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Hair Styling

7 Expert Tips for Volumizing Fine or Thin Hair

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Looking to revamp your haircare lineup? Choose high-performance products deal for adding volume to fine hair on those days you want to achieve a fuller look! With a combination of science-backed tactics and carefully selected products, you can get the thickness and bounce you’ve been searching for. Learn how to add volume to flat hair with these expert tips and tricks.

8 Common Qualities of Fine Hair

To best understand how to add volume to fine hair, you’ll first need to recognize its unique qualities and challenges. Let’s dive into the specific characteristics of fine hair and explore why it can be difficult to achieve lasting volume for thin hair.

If you have fine hair, you may notice that each strand has a small diameter, and your hair might have a lighter density, meaning there are fewer strands per square inch. However, it’s important to note that a person can have a thick head of fine-textured hair. Thinning hair, on the other hand, can be any hair type and is characterized by shedding more than the average amount.

Fine hair typically presents with the following qualities:

  • Hair that appears to be limp and lacks volume
  • Scalp that is more visible due to lower hair density
  • Tendency to fall flat
  • Frequent flyaways
  • Prone to buildup from products, which can further weigh the hair down
  • Hair that often looks oily due to either normal or excess scalp oil/sebum production
  • Hair that often requires more frequent washing
  • Increased susceptibility to breakage when wet compared to other hair types

You may struggle to maintain volume in fine hair due to:

  • Less hair density: Fewer strands per square inch can make it difficult to achieve a fuller look.
  • Thin hair strands: The small diameter of each strand contributes to the overall appearance of flatness.
  • Absence of natural body: Fine hair follicles lack some of the inner structure (as seen in coarser hair types), which can result in a limp appearance.
  • Oily scalp: Excess oil production can weigh down the hair, making it harder to maintain volume.
  • Overwashing: Washing hair too often can strip it of natural oils and then trigger an increase in the production of sebum.
  • Heat damage: Frequently using heat-styling tools without incorporating a heat protectant can weaken hair, making it less resilient and harder to hold volume. Heat damaged curly hair may appear limp and fail to hold its shape.
  • Using the wrong products: Hair products not specifically formulated for fine hair can weigh it down or cause buildup, in both cases reducing volume.

How To Add Volume to Fine Hair 

The thickness of your hair strands largely comes down to genetics. Helena Kuhn, MD, assistant professor of dermatology at Brown University, explains, “Hair follicle shape and size is a genetically determined trait and we can’t do much to change the thickness of the hair shaft, unfortunately.” While genetics plays a significant role in determining hair follicle thickness, there are various techniques and products available to help you add volume for fine hair.

1. Start with Shampoo 

Full Shampoo and Full Conditioner products from Living Proof.

The journey to voluminous hair starts in the shower. A volumizing shampoo can work wonders to add volume to thin hair. Try our Full Shampoo, a gentle yet thoroughly cleansing shampoo that helps to transform fine, flat hair to look, feel, and be fuller. This sulfate-free shampoo targets the culprits of flatness: residue, buildup, dirt, and oil. By removing and repelling these factors, the shampoo ensures your hair is prepped and ready for maximum fullness. It’s the essential first step to add volume to fine hair.

Don’t skip the conditioner. Fine hair is susceptible to hair breakage, so it needs all the moisture it can get. Just use a lightweight option that nourishes strands without weighing them down. Better yet, use a conditioner formulated specifically for fine hair, such as our Full Conditioner. Always give your hair a good rinse so as not to leave any product behind. Even if you do nothing else, you’ll begin to notice your once fine, flat hair looking and feeling thicker.

2. Blow Dry Your Hair Upside Down

It may seem silly to hang upside down for a few minutes, but embracing the head rush is important when it comes to hair volume. Blow drying your hair upside down equals more lift at the roots and volume all over. It’s physics! While upside down, gently rake your fingers through your hair as you dry, aiming the nozzle at your roots. If you have curly hair, attach a diffuser nozzle to the hairdryer so that you can blow dry without untangling the curls. Gentleness is important here—you want to dry your hair without damaging it.

After giving your strands a rough dry and when your hair is about 80-90% dry, flip back to right-side-up and blow dry with a round brush. For the ultimate volume, use the brush to pull the hair directly up from the root. Continue using this method to dry each hair section—it creates incredible body.

Keep in mind that too much heat from the blow dryer and other heat-styling tools can damage hair. Before heat styling, apply a heat protection spray to prevent damage. Over-styling can also lead to thinning hair, so give your hair a break from heat styling once in a while.

