Thin, flat locks got you down? You’re hardly alone. My hair is thinner than most manes when all I’ve ever really wanted is a head of full, bouncy, shampoo-ad strands that move like they’re attached to Megan Gale’s pretty noggin… preferably under a glossy, glistening waterfall. Not. Gonna’. Happen.
Luckily working in the beauty industry means I’ve picked up a tip or two about how to feign texture, bounce and thickness and even improve the quality of my locks over time.
So, without further ado, presenting my do’s and don’ts for all you fine-haired mavens out there. Thank me later.
DON’T… Colour the hair too often
Don’t try to tell this to your stylist (in case they whack you over the head), but colouring your strands too often can damage the root of the hair, causing it to break easily and dry out; a no-no for thin, limp manes. If you’re a certified hair chameleon and can’t resist a dye job (or 10), try to keep your tresses healthy as possible in between salon visits. Pureology Essential Repair Condition is great for distressed colour-treated hair as it helps rebuild the hair cuticle, reduces breakages and creates a protective layer around the hair strands that offsets harmful chemicals caused from dyes and whatnot. Plus it has a pleasant scent that’s to-die-for!
DO… Enlist the help of a hair mask
The quickest way to give the illusion of thick, lustrous locks is to apply a volumising mask to mid-lengths and ends once per week. Something like Wella Sp Volumize Mask for Fine Hair adds vitality, strength and volume to the hair without overloading it. Not only will a treatment like this help to plump up each individual strand, but it’ll create a nice healthy sheen that lasts.
DON’T… Tease your hair… this is not the 80’s!
Put down that teasing comb, now! Not only does teasing your hair increase the likelihood of tearing and damage, but it significantly thins out the tresses over time. You can crank up the volume (on your hair… not your ipod) in other ways such as with a volumizing mousse like Redken Aerate 08 All-Over Bodifying Cream. The body-boosting formula will not only provide texture and bounce to your locks, but it’ll help the hair appear fuller, suppler and more lustrous instantly. Apply to wet hair and then dry the hair upside down to allow gravity to lift the strands away from the scalp – no comb required!
DO… Apply a volumizing cream before bed
Take a shower at night (or wet your hair) and then apply a volumizing product like Rusk Radical Thickening and Texturizing Creme (which helps to thicken even the most baby-fine hair) to your mane before finally making a big braid. The next day your hair will look wavy and full.
DON’T… Overdo it with conditioner
Conditioner has a tendency to weigh down fine locks and leave them limp, so make sure you rinse every single inch out of your hair each time you wash it, preferably with cool water as it’s better at getting all the residue out. Also make sure you avoid conditioning your roots because this will weigh the mane down. Try Matrix Total Results Amplify Volume Conditioner for lustrous, healthy locks.
DO… Use a hair-repair treatment system
If your thinning hair is a serious issue that no amount of blow-drying, curling or primping will fix, a kit like Nioxin System 1 System Kit For Fine Hair will save the day! It’s designed to improve the appearance of fine hair, by delivering essential botanical, nutrients, antioxidants, protein and vitamins to the strands. Not only does it create and maintain a healthy scalp environment (which aids faster hair growth), but it plumps up the hair cuticles to Kardashian-fullness and achieves maximum results in a minimum amount of time. A true mane hybrid!
DO… Use rollers and curling irons
Setting the locks with rollers or a large-barrel curling iron is a great way to make hair appear thicker. Once you add your waves or curls, lock in your handiwork by flipping your head over and spraying on a veil of Redken Body Full Volume Amplifier Thickening Lift Spray to hold everything in place and add some extra body. Just be sure to coat your strands in a heat protection serum beforehand (try using Paul Mitchell Heat Seal Thermal Protection and Style) to protect the hair cuticles from drying out.
DON’T… Brush your mane too quickly
Breakage happens when you rip through your hair by brushing it too quickly. Slow, steady brush motions will do the trick and especially with a brush that’s gentle on the strands like the Mason Pearson Nylon Hair Brush for Fine Hair. Also avoid ripping through wet tangles which creates split ends. Try gently running a wide-tooth plastic comb through wet hair instead and when blow-drying with a round brush, don’t pull too hard to avoid breaking and pulling out the hair.
DO… Understand that even straight hair can look thicker
If you love leaving your hair straight but still want it to look full of life, apply some AlfaParf Style For You Tx’T Volumizing Gel to wet hair (for added oomph), dry it and then flat-iron just the ends leaving out the roots entirely. Texturise your roots without flattening them with a straightener by dusting through some Schwarzkopf Mattifying Powder which will lift the lengths and create the illusion of thickness.
DON’T… Be a stress-head
Excessive stress causes the release of cortisol and other hormones that contribute to hair thinning. Stress also pushes a large number of growing hairs into a resting phase which means it may never grow back at the natural rate, so ensure you get your stress levels under control!
DO… Give yourself a head massage
When you massage your scalp with shampoos containing peppermint or eucalyptus oil (like Phillip B Peppermint & Avocado Volumizing & Clarifying Shampoo), you’ll help increase circulation and blood flow to your follicles, therefore boosting growth at a faster rate.
DON’T… Shampoo everyday
Shampoo strips away the natural elements that help to protect thin, fine hair so try restricting this to only a couple of times per week. When you do shampoo, consider a sulfate-free formula as they contain less harsh detergents,and therefore help preserve your hair’s natural oils. Reach for BlowPro Blow Up Daily Volumizing Shampoo (sulfate-free), which brings hair back to life by making it appear fuller and thicker.
DO… Eat more greens, drink lots of water, take vitamins, exercise and get enough sleep
It all helps. Seriously.
DON’T… Overuse heat tools
Sure straightening or curling the hair is all well and good, but overdoing it can cause more damage than it’s worth. Try to resist using the highest heating temperature on your mane as this can fry the hair cuticle and – you guessed it – cause the hair to break off and thin out over time. And always coat wet locks with a highly moisturising product like Shiseido Multi-Treatment Hair Lotion for protection prior to any kind of heat styling. Hot rollers are also a better, gentler option than curling irons, or you can simply go au naturale with a bit of texturizing mist through your ends for added bounce and luster.
DO… Get layers
If your hair is long and thin, the best way to add a dose of volume and versatility to it, is with a few choppy layers. That’s because layered cuts have more movement that serve to make it look as though you have a thicker head of hair. You can wear the shape smooth and straight or mussed up and textured with Joico Structure Shape Texture Creme. Got short strands? Get some extensions! Clip-in’s are my preferred cup of tea.
DON’T… Hide behind a wig
No need to disguise your thin strands when you’ve got a beauty hub of mane-saving formulas right at your fingertips! I’m talking about Fresh, in case you haven’t caught on…
PRO TIP: When the hair texture is naturally fine, the key is to always use lightweight products on the tendrils that aren’t so heavily chemically-laden and won’t weigh the mane down. When all else fails, resort to wearing the infallible topknot. It wins every time.
❤ Kristina xo
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