When you’ve got thin hair, all the Pinterest-style tutorials in the world seem useless. Here’s how to pump up the volume so you can get any look!
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Dear Blufashion: I have thin hair, and I hate it. Even though I know there are plenty of products out there called “volumizing” and “volume-enhancing” and “big giant enormously sexy hair,” but I’m afraid to use products because, in the past, I’ve had it fall flat under the weight of them. How can I make my fine hair look fuller?
Hello, dear reader! Just as is the case when dealing with a surplus of hair in unwanted spots, having fine hair can be a big challenge. No fear, though–even if you don’t naturally have hair like Fran Drescher, you can still get the volume you desire.
There are plenty of means by which to enhance your fine, flat locks without making them look ridiculous or teased like you’re in an ’80s hair metal band.
1. Blow out your hair with your head upside down
It sounds silly, but it works! This creates volume and simply involves adding an extra element to a step you probably were already going to do. Just make sure to use a lightweight protectant spray–damaging your hair with heat will make it look frizzy, not full.
2. Get the right haircut
There are tons of hairstyles that make hair look fuller (and, in contrast, many that make hair look flattered). You know how it’s kind of annoying when people humblebrag about their oh-so-thick hair? Plenty of these are cuts that those folks can’t actually wear all that easily without looking like their faces are massive (as one of those people, I can attest to this).
Get a straight-set of heavy bangs to make the front of your hair look thicker, a la Zooey Deschanel, or get a cool pixie cut that will look purposefully smooth and chic, not accidentally flat. Layers can make it look fuller and more dimensional, while a sleek bob looks sexy and sophisticated. If you’ve been wearing your hair in a long and shapeless style for years, you could be making the crown portion look flat, weighing down the overall look instead of enhancing it. Consult your stylist on the best style for your face shape and hair type.
3. Rinse, rinse, rinse
As you mentioned in your question, too much product can make your hair look worse rather than better. In addition to the ones you choose to use post-shower, this rule applies to unintentionally left-in products. Make sure to always rinse your shampoo and conditioner out completely. Otherwise, the residue can make your hair look greasy and flat.
4. Use a large-barrel curler
Adding some big curls to your hair helps to add a bit of volume, even if the actual shape of the curls doesn’t last very long. If you’re worried about frizziness in addition to fineness, this can help smooth out the appearance of the follicle, as well.
5. Skip hair oils
While I’m a strong advocate for the use of face oils on people with naturally oily skin, it’s best to skip hair products that have oils in them. If you have a tendency to get greasy quickly, these will only speed up that process.
6. Stop brushing your hair (so much)
Chances are your hair doesn’t get tangled quite as easily as thicker hair. Brushing your hair too much can stimulate your oil glands and make your scalp overproduce oil, making it look greasy and flat. Plus, if you aggressively brush it too much or dry it off by rubbing a towel on it, it can snap and simply leave you with less hair overall. Use a wide-tooth comb, or just finger brush your hair to keep it from getting tangly.
7. Stay hydrated and eat well
Okay, these two tips basically work for everything in and on your body, but growing healthy, strong hair is just another reason to follow them! You can even add some Biotin into the mix if that’s your type of thing.
8. Seriously, stop washing your hair so much
Everybody says this, I know, but that’s because it’s true. The less you wash your hair, the better. If your scalp is busy playing catchup to the amount of oil you’re stripping from it by washing it daily, it never has the chance to recover. Get a couple snazzy hats and experiment with stretching out the time between your washes. It will be hard at first, and you will go through a lot of dry shampoos (see #9), but the health of your hair will be worth it.
9. Make dry shampoo your BFFL
As somebody who just abhors washing her hair, I have become a huge fan of dry shampoo. It’s a wonderful magical tool that keeps your hair looking, smelling, and feeling fresh, even if it’s definitely not that day. (Here’s how to properly apply it in the most effective way, BTW!)
10. Learn to tease
I’m not talking about going full bouffant or Toddlers & Tiaras-style or anything. Just doing a bit of light teasing at the crown of your head can add the perfect amount of fullness, rounding out your style and adding a bit of height to your look. Spritz a lightweight hairspray on to hold the volume all day long.
Iskra Banović is our seasoned Editor-in-Chief at BlueFashion. She has been steering the website’s content and editorial direction since 2013. With a rich background in fashion design, Iskra’s expertise spans across fashion, interior design, beauty, lifestyle, travel, and culture.