it right: Amplify mousse's volumizing power by applying it from roots to tips. Mena suggested dispensing a golf-ball sized hit of mousse directly onto a vented brush and pulling through hair from roots to tips to ensure even distribution before blow-drying. Next, dry the hair with the same brush to help lift roots. Finally, finish the drying process with a ceramic round brush to give ends shape and bounce.