Fine, straight hair can be easy to manage, but sometimes it can feel a bit…blah, whether it looks flat and lifeless or gets greasy shortly after a shower. To learn how to add a little more oomph to straight hair, we grilled a few hair pros to get the real deal on the best volumizing hair tips, from essential products to finding a haircut that works. Trust us, this guide for fine hair will have your mane reaching new heights.
Kristjan Hayden, creative director for Aveda Canada, says the secret to boosting fine hair is the right cut. To make the most of your strands, lose some of the length, he says: “You’ll naturally have more volume.” Bobs, lobs and pixies create depth with layers. They make your mane look voluminous but won’t weigh it down.
Volumizing and thickening are both good buzzwords for your shampoo and conditioner, but it’s important to check what’s actually in the products touching your hair. Keep your eyes peeled for dimethicone, a common silicone-based polymer. “While dimethicone is great for shine, lubricating the hair and protecting it from heat, it’s not water-soluble,” Hayden says. “So it tends to stay in the hair and weigh down your roots.” Limit dimethicone to one product, and make sure it isn’t at the top of the ingredient list.
We’ve all heard the one about drying your hair with your head upside down, but Hayden knows a trick to make that volumizing technique really count. “Wet and warm hair is soft,” he says, so if you flip your head back up before your hair is 100 percent dry and cool, it’s going to fall flat again. Make sure you hit the cool shot on your blow-dryer to seal in volume before returning to upright.
To get big, bouncy, out-of-this-world curls, blow-dry your hair—upside down, and with that cool shot—then wrap two-inch sections of hair around large hot rollers or Velcro curlers. (If your hair is particularly resistant to curls, Hayden recommends creating waves with a flat iron to help them last longer.) Finish off with a healthy dose of dimethicone-free hairspray.
“A must for avoiding the greasies is dry shampoo,” says Toronto-based stylist Kirsten Klontz, hairstylist at the Loft Urban Salon in Toronto. “My number one tip with using dry shampoo is don’t wait until your hair gets oily to use it. Add it into your roots right after you’re finished creating your style so that it prevents any volume from falling and absorbs the oil as it comes out.”
Wave goodbye to oily day two (or three) hair with these surprisingly easy hacks.
1. To get an even, thorough application, Klontz recommends separating the hair into long parallel sections all over the head while spritzing. This will ensure your entire scalp is covered and will prevent any blotchy spots.
2. Instead of reaching for a sticky hairspray or wet texturizing spray when you want to give your locks a lift, grab your bottle of dry shampoo. Hold it a few inches away from your head and lightly spritz your hair throughout, not just at the roots. The texture will give your hair a bit of grip and staying power, without the gummy finish.
3. If you’ve gone overboard and applied a bit too much of the good stuff, Hayden has a quick fix. “Grab your hair by the ends and shake it out from there and it will distribute the product naturally throughout.” He likes this technique over using your fingers as the oils and heat from your hands can flatten some of the volume you’ve just put in.