Do Hair Fillers Work for Thinning Hair? We Asked Experts

Check out all the techniques that can make your hair look thicker, from powders to PRP.


nikkimeel/Getty Images

If you're on a seemingly never-ending quest for thicker strands, you may want to consider one of the buzziest new hair categories taking over the beauty sphere: hair fillers. The term refers to a bevy of in-salon treatments and DIY products for making your hair look and feel thicker. Think: masks and treatments, à la beauty industry favorite, Olaplex.

Because hair fillers run the gamut in terms of products and services, so do the prices. While a powder root cover-up might cost you 30 bucks, a more advanced procedure, like platelet-rich plasma injectables (PRP), can cost you thousands. Ahead, we break down the most popular types of hair fillers to help you determine which option is best for you, along with insight from the pros.

Hair Powders

If you're looking for a quick and easy solution to make your strands appear fuller, hair powders are the most low-maintenance option, says Brandi Voorhees, a hairstylist at Sharon Dorram Color at Sally Hershberger. "There are some with color that can cover grays and add some fullness to your hairline." She recommends ColorWow because it’s "precise and easy to apply" and Balmain Hair Couture Styling Powder for your roots to add fullness and volume.

hair-fillers-Color Wow Root Cover Up

Color Wow Root Cover Up

This powder formula does it all: It conceals grays, touches up highlights, and—most importantly—fills in sparse areas while looking natural. It comes in eight different colors to match your unique hair color and lasts until you shampoo it out. According to the brand, you can even swim with it in your hair.

hair-fillers-Balmain Hair Couture Styling Powder

Balmain Hair Couture Styling Powder

If you're looking to boost your mane's volume sans color, this weightless formula has you covered. All it takes is a little bit of powder at your root for major lift.

Bond-Building Treatments

Bond-building treatments are one of the most common types of hair filler, and you've likely come across them at your local beauty supply store—or perhaps a TikTok beauty haul. "They repair damage and breakage," Voorhees explains. "Think of it as connecting the dots where there is a breakage in each strand. This will make your hair thicker, stronger, and more manageable." 

hair-fillers-Olaplex No. 3 Hair Repair Perfector

Olaplex No. 3 Hair Repair Perfector

This pre-shampoo hair treatment works overtime to repair broken bonds damaged by heat styling, coloring your hair, or other environmental factors. With continued use, countless shoppers attest that it made their hair thicker and more voluminous.

hair-fillers-K18 Leave-In Molecular Repair Hair Mask

K18 Leave-In Molecular Repair Hair Mask

This TikTok-famous formula prides itself on the fact that it can start rebuilding hair from the inside out in just four (!) minutes. The brand cleverly compares the repair process to makeup versus skincare. "Concealers (i.e., most hair products) temporarily cover up a problem, [but] K18 works like retinol, highly concentrated, working on a deeper level to renew that base health so you can wear less concealer in the future," says the brand.

Hair Extensions

The most literal type of hair filler is hair extensions—and when it comes to this category, you have options. Those looking for a short-term solution may want to consider semi-permanent extensions, clip-ins, or halo extensions," says Jan-Marie Lozada, a colorist at Sally Hershberger NoMad. But if you're looking for a long-term solution, she says another option is keratin bond extensions that last up to three months, or hair fibers. The latter are microscopic keratin filaments applied to your hair to create a fuller look while lasting from shampoo to shampoo. 

Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) Injections

Another treatment that may be worth considering—though pricey—is platelet-rich plasma injections. The medical treatment involves drawing one's blood and injecting it back into the scalp. "Because some studies have demonstrated an increase in hair growth, this procedure is sometimes colloquially referred to as "hair filler," says Shirley Madhère, a holistic plastic surgeon and founder of Jet Set Beauty Rx. However, it's important to note that PRP isn't, categorically, filler. 

While many studies about PRP's effectiveness are inconclusive and more research needs to be done, many consider it an effective option in treating hair loss, if you can stomach the $2,500-$6,000 (per session) price tag. "A March 2020 meta-analysis showed an overall agreement that PRP led to a 'significant increase in the number of hairs … after PRP injections compared to control,'" Madhère says. "This is highly encouraging and supports using PRP as a complementary modality in treating hair loss." 

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles