I'm a Beauty Editor With a Knack for Faking Super-Thick Hair—Here's How


(Image credit: @anthonyholguin)

"You don't have extensions?!" is a surprising exclamation I receive at least once a week. And, while I did have bonded extensions the summer after I graduated from college (never again), I haven't worn them since. (Unless it's temporary or for a story, mind you.)

Now, there are a few valid reasons for people's unabashed surprise when they discover all of my hair is real. First, I've been highlighting and/or bleaching the heck out of it for about 20 years. Second, I've had my fair share of disasters that have significantly damaged the integrity of my hair. Third, although I have a lot of hair, it's naturally super fine. And four, according to every single stylist I encounter, it's practically impossible to have the length and lightness of my hair simultaneously. (Apparently, I'm an anomaly.)


(Image credit: @erin_jahns)

But my hair didn't always look like this (it used to be shoulder-length, ultra-dry, and V thin and stringy due to breakage), and I attribute its dramatic transformation to a couple of key practices like less heat styling, an amazing colorist who prioritizes the health and integrity of my hair above all else, a healthy and balanced diet, regular trims, and last but not least, volumizing shampoos and conditioners.

Interestingly, I've found that volumizing shampoos and conditioners, more so than any other volume-boosting styling products, help the most in the thickening department. (Plus, I'm lazy, so if I can get the most volumizing bang for my buck while in the shower and not via a million other products post-wash), I'm 100% in.

Below are 13 of the best shampoos and conditioners that encourage instant and long-term volume and get my seal of approval. Keep scrolling!

Best Overall: Living Proof Full Shampoo & Conditioner

The Under-$7 Pick: OGX Thick & Full + Biotin & Collagen Volumizing Shampoo & Conditioner

The Splurge That's *Truly* Worth It: Philip Kingsley Density Thickening Shampoo & Conditioner

The Amazon-Famous One: Love Beauty and Planet Volume and Bounty Thickening Shampoo & Conditioner

The A+ Organic Formula: Rahua Voluminous Shampoo & Conditioner

The One That Smells Like Heaven: Christophe Robin Volume Shampoo & Conditioner with Rose Extracts

The Best for Instant Volume and Long-Term Repair: R+Co Dallas Biotin Thickening Shampoo & Conditioner

The Best for Fine, Straight Hair: Virtue Full Shampoo & Conditioner

The One with Hundreds of 5-Star Reviews at Sephora: BondiBoost Hair Thickening Therapy Shampoo & Conditioner

The Best for All Hair Types: JVN

Embody Daily Volumizing Shampoo & Conditioner

The Best for Color-Treated Hair: Verb Volume Shampoo & Conditioner

The Best for Anyone with Curl or Frizz: Amika 3D Volume and Thickening Shampoo & Conditioner

The Celebrity Favorite: Ouai Fine Hair Shampoo & Conditioner

The Best for Limp or Damaged Hair: Beauty Pie Super Healthy Hair Strengthening Shampoo & Conditioner

This article was originally published at an earlier date and has since been updated. 

Up Next: Damaged Hair? These 15 Products Can Actually Reverse It

Beauty Director

Erin has been writing a mix of beauty and wellness content for Who What Wear for over four years. Prior to that, she spent two and half years writing for Byrdie. She now calls Santa Monica home but grew up in Minnetonka, Minnesota, and studied writing, rhetoric, and communication at University of Wisconsin, La Crosse. She studied abroad in Galway, Ireland, and spent a summer in L.A. interning with the Byrdie and Who What Wear family. After graduating from UW, she spent one year in San Francisco, where she worked as a writer for Pottery Barn Kids and PBteen before moving down to L.A. to begin her career as a beauty editor. She considers her day-to-day beauty aesthetic very low-maintenance and relies on staples like clear brow serum (from Kimiko!), Lawless's Lip Plumping Mask in Cherry Vanilla, and an eyelash curler. For special occasions or days when she's taking more meetings or has an event, she'll wear anything and everything from Charlotte Tilbury (the foundations are game-changing), some shimmer on her lids (Stila and Róen do it best), and a few coats of the best mascara-type product on earth, Surratt's Noir Lash Tint.