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How to Add Volume to Hair: Best Tips & Solutions

Young woman with wavy blonde hair

“Why is my hair so flat?” Unless you’re part of the lucky few, you’ve probably asked yourself this question at some point. But understanding exactly how to add volume to hair can be tricky, because it really does take the right volumizing shampoo and conditioner to volumize hair—plus a few other tweaks.

If you’re ready to add a little oomph and volume to your hair, we’ve got all the information you need. Here’s everything you need to know.

Why Is Voluminous Hair Attractive?

Voluminous hair is attractive because thick, full, shiny hair has a healthy look to it—plus, voluminous hair is glamorous and can actually make you look taller.

How Can I Increase My Hair Volume?

Volume in hair care tends to refer to an experience of hair bounce or body as well as the appearance of fuller hair, according to dermatologist Dr. Erum Ilyas, MD, and founder of AmberNoon.

“This does not necessarily mean that there is more hair, just that the hair that is present takes on the quality of appearing more voluminous,” Dr. Ilyas says. “This is often achieved by the addition of hydrating ingredients or resins that attach to the hair as well as coating the hair with ingredients that make each individual strand of hair appear wider-barreled or coarser. Volumizing products may also address any oil or sebum buildup on the hair that can weigh it down giving it less bounce. For example, dry shampoos may work in this manner.”

To achieve an actual increase in the volume or quantity of hair, it is important to note that we are born with a certain number of hair follicles, and we cannot get more, she adds. “It is possible that a higher proportion of hairs are in the resting phase versus the growth phase at varying times. To ensure that more hairs are in the anagen or active growth phase, addressing potential vitamin deficiencies or hormonal challenges may be necessary.”

The Best Ways to Add More Volume to Fine Hair

To add volume to dry hair, you’ll want to start by choosing a volumizing shampoo. “These products will provide the ingredients needed and help make your hair more manageable,” she says. “Should you need further volumizing effects, thickening agents such as thickening sprays, mousses, and dry shampoos can be considered.”

What Is a Good Volumizing Shampoo and Conditioner?

Rodan + Fields’ VOLUME+ Regimen is an excellent place to start when you’re looking to add volume to hair. It includes a dermatologist-designed volumizing shampoo and conditioner that will get to the root of thin, flat hair by reenergizing the scalp. It also includes a Densifying+ treatment for an extra boost.

How Do You Treat Voluminous Hair?

Since voluminous hair is often achieved through these thickening agents, it is important to remember the occasional use of a clarifying shampoo while using these products, according to Dr. Ilyas. “Since voluminous hair is often achieved through these thickening agents, it is important to remember the occasional use of a clarifying shampoo while using these products,” she says.

Find the Best Volumizing Hair Products

While Rodan + Fields’ Volumizing shampoo and conditioner can be a great fit for many people, Dr. Ilyas emphasizes that the key to finding the best product is finding the one that fits easily into your hair routine. “If you are not accustomed to using dry shampoos, for example, there is a bit of a learning curve to use them without leaving behind too much residue,” she says. “Thickening mousses and sprays work well, but some may require the application to wet hair and not dry hair. This may limit their use in those that do not wash their hair daily.” 

FAQ About Adding Volume to Hair

Why does my hair look so flat?

Typically, flat hair is the result of hair that has been weighed down—usually due to buildup from different products over time like residue, dirt, and oils. If you’ve ever noticed that your hair becomes greasy and flat when you don’t wash it for a while, this is why.

Do volumizing shampoos and conditioners work?

Yes, thickening or volumizing shampoos do make hair appear fuller and thicker, at least temporarily. While there may not be any ingredients that can permanently thicken hair, volumizing shampoos and conditioners can help in the short term.

What does voluminous hair mean?

While there’s no “official” definition, voluminous hair typically refers to visibly full, thick, shiny hair.

Is volumizing shampoo the same as thickening shampoo?

While volumizing and thickening shampoos are often used synonymously, it’s not technically correct. Thickening shampoo technically works to actually thicken hair strands (usually by temporarily plumping the strands), while volumizing shampoo works to produce a lift and give hair a three-dimensional look.

What is the best shampoo to make your hair thicker?

Rodan + Fields’ VOLUME+ Shampoo boosts body for fuller, thicker, and more voluminous-looking hair.

How can I naturally add volume to my hair?

To naturally add volume to hair, you can try blow-drying your hair upside down, get a haircut that gives your hair a fuller look.

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