Wanting to breathe some life into fine hair? Fine hair may initially seem easy to style, but those with fine hair know that that's not always the case. It can be difficult to go from Gollum to Farrah, but we have a list of 10 great products that can help you get to a happy medium between the two extremes.
Styling products for thin hair should be lightweight so as not to weigh down already weak strands. We liked Sexy Hair's Powder Play Volumizing & Texturizing Powder for the dramatic results it had among a variety of hair lengths and textures. We have nine other stand-out products to introduce, as well as a handy guide for navigating the world of hair styling products, so read on to find products that will help you get a lush, voluminous 'do.
Denise is a licensed cosmetologist who advises people on certain products they should get. She formally worked at Ulta and is now headed into a salon.
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Table of Contents
When looking for styling products for fine hair, determine if you have fine hair or thin hair to find products that will give you the best results.
Fine hair refers to the diameter of each strand of hair. A simple way to check if you have fine hair is to rub a strand of hair between your fingers. If you can't feel the hair, then you have fine hair. Thin hair refers to the amount of hair on your head. A lot of space between follicles and strands indicates thin hair.
Factors other than the diameter of individual strands or the amount of hair on your head play a big role when considering what styling products to buy. For example, if you have curly or wavy hair, you may want to look for products that enhance your natural texture and shape to attain voluminous hair.
Although most people with thin or fine hair are prone to oily or greasy hair, some may suffer from dry or damaged hair. If you need an extra hydration boost, you'll benefit from the moisturizing and nourishing effects of oils and treatments. However, these can be flattening if you don't have dry hair.
Let's take a look at the breakdown of various styling product choices and their effects. Be sure to consider personal factors like hairstyle, length, desired styling time, and climate to pick the best one for you.
Built-up sweat, oil, and dirt can weigh fine hair down, making it look flatter. Clarifying shampoos are great for clearing out leftover gunk in your hair and on your scalp, giving your hair the chance to lift up.
Volumizing or thickening shampoos can also give flat hair some body; however, they do so by different means. Volumizing shampoos aim to build lift by targeting your scalp and the base of your hair shafts. Thickening shampoos give your hair a plumping effect by adding diameter to the strands.
Mousse is a great product if you want to add impactful volume and body to your hair. Its lightweight foam texture adds stiffness to individual strands, keeping them away from your scalp.
Mousse sometimes gets a bad rap for drying hair out, but you can seek out moisturizing products to get bodacious hair that looks healthy and shiny.
Dry shampoos are a necessity for many people with thin hair. Dry shampoos soak up any extra grease or oil that may result from skipping a day of shampoo or just your natural scalp.
Since it dries out the junk that's weighing your hair down, your hair will be able to stand up away from your head. This effect gives adds natural volume at the root and hides the appearance of greasiness. Root lifting sprays are similar, but they focus on the first inch or so of hair to create volume and density for lift.
It may seem that a strong-hold hairspray equals strong volume, but it may actually have the opposite effect.
When choosing a hairspray, stick to lighter or flexible hold options that support your hair rather than weigh it down. Light or flexible hold hairsprays also dry softer, giving your hair a more natural look and feel.
Pomades, waxes, and creams tend to be thicker and heavier. While they're great for coating hair to maintain a specific shape, they can easily weigh your hair down and make it flat. However, these products may give volume to short hair since the weight that comes with a longer hair length isn’t a factor.
Oils are great for hair growth and thickening. Regularly massaging your scalp is a good habit for stimulating hair growth, and adding oils to the massage can give your scalp nutrients and moisture.
To avoid weighing your hair down, use oil treatments about once a week. If you have dry or damaged hair, oils should be used sparingly on the ends. Some of the best scalp and hair oils include argan, coconut, and jojoba oil.
Words such as “lightweight,” “volumizing,” “thickening,” and even “texturizing” typically indicate that the product has ingredients that will add volume or a thickening effect to your hair.
Heavy products will put too much weight on fine hair, making your hair look flatter and even greasy. Since fine hair doesn’t have the strength to keep its shape under heavy products, stick to lightweight products to give your hair some volume.
Styling products for fine hair often use polymers. Polymers coat strands of hair, giving them support to stay lifted off of the scalp. You may also see quaternized proteins, which add weightless strength to the cuticle.
Products that also target greasy hair use surfactants, or ingredients that cleanse without leaving residue. They may also use powders, like starch and talc, to improve volume by creating friction between different strands and the scalp, absorbing oil, and providing grip.
However, products that contain alcohol or silicone have the potential to dry your hair out and create build-up on your scalp and hair over time. So, you may want to avoid these ingredients to keep your hair hydrated and healthy.
If your hair is thinning, no styling product will give you the same effect as a full head of hair. To combat thinning, consider hair regrowth products and treatments. Minoxidil, commonly known as Rogaine, is clinically-proven to encourage faster hair growth and regrowth, and it's available over-the-counter.
Diet and nutrition play an important role in hair health, so adding supplements can help with deficiencies that may be hindering your hair growth. Some popular nutrients for stimulating hair growth include biotin, folic acid, iron, zinc, and protein.
