How to Thin Out Hair With and Without Thinning Shears

A gorgeous African female with thick locks on a 4A hair texture used hair thinning scissors to create thinner ends.

Thinning hair is a common issue among people of all races and genders. But some people have the opposite problem – hair that’s way too thick.

Others may call you lucky if you’re one of these people, but that’s not necessarily the case. Thick hair can appear too bulky and can be extremely difficult to manage, so some people want to thin out thick hair.

If you have thick hair and want to thin it out, there are several options you can try at home, and that’s what we’ll focus on in this article! You’ll learn how to thin out hair with and without thinning shears using our step-by-step guide.

Remove Some Bulk with Layers

One of the most popular ways to thin out hair is to remove bulkiness by layering. This hair-thinning method is best used by people who have too much bulk all over. To do this, grab your hair-cutting shears and follow the below instructions.

African American woman with thinner hair after using a straightening treatment to reduce some of the extra volume.
  1. Part your hair into two large sections – top and bottom.
  2. Separate the bottom part of your hair into 5 to 7 vertical sections that meet at the crown of your head. Secure each of them with an elastic.
  3. Part the top section of your hair in half vertically and then part it again into horizontal sections that go from the ear to the vertical line. Do 3-5 sections on each side and secure them with an elastic.
  4. Starting with one of the vertical back sections, remove the elastic and use your middle and pointer fingers to guide your hair outwards.
  5. Cut the section in the shape of your head (parallel to it) as short as you want. But be sure not to take off too much length, as this will cause the layers to be too drastic. You can always take more length off, but you cannot put it back!
  6. Repeat the previous step for all the vertical sections in the back.
  7. Then take the horizontal sections in the front, over-direct them slightly towards the back, and take some length off.
  8. Take sections along your front hairline and hold them down in front of your face. Cut them diagonally – downward the further you get from the middle.
  9. Then shake your hair out and look at your work. Cut here and there depending on the exact layered look you’re going for.

When you look online, you’ll see lots of people cutting curly hair wet – that’s not the best idea. Since curly hair shrinks when it dries, it’s best to cut it dry so you can see the full length.

A young woman with hair shaft damage after using excessive heat styling tools (e.g., flat irons, curling irons, etc.).

Try Deep Point Cutting

If you’ve never heard of deep point cutting, you’re not alone. Deep point cutting is a hair-cutting technique where the stylist will hold the hair at a 90-degree angle and snip it vertically.

Deep Point Cutting

This will decrease the amount of bulkiness at the ends of your hair.

To do this at home, start with clean, dry hair. Start with small cuts and work your way up to larger ones. Be sure to hold the hair at a 90-degree angle and snip vertically, not horizontally. Finish by trimming any uneven pieces.

Note: We don’t recommend this hair-cutting technique for anyone who is not experienced with hair-cutting shears. It is very easy to cut yourself while using the deep point cutting method.

A young female that's been thinning our hair but wants to avoid making her hair blunt with sharp scissors.

How to Thin Out Hair with Thinning Shears

Thinning shears are professional scissors designed to thin out hair fast. They have teeth on one blade, which allows the user to control which hairs are cut and remove cut hairs easily.

To thin out hair with thinning shears, grab small sections of dry or wet hair and do one of three things:

  • Subtle Thinning. Take a small section of hair and cut the midpoint of the section one time. Then gently slide the shears down the length of the hair to comb out the cut strands.
  • Substantial Thinning. Cut a small section of hair at the midpoint and at one or two other points near the ends. You should only do this if you’re looking for some substantial thinning.
  • Thinning at the Ends Only. Cut small sections of hair at the ends to remove the bulk there. Start by cutting only once to prevent over-thinning.

When you use thinning shears, remember that the comb portion of the shears should be on top. Also, never cut too close to your roots, or you’ll have short hairs sticking up there.

A woman used a blow dryer on her hair to add texture after using conditioning her curls with hair masks.

How to Make Your Hair Appear Thinner

You don’t have to cut your hair to get a thinner-looking result. There are several ways to make your hair appear thinner, including:

  • Use more hair products when styling. When you add more product to your hair, it will appear thinner. This is because the product will weigh down your hair and make it look less voluminous.
  • Blow-dry your hair downward instead of upward. Doing so will ensure that your hair lies flatter to your head and appears thinner.
  • Shingle your hair. Shingling means smoothing product through your hair in tiny sections. Doing so will result in flatter-lying curls.

Can You Thin Hair with Regular Scissors?

Under no circumstances do we recommend thinning your hair with regular scissors. This is because regular scissors are not designed for cutting hair and can actually damage your strands.

The issue with regular scissors is that they aren’t sharp enough to cut through your strands cleanly. And this leads to split ends, which can travel up to your roots and cause extreme breakage.

A beautiful female with shoulder-length hair growth styles her hair with natural oils to reduce frizz.

So, if you’re looking to thin out your hair, we recommend using professional hair shears. They are designed specifically for cutting hair and will result in a much cleaner cut without the damage risk.

Is Thinning Out Your Hair a Good Idea?

Thinning out your hair is a good idea if you have thick, heavy tresses and want to lighten the load. It’s also a good course of action if you have damaged hair and want to eliminate some of the split ends without losing much length.

But being that it takes a long time for hair to grow back, it’s not something you should do on a whim. If you’re not sure whether thinning out your hair is right for you, we recommend consulting with a professional stylist. 

When to See a Professional Stylist

If you’re unsure how to thin out your hair or don’t feel confident in your abilities, we recommend seeing a professional stylist. They will be able to assess your hair type and texture and give you a cut that suits your needs.

A professional stylist will also be able to teach you how to thin out your hair at home so you can maintain your new look between salon visits.

A young lady with medium hair thickness wearing a layered cut that keeps her hair healthy with anti-frizz products.

How Much Does It Cost to Get Your Hair Thinned Out?

The cost of getting your hair thinned out will vary depending on the length and thickness of your hair, as well as the method used. However, from a general standpoint, you can expect to pay anywhere from $20- $100.

To get an accurate estimate, you’ll need to go in for a consultation. After examining your hair, they’ll give you a price quote based on your unique hair situation.

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So, there you have it – everything you need to know about how to thin out your hair. If you’re used to handling your own hair, then thinning it out at home shouldn’t be too big of a deal. With the information in this article, you should be able to achieve the look you’re going for. We wish you the best of luck!

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