Celebrities with Fine Hair

Straight and fine hair: best haircuts and hairstyles

  1. Jaime King

Short bobs are very versatile cuts for thin hair. No matter your texture, you can switch to shorter locks even if you have super fine hair. By cutting hair to your chin and going shorter towards the nape of the neck, you get a more full-bodied effect.

Jaime King attends the Ted Baker London SS’19 Launch Event at Elephante on March 20, 2019 in Santa Monica, California. 
(March 19, 2019 – Source: Getty Images North America)
Jaime King attends the 2019 Vanity Fair Oscar Party hosted by Radhika Jones at Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on February 24, 2019 in Beverly Hills, California. 
(February 23, 2019 – Source: Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images North America) 

2. Mia Wasikowska

If you have been blessed with straight fine hair, consider your mane to be a blank canvas. Use highlights to your advantage to create dimension in short bob hairstyles. Mia’s chunky blonde and brown pieces complete a chic hairstyle with depth and sufficient volume.

Mia Wasikowska arrives at the 4th AACTA Awards Ceremony at The Star on January 29, 2015 in Sydney, Australia. 
(January 28, 2015 – Source: Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images AsiaPac) 
Actress Mia Wasikowska attends the ‘Tracks’ photocall during the 70th Venice International Film Festival on August 29, 2013 in Venice, Italy. 
(August 28, 2013 – Source: Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images Europe) 

3. Yolanda Hadid

Lob for Fine Hair: Bob hairstyles for fine hair don’t have to be super short. This one, for example, is just above the shoulders and looks flirty and feminine with soft waves in a golden blonde tone.

Yolanda Hadid attends the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show at Pier 94 on November 8, 2018 in New York City. 
(November 07, 2018 – Source: Theo Wargo/Getty Images North America) 
Yolanda Hadid walks the runway during the Off-White show as part of the Paris Fashion Week Womenswear Fall/Winter 2020/2021 on February 27, 2020 in Paris, France. 
(February 26, 2020 – Source: Chesnot/Getty Images Europe)
Yolanda Hadid attends Desigual fashion show during New York Fashion Week: The Shows at Gallery 1, Skylight Clarkson Sq on September 7, 2017 in New York City. 
(September 06, 2017 – Source: Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images North America) 

4. Cate Blunchett

Bob Cut with Blunt Ends: Short hairstyles for fine hair can make you look very polished and put together, especially with locks that are cut at one length. Because your hair is on the thinner side, blunt ends will provide just the right amount of density and structure for a fairly full, not poofy look.

L-R) Cate Blanchett and Sheila Jayadev pose at the “Stateless” premiere during the 70th Berlinale International Film Festival Berlin at Zoo Palast on February 26, 2020 in Berlin, Germany. 
(February 25, 2020 – Source: Getty Images Europe)
Cate Blanchett attends the “The House With A Clock In Its Walls” photocall during the 13th Rome Film Fest at Auditorium Parco Della Musica on October 19, 2018 in Rome, Italy. 
(October 18, 2018 – Source: Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images Europe)
Cate Blanchett short bob (airport style)

5. Charlene, Princess of Monaco

Side-Parted Chin-Length Bob for Fine Hair

Princess Charlene Of Monaco attends Christmas gifts distribution at La Croix Rouge in Monte-Carlo on December 18, 2019 in Monaco, Monaco.
Princess Charlene of Monaco attends the Christmas Gifts Distribution At Monaco Palace on December 18, 2019 in Monaco, Monaco.
Princess Charlene of Monaco attends the parcels distribution at the Red Cross headquarters on November 15, 2019 in Monte-Carlo, Monaco.

Princess Charlene of Monaco attends the 71th Monaco Red Cross Ball Gala on July 26, 2019 in Monaco, Monaco.

Princess Charlene of Monaco attends the closing ceremony of the 59th Monte Carlo TV Festival on June 18, 2019 in Monte-Carlo, Monaco.
(June 17, 2019 – Source: Getty Images Europe)

Let us know in the comments which style is your favorite, and check out these hairstyles as well!

How to Style Thin Hair

Simple tricks for styling thin hair from ladies who actually have thin hair.

Unfortunately, lifeless strands that have a tendency to sit flat often come with the territory of having thin, fine hair. And although your hair might not be as luscious or as full as you would like, that doesn’t mean you can’t fake a thicker style with a few handy tips and tricks. But how can you make thin hair look thicker? What are the best haircuts for thin hair? And what are the best hairstyles for thin hair? Below we’ve collected thin hair how-to styling videos. We’ll update it this collection periodically.

How To Curl Fine Hair and Make it Stay

Tip: How-to-have-healthy-heat-styled-hair rules:

  1. Invest in your flat or/and curling iron. Make sure to purchase one that says “ceramic plates,” which will ensure that the heat is evenly distributed.
  2. A heat protector is a must! 
  3. Make sure the temperature is right for your hair. You’ll need an iron with variable heat settings in order to control it (so look for that feature at time of purchase). This is a big one. My hair should only be ironed at a low setting, below 200 degrees, as it is very fine. Start at a lower level and increase as needed.

Instructions from Tabith, a certified trichologist and a fine hair stylist from Plymouth, MN

How to curl fine hair with a curling iron.

If your hair is fine, fragile or color treated, use a low heat setting — below 200 degrees — to avoid burning or damaging your hair. As you curl your hair, notice how it responds to the heat and increase the temperature accordingly. Never go above 300 degrees.

I wouldn’t call Katy’s hair thin or fine but in this video she shows a very good technic on how to have beachy waves and lift hair at the roots at the same time. She uses a flat iron to achieve it.

How to curl fine hair with a flat iron.

How to blow dry thin fine hair and give volume

Learn how to style straight thin hair, as Celebrity stylist Jill Crosby shows you how to revamp your straight thin hair into a look full of va-va-voom volume and body.

  1. Use a microfiber towel to remove excess water
  2. Detangle with a detangling brush made for wet hair
  3. Apply a lightweight volumizing mousse
  4. Flip hair over and blow-dry upside down on low heat until hair is about half dry
  5. Apply a root-lifter
  6. Spritz thermal spray on ends
  7. Use a round brush to finish drying
  8. Use dry shampoo at the roots for extra volume
  9. For a more textured finish, use pomade to separate strands

Learn how to style curly thin hair with Celebrity stylist Jill Crosby.

  1. Start by detangling wet hair with a wide-toothed comb
  2. Flip head to the side, let hair hang, and gently scrunch dry with a microfiber towel
  3. Lightly scrunch thickening serum through hair, avoiding roots
  4. Flip head upside down and use medium heat and a diffuser to dry from bottom to top
  5. Add thermal spray and use a curling iron on medium heat to touch up any areas that need redirecting or extra volume
  6. Finish with pomade

Easy updo hairstyles for thin or baby fine hair

Tasha has naturally baby fine hair and shows how she styles them in three different ways.

Note: This video tutorial is in Russian but with English subtitles.

Easy tips to make your fine hair look its best.

People with naturally thick hair are lucky. Their hair almost always looks good and their styling lasts much longer. Fine hair does require more work. But don’t despair!

You know of course that not every model or acctress has beautiful, full hair. This may be every woman’s dream, but in fact, for most women, especially those with fine hair, it’s an illusion that has to be created.

There are two types of fine hair:

  1. The first is when you have plenty of hair but each strand is baby fine.

Supermodel Natalia Vodianova has baby fine hair but a lot of it.

(Photo by Pierre Suu/Getty Images)

Natalia Vodianova

2. The second and most difficult hair to deal with is sparse and fine hair.

This kind often looks like see-through hair or hair that sticks to the head moments after the blow dry.

Princess Charlene of Monaco has sparse and fine hair but her hairstyle is always sophisticated.

Here are some easy tips to make your fine hair look its best. 

The finer and more sparse your hair, the more essential it is to have the right haircut.

