Best Volumizing Shampoo
It can be difficult to find the right shampoo if you have fine hair. You’re probably faced with strands that get greasy quickly, and have very dry ends. Not to mention trying to hold a style without applying a whole can of hairspray. But the right volumizing shampoo can help add some lift and bounce to hair that feels limp and lifeless.
What Determines Hair Volume?
The same as with your skin type, whether you have thick, coarse or fine hair is determined by genetics.
Having fine, flat hair is one of the most common complaints women have about their style. But understanding more about what determines hair volume can help you choose the best product to infuse some lift into your locks.
There are a few things that influence your hair’s natural volume. One of the most simple is the amount of hairs per square inch you have on your scalp, as having more hair equals more volume. It is therefore easier to add some lift when you have lots of hair, even if it is very fine.
The next determining factor is the thickness of each follicle. The wider the diameter of each fiber, the more overall hair volume you’ll have. Simple right?
The texture of your hair also has an influence on volume. It is easier for stiffer hair fibers to stand up on their own and hold a style than it is for more flexible fibers. Fine hair is often less stiff, which is why it can appear limp and floppy (BeautyBrains).
Finally, the more friction there is between each hair follicle, the more they can rub against each other to create volume.
Coarse hair, for instance, has a rougher surface than fine hair, and fibers can snag against each other which creates lift. It’s usually necessary to use a styling product to improve the friction between finer hair follicles.
Is There Any Other Way To Thicken Hair?
If you’ve ever thought your hair looked fuller after having it coloured, you were probably right. The colouring process damages hair fibers making them swell, so it can look like your hair has more natural volume (Self).
It’s not a good idea to do this process too often though, as damaged hair can be brittle, more prone to breakages and split ends, or even start to fall out.
Blow drying or using a curling iron can also help lift your hair away from the roots to add more body, but regular use can damage your hair. Exposure to high heat robs moisture from your hair and skin, so it’s best to use a cooler setting and let your hair dry naturally whenever you can.
How Do Volumizing Shampoos Work?
Clever marketing techniques might have you believe that volumizing shampoos contain ingredients to make hair thicker, but actually, they work by removing residue from things like styling products and conditioners (Self).
Most shampoos and conditioners leave a residue behind to add moisture, but this can weigh fine hair down and make it difficult to hold on to any natural volume you might have.
Volumizing shampoos usually have lighter, clear formulas that leave less residue behind, and cleanse without adding extra weight.
It’s best not to over condition hair after using a volumizing shampoo, as you want to keep hair as natural as possible to keep its natural bounce.
Ingredients To Avoid
As fine hair is easily weighed down by moisturising agents, it is a good idea to avoid products specifically aimed to hydrate and condition hair.
Ingredients such as shea butter and argan oil can work wonders on some hair types, but fine hair will probably feel limp and lifeless, and look greasy more quickly.
Lighter moisturisers such as linseed oil and royal jelly can be a good alternative to infuse dry hair with extra nourishment, without weighing it down (StyleCaster).
Other Volume Boosting Products
If you’re looking for some extra lift after shampooing, you can follow on with a styling product designed to give your hair more body. Hairsprays help lift the roots away from your scalp and make hair look fuller.
Styling creams, serums and mousse often contain polymers that help stiffen hair follicles, and the extra rigidity means fibers can push against each other to add some temporary volume (StyleCaster).
Remember not to use too much product though, as you’ll be adding more weight to your hair and making it harder to achieve some natural lift.
Top 5 Volumizing Shampoos
Staying clear of shampoos that contain heavy moisturising agents should help you achieve more vibrant hair, so here is my list of top volume boosting shampoos:
Sebastian Volupt Volume Boosting Shampoo
Although this shampoo has a creamy consistency, it has a light enough formula to use on fine hair that easily gets greasy.
It contains cushioning particles that help give a volume boost, as well as natural bamboo extract and light essential oils. This is a good option if your hair is fine and prone to dryness, as the oils help to add moisture without weighing hair down.
