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17 Expert Tips for Adding Volume to Fine Hair

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Even if your hair is ultra-fine, there are ways to increase its volume. While you may choose to embrace the fine texture of your hair most of the time, (fine hair looks great and is perfect for some styles, such as the wet look), you might also want to try out a style that has a bit more texture and volume. Although it can seem impossible to achieve (and maintain) volume and lift at the roots, the right tools, products, and techniques can transform your flat hair into big, bouncy strands.

Don’t Overbrush

You might be unwittingly ruining your efforts to achieve volume when blow-drying hair. Smith says that the number one mistake someone with fine hair can make is to not rough-dry their hair before styling. Why? She explains that too much brushing can make hair look limp. Before using a round brush, blow-dry your hair at least 90% with your hands. Just because “rough styling”, doesn’t mean that you should be aggressive and careless. This can lead to breakage. Instead of concentrating the heat from the blow-dryer on one spot, tilt the nozzle towards your roots and move it around to spread the air.

Be Gentle

Your rough drying should also be gentle. Rake a section of your hair gently with your fingers, then lightly pull it up at the roots. Don’t be aggressive.

Expand Your Arsenal

What are Smith’s top volumizing product picks? Smith’s picks for best volumizing products include a dry shampoo, such as Oribe Fiber Groom ($40), an opaque or matte Pomade (like Pssssst, $11.95), a sea salt spray to add texture, and a thickening hairspray, like Bumble and Bumble Thickening Hairspray. You don’t have to use them all at once. But having the right products on hand for whatever your hair needs is important for achieving your desired look.

Start by applying the product at the ends

The second step, after you’ve chosen the best products for your fine-haired needs, is to master the art of application. It turns out that slathering your hair with every volumizing product available could be why you are having difficulty building volume. Work your way upwards, starting at the ends.

Keep Products Away from Your Roots

If you apply the majority of your formula to your roots, it can weigh them down. Roszak advises that if you have fine, thin hair you shouldn’t apply any products to the roots except for root volume spray. She says that when you are applying the product, start with the ends because they absorb more. Always start small and add more as needed. Once you’ve added too much product, it is difficult to correct.

Use Dry Shampoo

Smith says that a few spritzes of dry shampoo will keep bangs looking voluminous and thick and prevent them from separating. Keep a bottle of dry shampoo on hand to keep your hair looking squeaky-clean and add texture and volume.

Go light on conditioner

Conditioners can be a bad product for someone who wants to add volume to their fine hair. But don’t give up on the hair moisturizing product. Conditioner replenishes and restores hair strands, and is essential for fine hair that is prone to breaking. What’s the trick? The trick is to apply the right amount of conditioner on the right part. Smith suggests using a conditioner such as Living Proof’s full conditioner only on the ends and every other shampoo. She stresses that you should not overcondition your hair to avoid it becoming weighed down. When washing your hair, be sure to thoroughly rinse the product out.

Be Patient When Styling

Smith emphasizes that you should not rush the process. She says to make sure that hair is completely dry before using any hot tools. This will give your hair the best volume and texture, ensuring those beachy waves.

Roll Your Hair Up

Classic foam rollers are a great way to increase your volume. They are also very time-efficient and multi-tasking. Smith recommends rolling a few of these on top of your hair to create lift in the areas you need the most (at the crown), while you are drinking coffee or doing your makeup. When your hair is nearly dry, but still slightly wet, apply them.

Give Your Hair a Pick-Me-Up

The fact is that fine hair tends to get greasy and flat faster than you can say, “dry shampoo.” But washing hair too often can lead to split ends and dried strands. Roszak suggests keeping a spray bottle of water handy to revive dull locks without showering. If your hair looks limp, mist your hair lightly with water and then spray root-lifting spray. You can rough-dry hair with your hands until it is mostly dry. With a round brush smooth out the pieces that surround [your] face, blow-drying forward along with the top layers of hair. She says to flip your head backward and spray hair spray on the entire body. Spray a dry shampoo on the roots if your hair is still looking a bit pricey. Let it sit for several minutes and then use your fingers to comb through. Hair that is a second day.

Try Layers

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It is up to you how long and short your hair should be. If a style speaks to you, ignore any well-intentioned advice and try it! Ask your stylist to add a few layers for a style that will help you build volume. Roszak advises that long layers are best for adding movement and volume.

Use your fingers as a styling tool

Smith suggests that you remove rollers right before leaving the house and fluff up the roots using your hands. By using your fingers instead of a hairbrush, you can loosen curls and prevent frizz.

Try Salt Spray

Smith suggests that you mist on salt spray for a natural-looking wave and curl your hair with an iron to add extra texture. The Playa Endless Summer Spray contains chia seed extract in place of alcohol to give you the desired texture without having straw-like, crunchy strands.

Selecting the Right Cut

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Smith says that shorter cuts are also great for hair so it doesn’t get weighed down. A long pixie like Michelle Williams’s is a great way to enhance fine hair. Another good haircut? She adds: “Blunt, collarbone-length haircuts with only a few layers to frame the face.” Don’t worry if you have fine hair, because bangs are still possible.

Use Volumizing Conditioner and Shampoo

For fine hair, volumizing shampoos are the best. This is because volumizing shampoos are formulated to remove buildup and plump the strands. They also leave hair looking (and feeling) lighter.

Blow Dry Upside Down

When you blow dry your hair upside down, the hair will naturally dry in this manner. When you flip the hair right side, it has natural volume.

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