  • The best cut for almost all fine hair is the bob.

There are many variations of the bob, from layered to the most traditional one-length Vidal Sassoon signature cut. You must find the one that suits your face shape. I would rather see hair look a little thin than cut painfully short. Short hair don’t suit all face shapes.

Yolanda Hadid always looks sophisticated and classic. Her hair is naturally fine. She keeps it above shoulder length these days. It allows her to have different hair styles.

  • The big bang cut is perfect for woman with fine and sparse hair.

With this haircut, the bangs start almost at the crown of the head. This gives thinning or baby fine hair the illusion of fullness and is extremely chic.

“Bangs create a distraction by diverting the eye. It gives fullness to the front where the eye automatically goes at first glance and instinctively,” says Juan Carlos Maciques, hair wizard behind the stars like Jennifer Lopez and Michelle Williams, in InStyle magazine. From soft curtain bangs to a side-swept fringe, you can choose what your cup of tea is.

Actress Rashida Jones
  • The pixie is a very good haircut for thin, thinning or fine hair.

You can wear it combed or messy and it always look great. But you must have a good face shape for this cut. Warning! It will accent a sagging jaw line or a drooping chin.

Robin Wright
Carey Mulligan
Victoria Beckham

People with naturally thick hair are lucky. Their hair almost always looks good and their styling lasts much longer. Fine hair does require more work.

It requires frequent shampoos and needs to be restyled more often to look its best. But don’t despair! There are many beautiful women with less-than-perfect hair. They just know how to make it look its best. Just remember that Victoria Beckham, Charlize Theron, Cameron Diaz and Paris Hilton all have fine hair. They also have some of the best looking hair in Hollywood.

Let us know in the comments which hair style is your favorite, and check out these hairstyles as well!

Best Haircuts for Fine or Thin Hair

How to cut fine hair for volume?

Let’s be clear on one thing: Being born with super-thick, flowing, supermodel-esque hair may afford you more options, but there’s no reason fine-haired ladies need to throw in the towel. Much of beauty is about optical illusions. Just like the right lipstick can make your lips look fuller and the right eyeliner can make your peepers pop, the right haircut can transform thin or fine hair into a (seemingly) thick, voluminous mane.

Using the advice of a few trusted stylists, we put together this roundup of the three best haircuts for thin hair—with lots of photos to prove it. These simple, yet strategic haircuts and hairstyles will trick onlookers into believing you have more hair than you know what to do with.

1. Blunt Cut Bob

Long locks can weigh down any look, so keep fine hair shoulder length or above. The trick for pulling off a shoulder-length style is making it a blunt cut. Blunt lines make your hair appear thicker.

Tip: To maintain and amplify fullness, avoid overtexturizing hair with lots of layers.

Cate Blanchett‘s blunt bob looks the epitome of chic, especially with her low side-parting and impossibly shiny blonde. Cate always keeps her naturally fine hair shoulder length or above.

Sleek and razor sharp, there’s a simple elegance to Rosamund Pike‘s immaculate bob.

Take inspiration from another of Charlize Theron‘s short hairstyles. This bob, cut level with her chin and styled with a side parting, perfectly frames her face.

Another actress to embrace the blunt cut bob is Saoirse Ronan, whose laser-cut style was a lesson in precise hairstyling. Wear your hair super sleek with a centre-parting to follow her example.

Here’s a style thick-haired women have a harder time pulling off: short hair tucked behind the ears. Thicker hair tends to stick out more and doesn’t stay behind the ears as well, but thinner hair sits smoother.

Loosely slicking your hair back is a perfect hair style for fine hair. Yolanda Hadid is a big fan of slicking her fine hair back for special occasions.

The wavy bob has become the hottest hairstyle obsession for women of all hair types, but it’s especially popular for those with thinner hair because it’s short enough to never fall flat, and the wavy texture gives the illusion of thickness. For added dimension, add highlights. 

