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Six Ways to Add Volume to Fine and Flat Hair

Are you sick of your fine, flat hair? Here are some ways to increase volume.

Are you sick of your fine, flat hair? Here are some ways to increase volume.

Is your hair flat and lifeless? Do you envy people with bounce and volume? Don't despair, it is possible to put more oomph in your hairstyle!

Tip 1: Stop Weighing Down Your Hair!

A surprising number of people have good natural volume, but it's flattened by the invisible residue from the very products that are supposed to help!

Many shampoos and conditioners—even so-called "volumizing" products—contain silicone or polymers. They're plastic-like substances that stick to the surface of each strand of hair, to make it fatter. That works on naturally strong, bouncy hair, but on fine hair, the weight of the coating pulls the hair down, counteracting the extra "fatness" so your hair gets even flatter!

So before you can regain your volume, you must get rid of the build-up by using a good clarifying shampoo. I use Kenra Clarifying Shampoo because it seems to do a great job of "lightening the load" on my hair by removing the silicone and polymers other products leave behind. I started by using it only about once a week to clear the buildup, and it made a significant difference. This is a clarifying shampoo that still contains sulfates (which is important—more on that later).

Whichever shampoo you choose, lather twice, rinse well and see if your hair recovers its bounce. Repeat the treatment every now and then, to prevent any future build-up. And don't buy any more plasticized shampoos!

Style and Shine Products

Styling products can weigh your hair down, even more than shampoo or conditioner.

Shine products are notorious for making your hair flat. If you can't live without one, use it sparingly and don't comb it through. A good tip is to spray it on a makeup brush (a big blush brush or powder brush is best), and sweep that lightly over your hair—you'll get the effect without the weight.

I'm not saying you have to live without styling products. The challenge is to find products that don't add weight to the hair and don't build up too much residue over time.

I'm still hunting for the perfect product, but I've had a couple of my fine-haired readers contact me to rave about Nak's Done & Dusted styling powder. I haven't tried it yet, but I do like its shampoo so I will definitely be giving it a try!

Sulfate-Free Shampoo?

Have you switched to a sulfate-free shampoo in the hope it will help boost your volume? Sorry to disappoint you, but it's quite likely making your problem worse!

As I said, product buildup is one of the biggest causes of flat, lifeless hair. Shampoo makers use sulfates because they're very efficient cleansers. Take them out, and you're left with a very mild shampoo that won't remove product buildup. It won't remove excess oils or deposits on the scalp either, so it's not a great choice if you have oily hair or dandruff.

If you've had your hair straightened, you must go sulfate-free. Otherwise, I honestly don't recommend it.

Tip 2: Sleep On It

Are you using your hairdryer and products correctly? Using too much mousse or gel, and/or bad drying techniques can make your hair as flat as a pancake. We'll work on your technique next—but first, try this experiment:

Wash your hair just before you go to bed, towel dry it thoroughly and leave your hair wrapped in a towel while you brush your teeth, then go to bed. Yes, it's OK to sleep with your hair wet, you're not going to catch pneumonia, whatever your mom said!

Next morning, take a look at your hair (it's a good idea to do this on a day when you don't have to rush out the door, just in case...).

Is it is looking fresher and bouncier than usual? If it is, it's time to review your drying method because it looks like you're blow-drying the volume out rather than in!

I know some working mums who always wash their hair at night and let it dry on the pillow—it's a great timesaver and their hair looks great!

Tip 3: Use Your Towel

One common blow-drying mistake is that we don't dry our hair for long enough. If you stop blow-drying while there's still moisture in the hair, it will flop—no matter how much volume you've blown into it.

If your arms are getting tired holding the hairdryer, you're more likely to give up too early, so the solution is to remove as much moisture as you can before you even pick up the dryer.

Blow-Drying Technique

To get the most from your towel, roughly towel-dry your hair when you step out of the shower, then wrap the towel round your head while you get ready brushing teeth, applying deodorant, etc. By the time you take the towel off, your hair will be ready for the hairdryer.

Use the hairdryer to rough-dry all over your head, using your fingers to shake the moisture off the hair (you can hang your head forward if you like). When you feel it's almost dry, that's the time to add product and start styling.

For a little extra insurance, when you think you've finished styling, give your whole head a quick once-over on the cool setting, then run your fingers through the roots—any lingering moisture will be more obvious once your hair is cool.

The other fact most people don't know is hot hair won't hold a style. You can blow in all the volume you like, but if you stop without cooling the hair down, it won't last. So before you release each tress, hit the cool-shot button for a few seconds to cool and set it. If you don't have a cool-shot, hold the curl for a moment to let it cool (or get a new hairdryer!). Some hairdressers use two brushes, so they can leave one with the hair curled around it to cool down thoroughly while they move on to the next tress.

Personally, I always seem to be in a rush, so I always play it safe: after blow-drying, I catch my hair up in a clip on top of my head, to keep the roots lifted while I do my makeup. That way, if I haven't dried it properly, it will dry and cool naturally with lift rather than without.

Tip 4: Use Rollers

Rollers are a boon if you're lacking in volume because you won't be tempted to take shortcuts due to tiredness and you won't do your hair any harm by leaving them in place for longer than you think you need. So you can leave them in place till you're absolutely positive you're "cooked," without any concerns.

As with blow-drying, always rough-dry first before using rollers, removing at least 50% of the moisture from your hair.

If you use plain velcro rollers, sweep over them with a hot dryer. If you're using hot rollers, make sure you get them up to temperature before you put them in. In both cases, leave them in until you think your hair is completely cool—then allow another 10 or 15 minutes, just in case!

Tip 5: Don't Wash Your Volume Down the Drain

Believe it or not, it is possible to wash your hair too much. Overwashing makes it flyaway and floppy (stylists prefer to do updos on hair that's been washed the day before because it's too soft if it's just washed).

If you get a good lather on the first shampoo, don't lather again, whatever the bottle says—unless you are using a clarifying shampoo to clear buildup.

If you're currently washing your hair every day, try to cut back to every second day. On your non-shampoo day, don't just clamp a shower cap on your head in the shower—it'll flatten your hairdo totally! Instead, gather your hair up into a clip, comb or elastic band on top of your head before you shower (now you can put on that shower cap)! Leave the clip/band in place until you're ready to leave the bathroom, or the steam will undo your good work.

When choosing a shampoo, be cautious about volumizing products. Volume is really about lift and bounce. If a volumizing product is going to coat your hair to make it thicker, it may also make it heavier, which means it will be harder to lift. If a volumizing shampoo doesn't make a big difference in the first few shampoos—toss it, use a clarifying shampoo to get rid of any residue, and try something else.

With these tips, you'll have no excuse to hide under that headscarf!

With these tips, you'll have no excuse to hide under that headscarf!

Tip 6: Colour or Curl

If all these tips fail—or if they don't quite get you there—it's time to wheel out remedies that will need more maintenance and involve more cost.

Colour is your friend. