Whether your mane has always been fine (thank you, genetics) or you’ve recently noticed that your hair seems to be thinning (a common issue for many women, caused by a multitude of different factors), the struggle is real when it comes to styling thin hair. But before you give up on the idea of big, bouncy curls or sexy bedhead, know that the right arsenal of body-building products can quickly plump up your strands. Here, top stylists share the best hair thickening products.
Styling products are helpful, but to really thicken your hair, it’s important to start in the shower. We’d never bash conditioner, but the truth of the matter is that it does weigh down your hair, especially if it’s fine or thin to begin with. If you want to consider skipping it, try this sudser. “Many of my clients with thin hair don’t like the weight of conditioner, so this 2-in-1 is a great option,” says Sara Kimberly Sembrat, a stylist at the Bob Steele Salons in Atlanta. “It really plumps the hair and adds density.” Credit negatively charged clay powder particles that bind to the hair fibers to create volume and texture.
This is a must-use for San Diego-based stylist and salon owner Jet Rhys before almost any blow dry. “To maximize the body-building results, split your hair into two-inch sections — three on top, two on either side, and four in the back of your head. Spritz the root area generously with this spray, then massage it in to ensure the roots are fully saturated,” she says. When blow-drying, use your fingers to gently pull strands up and away from your scalp: “This will help encourage major expansion of the hair,” she adds.
“Thickening products applied to dry hair tend to build the most volume,” explains Michelle Pasterski, a stylist at Mixed Co. Salon in Chicago. “This dry texture spray maximizes the diameter of the hair, while also absorbing excess oil and prolonging your style.” Win-win! To use, lift up small sections of your hair, spraying both at the roots and mid-shaft. “It adds an airy texture to everything from a pixie to beach waves and also works great to plump hair before an updo,” she says. You can also try Rhys’s trick with any dry texturizing spray: “As you spray, shake your head from side to side; this creates little air pockets that help make the hair look even fuller,” she says.
“Blow-drying this mousse into your hair leaves it thick and full, yet incredibly soft,” says Pasterski. It touts a long list of beneficial ingredients, such as panthenol to swell the hair shaft, conditioning vitamin E, and polymers that thicken and create a flexible hold. Pasterski suggest working a golf ball-size amount into damp hair at the root, working it downward. “Blow dry with a round brush for extra volume, or use a flat brush for a voluminous but polished look,” she says.
Alex Brown, a celebrity stylist in Chicago, mists a generous dose of this spray on damp hair from roots to ends before blow-drying. “It gives great volume without feeling sticky or weighing down the hair,” she explains. Bonus points for price (it’s the most affordable of the bunch), and the fact that it delivers some hold, too, making it choice to use before curling or flat ironing.
“This delivers light and airy volume, and it actually plumps the hair cuticle,” says Sembrat. Credit hyaluronic acid, a molecule that helps hair attract and retain moisture, leaving it thicker and softer. Sembrat recommends applying a dollop the size of an orange on damp hair before blow drying; it may sound like a lot but, “you won’t feel any extra weight in your hair,” she says.
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