3. Prep Your Hair with Volumizing Products

Close-up photograph of a bottle of Living Proof full thickening mousse hair product

Blow drying your hair upside down is great and all, but it can be even better if you put the right products in your hair before you reach for the blow dryer. You’ll need a little help from hair products to achieve the same voluminous blowout as your thick-haired friends.

Start with a root lifting spray. Ours is powered by a blend of three polymers that provides lift at the roots and heat protection without feeling tacky or leaving a filmy residue. Spray it at the roots of clean, damp hair and comb it through. After blow drying, you’ll be left with flexible fullness, movement, and softness.

Before blow drying, apply this Thickening Cream to the lengths and ends of your hair. You already tackled your roots with a root lifting spray, and you don’t want to weigh them down with more product. The cream makes fine hair look and feel thicker.

four full bottles of living proof hair styling products displayed in a studio setting on clear plastic cubes

4. Enlist Velcro Rollers

Using Velcro rollers can help add volume to fine, thin hair. Velcro rollers are great to achieve bouncy curls or Lily Collins’ Hollywood glam waves. They can also give you the look of a smooth blowout if you use large enough rollers.

Wondering how to style thin hair with Velcro rollers? To master the look, blow dry your hair until it’s nearly dry, and then wrap sections of hair from the ends to roots and pin the rollers in place. Spread the hair evenly across the roller and roll it away from your face for the best results. Then, when your hair is completely dry, remove the rollers to reveal a full style that will last.

5. Finish with Texture Spray

Once you’ve worked hard to achieve a bombshell blowout, the last thing you want is for it to fall flat. To ensure your style lasts, reach for a texture spray. If you have fine hair, you need a spray that won’t weigh it down, and we hate to break it to you, but most volumizing sprays out there do.

Why? Fine hair has its own distinct challenge when it comes to adding volume: it can’t hang onto the added body boost. That’s because finer hair fibers tend to have less structure and are smoother than their thicker counterparts. While this makes hair shiny and soft, it also leads to less overall fiber interaction compared to thicker strands, resulting in less natural body and texture, not to mention less ability to hold onto it. That’s not the end of the story, though! Anyone can have any style with the help of a little product.

Enter Full Dry Volume & Texture Spray, featuring our Volumizing + Texturizing Molecule that actually increases the space between individual hair fibers for long-lasting volume and texture that won’t weigh down hair. It’s formulated specifically for the fine hair challenge, and it will leave you with weightless volume and texture that lasts.

Wondering how to use texture spray? Use it when you’re styling your hair, whether you’re infusing life into a limp fringe or bringing bounce to a high pony. Simply shake it up and spray it in short bursts wherever you want to create more volume and texture—be it at your roots or on your ends.

6. Get Clean Without Getting in the Shower

Thin hair is prone to show signs of oil and dirt more than other hair types—and oil and dirt are major culprits of flat hair. Instead of jumping in the shower at the first sign of oil, you can save your strands from damage and extend your style by using dry shampoo.

Our Perfect hair Day™ Advanced Clean Dry Shampoo can actually clean your hair, ridding it of impurities weighing it down. With a few spritzes, you can get that just-washed look and feel without ruining your blowout. The formula balances sebum levels so you can go even longer between washes. In addition to your volumizing products and texturizing spray, this is a must-have in any fine hair toolkit.

7. Switch Up Your Style

A fresh cut or even just a different part can help add texture and volume for fine hair too. Try switching which side you part your hair on or going from a side part to a middle part. If your hair is used to falling a particular way, shaking it up creates a surprising amount of lift.

If a new part doesn’t sit right, consider going to your stylist for a fresh cut. The shorter the cut, the lighter your hair will look and feel. Before you commit to a chop, discuss your frustrations with the pro—they may suggest light layers to add more texture and movement to your style or encourage you to opt for a shorter cut, like a lob or bob.

Trimming also removes split ends that could lead to breakage and gives the appearance of thicker hair, especially if you choose a haircut that adds texture to your hair. Stylists have cutting skills that shouldn’t be overlooked. They can wield them to breathe new life into flat strands.

a woman with wavy shoulder length brown hair and gold hoop earrings in front of a beige background

a woman with a black hair cut into a lob stands in front of a white tile wall

Turn Up the Volume on Fine Hair

Boosting the volume of fine hair is within reach when you employ the right strategies and techniques. We recommend experimenting with the different techniques and methods to find the ones that work best for your unique hair type.

Don’t be afraid to try out new products and styles, as they can be the key to unlocking a range of possibilities for adding volume. With patience and persistence, you’ll soon discover it’s possible to elevate the look of your fine hair, giving it the body and bounce you desire.

Ready to dive deeper into the world of haircare and styling? Take our Hair Quiz to discover tailored solutions for your hair type and perfecting your haircare routine.

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Living Proof Review Team

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