2. Choppy Pixie 

Shorter hair is stronger than longer strands, so even very fine hair can benefit from a super-short cropped cut. Pixie cuts can actually make your thin hair appear thicker than it really is.

To feminize a boyish pixie cut, like Robin Wright‘s, blow-dry bangs to the side using a small round brush.

Want to look like Charlize Theron? (Don’t we all?) The trick to keeping hair like hers modern and youthful is using products that add toughness and texture. That means picking lightweight waxes or pomades and tossing anything you associate with sleekness, like gel or frizz fighters.

Michelle Williams has rocked a pixie cut since 2007, and has been sporting the short look ever since. It almost seems unnatural to imagine Williams without her Mia Farrow-esque pixie, but it looks like she’s in the stages of growing it out now. Michelle Williams has a bob now, proving that the in between growout period doesn’t have to be completely painful.

3. Shoulder Length Hair

Another trick to try if your hair is on the longer side is the deep side part. With a deep side part, you’re essentially lumping all your hair together on one side, creating the illusion of volume. You also create lift at the roots.

Amber Valletta has beautiful hair. It is naturally fine and wavy. The deep side part works perfectly for her.

Paris Hilton has fine and straight hair. The side part hair style works perfectly for her. She usually wears hair extensions but you can spot her sometimes without them.

Miranda Lambert 

Guide guide hair care

Ingredients Guide

What You Need to Look for On Your Hair Product Labels


  • The ingredients in any hair care products are listed in order of concentration: from highest concentration to lowest concentration
  • Use water soluble silicones, especially if you have thin or fine hair
  • “Sulfate Free” does not always mean that the product is free of sulfates. Read your labels carefully
  • Avoid parabéns


Why do cosmetics manufacturers use silicones?   

Silicones have been incorporated in personal care products since the 1950s. Initially used in skin care products, and more recently in hair care applications, silicones are recognised for their lubricating properties and for the characteristic soft smooth feel they create (comb-ability, reduced friction and breakage). While silicones that made it to your product shelf are considered safe to use, not all silicones have been created equal. Long-term effects of usage, including build up and hair brittleness have been gaining more and more prominence recently.

In response, beauty industry has introduced what’s known as “water soluble silicones” to address negative effects of non-soluble silicones while also keeping its benefits, especially to those of us with thin or fine hair. In hair care, cosmetic manufacturers add silicones to shampoos, conditioners, and styling products to help create the slip needed to detangle and give hair a silky shine and manageability. Let’s look at how silicones types differ.

Water soluble silicones

The name is the give-away – a water-soluble silicone is the one that it is able to dissolve in water. It is a silicone that is easy to wash out of the hair using mild-shampoos or conditioner-only techniques and which does not leave a heavy buildup.

Approved Water-soluble Silicones:

  • Anything with:
    • PEG (for example, PEG-12 Dimethicone, PEG-7 Amodimethicone, PEG-8 Disteramonium Chloride PG-Dimethicone, Dimethicone PEG8 meadowfoamate, Lauryl PEG-8 Dimethicone)
    • pg- (for example, Dimethicone-PG Diethylmonium Chloride, Hydrolyzed Silk PG-Propyl Methylsilanediol Crosspolymer)
  • Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein Hydroxypropyl Polysiloxane  

What does the “PEG” and the number mean? It’s important! Let’s say you have PEG-12 Dimethicone. That means that 12 molecules of polyethylene glycol were reacted with 1 molecule of dimethicone. The higher the number, the more soluble the oil (and silicone is essentially an oil). That’s because there are more of the water-soluble ingredients -the “PEG,” relative to the water insoluble dimethicone. For example, PEG-8 Dimethicone is slightly less water-soluble than PEG-12 dimethicone, which is slightly less water-soluble than PEG/PPG 15/20 dimethicone.

Non-soluble silicones

These are silicones that cannot be removed or penetrated with water, which can inadvertently damage the hair. This happens by silicones “sticking” to the hair surface creating a plastic-like film, preventing strands to absorb water, air and nutrients. They are removable with Sulfates, but in turn, the frequent use of Sulfates dehydrates the hair. It becomes a vicious cycle. 

