We all have hair woes, right? My hair is naturally stick-straight, which is nothing to complain about at all. I'm pretty low maintenance with it and don't really style it that much, half out of pure laziness and half because I think it looks fine as is. In fact, I normally air-dry my hair and it still dries stick-straight.
But even though I don't have much baggage when it comes to my hair, I think you always want what you can't have. For me, I want that voluminous, thick, and big hair. Because for my whole life, I've been working with flat, semi-lifeless hair that couldn't hold a curl to save its life. Whenever I'd curl my hair or get a blowout, I'd be like Cinderella when her carriage turned into a pumpkin at midnight—my hair would be flat as heck within a couple of hours. And yes, that's with a lot of hair spray.
It seems like I've tried so many so-called "volumizing" products throughout the years. Some worked a little bit, and some were just a waste of money and huge a disappointment. But it wasn't until I stumbled upon R+Co's Dallas shampoo that I found an everyday product that really brought more life to my hair. It's by far the best volumizing shampoo I've used, and I'm the type of person to always get the volume-boosting version of any shampoo.
Although my hair does not rival Dolly Parton's, it does feel and look thicker and fuller. When I run my hands through my strands, there's a little bit more oomph to them. My hair doesn't appear as limp and lifeless as it used to with other shampoos, even if I've just air-dried and left it alone. And I can tell it's healthier, too, because my strands feel stronger and they look shinier.
The formula has volumizing ingredients like biotin to improve the keratin structure of the hair and saw palmetto berry extract (to add body). There's also pro-vitamin B5 for hydration, and coconut oil for shine and anti-breakage protection. And it smells pretty good, too.
I pair it with its matching conditioner to really get those volume-boosting powers my hair desperately needs. The great thing about it is a little bit goes a long way. You really don't need to work that much product into your hair for it to cleanse, volumize, and condition. And that comes in handy because it's not exactly the cheapest shampoo and conditioner combo around!
In addition to my now holy-grail shampoo and conditioner, I have a few other products that I like to use to give my hair some TLC. See my favorites below (and a couple of others on my wish list).
I recently learned that dry shampoo can really lift and create volume for fine, thin hair. I used to reach for the volumizing hair sprays, but celebrity hairstylist Mark Townsend told me that they can actually make your hair stick together, so it appears finer and thinner. Dry shampoos, on the other hand, have powders and starches to keep the hair separated. This one from Dove is made with volumizing in mind.
When I'm in need of a hair spray, though, I like Ouai's texturizing spray because it doesn't seem to weigh my hair down. It's both a hair spray and a dry shampoo, so it's like the best of both worlds. And it smells heavenly.
You can use this spray before you style or blow-dry your hair for extra volume. It's also great for setting and protecting your hair from heat.
Designed for colored and fine hair, this lightweight spray will give your strands an instant lift, but won't leave your hair feeling sticky or stiff. The formula contains panthenol, which has moisturizing and thickening benefits, and keratin to repair any damage. It also has a UV filter to protect and preserve the hair color.
If you have flat hair and dream of effortless, beachy waves, this product can help get you there. It absorbs oil and adds hold and texture. Plus, the formula has nourishing ingredients like glycerin, pro-vitamin B5, and seaweed and kelp extract.
I really don't know anyone who doesn't like this spray. This holy-grail product seems to be everyone's favorite, and for good reason. It absorbs oil and gives so much texture and lift to the hair.
Serums, Creams, Oils, and Powders
You might read this and think, "a cream?!" But don't worry—the formula is lightweight and perfect for styling flat hair. It contains a thickening molecule to make your hair feel fuller. All you need to do is apply a dime-sized amount from root to ends and blow-dry to activate.
Oribe's products are always cult favorites, so I'm intrigued by this thickening treatment. It contains Capixyl TM to fortify the scalp; pea sprout extract to reduce brittleness and hair loss; densifying polymer for volume; biotin and niacinamide to strengthen the cuticle; and peppermint oil to balance the scalp. All of that sounds like a win to me.
This oil is always a bestseller with Who What Wear readers. It's a blend of castor oil, caffeine, rosemary oil, and biotin to stimulate and promote hair growth. It's also formulated to leave your hair shiny and healthy.
Use this powder at your roots to give your hair some lift. It's easily absorbed into the hair so you don't have to deal with any residue. And it's colorless and odorless, which makes it seem totally invisible.
This serum is designed to support scalp health, thanks to ingredients like larch tree to balance oil production and rosebay extract to dissolve scalp buildup and soothe irritation. After washing your hair, apply a couple of drops to your scalp, and then massage.
Some mousses can weigh the hair down, but not this one. Not only does it add volume, but it will also hydrate and strengthen your strands.
This plant-based serum supports the scalp and revitalizes the roots. It's designed to increase hair density and reduce any of the dreaded shedding. Ingredients include glycerin, caffeine, panthenol, and biotin.
Shampoos and Conditioners
Even though I'm attached to my R+Co shampoo, Briogeo's could be another volumizing option. The sulfate-free formula contains maltodextrin, which coats each strand and increases the diameter. It's also got biotin, for hair growth, and ginseng, to support natural blood flow to the scalp.
This shampoo is infused with Alpha Keratin 60ku, which is a protein that binds to areas of damage and repairs them so your hair will look and feel shinier and healthier. It also contains artichoke leaf extract, which protects from any environmental stressors.
Formulated for fine, color-treated, and natural hair, this conditioner will create natural volume and body. It's enriched with rose water, vitamins A and E, and baobab extract.
IGK's lightweight conditioner works to nourish and hydrate the hair, while also increasing thickness. A caffeine derivative maximizes the hair's body, while a hydrolyzed vegetable protein strengthens the hair fiber. The formula also has an added bonus: it will leave your hair static-free.
Supplements and Other Products
Prose's Root Source supplement is a two-capsule system, so one will balance the scalp, and the other will stimulate hair growth. And the best part? The ingredients are natural and effective.
When I really want to pump up the volume (and if I have some extra time on my hands), I put my hair in velcro rollers as I'm getting ready. They give my hair some much-needed volume and bounce.