hair thursday makeover 86

Meet Lauren.

From Lauren’s email:

I am a college student and am moving to a new state and starting a new career path and would love to start fresh with a new hairstyle. I seem to have the most bland hair that can’t seem to do anything but fall flat. I would really appreciate the help!!!

Lauren’s hair:

Naturally medium brown
Normal to oily
VERY fine and VERY straight
Lengthwise, anything but a really short pixie will do
Uses a blow dryer on occasion, along with mousse, hairspray, and a curling iron that she hasn’t mastered yet
Only uses shampoo

I’m so glad Lauren sent me her plea (even if it was a year ago..yikes!) because it addresses an issue that I’ve learned a lot about lately. WHAT TO DO WITH SUPER FINE HAIR. And I have some great advice because I speak from personal experience! Well, not so much MY hair, but my son’s hair. (Who knew you could learn beauty advice from a preschooler, right?)

Take a look for yourselves.

He has really beautiful hair – great color, super shiny, but it is SO FINE.

I know we talk about layering a lot at Hair Thursday, but this is one type of hair that will not benefit from lots of layers. Trust me, I learned the hard way about a year ago. I was positive that layering my son’s hair would give it some movement and texture, when in reality, the layers made him look like he had a run-in with a overzealous weed whacker. Movement? No. Texture? Not so much. Wispy, flyaway and discombobulated? HELL YES. It looked pretty bad, but luckily layers grow out…as evidenced in the above photo.

The key to super fine hair is precision cutting. Those with very fine hair can pull off super sleek looks that most of us thicker peeps can only dream of! I do recommend shorter styles, as most below-the-shoulder looks will appear stringy.

Here are two looks to consider for Lauren’s new style.

(Uh, not saying Lauren should go blonde. Just happened to be the color of the cuts I liked.)

Option #1 would work beautifully on Lauren’s hair. The below-the-ear to chin-length is a great one for fine hair. It doesn’t become stringy and has a defined style. Some very (VERY) light layering is happening towards the ends to give that tapered look, but the layers are kept very long and blended. I also love the idea of bangs sweeping across Lauren’s forehead. Great accent for her eyes and cheekbones!

Option #2 is along the same lines, but keeping the length. In fact, Lauren could always cut #1 and let it grow to #2 when she wants to grow it out. (Love the side part.)

As for products and styling, I love the info that Tracey from Sweetney shared with us several months ago. If you have fine hair, this is a must read!

Also, it’s worth mentioning that adding highlights and/or lowlights can really give super fine hair dimension and a fuller-looking appearance. Food for thought, Lauren…

So…what’s the verdict? Option #1 or #2?

  1. Carrisa

    April 29, 2010 at 7:50 am

    I voted for #1

    I have super fine and limp hair and like Sweetney, I am also a fan of Super Star. It’s good stuff. I might argue that layers can sometimes help. It gives me a bit of volume that I don’t get otherwise. Of course, we’re not talking crazy amounts of layers either. And now as I find myself growing my hair out (again) I feel like the layers help make it look less limp. I also recently switched from a side part to a down the middle part and oh what a difference it has made. Now if I could just get rid of these two pesky cowlicks in my bang area.

  2. Tina

    April 29, 2010 at 8:42 am

    I am in this club as well. So is my 3 year old son. I have noticed your tot’s hair is similar. Do you have any Mom advice for your instructions when he gets his hair cut? (I have had similar experiences with the crazy layers and am at a loss). He also inherited my 3 cowlicks.

  3. Zee Mathews

    April 29, 2010 at 9:54 am

    If I am asked to pick one for my partner, I will go for #2.


    Zee Mathews
    The Salon Mangers Academy

  4. kat

    April 29, 2010 at 10:30 am

    I voted for #1 – love this look!

  5. Amy in StL

    April 29, 2010 at 11:43 am

    Yeah, sorry but you’re wrong. I’ve had super fine hair my whole life and layering does help. No, you don’t get out the thinning shears like those with thick hair but having layers helps with movement – as does keeping my hair above shoulder length.

