Jude Law thin hair
Jude Law, the pin-up guy when it comes to making thin hair look good. GETTY

AS SHOWN BY the deluge of men’s wellness ads that hit every time you sit down in front of Fox Sports, it feels like a new economy has sprung up in recent years shaped around helping (understandably) insecure men keep their hair. Where once talk of a trip to Ashley and Martin was reserved entirely for Shane Warne and a select group of wealthy execs, we now live in a world of turkish hair transplants, mail-order remedies and miracle shampoos. And with styling products now more varied than ever before, this cacophony of noise makes finding the right products to make the most of what hair you do have left all the more confusing.

As a follicularly challenged man myself, I’ve spent the better part of a decade testing and trialling different styling products in an effort to make my hair appear thicker, fuller and more textured – something that’s turned out to be a surprisingly tricky task despite the masses of different options on the market. It is possible, however, and in this time, I’ve learned a few key things:

  • Avoid pomades: pomades, especially shine-heavy ones, create too much separation between strands of hair, often making thin patches stand out rather than blend in.
  • Ease of application is key: using a product that tugs at your hair as you put it in is a quick way to shed excess strands quickly.
  • Stick to water-based products: not only are they more convenient to put in and rinse out at the end of the day, but they won’t clog your scalp anywhere near as much as petroleum-based products.
  • Look for words like clay and fibre on the label: these are the products developed to add thickness and fullness to hair (without overly weighing it down), while generating grit and texture at the same time.
  • Volume isn’t everything: this might seem counter-intuitive, but as anyone who’s ever been for a swim in the sea will attest to, sticking a load of volumiser on thin, fine hair is not a good approach. There’s a difference between fluffy and full.

With all this in mind, where should you start? Here’s a selection of products I’ve personally tried, some of which you can use in combination with each other for even greater effect. Trust me: these will have every precious strand of hair in your barnet looking great, feeling strong, and generally in peak condition.

The best products for thin hair

Patricks thin hair

Patricks M2 Matte Finish

The Aussie-born brand has perfected the art of grooming products as a luxury commodity, thanks to cutting-edge ingredients and putting a distinct focus on gents whose hair is on the turn. Both its M1 (which has a slightly lighter hold) and M2 pastes are engineered to thicken and volumise the hair with a natural finish, while the brand’s recovery compound sets to work nourishing your scalp for future growth.

Patricks M2 Matte Finish, $60 at Patricks

Layrite thin hair

Layrite Cement Clay

Don’t let the name put you off: this clay product from one of the most storied names in pomade is a winner; it goes in soft while maintaining a natural finish throughout the day with just the right amount of bulk.

Layrite Cement Clay, $37 at Beard & Blade

Triumph and disaster

Triumph & Disaster Karekare Tonic Spray

Sea Salt spray is a long-established hack for giving limp, fine hair instant va-voom, delivering a ton of texture that only a dip in the ocean could otherwise provide. We love Triumph & Disaster’s option for the extra conditioning agents it provides, including sea beet to help provide natural lustre and alpine willow herb to help keep scalp irritation in check.

Triumph & Disaster Karekare Tonic Spray, $39.95 at Oz Hair & Beauty

Larry King thin hair

Larry King Velvet Texture Clay

A lot of clay products tend to focus on hold over all else, which is why we love the latest release from Larry King. As the name suggests, their Velvet Texture Clay is designed to build body and texture with a moderate amount of hold and a soft finish, making it perfect for both short, choppy cuts and longer, looser styles.

Larry King Velvet Texture Clay, $54 at Adore Beauty

Uppercut thin hair

Uppercut Deluxe Styling Powder

Great for use as a pre-styling agent but also enough of a heavyweight to hold its own in shorter hair, Uppercut’s Styling Powder adds instant body and thickness when applied in damp hair. Use with a blowdryer and finish with a fibre or a clay for maximum volume, or apply to dry hair to get it back into line.

Uppercut Deluxe Styling Powder, $32 at Uppercut Deluxe

Aveda thin hair

Aveda Mens Pure-Formance Thickening Paste

Aveda calls on the power of nature to save your precious follicles, featuring a potent line-up of botanicals that not only thickens and strengthens the hair you’ve got, but conditions the scalp throughout the day to create the best environment for new hair to come through. The hold is pliable and versatile to allow you to run your hand through without risking breakage, with a natural finish that keeps your hair looking its healthiest.

Aveda Mens Pure-Formance Thickening Paste, $49 at Aveda

American Crew thin hair

American Crew Fiber

American Crew really set the benchmark for hair fibres – so much so that they even have a trademark on the name, and their Fiber paste is still yet to be beaten. The brand’s product most tailor-made for thin hair, it adds a load of guts and texture to shorter styles, with the hold required to stop fine hair from getting out of hand as the day goes on.

American Crew Classic Fiber, $24.99 at Beard & Blade

Hanz de fuko quicksand

Hanz de Fuko Quicksand

Still one of the most unique and versatile styling products out there, Quicksand delivers all the beachy volume of a sea salt spray combined with the heavyweight body you’d normally use a clay for. Both come from literal diatomaceous earth – a super soft, fine rock that acts both to give fullness and texture to fine hair and absorb excess oil on the scalp – a key cause of hair loss.

Hanz de Fuko Quicksand, $33.95 at SSS Hair


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