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Ask a Hairstylist: The Best Hairstyles for Fine, Flat Hair

These shapes create the illusion of volume.
Best hairstyles for flat hair

Q: I have no idea what to do with my hair. It's fine, straight and fairly dense, and my natural colour is very dark brown. My main problems are that it can be volume-challenged, and I have a strange hairline. 

From The Styling Edit Archives

Until last year, I had very long hair my entire life. My hair tends to be "piecey" in texture, which can make it look and seem wavy. 

Best hairstyles for flat hair

Ashlee has always had long hair.

My hair is also quite manageable with minimal styling, which hasn't given me much incentive to find a cut and style that isn't boring. However, I've tried various bangs, including full and side-swept. 

Best hairstyles for flat hair

Ashlee with straight-across bangs.

Best hairstyles for flat hair

Ashlee with side-swept bangs.

Then last year, I cut off more than 15 inches to help raise money for cancer research and support. I also had Ombré done on the ends. 

Best hairstyles for flat hair

Ashlee recently cut her hair into a bob.

Now, it has grown out, but is still in a blunt cut. I also dyed the ends darker, because I thought the warm ends clashed with my pale, cool skin tone. 

Best hairstyles for flat hair

Ashlee wants a style that won't make her hair look flat.

Having had long hair my entire life, I am stumped about how to cut and style my hair. I didn't really feel myself with the shorter hair and am on a mission to find a cut that doesn't make my hair look flat, and that works with my widow's peak. 

I would be so grateful for your expertise! — Ashlee

A: Ashlee, thank you for your consultation request. Some of the most beautiful people in the world have a widow's peak! So your natural hairline is not "strange" at all.

When I was growing up, I thought my widow's peak did not work with my hairstyle at that time, so I shaved it off. Big mistake. As it grew out, I was chasing the stubble and had a horrible time growing it in.

If you choose to keep your hair at your current length or longer, you can easily update it by simply changing your part. 

A deep side part on the opposite side to what you're wearing now will give your hair automatic volume.

Irina Shayk Angel Ball 2013

Irina Shayk at the 2013 Angel Ball.

You can also flip your hair over to the opposite side for a more casual, tousled effect.

Emilia Clarke SAG Awards 2016

Emilia Clarke at the 2016 SAG Awards.

Another option is bangs, which will hide your widow's peak if it bothers you. 

However, they need to have a stronger shape than the wispy, thin bangs you had before. A straight-across blunt bang will give the illusion of fullness and will add polish to your look.

Dakota Johnson Met Gala 2016

Dakota Johnson at the 2016 Met Gala.

Here is the same idea, but with a side-swept shape.

Felicity Jones AARP Movies for Grownups Awards Gala 2015

Felicity Jones at the 2015 AARP Movies for Grownups Awards Gala.

That being said, shoulder-length and shorter is my favourite to show off your jawline. Again, think of incorporating the same tricks to add fullness, whether it is moving your part or adding structured bangs. 

For you this would be a very flirty style.

Jessica Stroup Teen Vogue Young Hollywood Party 2009

Jessica Stroup at the 2009 Teen Vogue Young Hollywood Party.

I am also digging you with these straight down bangs, with a bob length.

Katie Holmes Mad Money Los Angeles premiere 2008

Katie Holmes at the 2008 Los Angeles premiere of 'Mad Money.'

All in all, I love your hair shorter. Long is also very pretty, but has no edge.