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Powder Play Volumizing & Texturizing Powder
A Powerful Powder for Lasting Body
Get Fuller, Thicker Hair With This Cream
Dry Texturizing Spray
Dry Hairspray for Volume and Anti-Grease Benefits
Volume Spray Hair Spray 25
Hairspray That's Tough Against the Elements
Volumizing Dry Shampoo
Dry Shampoo That Adds Body
Mousse Plus Volumizing Foam
Light-Hold Mousse for Natural, Subtle Volume
Moroccanoil Treatment Light
A Light Oil to Hydrate Your Hair Without Weighing it Down
Hair Building Fibers
A Powder for Covering Thinning Hair and Bald Spots
Extra-Body Sculpting Foam
Moisturizing Mousse for Volume and Shine
Bumble and Bumble
Thickening Go Big Treatment
A Thickening Spray to Provide Grip for Easy Styling
This powder liquefies upon application, allowing your hair to absorb it for more volume. It's colorless and odorless, so your hair will look and smell natural. Use this product after putting some gel or product in your hair before blow-drying for dramatic volume.
The powder left some reviewers with a sticky residue that was difficult to get out completely. So, they recommended using this product in small amounts to avoid sticky residue.
Although both long and short-haired reviewers alike benefitted from this powder, this product was especially popular among those with short hairstyles. The powder gave their hair height and texture that lasted for up to two days.
This cream gives you the look of fuller, thicker hair by laying down a pattern of thickening dots on each strand of hair. It is safe for chemically-treated or colored hair, as well. Plus, it's free from silicone, phthalates, and parabens.
Reviewers warned against using too much of the product, as this results in sticky hair that falls flat from the product's weight. However, reviewers of all hair types liked the substantial volume this cream gave their hair. Reviewers with thinning hair, especially, loved its ability to thicken hair.
This spray adds texture to your hair while absorbing excess oil at the roots using crystalline zeolite for natural-looking volume. This spray also offers protection from UV rays and other environmental stressors that may dry out or damage your hair. Plus, it's free from many possible irritants, like sulfates, mineral oil, and parabens.
Reviewers ran into problems with faulty spray nozzles, making it difficult to get the product out easily. However, many reviewers raved about how well the spray held styled hair in place and gave lasting volume to their thin hair.
If you're looking for a hairspray that has strong holding power while maintaining a natural and shiny look, this is your product. This hairspray is strong against various types of weather, like high humidity and winds, to prevent your hair from losing volume.
According to several reviewers, the nozzle gets clogged quite easily. However, reviewers with thin hair reported that this hairspray provides a firm hold in humid and windy conditions without being too crunchy.
This environmentally-conscious dry shampoo uses plant-based powders to soak up dirt and oil to refresh hair and leave it voluminous. Plus, it's made in the USA without talc, parabens, or phthalates.
Since this is a non-aerosol dry shampoo, reviewers found it difficult to use at first. Otherwise, they said that it revives hair that has gone several days without a shower, adding great body and bounce. Those with oily thin hair noted that it controls grease well. Plus, reviewers said its calming, lavender scent is pleasantly light.
According to reviewers, this mousse does a great job giving thin hair body and shine. Those with curly or wavy hair were impressed with the lightweight hold and definition the mousse gives their curls.
The blend of argan and flaxseed oil has antioxidants that promote healthy, nourished hair. This oil is formulated for fine and light-colored hair, meaning it is made to absorb quickly into hair to provide weightless hydration so that your hair doesn't lay flat.
A few reviewers on Amazon had concerns about its authenticity, so we included a link to Morrocanoil's website for you. Otherwise, fine-haired reviewers loved this oil's non-greasy feel and that it made their hair soft without weighing it down. They also said it tames flyaways and frizz without making hair look greasy.
The keratin proteins in the powder latch onto your hair via static charge for a hold that resists water, wind, sweat, and rubbing off on clothes or pillows. The powder comes in nine different shades to match various hair colors for a natural look.
Some reviewers found the product messy and difficult to apply, but instructional videos are available online. Many also used the hold spray from Toppik as a finish and reported great staying power.
Although this doesn't regrow hair, many reviewers were surprised by the results. They said this powder covers small bald spots and patches of thinning hair seamlessly and stays put until they wash their hair.
This thickening mousse is great for maintaining volume and body from blowouts. The foam helps pump up the volume and add control to hair. It's also paraben-free and safe for colored hair.
Reviewers warned that using too much product resulted in stiff, crunchy hair weighed down by the foam. But, reviewers liked how this foam works with their fine hair, giving them natural-looking body and volume. Those with curly hair said it's able to keep a strong yet soft hold on their curls.
Use this spray before styling for a voluminous, lifted hairstyle. Plus, it minimizes damage from heated styling tools. This spray uses gooseberry extract to fatten and hydrate hair, and polymers provide some grip and hold.
Those with dry hair may want to avoid this product, as some reviewers said it dried out their hair and made it frizzy. However, many reviewers liked its slight stickiness, noting that it provides some grip to hold styled hair in place well. Those with fine hair also said it gives their hair plenty of volume.
Are you trying to get strong, healthy hair? To find the best products for your hair, check out some of our recommendations below!
This expert reviewed the contents of the buying guide for accuracy and provided factual corrections when necessary. They did not participate in the product selection process, nor are they affiliated with any of our choices unless explicitly stated so.
No. 1: Sexy Hair｜Powder Play Volumizing & Texturizing Powder
No. 2: Living Proof｜Thickening Cream
No. 3: Oribe｜Dry Texturizing Spray
No. 4: Kenra｜Volume Spray Hair Spray 25
No. 5: Hair Dance｜Volumizing Dry Shampoo
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