If you’re wondering how to get more volume in your hair, you’re not alone. There’s no doubt that plenty of hairstylists get asked about this every day. It’s common. While hair may grow thinner with age, there’s no need to feel hopeless about it. Voluminous hair can be achieved with the right products, treatments, and cuts. Read on to learn how to add volume to hair.
What Does It Mean To Have “Volume” In Your Hair?
It’s a classic editorial image: lush, bouncy full head of hair. Voluminous hair gets that way when there is some lift to the roots. Hair that lacks volume is sometimes described as fine hair, limp hair, or flat hair.
Possible Reasons Your Hair May Lack Volume
The easiest explanation for why your hair may lack volume is that you were born that way. When hair is fine or thin, it can be beautiful and easy to manage. But it may also lack the volume you desire.
- Fine hair: Individual strands of hair are on the thin side. It contains less protein, which gives it a light, “floppy” texture. It’s naturally smooth, which can mean there is not a lot of natural volume.
- Thin hair: You may have fewer strands of hair on your head than others. This could be due to natural aging or a process called miniaturization when the amount of hair in each follicle decreases.1
Your hair is affected by the food you eat. If you’re missing key nutrients in your diet, hair can thin or even fall out.2 For optimal hair health, you may want to limit your consumption of these foods:
- High mercury fish
- Refined and added sugars
- Starchy white breads, pasta, and baked goods
- Too much vitamin A
Eat a healthy diet. Make sure you’re getting enough of these hair-healthy nutrients:
- High-protein foods, such as poultry and spinach
- Foods with cysteine, an amino acid that creates keratin, including pork and broccoli
- Foods with zinc and iron, such as beans3
Stress And Environmental Changes
If you’ve noticed a sudden increase in hair loss, a shift in your environment may be to blame. Have you been experiencing more stress than usual, or has your environment shifted in a major way? These changes may cause your hair to enter the telogen phase, where growth is stunted.4
An Underlying Health Condition
Thinning hair may also be a symptom of various health conditions, so if you’re noticing more hair loss than usual, speak to your doctor.5
How To Get More Volume In Hair
Hair Washing Tips For Voluminous Hair
Use The Right Shampoo
With fine hair, you’ll want to reach for a high-quality, volume-building shampoo. Look for clear, volumizing shampoos that are free of sulfates, which may weaken hair.
Fine hair is often also oily hair. If this is you, don’t be tempted to overwash your hair. This may lead to more oil production that could weigh down your hair. Instead, pick the right shampoo and use it 2-3 times per week. If you need to, you can try using a talc-free powdered shampoo between washes.6
Pick The Right Conditioner
Fine hair can be susceptible to tangles. You’ll want to use a conditioner that helps seal your hair cuticle without weighing it down. Seek out high-quality hair products, as they are less likely to use fillers that can weigh your hair down.7
Wash Your Hair The Right Way
Once you’ve picked out the perfect volumizing shampoo and conditioner, this trick may help. Some people swear by focusing your shampoo on your roots and your conditioner on your ends.
- Wet hair and apply shampoo or a cleansing conditioner to just your hair roots. Massage it into the scalp, and cleanse thoroughly.
- Apply conditioner to the ends and middle of your hair, avoiding your scalp. Rinse.8
Hair Treatments That May Add Volume
Try A Volumizing Treatment
Look for volumizing serums or volumizing sprays that can fortify individual hair strands to make your hair look fuller. The key here is to find a treatment that is lightweight, so it doesn’t weigh your hair down.
Apply A Root Or Scalp Treatment
One key to healthy hair is keeping hair follicles clean and clear. Some scalp treatments are designed to target greasy roots, balance scalp oil, increase circulation, and minimize product build-up. Look for high-quality sprays that support healthy hair follicles.
Massage Your Scalp
Healthy scalp circulation can lead to healthy hair follicles, which may lead to more voluminous hair. One way to increase circulation is to regularly massage your own scalp to get the blood flowing to your follicles.9
Protect Your Hair From Heat Damage
Without protection from a spray or cream, heat styling with blow dryers or curling irons may dry your hair out and cause damage. UV rays might also cause damage. Damaged hair may be overly dry, rough, and stringy.10 To prevent this, always use a product that protects your hair from the heat.
Styling Tips To Add Volume To Hair
Flip Your Hair Upside Down
Ready for some seriously easy volume? Flip your head over and blow-dry your hair upside down. Putting your head in this position automatically lifts your roots away from your scalp. Blasting your hair roots with a hairdryer encourages them to dry that way and give you some lift.
Try Hot Rollers
If you’re working with dry hair, consider trying hot rollers. Roll all of your hair up while the rollers are hot, and let them cool before removing them. While you’re waiting, you can finish your makeup or watch one more episode of your favorite Netflix show.
Get a Volumizing Cut
If you have fine hair, consider changing up your cut. As a rule of thumb: long, straight styles may make fine hair look flat. Blunt ends can make hair look thicker. Layers can add body – but too many layers may take volume away. Your best bet is to ask your hairstylist for a recommendation. Here are a few cuts to ask about:
- Shoulder-length blunt cut
- A single length, A-line cut
- Longer, layered, textured waves
- A natural textured bob
- A textured long bob
- A cropped pixie cut11
Add Some Curls Or Waves To Your ‘Do
Adding some waves to your hair can give you an instant volume boost. If you choose to pull out the curling iron, just be sure to spray on some heat protectant first. You can also try a heatless wave style, which sidesteps the potential chance of damaging your hair with heat.
Play With Color
Some people report that coloring hair can actually plump up the hair shaft, giving the illusion of more volume. Adding highlights can also give the illusion of volume by adding dimension to your hair.12
Switch Your Part
If you’re like most people, you generally part your hair in the same place every day. This may be where your hair naturally falls or where you’ve decided to part it. You’re used to it. Problem is, your hair is used to it too. Your part is where your hair lies the flattest.
For an instant volume boost, try switching your part to the opposite side of your head. For extra volume, wait until your hair is dry and then flip to a deep side part on your opposite side.13,14
Other Tips To Support Hair Growth For More Voluminous Hair
Try A Hair Supplement
To promote hair health from the inside out, reach for a hair supplement that contains ingredients like cynatine, hydrolyzed collagen, and hyaluronic acid. A quality hair supplement can work with your body’s cells to fortify hair and add extra moisture to your scalp. The right supplement may be your secret weapon to voluminous hair.
Add Hair-Healthy Foods To Your Diet
What you eat can affect your hair health, so go for a balanced diet. To give your body a leg up, try incorporating more of these hair healthy foods.
- Eggs, a good source of biotin, protein, zinc, and selenium
- Berries, which contain antioxidants like vitamin C
- Spinach, which contains nutrients and vitamins like folate, iron, and vitamin A
- Fatty fish like salmon, which contains omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids
- Sweet potatoes, a great source of beta-carotene
- Avocados, a good source of healthy fats and vitamin E
Each of these nutrients have been linked in scientific studies to healthy hair growth and hair health.15
Voluminous Hair Is Within Reach
If you’re feeling deflated about your flat hair, it’s time to flip it upside down. There are plenty of at-home tips, tricks, and products that can give you a lift.