How to turn up the volume on fine, flat hair

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How to turn up the volume on your fine flat hair
I Believe in Big Hair Tee from Shop Honeysuckle
I have flat, straight, fine, and thin hair, that falls flat no matter what I do. It's long and has no volume whatsoever. How should I style my hair and how do I make curls stay? I also don't want to damage my hair, and because it's thin it gets damaged really easily.

Does anyone have any tips do deal with this?

I sure do! I reached out to a hair stylist friend of mine to see what tips he had to add some much-needed volume to your fine flat hair…

Get a good cut

The biggest tip that allowed me to curl my hair and have it stay for more than a nanosecond was to get a good haircut that brings up the length a bit and adds some body-building layers. You mention you had long hair and that's often the biggest issue with flat hair: it's weighed down by its own length.

Get thee to a solid stylist and see what cut they recommend to keep most of your length but reduce the bulk so it can retain some style and body.

Blow-dry upside down

If you're one who blow-dries, you can use it to blow dry your hair in the opposite direction you want it to lay. This means either upside down or in the opposite direction of your part. This will add body, especially when paired with root-boosting products.

Pro tip: change up your part! If your hair is used to being parted in the same spot, changing the part can add volume using the same science as blow-drying upside down.

Use a root booster on wet hair

Root boosting products help build volume and thicken at the base of your hair. These usually come in liquid or mousse formulas. Here are a few favorites to try:

How to turn up the volume on your fine flat hair
John Frieda Luxurious Volume Fine to Full Blow Out Spray for Fine Hair or root booster
How to turn up the volume on your fine flat hair
Phytovolume Actif Volumizing Spray
How to turn up the volume on your flat, fine hair
Garnier Fructis Style Mega Full Thickening Lotion
How to turn up the volume on your flat, fine hair
Sexy Hair Big Altitude Bodifying Blow Dry Mousse

Use rollers or clips

Hot rollers and curling irons can totally add some life to flat hair. Hot rollers allow curls to heat up and then cool off, locking in body. And curling irons can be used in conjunction with clips for the same effect. Just heat up the curl, keep it wrapped in your hand, and clip it to let it cool.

Make sure you're curling the hair from the root so that it's lifted up. Otherwise the rollers are just pulling your hair down and making it flatter.

These rollers are amazing:

How to turn up the volume on your flat, fine hair
T3 Micro Voluminous Hot Rollers Luxe Hair Roller

Utilize dry shampoo and hair powders

Dry shampoos and powders do more than de-oil your scalp. They can add texture, bulk, and body by reducing the oil on your scalp that can weigh it down. Flip your hair upside down and focus on the roots for maximum root boosting. Powders are a little more dry and are more precise in their application whereas spray powders can be used for an overall style refresh.

Some to try…

How to turn up the volume on your flat, fine hair
Sexy Hair Big Sexy Hair Powder Play
How to turn up the volume on your flat, fine hair
Batiste Dry Shampoo
How to turn up the volume on your flat, fine hair
amika Perk Up Dry Shampoo
How to turn up the volume on your flat, fine hair
Living Proof Perfect Hair Day Dry Shampoo

Clarify hair regularly

When it comes to weighing hair down, products can totally help, but they can also cause build-up, negating their effects. So make sure you're clarifying your hair on the regular to keep it free of gunk and build-up.

If your hair is curly or drier, only use a clarifying shampoo a couple of times a month, max. For finer, more oily hair, use it up to once a week. Here are a few solid clarifying shampoos or give DIY a try!

How to turn up the volume on your flat, fine hair
Neutrogena Anti-Residue Shampoo
How to turn up the volume on your flat, fine hair
Fekkai Apple Cider Shampoo
How to turn up the volume on your flat, fine hair
Kenra Clarifying Shampoo

  1. I have very fine hair, and I've found that using a silicone-free conditioner has helped since it doesn't weigh my hair down as much. It doesn't have to be pricey either, I use Garnier Fructis silicone-free damage eraser (my hair gets damaged really easily, too).

    I used to use a solid shampoo I had made myself (which was technically soap, just with a high superfat and aloe) and an apple cider vinegar rinse. I was really happy with the volume I got from this, but then I went back to dying my hair purple so I had to give up the soap and use a colour-protecting shampoo instead. If you're not concerned about colour washing out, this might be a really good option.

    1 agrees
      • This is the recipe I used to start: https://www.soapqueen.com/bath-and-body-tutorials/cold-process-soap/invigorating-shampoo-bars/

        I recalculated the recipe to a 10% superfat (there's a link to the calculator on that page), and added aloe at trace, 2.4 oz for the full batch. If you're doing this you have to make sure you don't use the drug store aloe, since it's not a very high percentage of aloe, and contains alcohol which can mess up the saponification reaction. I was able to find some aloe gel that's 98% pure aloe, made by Jason brand, and it worked well. Another way to incorporate aloe is to replace the distilled water with aloe juice if you have it available, but you have to freeze it in cubes and then mix in the lye slowly so you don't burn it.

        I also used eucalyptus and bergamot essential oils instead of tea tree. Tea tree is dangerous for small animals so I avoid it in everything because of my pets.

        The apple cider vinegar rinse ratio really depends on your hair and how hard your water is. I increased it a lot, but start with 2-4 tbsp in 16 oz of water and increase from there. I just put it in a spray bottle in my shower so it was easy to use and get all of my hair covered. They say you're supposed to use raw ACV, but I've never noticed a difference with the filtered stuff.

  2. My hair used to be lame until I started using Tarte's Mermaid Waves spray. It's seriously a life changer, gives me curls I didn't know I had! No curling required, just spritz it on wet hair and wait for the magic to happen.

  3. I have fine hair that was so bland that I just wore it in a ponytail 99% of the time. The best thing I ever did was cut it off into a pixie cut with long bangs. I get compliments all the time.

    3 agree
    • Yes! OP and I have very similar hair, it sounds like. I cut mine into a short, funky pixie and now I can actually have fun with it!

      1 agrees

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