Silicones to Avoid:

All ingredients that contain the following words.

  • botanisil
  • cone (for example, avoid “Cetearyl methicone“)
  • dimethcione
  • dimethicon (for example, avoid “dimethiconol”)
  • microsil
  • silane
  • silicon
  • siloxane
  • siloxysilicate
  • silsesquioxane
  • silylate

Sulfates (and other cleansers)

“Sulfate free” doesn’t always mean sulfate free. When advertisers label “Sulfate Free” at the very front, they are referring to one of the harshest Sulfates: Sodium Lauryl Sulfate. However, this does not mean that the product is entirely free of Sulfates. On several occasions, we have found other drying Sulfates in the list, despite the “Sulfate Free” label.

Approved Gentle Detergents:

  • ammonium cocoyl isethionate
  • babassuamidopropyl betaine
  • capryl glucoside
  • caprylyl glucoside
  • cocamidopropyl betaine
  • cocamidopropyl hydroxysultaine
  • coco betaine
  • coco glucoside
  • decyl glucoside
  • decyl polyglucose
  • disodium 2-sulfolaurate
  • disodium cocoamphodiacetate
  • disodium cocoamphodipropionate
  • disodium laureth succinate
  • disodium laureth sulfosuccinate
  • disodium lauryl sulfosuccinate
  • lauryl glucoside
  • lauryl hydroxysultaine
  • sodium cocoamphoacetate
  • sodium cocoyl isethionate
  • sodium lauroamphoacetate
  • sodium lauroyl glutamate
  • sodium lauroyl hydrolyzed silk
  • sodium lauroyl lactylate
  • sodium lauroyl oat amino acids
  • sodium lauryl glucose carboxylate
  • sodium laurylglucosides hydroxypropylsulfonate
  • sodium methyl 2-sulfolaurate
  • sodium methyl cocoyl taurate


The following are sulfates or similar cleansers and not recommended because they can dry out hair, especially if you have thin or fine hair. How drying a product is depends on more than if it contains sulfates or not, but it’s easiest just to avoid them.

  • alkyl benzene sulfonate
  • alkylbenzene sulfonate
  • ammonium cocoyl sulfate
  • ammonium cocoyl sulphate
  • ammonium laureth sulfate
  • ammonium laureth sulphate
  • ammonium lauryl sulfate
  • ammonium lauryl sulphate
  • ammonium xylene-sulfonate
  • ammonium xylenesulfonate
  • ethyl peg-15 cocamine sulfate
  • sodium alkyl sulfate
  • sodium alkyl sulphate
  • sodium c12-18 alkyl sulfate
  • sodium c12-18 alkyl sulphate
  • sodium cetearyl sulfate
  • sodium cetearyl sulphate
  • sodium coceth sulfate
  • sodium coceth sulphate
  • sodium coco sulfate
  • sodium coco sulphate
  • sodium coco-sulfate
  • sodium coco-sulphate
  • sodium cocosulfate
  • sodium cocosulphate
  • sodium laureth sulfate
  • sodium laureth sulphate
  • sodium laureth-40 sulfate
  • sodium laureth-40 sulphate
  • sodium lauryl sulfate
  • sodium lauryl sulphate
  • sodium myreth sulfate
  • sodium myreth sulphate
  • sodium polystyrene sulfate
  • sodium polystyrene sulphate
  • sodium xylene-sulfonate
  • sodium xylenesulfonate
  • tea dodecylbenzenesulfonate
  • tea lauryl sulfate
  • tea lauryl sulphate
  • tea-dodecylbenzenesulfonate
  • triethanolamine lauryl sulfate
  • triethanolamine lauryl sulphate


Some find these drying, but they are NOT sulfates. We recommend you do your own research to find out if these are good for your hair.

