As someone with very naturally flat and fine hair, I’ve tried literally everything over the years to get some volume in hair. In fact – I can honestly say this article has been at least 10 years in the making, so I’m really glad to be able to share this with you!
The very first thing everyone tells you to get more volume in hair is “get layers cut.” Don’t believe them! I used to get it done and they’d layer so much, my hair looked more thin. Instead keep the ends of your cut very blunt and ask your hairdresser to cut straight across, which will give the illusion of thicker hair. Also, if you tend to have very thin, flat hair, avoid super long, straight haircuts. Keep the length around your collarbone or slightly longer. The weight of the long hair can pull your hair down, making your crown area look even more flat.
I’ve found that volumizing shampoos do work, but they are bit tricky. For one, if you have colored your hair, beware – some formulas can strip or fade the color. Also, because volumizing shampoos give volume and are formulated not to weigh hair down, it does not contain so many conditioning agents; so it can dry out your hair a lot. Here are some great ones:
- The Body Shop Rainforest Volumizing Shampoo.
- Redken Bodyfull Shampoo.
- John Freida Luxurious Volume Shampoo and Conditioner.
- It’s A 10 Miracle Volumzing Shampoo.
Speciality styling products for volume can work well, too. A volumizing mousse, in my opinion, works just as well as volumizing shampoo without drying out your hair. (If you are using volumizing shampoos and conditioners though, you can still use these products). Another good product is dry shampoo, which is especially good for volume at the crown area. It does work very well, and I really like the ones by Batiste.
Backcombing (or sometimes called “teasing”) your hair at the crown and smoothing some hair over it will lift hair and not make it so flat. Beware though – backcombing is very damaging, but if you want some extra height at your roots, this works very well. You should definitely check out How to… Backcomb Hair Without Damaging It for help.
Blow dryers (flip your hair over and focus on the roots to create lift), hair curlers and thongs will also give hair much needed volume, which is also a huge part of how I get volume in my hair. I’m using Tourmaline by Amika, an amazing hair curler (probably the only one that has worked on my hair, and I’ve tried many!) which is available at Sephora or Amazon.
Another option for thicker hair is to dye it. Coloring your hair instantly makes hair look thicker – particularly darker colors – and well placed high-lights and low-lights can give the illusion of dimension.
A friend of mine experiments with extensions and another one wears wigs and it works perfectly for them, but it’s a lot of work and upkeep. (I once had hair extensions… never again.) It’s all about personal preference of how much you’d like to spend on your hair, but this for sure will work.
The last resort is a perm. One thing’s for sure, you will save a lot on blow drying and products. Unfortunately, perms are very damaging to your hair – it is best that you haven’t had any prior chemical treatments (as in you don’t dye it, you don’t use heat tools on it, etc), and that your hair is very healthy. Check out Digital Perm Review & Tips before taking the plunge, ’cause it’s something to really think about it carefully.