How Can I Make My Hair Look Less Thin and Washed-Out?

"I seem to always end up with stripey highlights."
Bill Angst
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"I seem to always end up with stripey highlights."
Hair consultation - Karen

Karen is struggling with thin hair and a washed-out blonde.

Want your own hair consultation from celebrity hairstylist Bill Angst? Send at least TWO well-lit, preferably hi-res photos of you (one close-up, one full-body) with a brief description of your hair texture, colour and main hair challenges to with “Bill Angst Hair Consultation” in the subject line.

Q: Hello Bill! I need major help! I am 42. I have been colouring/highlighting my hair for years. Naturally, it's a mousy brown. I am greying on the temples and sideburn area.

I usually get cool beige highlights over a medium brown base, but I have felt washed-out. I tried a couple of reds; that wasn't great. Brown is too plain on me. I hate any blonde that is very warm or brassy! I seem to always end up with the "stripey" highlight look.

My hair is very thin on the sides, lifeless, and does not grow much. (I have rheumatoid arthritis, and take medications.) I am thinking of using clip-in extensions on the sides.

What colour would suit me best? I am not even sure of my skin tone! Cool or warm? I also have a bit of rosacea. Thank you for any help you can give me! — Karen

A: Karen, there are so many options for you and your complexion as far as hair colour goes.

Before I start talking about your hair, I would like to mention that I love your colour palette choice in makeup. Here is an example of taking it to the next level by adding a bit more blush and eye colour:

Amanda Seyfried makeup

Amanda Seyfried's bright blonde hair and rosy makeup look.

I figure when this is in place, my job is easier with the hair colour options so you don't look washed out. Also, you could totally be this blonde and you would glow... sans stripey!

You mentioned stripey streaks; well, here is a great example of such streaks but with the right tones and placement:

Blonde highlights

Bold blonde highlights.

Sometimes, fine hair needs broad strokes of colour to make its presence known. This is a length that you may want to consider as well. With the thin sides you mentioned, it is best for your hair to clear your shoulders. When hair hits the shoulders, it splits and can appear even thinner than it is.

Which brings me to clip-on extensions... I really love all sorts of artifice to play with to enhance beauty. But most importantly, is the hair in the surrounding area going to survive clip-ons? If so, party on and do as you will—but if not you will add insult to injury by making your hair even thinner.

Here is a wonderful shape for a cut option. Yes, shorter is going to win you the most favours with your hair.

Katie Holmes, Hairspray premiere, 2007

Katie Holmes at the 2007 premiere of 'Hairspray'.

This is so pretty for you. 


Bill Angst is one of Canada’s top celebrity hairstylists and the owner of Angst Salon at 240 Queen Street East in Toronto. Call 416-360-5942 to book an appointment.