For most women, healthy voluminous hair is the holy grail of beauty. A quick scan of Instagram shows women with bouncy, shiny hair with lush volume. Yet for most women it remains a “special occasion look” achieved through a tortuous process of blow drying, teasing, spraying, and sticky, gunky products that they are only too happy to wash out as soon as possible.
Wouldn’t it be great if women with any type of hair – even fine and thin hair -- could achieve that glamorous voluminous look any time they wanted? That’s what we want to discuss here: how women with various hair types can get that sought-after look of greater hair volume as quickly, easily and healthily as possible. Before we get into adding volume by hair type, we find it important to mention a few other things to keep in mind that can make a difference in your hair volume.
Volumizing Shampoos, Conditioners and Styling Products
In addition to using a volumizing iron, women with thin hair may want to boost it even more with volumizing shampoos and conditioners that work by depositing a little hydrolyzed protein or keratin on each hair, literally making each hair thicker in diameter, more rigid, and better able to stand up off the scalp. But be really careful with the conditioner. If your hair is thin, avoid your roots entirely and use it only on the ends as even a volumizing conditioner can be too heavy for thin hair. One great technique is to apply shampoo at the roots only and work it into the scalp. Then, apply a light conditioner to the bottom two-thirds of your hair only. When you rinse your hair, the shampoo will wash out most of the conditioner so that it doesn’t leave hair limp and lifeless.
Also, volumizing styling products can help – but women with thin fine hair need to be careful not to weigh their hair down with products like heavy gels and sprays, which can make it lie even flatter against the scalp. Lighter weight products such as mousses made specifically for fine hair are a better choice.
Women with thin hair often find that their hair gets oily quickly. Similar to the above, a hair volumizing iron is the best defense as it adds a bit of texture that forms a barrier to oil and prevents it from moving down the hair shaft. Another great trick for thin hair is to add dry shampoo on second, or third-day hair, which absorbs oil and coats the hair for amazing volume.
You can also spray in dry shampoo while you’re blow drying after shampooing, which has two benefits for thin hair:
- It adds an oil barrier at the roots which stops the oil from moving down the hair shaft, avoiding that “stringy” look
- It also coats the hair to make it look thicker
Hair Color & Style
Hair color is another trick for thin hair to look thicker. Hair dyes can plump up the hair shaft making hair appear more voluminous. And highlights can also give the illusion of more hair by adding contrast and dimension. But with thin hair, your stylist needs to be very careful to avoid damage and keep hair in good condition with a moisturizing hair mask or treatment. Moderation is the key with thin hair, so don’t overdo it.
Also keep in mind the style of your hair will play a role in how voluminous your hair looks. So consulting your beautician before your next cut and color will be important.
Volume for Thin Hair
First a definition: Thin hair refers to the number of hairs on a given area of the scalp. Women with thin hair or thin spots have fewer hairs to work with others, so they face the greatest challenge when it comes to creating the look of greater hair volume. For this hair type, only a tool made specifically for volumizing hair – like the VOLOOM Hair Volumizing Iron -- can really provide the heavy lifting required to coax thin hair into a more voluminous silhouette. This heated tool features patented checkerboard plates designed specifically to be used in the underlayers of the hair, nearest the roots, to add volumizing structure, lifting hair up and away from the scalp and giving the appearance of much greater volume. You can get as much or as little volume as you want by using the tool on one or more layers. These tools are meant to be used near the roots and down to about ear level, with the ends styled any way you please.
Not only do these tools deliver great volume in just a few minutes, but the volume tends to last for days. This is especially important for women with fine or thin hair who tend to wash their hair too often, not because it’s dirty, but to give it some lift. Going longer between shampoos (while maintaining a voluminous look) has many hair-healthy benefits. There is less use of harsh detergents and chemicals, less blow-drying, less heat styling, and even less coloring – all of which can damage fragile thin hair. And volumizing irons are used only on the hair nearest the scalp, with its own natural oils and “heat protection.” The iron is never pulled through the fragile ends like other heated tools so it is not damaging to hair. Women find that their hair gets healthier over time by using the tool and can look like it has 2 to 3 times more volume.
Volume for Fine Hair
Fine hair refers to the diameter of the actual hairs themselves, not the number of hairs on a given area of scalp. Often, women with fine hair also have thin hair. So, achieving volume for them means following the guidelines above for thin hair. But just as commonly, women with fine hair have lots of hairs on the scalp, but the hairs themselves are so fine that they tend to lay flat. For these women, there are more options for creating volume. The trick is to get each hair to perform as if it’s thicker in diameter and more able to stand up off the scalp.