  • dioctyl sodium sulfosuccinate
  • disodium cocoyl glutamate
  • olefin sulfonate
  • oliefin sulfonate
  • sodium c 14-18 olefin sulfonate
  • sodium c 16-18 olefin sulfonate
  • sodium c12-14 olefin sulfonate
  • sodium c14-15 olefin sulfonate
  • sodium c14-16 olefin sulfonate
  • sodium c14-26 olefin sulfonate
  • sodium cocoyl glutamate
  • sodium cocoyl sarcosinate
  • sodium lauroyl methyl isethionate
  • sodium lauroyl methyl lsethionate
  • sodium lauroyl sarcosinate
  • sodium lauroyl sarcosine
  • sodium lauroylmethyl isethionate
  • sodium lauryl methyl isothionate
  • sodium lauryl sarcosinate
  • sodium lauryl sulfoacetate
  • sodium myristoyl sarcosinate

Waxes/Hair Coating Ingredients

Approved Water-Soluble Waxes:

  • emulsifying wax
  • emulsifying wax nf
  • peg 8 beeswax
  • peg-75 lanolin
  • peg-8 beeswax


All ingredients that contain the following words. These ingredients can build up on the hair and it is not possible to remove them easily. They are removable with Sulfates, but in turn, the frequent use of Sulfates dehydrates the hair.  

  • cera
  • cire
  • dodecane
  • dodecene
  • isododecane
  • isohexad
  • isohexadecane
  • isohexanedecane
  • lanolin
  • mineral oil
  • paraffin
  • petrolatum
  • shellac
  • wax (for example, avoid “almond wax“, it contains “wax”)


Other questionable ingredients to avoid:


Why You Should Avoid Soap On Your Hair?

Soap is much worse for your hair than sulfates. It can be much more harsh than sulfates in all scientific tests of harshness that we have seen. It is also alkaline. The pH of hair is 5.5 and most good quality cleansers are around that as well. But soap is usually 8 or more. This can damage hair badly, leaving it dull and dry. For skin soap can be fine, as skin can recover from the damage. But hair is not “alive” and cannot.

We detect soap by looking for the following, but this may not catch all soap. We recommend contacting the manufacturer to ask if something contains soap:

  • potassium hydroxide
  • saponification
  • saponified
  • saponifying
  • soap
  • sodium carboxylate
  • sodium palm


Parabens are a common category of preservatives used in cosmetics and hair care products. Compared to other, safer alternatives, they are cheaper, and mimic anti-microbial agents in plants. However, they also have the ability to mimic estrogen and cause breast cancer. Research has found that parabens and mineral oil may cause considerable damage to the hair and scalp. Today, there are many other safer alternatives to such ingredients.

Risks associated with Parabens

Parabens are supposed to inhibit microbial growth in common cosmetic products like lotions, creams, scalp cleansers and so on. However, they may also disrupt the normal hormonal cycle of the body. As mentioned above, parabens can mimic estrogen and reduce the production of this important hormone in women. This increases the risk of breast cancer. Parabens are being suspected to be the cause of early puberty in girls as well.

Parabens are easily absorbed through the skin. It is due to this reason that they can harm the scalp, which is an extension of the skin. In a recent study, parabens were found in the urine and blood of healthy males after using paraben-based products. Using products containing parabens may also cause low sperm count and testicular cancer.

Parabens are hard to spot

A lot of the risk associated with parabens is that they are found under a range of compound names. Some commonly found parabens are

  • Butylparabens
  • Propylparabens
  • Methylparabens
  • Alkyl parahydroxy benzoates

Witch Hazel

Most types of witch hazel contain alcohol. Contact the manufacturer to see if the witch hazel in this product contains alcohol. Even if it does not contain alcohol, many people find witch hazel drying. Use with caution if you have hair prone to dryness.

Sources and Further Reading:

hair care

How pH of hair products affects your hair?

