Even though my hair has come a long way in the past few years, the combination of my naturally fine texture paired with an addiction to bleach had previously proved pretty disastrous in terms of my thick hair goals. For years, no matter how many sprays, mousses, supplements, or other gimmicks I tried, nothing seemed to budge my strands even a millimeter on the volume scale. To say I was frustrated would be the ultimate understatement.
I knew, of course, I had limited control over my natural texture (thanks mom and dad!), but over time, I realized the destiny of my fine hair also, in part, lay in the hands of numerous very controllable factors like diet, high-quality supplements, strategic hair products, regular salon appointments, and, by and large, the banishment of all heat styling tools (so sad). At the forefront of all this were my shampoo and conditioner.
What you do in the shower might not seem all that important when it comes to the bouncy (or not) end result, but trust me when I say certain shampoos and conditioners have legitimately transformed the look and feel of my hair from limp and thin to full and voluminous. So because I've tried more fine hair–geared shampoo and conditioning formulas than is probably healthy for one woman in a lifetime, I'm sharing all of the standouts with you from a few of my ride-or-die favorite retailers. Keep scrolling! Longer, stronger, thicker strands are just ahead.
Newly reformulated, this is my number one formula when my fine strands need a thorough wash and boost of volume and body. The scent is lovely—cardamom, pineapple, tangerine, lavender, bamboo, and blonde woods—but it's the sneaky strategic hit of biotin and Pro Vitamin B5 that really makes this duo stand out against the competition. Plus, thanks to the added perk of coconut oil, you don't have to sacrifice luster and hydration.
Oribe is one of the most iconic hair care brands in the business, and its volumizing shampoo and conditioner are some of the absolute best for fine hair. The packaging looks chic in your shower, yes, but the sulfate-free formula also boasts high-tech polymers that plump up the hair shaft while simultaneously detangling and coating strands with featherweight hydration and beautiful, patent shine.
Verb is one of the most affordably priced yet effectively formulated brands your mane money can buy. Normally, I go for its hydrating shampoo and conditioner, but for special occasions or when my strands have just been feeling kind of meh, I use this volumizing pair. Sometimes I have issues with volume-boosting formulas drying my hair out or resulting in a tangly mess as soon as I step out of the shower, but the brand's expert mix of glycerin, hydrolized soy protein, Pro-Vitamin B5, and sunflower seed extract has yet to do me wrong, leaving my hair looking thicker AND healthier.
This volumizing shampoo and conditioner is one of the newest launches from buzzy haircare brand Virtue Labs, and the hype is real. Unlike a lot of volume shampoos and conditioners, this twosome excels at everything. Yes, it makes your hair feel about twice as thick, but it also does an expert job of cleaning, hydrating, and leaving colored hair perfectly pristine. The expert lineup of ingredients includes pink pomelo (which is rich in vitamin A, C, B1, and zinc) in addition to hydrolyzed quinoa and the brand's signature hero, Alpha Keratin 60ku—a whole, human keratin protein that's completely unique to the brand and the hair industry in general.
Perky packaging aside, this shampoo and conditioner from Amika does serious work on limp, dirty strands and will forever be a staple in my shower. Hair looks and feels thicker; is thoroughly cleansed of every last inch of oil or buildup; and is weightless, bouncy, and infused with long-term health and length-building benefits thanks to hydrolyzed rice and vegetable proteins, and the brand's trademark Redensyl Complex, which features Larix Europaea Wood Extract and Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract.
I'll be honest, I didn't think an amazing organic shampoo and conditioner for fine hair actually existed until I got my hands (or should I stay my strands?) on this holy-grail twosome from the hair goddesses at Rahua. My former co-worker and senior beauty editor at Byrdie Lindsey Metrus is the one who tipped me off (she has the prettiest, shiniest, thickest hair, ever!) and I knew I had to try it immediately. It plays well with color-treated hair (something that's important to me) and helps to clarify, strengthen, and moisturize while adding a satisfying boost of lift and body.
Its lust-worthy list of natural ingredients includes green tea antioxidants, citrus juices, lemongrass, and, of course, Rahua oil, which overflows with omega-9 fatty acids limp, weak hair will love.
This shampoo and conditioner are amazing for anyone craving sky-high volume with maximum bounce and limited extra wight. It's great for every hair texture and even has the added benefits of UV protection, detangling prowess, and thirst-quenching hydration for dehydrated strands.
Even though Joico is beloved by the expert hairstylists and colorists who cater to celebrity manes, the brand still flies under the radar on the consumer front. That said, I'm here to tell you that its range of professional shampoos and conditioners are some of the best my fragile, fine hair has ever tried, and my most recent fave discovery is this ultimate volumizing partnership. It has the best lather ever, delivers impeccable shine and style potential, in addition to, of course, making hair look way fuller, bouncier, and all-around healthy than when you stepped into the shower. Plus, it even protects your hair against the ultimate adversary—humidity.
I was actually in college the first time I tried (and quickly fell in love with) these O.G. cult favorites from Living Proof. Since then, I've definitely been around the block in terms of how many formulas I've cheated on them with, but whenever I come crawling back, I wonder why it ever strayed. Like all products from the brand, this shampoo and conditioner for fine hair features their patented Healthy Hair Molecule (OFPMA), which removes residue and buildup to make way for maximum volume and body while also repelling dirt (high-tech, right?) to keep your hair cleaner, and in turn, perkier, for longer.
I first tried this shampoo and conditioner from Scandinavian brand Sachajuan after a celebrity hairstylist used it on me—without ANY other volumizing products afterward. I couldn't believe how thick, full, and voluminous my hair looked (seriously, my roommate at the time asked if it was all my real hair), and I've been a loyal user and fan ever since. Oh, and if my personal testimony isn't enough, it's also a top seller at every retailer where it's sold, has won a litany of prestigious beauty awards, and boasts unique Ocean Silk and Thickening Technology for ultimate shine, UV, and heat protection.
Confession, I've never met hair product from Briogeo I haven't liked, but as far as shampoos and conditioners go for those with fine hair, its superfood-boasted formulas are some of the best. I recommend doing two rounds with the shampoo before using the conditioner and afterward, you'll notice an instantaneous uptick in volume. Not to mention, I love that strategic ingredients like ginseng, biotin, and vitamin B5 encourage long-term health and fullness to complement the instant gratification as well.
If you love all things French beauty and have high standards where haircare and volume are concerned, look no further than these two standouts from the ever-so-luxe Leonor Greyl. (Both are so good, my mom tries to steal them from me whenever I'm home visiting.) First off, they smell amazing, and while the shampoo has barely any lather (because it's super clean), it does an amazing job of cleaning the hair to make way and encourage lots of natural-looking body. This mask conditioner is delicious (jasmine!), and ensures fine, damaged hair receives ultimate TLC while never weighing down or derailing your thickening efforts. The surprising superhero ingredient? Seaweed extract.
This article was published at an earlier date and has since been updated.