If you have fine hair, whether it's thin, medium in thickness, thick or super thick, you may struggle with achieving the same lush fullness your hairdresser achieves when you're at the salon.
It used to be popular some years ago to bend over at the waist and build fullness into tresses by blow drying upside down. This trend is no longer in favor.
Why? Hairdressers as well as hair consumers discovered the key to building in lush fullness into volume challenged hair lies at the roots.
Blowing hair upside down may temporarily ruffle the middle and end sections, but it doesn't help the roots which are key to supporting fine strands.
An additional drawback to blowing hair upside down is the danger of introducing more tangling into strands. Blowing hair upside down may help prevent heat damage to the top strands but ultimately is not of major benefit, especially for fine or thin strands.
Another mistake people with fine strands make is utilizing heavy rinse-out or leave-in conditioners which renders fine hair overly soft and slippery. Heavy gels, thick mousses, high hold sprays or other styling products may also cause fine strands to instantly go flat.
Skip mega hold gels, volume results from proper blow drying or wet setting techniques.
How To Build Maximum Volume Into Fine Strands
Listed below are some of the top professional hairdressing tips for maximizing volume for fine strands:
1. Start with a precision haircut designed to maximum hair volume.
Note: Remember that hair color and some re-texturizing treatments may actually help fatten fine hair instantly.
2. Avoid cleansing hair with heavy moisturizing formulas. Experiment with diluted shampoo (DS) formulations which will remove dirt and toxins without compressing the strands.
A good DS formula is 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of shampoo mixed into a clean quart bottle of luke warm water and shaken to form a sudsy mix. Increase or decrease the formula depending on the length and amount of hair you have.
Another option is to use a volumizing shampoo guaranteed to open the cuticle or experiment with clarifying formulas which ruffle the hair shaft.
3. Make sure you get hair very wet with lukewarm, not hot hair, before drizzling the sudsy mixture of DS over the top of your head and allowing the suds to gently flow down the length of your strands. Pat suds into the length and ends of the hair.
4. Rinse the DS formula out of the hair completely with lukewarm water. If you feel the need to add a rinse-out conditioner, apply a light one and only to the middle and ends of your hair. Avoid applying any moisturizing product to your roots.
5. Finish with a cool/cold water rinse to help close the cuticle and encourage it to swell and shine.
6. Towel blot hair dry to remove excess water but be sure to keep hair very damp.
Note: Do not air dry fine or thin hair if you want maximum volume. Why? Air dried roots will fall flat dragging the rest of the hair down with it. If you don't have strong roots you won't have full strands.
7. Apply a light volumizing gel to the palms of your hands and use fingers to distribute starting 1/2 to 1 inch from the roots and working towards the ends.
Note: If you prefer, use a volume enhancing mist or light mousse sprayed or applied at the roots instead of gel.
8. Starting at the top of your hair along the hairline, use your fingers instead of a brush, comb or pick and lift individual 1 to 1 1/2" sections of hair along the scalp. Blow dry with a concentrator attachment directing air flow from the ends down to the roots. When available use a blow dryer set on a slow, cool setting to help amp up volume.
Tilt your head towards the side you're drying so gravity helps hold your hair away from the head.
9. Once individual section is dry, spritz with a light hold hairspray (do not use a pump, use a spray mist instead). Clip the section with a butterfly clip and allow hairspray to completely dry. Remove the clip for fullness and volume. Finger tousle for maximum fullness.
10. Continue to work through all the sections of the hair until they have all been finger picked, blow dried, sprayed, clipped and finger styled.
After working through all the sections your hair should have maximum fullness. Apply a final spritz of light holding spray. Be careful not to weight hair down with heavy sprays.
Chemical straightening, relaxing or any similar type of re-texturizing is not appropriate for women who are pregnant or still nursing.
Other Tricks For Adding Volume
Consider some of the following additional secrets and tips:
1. Liquid gels designed to build in volume work best than thicker or stiffer gels. If your favorite gel feels too heavy, thin it out a little with water.
2. Remember to focus all of your volume building into the roots and top of the hair which is the foundation. If your roots are strong and full the rest of your hair will follow. If your roots are limp and soft, the rest of your hair will fall as well.
3. If you decide to use a spray gel or a volumizing spray mist, always spray it into the palms of your hands first and then work it into your roots with your fingers. Spraying or spritzing directly onto your roots might result in applying too much product which can wear down your roots.
4. For spot volumizing, mix one or two drops of shine serum with a stiff gel. Apply a tiny bit of the mixture to roots which are falling flat. Pinch your roots with fingertips to create a chunky root foundation.
5. When the finger drying doesn't work for you, consider using a thin boar's bristle vent brush which will maximize the amount of air directed to the roots.
6. Once hair is dry and pumped up, do not comb or brush unless absolutely necessary because combing and brush will break the root lift and cause hair to fall.
7. Use rake style headbands to help pump up volume along the hairline and keep roots amped up.
8. Avoid overdrying hair. The advantage to utilizing a concentrator attachment is to avoid over blowing fine or thinning strands. When possible blow dry on a cool/cold setting on a slow to medium speed.
Although the finger fluffing method of building in volume combined with the butterfly clip setting method may take more time and work, but as hair expert Barbara Lhotan points out, you can blow dry hair haphazardly and expect it to look the way you want.
Try these tricks to build in maximum volume and lush body. Remember, when it comes to full, lush hair, the key lies in the roots and skilled blow drying.
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- Revised Publication Date: 11/01/10
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