Banishing Bad Hair Days since 1997!™

Pumping Up Men's Hair - Tips & Secrets

One of the male reps recently stopped by with some new line sheets and asked if I could help him out with some advice about his hair.

Of course I was willing to try and was curious what his challenge involved It turned out he was dealing with fine, thin hair that was getting thinner by the year. He wanted, in his own words, "to pump it up as much as possible" and wanted to know "all" with stress applied to all, my tricks to adding lots of volume. Luckily he did not have a combover but his hair did have a lot of gel which made it look stiff.

I offered to make him a cheat sheet he could review at his leisure. I also suggested products he might try that I knew worked for other men I knew.

Karen's Cheat Sheet For Getting A Fat Head Of Hair

  1. Shampoo in lukewarm water only.
  2. Avoid using moisturizing of heavy shampoos that will weigh down strands and make them appear thinner than they are. Either use a volume enhancing shampoo designed to plump up the strands OR consider using a diluted version of your fav which cleans without weighing strands down. Volumizing shampoos that work for many men I have talked to: PhytoVolume Shampoo, Matrix Amplify.If you want to try the diluting trick...take 1/8 teaspoon of shampoo and apply to a clean quart sized bottle of warm water. Shake the bottle to get suds. Wet hair well and then drizzle the suds over the top of your head and pat into your hair. Swish suds around to make sure you remove any dirt or oils and then rinse well.
  3. Skip the rinse out conditioning step completely. It will flatten thin, fine or thinning strands.
  4. Finish with a blast of cool/cold water. Yes it feels cold but it works to plump up strands. A good trick is to have some cool rinse water in a clean jar, bend over at the waist and pour water so it only hits your hair. Then jump out of the shower and towel blot.
  5. Blot, blot, blot. Do NOT rub.
  6. For lots of root lift apply a volume root enhancer. PhytoVolumeActif works wonders. So does Matrix root lift.
  7. Use a medium barrel round brush and a blow dryer with a concentrator attachment to avoid blowing hair all over the place. Separate hair into 1-2 inch sections. Use the round brush to lift the section and direct the blow dryer air DOWN the hair shaft from the roots to the ends. his ruffles the cuticle and make them appear fuller.

    • Optional Trick #1: Yes, you can try bending over at the waist and blow drying your hair upside down. It will help to plump fine strands. Not everyone likes to do this but what the heck, if fat strands are your goal, give it a shot...with the blow dryer that is.

    • Optional Trick #2: Use a blow dryer with a cool/cold air setting OR a cold shot. Cool/cold air will help to plumpen up natural strands. Also, blow drying on a slow setting rather than the fastest one, will provide hair will a more finished and fuller look.

  8. After you have finished blow drying, use your fingers to style. A brush or comb may deflate some of the newfound blow dryer fullness. Is your hair too fluffy? Apply a spritz of Phyto hairspray to your fingertips. No, not on the hair. Take the newly sprayed fingers and lightly "fingerpick" your dry strands. This will provide control of the fluff without weight all that new volume down. If you still feel too fluffy, spritz the hair very lightly with a firmer holding spray. Do NOT use any shine products.

Other notes to consider:

If you can't give up your gel, use a gel designed to provide lift and fullness. A good friend of mine who fights thinning strands swears by the PhytoVolume Shampoo, PhytoVolumeActif root spray AND a tiny dab of Matrix Amplify Gel.

In fact, he hords all three products in fear they might disappear (they won't but whatever makes him feel better). After he applied the PhytoVolumeActif to his roots, he puts a tiny dab of gel into the palms of his hands, rubs them together and then lightly finger picks through the middle and end sections of his hair to get a little more control.

I must admit, his hair always looks full and well groomed. He has a bald spot on the top of his head but the hair around it is full and you really don't notice that he is balding because the rest of his hair looks so good.

Of course there are lots and lots of volume enhancing products on the market. I am just reporting on those that I have had direct feedback about. Yes it is also important to mention that not all products work for all people and their hair.

Some other hair volumizing product options:

  • Jack Black - True Volume Thickening Shampoo w/Expansion Technology, Basil & White Lupine
  • Jack Black - True Volume Revitalizing Conditioner w/Expansion Technology, Pomegranate & Avocado Oil - If you feel you need a conditioner, this is designed to add volume and body and work with the True Volume Thickening shampoo.
  • Jack Black - Body Building Hair Gel w/ Grapefruit & Ginger - If you want to use gel...this product is designed to add body and fullness.
  • Rene Fuerter Fiorvanti Volumizing Shampoo

  • got2b - Fatten Up Thickening Paste - $5.99 - A lighter-then-gel paste designed to thicken and fatten. Use at and below roots for maximum fattening power.
  • got2b - Styl-Tini Double Shot Hair Thickener - $5.99- 5.1 fl. oz - Use this product to add thickness, root lift or for great spikes.

Finally, it is very important to start with a great haircut from your stylist or barber. If you work with a great hair expert they can cut your hair to minimize the appearance of balding areas and help naturally plump up the strands.

Is gel an automatic no-no? It depends on the type, texture and condition of the hair. Some men have transitioned form gel to hair creams, pomades or spray gels.

Only you can decide what works best to get pumped up strands.

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