A good blow-out can work wonders for women with lots of fine hair. One of the new generation brush dryers makes getting that salon style blow-out a breeze. No longer do you need to wield a round brush in one hand, section the hair with your other hand, and then figure out a way to hold a heavy dryer in... what, a third hand???? No, no, no. All you need is a good quality brush dryer that is gentle on your hair. Look for features like combination plastic and natural bristles to smooth and shine, ionic technology such as ceramic or tourmaline, and multiple heat settings including a cool setting. Fine hair can be fragile and prone to damage so choosing a high-quality dryer brush is critical.
When drying hair with either a blow-dryer or a dryer brush, one great technique to boost volume is to flip your hair upside down while you dry which automatically lifts your roots by drying it in the opposite direction from how it normally lays.
Fine hair can also benefit from styling products that add body and “heft” but are not so heavy that they weigh hair down. Mousses and lighter gels and volumizing sprays can add that critical bit of lift that fine hair needs to make every hair stand up and count. Root boosting sprays can also add scaffolding to fine hair, when focused at the roots.
Volume for Coarse Hair
“Coarse” refers to the diameter of each hair which is larger than normal in women with this hair type. That is good news for creating the look of volume since the hair is “stiffer” and more easily able to stand up off the scalp and stay there.
Sometimes, all you need are a few tricks like flipping the part to the opposite side of your head to create that sought-after crown volume. You can also mist it lightly with hairspray to keep the part there, creating a glamorous side-swept look with amazing volume.
Coarse hair is easier to get up and off the scalp, so a good blow-out with a brush dryer is all you might need to get that voluminous look and build in shine that can be a challenge for coarse hair. When you start with wet hair and dry the volume into it, you’ll have more long-lasting body.
But if you have coarse hair and need volume in a flash, don’t forget about hot rollers. They can give you just the boost and shine you need on dry hair to re-establish a voluminous look.
A light tease with a brush, never a comb, may also give coarse hair just the boost it needs to stand back up after gravity takes over. Just a few quick strokes at the root in the crown area can give you terrific volume. Just smooth the top hair over and spray lightly.
Volume for Thick Hair
Lucky you if you have thick hair! You have the natural volume that every woman craves. Still, you might need a little help, since thick hair can also be so heavy that it can weigh itself down, especially at the roots. And very thick hair can be time-consuming to shampoo and blow dry, so women with this hair type tend to wash their hair less, resulting in oil build-up that can weigh hair down, especially at the crown.
A good blow out while flipping your hair upside down is usually all you need to get great volume. But in order to keep that volume between washes, dry shampoo is your friend. You can re-establish your volume by flipping your hair upside down while you lightly spray in the dry shampoo. If you also flip your part to the other side – look out – VA VA Volume!
If you have thick, curly hair, it’s hard to avoid the dreaded “triangle” – disproportionally flat on top and fanned out and thick at the bottom. A quality hair volumizing iron can quickly lift the hair on the crown to avoid that “Pharaoh” look and balance out your style.
Thick, Short Hair Volume
If you have thick, short hair, a new generation of styling products can make it stand up straight off the head, giving you a cool, edgy, or spikey look. Molding pastes are the thickest of these products with a consistency much like toothpaste. They provide a fairly flexible hold and can be reshaped if needed. Because they are quite thick, they are best for shorter hair and for medium to strong hold.
A newer class of styling product is hair clay. These contain water absorbent powdered bentonite clay, which adds thickness and structure to hair. They can add quite a bit of volume without a lot of extra weight or greasiness. Some clays also contain ingredients that nourish the hair and scalp, so look for those that use those attributes on the package.
Beautiful, healthy volume is achievable for women with all hair types, but the techniques required to get that lush look can differ. The new generation of hair volumizing irons, like VOLOOM, are made specifically to defy gravity and lift those roots. And pay special attention to the shampoos, conditioners, and styling products that you choose. Products for thin or fine hair, for example, often contain ingredients like hydrolyzed proteins that can make each hair thicker, while products for coarse hair may contain silicones or natural oils that smooth but can weigh hair down. Don’t be afraid to experiment and find the brands and ingredients that work for you.