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Fine hair can be a mixed blessing. In contrast, it tends to be naturally smooth and shiny, responds well to heat styling tools, and only takes five minutes to blow dry. On the downside, it’s prone to oil and can fall flat, without the natural bounce and body found in our coarse-haired friends. The good news? There are plenty of volume boosting products that promise a long hair day.
“Thin hair refers to the actual diameter of the hair strands,” says Michelle Sultan, Creative Director and Ambassador of Imbue. Not to be confused with fine hair – fine hair has a small diameter while fine hair lacks density. “Those with naturally fine hair have more hair on their scalp than any other hair texture,” adds Annabel Kingsley, trichologist at Philip Kingsley. “And because each hair follicle has a sebaceous gland attached, individuals with fine hair have more sebaceous glands on the scalp – which means it gets oily and limp quickly.”
Aside from oil, this hair texture can also fall flat. “Due to the small diameter of individual strands, fine hair lacks body and movement and often doesn’t hold styles for long periods of time,” says Kingsley. While frustrating, it’s not all bad news. As Adam Reed, legendary London hairstylist and founder of Arkive Headcare, points out: “It’s often considered the best hair type by hairdressers because it’s easy to style. and easy to cheat volume.
To give fine hair a little pep, look to the latest volume-boosting products that are making waves in the industry. “Look for lightweight formulas that don’t weigh hair down,” says Sultan. Starting with shampoo, Kingsley recommends gentle foaming formulas that contain natural cellulose and keratin proteins to thicken and strengthen strands. “For styling, primers and root texturizers are amazing for adding volume,” says Reed.
For the best way to ensure long-lasting bounce, check out our roundup of the best volumizing shampoos and styling products for fine hair below:
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Best shampoo for fine hair
Ouai Fine Hair Shampoo
Thank you, Jen Atkin, for bringing this brilliant shampoo to our beauty shelves. Lightweight and Volumizing, Ouai’s Fine Hair Shampoo contains keratin and biotin to strengthen strands, plus hemp seed extract and chia seed oil to moisturize. Hair is lifted, bouncy and full of punch – it’s truly a mane changer (and one of the best we’ve tried).
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Philip Kingsley Bodybuilding Shampoo
Soft, dull locks? Turn to this bodybuilding shampoo from Philip Kingsley which contains natural cellulose and keratin proteins to plump every strand for fuller results. It can also be used daily, which is ideal for fine hair prone to oily roots.
Best Luxury Shampoo for Fuller Hair
Oribe Gold Lust Repair & Repair Shampoo
This luxurious shampoo is a real treat for the hair. Loaded with nourishing oils and extracts (including plant collagen and caffeine), the active formula strengthens and softens strands to deliver fuller, healthier looking hair. Our best advice? Save this one for special occasions.
Best shampoo and conditioner duo for volume
Redken Volume Injection Shampoo & Conditioner Duo
Redken has answered fine hair’s prayers with this Volume Injection duo. As the name suggests, the shampoo and conditioner formulas boost volume with a secret ingredient called Filloxane that works by plumping up the hair cuticle. The results? Bounce and body that will rival those of coarse-haired friends.
Best natural volumizing shampoo
Typology Almond Protein 1% + Biotin Volumizing Shampoo
Not only does French beauty brand Typology stock some of the best skincare serums, they’re also home to one of the best volumizing shampoos on the market. With 95% naturally-derived ingredients, the no-frills formula combines fortifying almond protein with moisturizing aloe vera to gently cleanse hair without weighing it down. The hair is soft and silky with more movement.
Best Fast Setting Volumizing Styling Spray
Living Proof Full Dry Volume Breath
A quick fix when needed, this brand new styling spray from Living Proof is a godsend for fine, flat hair. Not only does it absorb oil and protect hair from heat (up to 410°), it also transforms dull strands, adding volume and texture in seconds. Simply shake the bottle, lift sections of hair and spray onto roots before tousling for styling.
Ideal for heat protection pre-styling
Arkive The Prologue Hair Primer
Adam Reed’s Arkive is the new hair care brand on the block that’s here to transform our hair. Ideal for fine hair, Prologue Hair Primer is heat activated to allow hair to take on any shape and style while increasing its hold. How it works? Spray it on damp hair, from root to tip, before using a hair dryer to activate and style it.
Best Volumizing Styling Product for Fine Curly Hair
Imbue Curl Energizing Hydrating Serum
Fine and curly hair? Turn your head to this weightless serum from Imbue. Designed for 3A-4C curl types, the conditioning blend of coconut, cupuaçu and cocoa can be worked into damp hair to help stimulate and plump strands from the inside out. For second, third and fourth day hair, founder Michelle Sultan recommends massaging it into lengths to re-energize curls.
Best volumizing mousse for body and hold
L’Oréal Professionnel Tecni.ART Full Volume Extra Mousse
Add all-over using L’Oréal Professionnel lightweight mousse. A far cry from the chunky foams of the past, this next-gen formula adds next-level volume and hold without any stiffness or clinginess. Simply shake bottle and work a tangerine-sized amount through damp strands before heat styling.
Best Anti-Root Styling Spritz
Larry King Hair Care Volumizing Hair Mist
This lightweight, luxurious mist is perfect for days when hair needs a little pick-me-up. It can be sprayed on the roots to give good lift or sprayed on the ends to help separate and add swish. Oh, and the best part? It leaves behind a delicious, long-lasting scent of lavender, jasmine and violet.
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