People often get a little bit confused when I harp on about my thin hair. “Your hair isn’t even that thin,” they say. However, it’s important to note that just because somebody has a lot of hair, doesn’t mean it’s thick. My hair is long, sure, but when my locks are overdue for a cut, they look scraggly, and my lack of actual strands becomes all too apparent.
However, that’s not to say that my hair isn’t consistently thin all over. At the nape of my neck, I’d say I have an average amount of hair, but as you move your attention toward the crown of my head, you could probably count the individual hairs sprouting out of my scalp. Over the years, I’ve become somewhat self-conscious of the bald(ish) patch where my thin hair parts at the crown of my head and have dedicated a lot of time and money into finding ways to disguise it. But there is one thing that has made this quest exceptionally difficult: I hate the feeling of volumising product in my hair.
I have found that most volumising hair products add so much unwanted grit, weight and density to my already dab locks that they actually leave them looking as though they haven’t been washed for approximately three weeks. On top of that, I like my hair to feel clean, fresh and light, like a soft, fluffy extension of my being, and volumising hair products do their very best to dampen that vibe.
However, after years of turning my nose up at virtually every styling product that came my way (especially you, dry shampoo) and after one very special hairstylist showed me the difference the perfect formula could make, I started hunting out the very best volumising hair products for thin, fine hair. And the truth is I’ve found a whole bunch that make my hair look much thicker and more textured than it really is. It’s just about knowing what to look for. Before we get into the products that work for me (and to save you a bunch of time in trial and error), I’ve enlisted the help of celebrity hairstylist and co-founder of Percy & Reed Paul Percival to reveal his top thin-hair tips.
This is possibly the most important thing that I have learned in my pursuit of more voluminous hair. It makes a lot of sense too, right? The thicker the conditioner, the heavier and limper your hair will be. Paul reveals: “You have to make sure that you don’t use a conditioner that’s too heavy for your hair, as it will make achieving great volume more difficult. Avoid products that are too oily, too thick, wax-based or heavy creams that add weight.”
Instead of reaching for thick cream formulas, I’ve discovered that my hair can get its moisture kicks in other ways that allow it to maintain its bounce. My favourite? Oil. Whereas my skin seems to detest everything about oil, my hair can’t get enough of it. “Using natural ingredients such as camellia seed oil restores moisture and protects. Then macadamia seed oil penetrates the scalp and hair for strength and elasticity. Finally, vitamin-rich carrot seed oil works great to rejuvenate and regenerate,” says Paul.
I’d say that lift is just about my biggest bugbear in that my hair doesn’t have any. I can backcomb to my heart’s content, but within minutes, it’s dropped out and my floppy mop is back. To counteract the issue, Paul insists that you need heat, and you need to know what you’re doing. “It’s all about the blow-dry! Make sure you are lifting from your roots in an upright motion as you dry each section, this will give you a great foundation. Finish your blow-dry with a cold blast of air and hair spray.”
So why is it that I feel as though when I give myself a blow-dry, it never seems to last longer than an hour? “It is essential to let each section cool before running your hands or a brush through it so that the style can ‘set,’ otherwise you will undo all your good work,” explains Paul.
The words styling product are enough to send a chill to the very cores of those with thin locks. For those with thick hair, it seems styling products are more or less foolproof. However, when you’re not working with a lot, fine-tuning your styling routine is a lot easier said than done. “Using the right formulation is vital,” says Paul. “Start by using less of the product to begin with. Then add more if your hair needs it. Some volumising products can be heavy, so make sure you pick a lightweight formulation and work it into the root.”
Not sure where to start? From shampoos to masks, keeping scrolling for the hair products that actually give my thin hair some volume without weighing it down.