If you’re dealing with thin and fine hair, finding the right hair color can be a real challenge. You want a color that will make your hair look fuller and more voluminous, but it’s easy to fall into the trap of choosing colors that actually make your hair look even thinner.


In this blog, we’ll share expert tips and advice on what hair colors to avoid and what shades will work best for your thin and fine hair. We’ll also touch on the importance of choosing the right hair coloring ingredients to keep your hair healthy and strong.

The Worst Hair Colors for Thin and Fine Hair

When it comes to hair colors that are a no-go for thin and fine hair, you should steer clear of anything too extreme. Here are three shades that experts recommend avoiding:

Black or overly dark colors: Coloring your hair a shade that’s dramatically darker than your natural color can drain your complexion and make your thin and fine hair look even sparser, says Krysta Rojas, owner, and stylist at Base Salon Chicago. Glossy and shiny black shades highlight your scalp and make your hair look thinner.


Colors too close to your skin tone: No contrast between your skin and hair color can wash out your look and give your hair a flat appearance, says Rojas. For example, fair-skinned individuals should avoid bright or platinum-blonde hair colors.


All-over colors: If you’re dealing with thin and fine hair, opting for a single all-over color will leave your hair looking dull and flat, says Rojas. Instead, opt for multi-tonal highlights to create dimension and volume in your hair.


The Best Hair Colors for Thin and Fine Hair

So, what hair colors should you choose if you have thin and fine hair? The good news is that there are plenty of beautiful options that will give your hair the appearance of more volume and fullness.


Rojas recommends adding dimension to your hair using balayage, baby lights, or a shadow root. This will trick the eye into thinking your hair is fuller, and it can be done using any shade that blends well with your natural hair color. And because these techniques are lower maintenance than an all-over color, you won’t have that unflattering stark contrast root when your hair starts to grow out.


Board-certified dermatologist, Dr. Yoram Harth of MDhair, provides additional insight into the best hair coloring techniques for thin and fine hair:


Dark shades: While super dark shades that don’t bring warmth to your complexion might not be the best option, Dr. Harth says that darker shades like black or dark brown can create the illusion of fuller hair by providing contrast between the hair and scalp. This makes the hair appear thicker and less transparent, but it’s essential to discuss the shade with your stylist first to ensure it looks natural.


Highlights: Adding highlights to your hair can create dimension and depth, making your hair appear thicker and fuller, says Dr. Harth. For example, lighter shades like blonde or caramel highlights can be added to dark hair to create a natural-looking contrast.


Lowlights: Like highlights, lowlights add dimension and depth to your hair, but with darker shades, says Dr. Harth. They can add depth to lighter hair and make it appear thicker.


Thinning hair can be a real downer, but you don’t have to let it hold you back from having fun with your hair color. To help you get the most out of your hair and color, we’ve turned to expert Dr. Harth for the latest advice on balayage, root touch-ups, and the best and worst ingredients for thinning hair.


Balayage: Get the Gradual, Natural-Looking Color You Crave

Balayage is a hair coloring technique that creates a gradual, natural-looking blend of colors. According to Dr. Harth, “The color is painted on the hair in a sweeping motion, which results in a gradient effect that adds depth and dimension to the hair, making it look thicker and fuller.” So if you’re looking for a way to add some life to your hair, balayage might be the way to go.


Root Touch-Up: The Secret to Concealing Thinning Hair

When your hair is thinning, the scalp can become more visible, which can detract from the overall look of your hair. Dr. Harth suggests using a root touch-up to help conceal the scalp and give the hair a fuller appearance. “A root touch-up can help to conceal the scalp and give the hair a fuller look,” he says.


Worst and Best Ingredients for Thinning Hair: What to Avoid and What to Embrace

Choosing the right hair color ingredients is crucial if you have thinning hair. Dr. Harth states, “Certain ingredients can be particularly damaging, making thinning hair appear even more noticeable, while others can benefit hair health.” Here are the five worst hair color ingredients for thinning hair to avoid, according to Dr. Harth:


Ammonia: “Ammonia is a common ingredient in hair color products, used to open the hair cuticles and allow the color to penetrate the hair shaft,” Dr. Harth says. “However, this can cause damage to the hair, leading to increased breakage and thinning.”


Hydrogen Peroxide: Hydrogen peroxide is another ingredient found in hair color products that can damage hair. According to Dr. Harth, “The use of hydrogen peroxide in hair color products can lighten the hair, but it can also damage the hair, causing it to break and thin more easily.”


Parabens: Parabens are a type of preservative found in many hair color products, but they can be damaging to the hair and scalp, leading to thinning and breakage.


Sulfates: Sulfates are a type of surfactant found in many hair color products used to create a lather. According to Dr. Harth, “Sulfates can strip the hair and scalp of their natural oils, causing damage and thinning.” So be sure to avoid sulfates when shopping for shampoo and conditioner.


PPD: “PPD (para-phenylenediamine) is a common ingredient in hair color products, used to create long-lasting color,” says Dr. Harth. “However, it can also cause an allergic reaction and damage the scalp, leading to hair loss.”


Argan Oil: This luxurious oil is rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, making it an excellent choice for nourishing and fortifying your hair. Argan oil can help repair damaged hair and reduce the risk of breakage and thinning.


Keratin: As the most common protein in hair strands, keratin is essential for keeping your hair healthy and strong. Incorporating keratin into your hair care routine can help repair damaged hair and reduce the risk of breakage and thinning.


Aloe Vera: This natural ingredient is known for its hydrating properties, providing your hair and scalp with the moisture they need to stay healthy. Aloe vera is also rich in nutrients, minerals, and antioxidants, helping to promote healthy hair growth.


Collagen: As the primary building block of hair, collagen is essential for strengthening and repairing your hair. Incorporating collagen into your hair care routine can help reduce the risk of breakage and thinning and promote healthy, resilient hair.


With these essential ingredients, you can take your hair care to the next level and achieve the beautiful head of hair you’ve always wanted. So go ahead, embrace your hair color, and enjoy the confidence of having healthy, radiant hair.