As someone with very fine hair, I’m forever searching for ways to fake fullness. I’m talking Pantene Pro-V commercial, blowing in the wind fullness. Got a volumizing spray you swear by? I’ll try it. Hair coloring techniques that will give me Kate Middleton tresses? How much did you say that would cost? Do you take credit or cash?
With so many amazing products on the market and generous stylists who are letting us in on some incredible tricks of the trade, limp locks have all but become extinct. A chic pixie cut should always be a choice, not a last resort when you can no longer take your thinning hair. Here are 10 ways to fake full hair when you were born with… something else.
1. Color your world. There’s a reason many women go blonde as they age and shed hair as the result of fluctuating hormones: lighter hair looks fuller than darker hair. “If your hair is shallow on top, lighter hair looks fuller. If your hair is thicker, darker hair (aka low lights) underneath creates the illusion of fullness,” said Lindsay Brinkley, owner and master stylist at Elle.B Salon in Denver. If you already have blonde or light brown hair, Brinkley suggests getting lighter highlights or even using bleach. Brunettes should stick with caramel highlights.
2. Use dry shampoo… even on clean hair. Dry shampoo isn’t just for girls who want their hair to look fresh and clean without washing it daily. “Dry shampoo is a godsend for fine hair,” Brinkley said. “For girls who need a little extra texture at the roots, beyond its cleansing properties, dry shampoo is a great styler for first or second day hair. It can also be used at the ends to enhance texture and wave.” Brinkley suggests a quality dry shampoos like Dry Texturizing Spray by Oribe.
3. Help your hair with extensions. If you are looking for a more permanent solution to thinning hair and have a generous beauty budget, modern-day hair extensions look so natural, most people will never be able to tell you are wearing them. “Contrary to popular belief, extensions can be used to create volume in hair, not just length,” Brinkley said. “Make sure you choose a salon that offers experienced stylists who are trained using multiple techniques of hair extensions to find the solution that works best for you.”
4. Try a perm. A perm?! Yes, a perm. I know what you’re thinking: there’s no way I’m going to put my poor hair through the medieval ’80s torture treatment known as the perm. “Believe it or not, perms are a great way to make hair look effortlessly fuller. This is a fantastic option for those with heavy, straight, or extra fine hair that lacks body and movement,” Brinkley said. Still harboring visions of heavy metal videos? “Perms have come a long way since the ’70s. Today’s perms employ new technologies and ingredients, yielding perms that are gentler and longer lasting, without that painful ammonia smell.”
5. Cue the curling iron. No matter how fine your hair may be, if you add a few curls or waves, it will feel and look a hundred times more luxurious. “Curls take up more space than straight hair does,” Brinkley said. “Consider adding texture and waves with a curling iron at the top and sides of your hair. Grab the end of your hair and wrap hair loosely around the barrel of a curling iron. Always wrap away from your face to create voluminous beach waves.” If you’re in the market for a new curling iron, consider Brinkley’s favorite: Curlipops by Bed Head.
6. Buy a better brush. There’s a reason brushes come in all shapes and sizes: they are meant to cater to women with a variety of hair types. If you have fine hair, a round brush is your best friend, according to Beauty Expert and TV Personality Justine Santaniello, founder of Just Haves. “Use a small-to-medium barrel for shorter hair and a large one for medium to long hair.”
7. Part ways with your part. It’s easy to get into a style rut when it comes to how we part our hair, but if you have fine strands, you’re not doing yourself any favors sticking to the same routine. “Wearing your hair parted the same way every day trains strands to stay flat,” Santaniello said. “Comb your hair toward the opposite side for an easy way to add some volume.”
8. Pop a pill. A good pill–a vitamin. Something that will work to naturally nourish your hair so that you can continue to fake it–but only until you make it. Santaniello says she recently made the switch from her biotin pill to a yummy, gummy version: Optimal Solutions Hair, Skin and Nails Gummies, which contains biotin and Vitamins C and E.
9. Read labels before purchasing shampoos/conditioners. If you plan to fully commit to fuller hair, you have to be ready to revamp your entire hair routine–including the type of shampoo and conditioner you use. Santaniello says she replaced her normal shampoo and conditioner with Nioxin, which is a three-step system that is designed specifically for thinning hair to amplify hair texture and help encourage hair regrowth. I have found that Living Proof’s Full shampoo, conditioner, and thickening mousse give me va-va-va-voom hair without drying it out and creating a halo of frizz.
10. Hide your scalp with thickening fibers. Some of us, regardless of how many volumizers and thickening shampoos we use, are always going to have a bit of exposed scalp that makes our hair look thin. Before Santaniello appears on-air, she says she always sprinkles Keranique Instant-FX Hair Thickening Fibers onto whatever area of her head looks thinnest and the fibers bond to existing hair, filling it in and making it look like she has more hair. It takes just 30 seconds to bulk up the hair and the fibers last all day, until your next shampoo.