5 Easy Ways To Get Thicker Hair Instantly, With Tips From Expert Stylists

Illustrated by Olivia Santner
Dear Daniela,

What’s the best way to style fine hair to give it more volume and texture? I’ve accepted my fine hair and I’m no longer trying to make it something it’s not – it’s fine, it always will be and nothing will change that. But how can I make my hair appear thicker? How can I stop it feeling so flat and lifeless? Would extensions help?

Please help!

Bethany, 29
Your attitude is spot-on. Seriously, so much of beauty is being told that we need to 'solve' or 'cure' things that aren’t even problems or 'bad' in the first place. Besides chasing some ever-changing ideal, that mentality robs you of the opportunity to work with what you have and find something unique, doable and sustainable that actually reflects whatever bonus the genetic lottery gave you. You can spend a lot of time, money and energy trying to turn fine hair into thick hair. It’s much easier to maximise the hair you already have.

I put your questions to Nick Latham and Sean Nother, the hairstylists better known as The Hair Bros. When it comes to fluffing up fine hair, Latham and Nother said it starts in the salon. “Volume always starts with a great haircut first and foremost,” they said. When you next go in for a chop, make sure your stylist knows you’re looking for a cut that helps you achieve more thickness and volume – you have to be explicit about these things! Not everyone wants volume so if that’s on your wish list, let your stylist know. “A few layers in the right places can make all the difference, so don’t be afraid to add some shape to your hair,” said Latham and Nother.

Once you’ve got your perfect cut, take a look at your styling set-up. Latham and Nother, who are ambassadors for Aveeno, said using a light shampoo that won’t weigh down your roots is ideal, and suggested Aveeno Fresh Greens Shampoo. “Shampoo is the foundation, and it’s downhill from there if you use the wrong one. Something lightweight and volumising is ideal,” they said. Aveeno Fresh Greens Shampoo uses rosemary oil and peppermint to give a really light, clean feeling without adding too much weight. Another crowd-pleaser is Olaplex No.4 Bond Maintenance Shampoo, which is great for heat-damaged hair and gives a good lather without coating strands. Some people think that silicones can weigh the hair down so you might want to check your current shampoo and conditioner for ingredients like dimethicone, cyclomethicone and amodimethicone (basically any of the -cones). These ingredients are not harmful or toxic and removing them from your routine isn’t guaranteed to add more volume. It’s just something you can try.
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As for styling, Latham and Nother said the old-school roller is hard to beat and I’m inclined to agree. “Even just three rollers in the top of your hair makes a difference and you don’t have to use heat. Even just having the rollers in while your hair dries will set your roots in an upward direction,” they explained. I use a variation of this technique every time I dry my hair, and I don’t even use rollers – I just roll my hair up and pin it until cool. Play around with different methods – Velcro rollers, pin curls, a hot brush – until you find one that works for you, which you can do without too much bother.

Then, finishing touches. Latham and Nother said texture spray of some kind is non-negotiable and name-checked Hairstory Undressed as their favourite. “It’s not like a salt spray that gets really crunchy and dry. You can just keep loading it up until you’ve got the finish you want. It uses a kind of quinoa protein to add body and texture without making the hair crispy.” Root powder is another good option to get that lift but you want to apply it in small doses rather than treating it like a dry shampoo. “Apply it to your hands first, and then massage it in,” they advised. “This means you can distribute it more evenly, and also lets you work selectively and add the lift where you really want it. Remember, you can always add more but it’s hard to take away, so go slowly!” Their powder of choice is Hairstory Powder but I’ve also heard great things about Bumble and bumble’s Pret-A-Powder.
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Finally, extensions. Should you, or shouldn’t you? There are plenty of reasons to get them (immediate extra volume and/or length, really bouncy hair, ease of styling) and a lot of reasons not to (cost, upkeep, damage to the hair) so I can’t tell you for sure whether you should or shouldn’t. All I’ll say is that if you do choose to get them, it’s unlikely to be a one-time thing so make sure you’re mentally prepared for the long-term cycle, maintenance and cost. “When the execution is perfect and the circumstances are right, a few extensions are great. Just a few – you still want your hair to feel like your own,” cautioned Latham and Nother. “Make sure the bonds are tiny,” they added. “In fact, ask whoever applies them to cut the bonds in half. They’ll give you much fuller hair, but they are addictive and can wear on the hair over time.”
Good luck! And whatever you choose, I wish you more volume than the Pyramid Stage at Glasto.
Daniela
Got a question for our resident beauty columnist Daniela Morosini? No problem, qualm or dilemma is too big, small or niche. Email deardaniela@vice.com, including your name and age for a chance to have your question answered. All letters to 'Dear Daniela' become the property of Refinery29 and will be edited for length, clarity, and grammatical correctness.
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