    I grew up with a mom who had thick hair and until I could pay for decent cuts and good shampoos and conditioners I had crappy hair too. Now, I use biolage (for color treated hair) or Pureology in the purple bottle. I also go to a stylist who really gets how to style and cut fine straight hair. I also color my hair and that has helped immensely over the years.

    I can’t believe you didn’t jump on her only shampooing her hair? WTF?

  6. Sarah

    April 29, 2010 at 11:52 am

    Well, probably because I’m not one to “jump on” anyone, Amy in StL. That’s why we have commenters like you!

    (I LOVE LOVE LOVE when people get all riled up about hair, of all things. Thanks for the laugh!)

    People, PLEASE read the entire post. I said “lots of layers” will not benefit thin, fine hair. Not all layers in general. In fact, if you read about the options, I mentioned how the “light layering is happening towards the ends to give that tapered look, but the layers are kept very long and blended.”

    (Also, I am addressing fine and THIN hair – not fine hair altogether. I have thick hair, but the strands are individually super fine. I am NOT addressing this kind of hair in this post.)

  7. Tracy D

    April 29, 2010 at 12:49 pm

    I voted for option #2…because I think it is more interesting than #1. Also because I sense that Lauren wants something a little different than the norm…as evidenced by the lip ring (BTW – I’m not a fan of the lip ring. It’s distracting from her beautiful face! …I bet I sound like her mom).

    I think dark lowlights, or maybe even a hint of purple (?) would give her a really unique and polished look.

    That’s my two cents!

  8. linette

    April 29, 2010 at 1:17 pm

    I too have fine and thin hair and struggle with wanting to keep some length to it to feel more girly. I fear that keeping it shoulder length or above will make me look too much like a ‘mom cut’ victim.
    I love option 2 and think Lauren would look fabulous with this style and some lowlights!
    Also love Sarah’s response to Amy in StL ;-)

  9. linette

    April 29, 2010 at 1:20 pm

    oohh…and I also want my hair color to be the same as Wito’s – BEAUTIFUL!

  10. Sara

    April 29, 2010 at 4:45 pm

    I think I’m going to vote for #2, because it has a bit more oomph. #1 is kind of blah, but really I think that shorter will be better on Lauren, so something in the shape of #2, but a bit shorter might be better.. I’d really like to see her in an even shorter cut. She has the face to pull it of, and I’ll bet it would look fantastic.

  11. Kate

    May 1, 2010 at 9:29 pm

    I’m motivated to comment for the first time, ever, (longtime reader), by how absolutely beautiful I think Lauren is. . . just the way she is. Love the hair color and length! Because it seems she wants a change, though, I did vote, and I chose #2, mostly because it’s the closer of the two choices to her current length.

  12. All Women Stalker

    May 2, 2010 at 9:24 am

    I like number1. I don’t like the rude commenter.

  13. Emily

    May 3, 2010 at 8:04 am

    I vote #1 – it’s cute and young and she has such a nice face, she could rock it. I also think she should use a shampoo and conditioner for BODY and VOLUME like Biolage. That would REALLY help.

  14. Jacqui

    May 9, 2010 at 6:11 pm

    I have long fine hair and can only get more volume and movement if I have some fine graduated layers around the back of the crown area. My hairdresser is very careful to blend these into the longer hair so it doesn’t look choppy. It really helps me to get more volume.

    I backcomb the crown then smooth the top of this area to get a bit of lift. I keep the layers to a minimum retaining as much length as possible.

    Invest in a good oil free voluminising gel/lotion to get fatter hair if you’re looking for volume on fine hair – apply and blow dry.

    I love Redken’s body full shampoo/conditioner, Kevin Murphy’s Anti Gravity lotion, and Redken’s root lift product. Kevin Murphy’s hair resort is amazing for texture on fine hair and his products are paraben and sulfate free! Redken spray starch is another awesome product if you’re trying to wave or curl fine straight hair that normally won’t curl.

    Try not to weigh your hair down with too much product…a little goes a long way, along with a decent blow dry – also velcro rollers work magic!

  15. Jacqui

    May 9, 2010 at 6:14 pm

    Also, I think Lauren’s hairstyle is fine, she looks like she has a cowlick at the front. Perhaps a few styling tricks are in order!