Pic from Caterina DIi Base, Heading Out Hair & Beauty, Melbourne

Thanks to Caterina DiBiase

Pic from Hair Machine, Adelaide

Thanks to Hair Machine


What does the term to 'thin out the hair' mean?

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To "thin" your hair is a hair cutting term that simply means to remove bulk or thickness from the hair but to retain the length of the hair during cutting. It is mainly used to create more texture as in curl or exaggerate pieces of hair and to thin out (lessen the bulk of) very thick hair. You would not do this if your hair was very fine generally as this would make the hair finer (fine or thin hair is normally blunt cut to make it appear thicker). This phrase is often used by hairdressers but as a client it is a scary idea as it gives me a vision of thin hair or even hair loss and often results in a complete misunderstanding of what is about to happen to our hair.

So as always here at VirtualHairCare, we will attempt to explain what this term in more detail:

The technique is different for each hair cut depending on the requirements of the style and the density of hair of each individual.

It is often referred to as 'personalising' a cut by hairdressers, as firstly they put in the basic shape, and then when hair has been blow-dried and styled, they go back over the cut and 'thin it' to make it sit better and add shape and style.

Specialist thinning scissors are used in some cases or the points or tips of ordinary hairdressing scissors are used in a particular way giving a more individual effect.

The advantages of thinning out the hair can be many and varied and here are just a few:

  • it removes thickness or bulk if you have very thick hair.
  • helps the hair to sit better as the style demands.
  • adds shape without loosing length.
  • can create a wispy or separated effect.
  • adds height and volume, when really short pieces are used to support longer lengths of hair.
  • can create a textured effect.

 Pic from Wild Life, Sydney

Courtesy of Wild Life Hairdressing


Visitors to this page found some help with these questions on some of our other pages:  

The Collections - a comprehensive series of hair style images split into length of hair, texture and style as well as collections from individual salons and industry hairdressing award images to grab your imagination when it comes to the possibilities for your next hair cut.

Haircuts to suit your face shape.

Haircuts: Some simple basic rules.

What is the 'thinning hair' technique?

What's in: Celebrity looks.

Blow dry and styling - including plaiting and up styling

Hair coloring, perming and chemical straightening

Hair extensions

Hair salons - getting the most from your next salon visit

More about your hair type

Hair product information

Hair loss information

Medical conditions of the hair and scalp



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