As a full-time member of the ‘fine hair club’, I totally understand the longing for thick, bouncy, voluminous strands. Don’t get me wrong, there are benefits to having less hair – blow-drying takes no time at all, I don’t get ponytail-induced headaches and my shower drain rarely gets clogged with hair. But if i’m being honest, I’d give all that up for a super-thick, glossy mane.
Because of my obsession with fuller strands, I’ve tried just about every hair-thickening option out there, and 90% of the time they don’t work. Sad, but true.
That being said, if you’re intrigued by the 10% of methods that actually did plump my oh-so fine locks, keep reading…
1. Wash smarter
When it comes to hair washing, sulfates are not your friend. They are foamy detergents that cut through grease in no time, but will likely leave your scalp and hair super-dry – so much so, they can damage your lipid barrier and cause irritation. Not fun.
If you’re looking for a sulfate free shampoo and conditioner, try Pureology. The brand are known for having high quality formulas that cleanse and condition fragile hair, without any harsh chemicals.
The Fullfyl line helps increase hair density and leave fine strands fuller and stronger thanks to it’s protein-rich formula.
Pureology Fullfyl Shampoo and Conditioner Duo, £27.75
2. Invest in thickening styling products
It may sound obvious, but opting for styling products specifically designed to increase volume, can make a massive difference to fine hair. If you’re unsure where to start, here are my favourites:
IGK’s Trust Fund Thickening Foam, £25, is not only vegan, cruelty-free, gluten-free, sulfate-free AND protects against UV rays, but it also give hair bags of thickness. The lightweight spray-on foam gives texture to fine strands, instantly making them appear fuller. It also locks out humidity (so you’ll stay frizz-free), whilst conditioning and adding moisture to keep dryness at bay.
Percy & Reed Big Bold & Beautiful Dry Instant Volumising Spray, £15, does exactly what it says on the bottle, thickens hair with just a few sprays. A hybrid of hairspray and dry shampoo (minus the chalkiness), it gives lengths width and dimension that actually last.
Batiste Dry Shampoo, £1.99. A spritz of dry shampoo is the oldest (and cheapest) trick in the book for giving roots a volume boost. Batiste’s purse-friendly formula rivals most high end counterparts. It’s an instant fix if you need a little more oomph, but if you’re a regular dry shampooer, don’t skip in step four (below👇).
3. Waves add instant thickness
Use a curling tong to add waves through your lengths, not only will it give extra width, but the dimension and texture will make hair appear fuller. Avoid excess damage by prepping strands with a heat protection spray first.
4. Deep cleanse your scalp once a week
Thickening hair products are awesome – there’s no arguing with that, but the one downside is that they have a tendency to build up on the scalp and strands. A weekly deep cleanse with a clarifying shampoo will help to get rid of any stubborn product residue. Check out our faves below:
5. Switch up your parting
Simply flipping your hair over to the opposite side from where it usually sits, will give an instant volume boost. Add a little volume powder into the roots for extra height and hold.
6. Try tape-in hair extensions
I know what you’re thinking, we’ve all seen what happens when hair extensions go wrong, but whether you’re an extension newbie, or a seasoned pro, there’s a new alternative to traditional hair lengthening methods and it’s worth considering. Tape-in extensions. Yes, these easy-to-apply lengths of hair are stuck to the roots with a medical-grade, hypoallergenic, non-toxic tape. They look a little something like this…
As someone who’s tried pretty much every extension method out there (yep, bonds, micro-rings, weaves…) I decided to give tapes a go, and trust me, they’re 100% worth the hype. I opted for Great Lengths Extensions and had them expertly applied by Hadley at Hershesons. The whole process took less than 45mins, so they’re perfect for the time-poor. They’re also great for commitment-phobes; tape-in extensions last up to 8 weeks (although you can have the same hair reapplied time and time again), whilst traditional methods last for around 5 months.
The best thing about tape-in extensions is the flexibility, the small strips can placed exactly where you need, giving a tailored approach to extra thickness. A good Hair Stylist will help you figure out where and how much extra thickness you need. The result? A fuller, thicker finish…
7. Define your curls
Give any wispy curls some definition with a curl cream, this will help hair appear thicker and curls fuller.
If you’re in the market for a curl cream, check out our reviews of the best below…👇
8. Hair growth tablets can be effective
Tried it all? It might be worth considering a hair growth supplement (and no, i’m not talking about those blue gummies the Kardashians are always flogging on Insta).
Opt for a trusted brand, and look out for ingredients like Iron, Biotin and vitamin B, all of which help to support healthy hair growth.
If in doubt, try Philip Kinglsey’s Tricho Complex, £45. Formulated by Trichologists who specialise in hair loss and hair thinning, the supplement includes everything your strands need to stay thick and healthy.
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