With regular use, fine hair which is difficult to manage gets easier to work with, and looks fuller with more bounce. They also have a light conditioner as part of their Volupt range which effectively moisturises fine hair.
- Lathers nicely
- Safe for colour treated hair
- Helps add volume at roots
- Light fragrance
- Contains sulfites
This shampoo targets all problems associated with fine hair, such as constantly dealing with limpness and greasiness.
It has a light, silicone free formula, and contains salicylic acid which helps to remove stubborn buildup from styling products and oils. It is infused with citrus extracts and ginseng to invigorate hair, and leaves a slight tingle when you massage it into your scalp.
It lathers nicely, and by cleaning without leaving residue behind fine hair can look shinier and feel bouncier.Their Full Blown range includes a lightweight foam conditioner and styling whip that can help give you can extra volume boost after shampooing.
- Light formula
- Hair feels fuller
- Clean and refreshing fragrance
- Safe on colour treated hair
- Hair feels smoother
- Some hair types can feel dry
This shampoo aims to add more volume and fullness to hair by enhancing its texture. It contains cationic polymers to help make hair fibers more rigid, and cellulose powder which has an amplifying effect when it comes into contact with water.
This is a great choice for people with damaged or vulnerable fine hair, as their formula provides a gentle cleanse and helps fortify each strand.
A little goes a long way with Kérastase, so this shampoo should last a long time. Its lightweight formula is suitable for fine hair which lacks bounce, and should help you achieve a more thickened look.
- Hair feels smoother
- Helps add body to hair
- Safe for colour treated hair
- Contains polymers to add stiffness
- Hair looks healthier
- Not suitable for very greasy hair
If you feel you have fine, limp hair which is prone to oiliness, this could be a great option for you. Its clear formula is not at all greasy, and it contains mild surfactants that won’t strip your scalp of its natural oils.
With fine hair, you often feel the need to shampoo daily, which can easily dry out your skin. This sulfate free formula provides a more gentle cleanse, which is better for the overall health of your hair and scalp.
This shampoo contains panthenol to add moisture and shine, as well as hop and turnip root extract. It helps create more volume at the roots by stimulating and revitalising your scalp, and also makes hair feel fuller, softer and more hydrated.
- Paraben and sulfate free
- Light floral scent
- Sustainable brand
- Doesn’t leave residue behind
- Suitable for sensitive skin
- Very fine hair can feel dry if used daily
This is one of the best shampoos on the market, as it helps create volume that lasts, and transforms flat hair prone to fly aways into bouncy, vibrant locks.
It contains Himalayan crystal minerals that help fortify hair fibers and protect against damage. It is specifically designed for fine hair, and cleanses gently without weighing it down.
After a few washes hair feels nourished, silky, and hydrated down to the very ends. It can be difficult to find a lightweight volumizing shampoo that adds enough moisture to hair, but this product delivers consistent results for extra volume and shine.
If you have very oily hair, you might have to shampoo and rinse twice, but it should feel deeply cleansed and with a lot more movement.
- Paraben and silicone free
- Hair feels fuller and shinier
- Helps add natural volume
- Hair is more manageable
- Safe on colour treated hair
- Slightly higher price
Fine hair can be a nightmare to deal with, as many products have heavy formulas that can weigh hair down and make it difficult to achieve a bouncy, voluminous style.
As fibers are more flexible than in other types of hair, it has more difficulty standing up on its own, and can easily become limp and floppy.
Products that contain agents such as polymers coat hair follicles to give them more rigidity and achieve more body, but it is near impossible to permanently change your hair’s natural thickness.
The key to finding the best volumizing shampoo is to determine exactly what you need in terms of deep cleaning and oil control. Shu Uemura’s Volume Pure Lightness Shampoo is one of the best that I’ve come across.
It is specifically designed to combat styling problems associated with fine hair. It provides a deep clean which is gentle, and doesn’t leave residue behind which is one of the reasons your hair can look oily and flat.
This shampoo balances essential minerals to infuse hair with moisture without weighing it down, and helps create nourished strands with long lasting volume. With regular use, it should be easier to style your hair and finally create the look you’re after.