  • The scalp pH is 5.5, and the hair shaft pH is 3.67
  • Hair is at its least vulnerable between about pH 4.5 and 6.5. Select products in this range if you have delicate, thin or fine, breakage-prone or damaged hair
  • Check if your shampoo has the correct pH balance. If not:
    • Request MSDS/SDS Safety Data Sheets from sellers: These will have the pH or pH range of the product. Cosmetic companies should have these available for consumers to access
    • Search our shampoo pH Levels Database (270+ products list with popular brands)

Your hair’s pH balance plays a vital role in overall natural hair health

Despite what the hair product packaging might declare about “fruit extracts” or being “sulfate-free,” the single biggest factor determining whether a shampoo will make your hair shiny, manageably and healthy is its pH level.

For those who didn’t ace science in school, pH is a numeric scale ranking how acidic a substance is. Anything with a level under 7 is acidic, and solutions with a pH more than 7 are labelled basic or alkiline.

The scalp pH is 5.5, and the hair shaft pH is 3.67.

Shampoos at a lower pH (4.5 – 6.5) preserve your hair and scalp’s natural oils, which exist to protect against frizz-causing damage.

Note: It’s likely safe to keep products in this range if you have delicate, thin or fine, breakage-prone or damaged hair.

At the optimal pH, shampoo doesn’t completely remove all the natural oils, so you avoid over-drying the scalp, something Dr. Barbara Olisio, a cosmetic scientist who formulates hair and skin products, says causes “a vicious cycle that actually triggers more sebum production.”

The scalp and hair have an efficient mechanism to protect itself that is based on lipids, functioning at its best at low pH. At low pH, the hair cuticles are well-sealed so that the hair is stronger and shinier.

Dr. Barbara Olisio Cosmetic scientist – News Australia

Where to find pH of your hair products?

Determining a shampoo’s pH level ( or acidity) is hard, unless it’s clearly labelled on the bottle. There is no legal obligation for the industries to mention pH level on the label.

Some are, by the way, while others claim to be “pH-balancing” but remain shady about the product’s exact level. Here are some helpful resources:

  • MSDS/SDS Safety Data Sheets: These will have the pH or pH range of the product listed. Cosmetic companies should have these available for consumers to access. Not all can be found online, but with a little digging you can find them for the majority of products.

For example, paul mitchell product sheets can be easily found here:  http://www.paulmitchellpro.com/safety-data-sheets.php

Paul Mitchell Awapuhi Shampoo Safety Data sheet:

P&G has theirs listed in this database: https://pgproductsafety.com/productsafety/ 

Aussie Miracle Volume Shampoo Safety Data Sheet:

Note: pH is given in a range because it may vary from batch to batch or product to product, though the pH needs to be in a specific range in most cases in order for preservatives to be effective and the product to be stable on the shelf.

  • Test pH at home:

Get yourself some pH strips in the aquatic pets section of a pet store or the swimming pool section of a department store, or from your local drugstore. Make sure they measure below pH 7 as well as above.

Please note that conditioner often gives a less-than-accurate reading because it’s not all liquid (there are fats in there). But you can get a rough idea. 

  • Search our shampoo pH Levels Database (270+ products list with popular brands)

Scientific Research about pH and Hair

Scientists from the Department of Dermatology, Instituto de Dermatologia Professor Rubem David Azulay, reviewed the current literature about the mode of action of a low-pH shampoo regarding the hair shaft’s health and analyzed the pH of 123 shampoos of international brands. [PubMed

  • Alkaline pH (>7 pH) may increase the negative electrical charge of the hair fiber surface and, therefore, increase friction between the fibers. This may lead to cuticle damage and fiber breakage. It is a reality and not a myth that lower pH of shampoos may cause less frizzing for generating less negative static electricity on the fiber surface.
  • All tested shampoo pH values ranged from 3.5 to 9.0.
  • Only 38% of the popular brand shampoos presented a pH ≤ 5.0.
  • Pediatric shampoos had the pH of 7.0 because of the “no-tear” concept. 100% of the children’s shampoos presented a pH > 5.5.
  • 61.78% presented a pH > 5.5

We don’t keep our haircare secrets.

hair care

Basic Guide to Hair Care

Detailed explanation on topics that get asked about a lot. This one is about shampooing/cleansing.


