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Fine Hair, Full Volume—How to Give Limp Strands the Added Oomph They Deserve

Photo by Natalia Mantini/Getty Images

People often get fine and thin hair types confused—but as a refresher, fine hair is when each individual strand is very thin. Whereas, thin hair refers to something like a receding hairline, where there’s hair loss and actual gaps in the scalp. The good news about fine hair, however, is it tends to be easy to work with and create fun hairstyles. People with fine hair often still have a lot of hair growth. And even though fine hair typically lays naturally flat and limp, how to create volume in fine hair (regardless of length) is less difficult than you may think. All it takes are a few straightforward styling tips and hair products to achieve that voluminous hair you get fresh from the salon.

If you’re a fine-haired girlie struggling to snag the voluminous waves you see on TV, stop stressing. We gained insight from two hair care pros to kick flat hair to the curb and give you the hair volume and fab fine hair looks you deserve. So, what are you waiting for? Grab your hairbrush and volumizing products, and let’s get your fresh hair care routine going.

About the Experts:

Clyde Haygood is a celebrity hairstylist and PURA D’OR hair care ambassador.
Wes Sharpton is HAIRSTORY’s lead brand educator and stylist.

How to Give Fine Hair the Volume It Deserves

1. Apply a Pop of Color

While a color service is rarely recommended for the sake of hair health, if you have fine hair, it might not be a bad idea. “Coloring or adding highlights can give major voluminosity to fine, limp hair because it opens the cuticle to deposit color,” says celebrity hairstylist Clyde Haygood. “This leaves strands thicker and denser.” Just be sure to give it the proper post-care as you normally would. 

2. Use a Thinning Therapy Shampoo

While yes, fine hair and thin hair are starkly different, products designed for one or the other can overlap. Haygood recommends PURA D’OR Hair Thinning Therapy Shampoo and Conditioner. “I give this amazing duo to all of my celebrity clients with fine hair, especially those with bleach or color,” Haygood says. “Using this regimen delivers stronger, thicker, healthier hair with tons of volume and shine.” 

3. Spritz Some Volumizing Spray 

Sounds simple enough, but if you want voluminous strands, start with a product designed with that exact intention. Our pick? OUAI Volume Spray. It’s a lightweight body-building mist that gives the hair major lift and shine. A volumizing mousse will do the trick, too!

4. Make Shine Spray Your Bestie

While greasy is a no-go, shine is key. “Having shiny hair also makes it look more voluminous, as it reflects and catches light,” Haygood says. The AIIR PROFESSIONAL Shine Spray is a must in the kits of all the pros.

5. Lift the Roots With Your Fingers

Lookin’ for a little DIY action? We’ve got you. “The trick with volume is getting the roots lifted from the scalp,” Sharpton says. “If you’re blowing out your hair, make sure to lift the roots up with a brush or your fingers to ensure the air is getting underneath the hair. You also want to make sure that you let the hair cool, either naturally or with a shot of cool air from the blow dryer, before continuing to style. This helps set the hair in the lifted shape.” 

6. Use the Comb Attachment of a Blow Dryer

If you’ve ever been confused about the use of the pick-like attachment on a blow dryer (same, same), it’s great for adding volume to the strands. “Place the attachment in the hair at the root while the dryer is off,” says Hairstory’s Lead Educator Wes Sharpton. “Gently lift the hair up while turning the dryer on low speed with high heat. To lock in the volume press the cool air button.” Need a solid rec? The comb on the FHI HEAT Platform Blow Out Handle-Less Hair Dryer won’t let you down. 

7. Utilize the Versatility of Dry Shampoo

We already know dry shampoo is designed to absorb oil and sweat after a hot summer day or grueling workout. But it can also increase volume. Need to extend that bouncy blowout or add some personality to those lifeless locks? Spritz at the scalp and rub with your fingers. Our personal rec is EVA NYC Freshen Up Dry Shampoo

8. Play With Hair Powder

Similar to dry shampoo, did you know there’s actually plain ol’ powder designed to create volume without styling tools? “It’s quick and easy,” says Sharpton, who recommends applying HAIRSTORY Powder close to the roots. “This finely milled hair powder has enough grip to create instant volume on dry hair, as the increased friction between the strands makes it more workable and enables you to build volume without heat.” 

9. Reset With ACV

The oilier the strands, the limper and flatter they become. If your hair feels greasy or in need of a reset, Haygood says the PURA D’OR Apple Cider Vinegar Thickening Shampoo and Conditioner Set is a perfect combo. “The apple cider vinegar clarifies and cleanses hair to remove residue, buildup and dirt, while exfoliating the scalp,” Haygood says. “This is while also locking in moisture to the hair follicles, resulting in healthy, shiny, and stronger hair.”

10. Avoid Conditioner That Isn’t Designed for Fine Hair

Conditioner is great for dry, thick strands when adding a little moisture without weighing it down. But when it comes to fine hair, you’re often best sticking with a solid shampoo rinse. The less product the better, and fine hair doesn’t typically need added moisture. This is a step you can get away with skipping if you’re aiming for volume—but if you still want to go after it, make sure you use a conditioner designed for fine hair.

11. Blow Dry With Your Hair Upside Down

Sure, you’ll look a little goofy during the process, but the end result will be just what you wished! Flipping your head upside down encourages your roots to lift away from the scalp. Prepare to look fresh from the salon. If a traditional blow dryer isn’t for you, we opt for a heated styling brush, which can be more user-friendly. Among our faves? The FOXYBAE HAIR Rose Gold Blowout Dryer Brush.

12. Switch Up Your Part

If you feel like your hair's too limp parted to one particular side, we say try out the other. Side parts traditionally add more volume, but if you’ve already gone that route and feel like your hair still lays too flat, give the middle part a go.

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About the author
Dahvi Shira
Dahvi Shira
Dahvi Shira is a Los Angeles-based beauty writer, who has a passion for hair, makeup, and skincare. She contributes regularly to Mane Addicts and her blog, Skyelyfe. Her work has also appeared on Glossy, People, E!, Sweety High and more.
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Article Last Updated May 2, 2023 12:00 AM