This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is shampoo.jpg

Cleansing is what you do to remove styling products, sweat, dirt, etc. There are a number of products you can use to do this, which we will explain below.

Sulfate or “clarifying” shampoos
Surfactants are ingredients that make your shampoo lather up and get sudsy. There are loads of different types of surfactants, and not all surfactants are bad.

  • SLS (sodium lauryl or laureth sulfate) is one of the most commonly used surfactants, but it is generally super drying and can strip all the oils and good stuff out of your hair, so you don’t want to use anything containing it frequently.

Basically, anything ending in “sulfate” is a “bad” surfactant, with some exceptions. If you’re unsure about a product ending in “sulfate,” search for info on it here or on other haircare forums, or try to figure out what type of surfactant it is (anionic, amphoteric, cationic, or nonionic).

  • Nonionic surfactants are generally the most gentle, and most “bad” surfactants are anionic. 

For the purposes of this guide, we are going to refer to these types of shampoos as “clarifying” shampoos, since that is how you should use them, even if the product isn’t labelled as a clarifying shampoo.

  • Sulfates are super effective at removing product buildup, especially from silicone ingredients, from your hair. So if you use styling products that contain silicones or other buildup-causing ingredients, then you are going to need to use a clarifying shampoo every now and then to remove buildup.

You also usually need to use a clarifying shampoo when you switch to a silicone-free routine, even if you weren’t using sulfates before, just to remove any leftover silicone buildup.

Any regular shampoo that does not have the words “sulfate-free” on it, will work.

Non-sulfate surfactant (“sulfate-free”) shampoos

These use ingredients that are surfactants, but not “sulfates,” to get sudsy. Anything under the “surfactant” sections on this list is a surfactant. Coco betaine is probably the most common non-sulfate surfactant.

These shampoos can still be drying but are usually gentler, and are what you should use if you feel that you need to shampoo every day. They can also be somewhat effective at removing product buildup, except that they won’t completely remove silicone buildup.

Surfactant-free cleansers

There is some variety within this category, but this basically refers to cleansers that are sold as a cleanser but don’t lather up. this includes “no-poo” products, which are non-lathering cleansers that still strip your hair enough that you need to follow with a conditioner, as well as “cleansing conditioners,” which are usually a one-step thing that leaves your hair feeling clean but not stripped enough that you need to follow with a separate conditioner.

this just involves using straight up conditioner to cleanse your hair. this is probably the most gentle option, and is great for people with dry, frizzy/curly, or coarse hair that needs a lot of moisture. You can use any conditioner for this, as long as it doesn’t contain any silicone ingredients (see note on silicones at the bottom of this post).

conditioning is what you may or may not need to do after cleansing to add some moisture back into your hair and smooth/”seal” the cuticle. you should definitely condition after any lathering (surfactant-containing) cleanser. you only need to condition after using a non-lathering cleanser if you feel like you need to, and you obviously don’t need to condition after co-washing.

whether or not something is labelled as a “deep” conditioner or “hair mask” is pretty much irrelevant. you can use a “deep conditioner” every day if you want. you can “deep condition” with your regular daily conditioner by leaving it on for a longer time than usual or putting a shower cap and/or hot towel over it. you can DIY a deep conditioning treatment or hair mask with food in your kitchen. you can do one of these kinds of treatments whenever you want to feel fancy, and they can help keep your hair nice and soft and happy, but always remember that no product or magical DIY recipe you found on pinterest is going to actually undo damage.

NB on silicone ingredients
see the silicone section of this list. any silicone ingredient listed is “not soluble in water” can only effectively be removed buy sulfates and is one you definitely want to avoid. the silicones listed as “water soluble” are debatable. because they are water soluble, you don’t necessarily need to use sulfates to remove them, so you are less likely to get buildup. it’s not as important to avoid water-soluble silicones in conditioners or styling products, but you should be on the lookout for them if you start experiencing buildup.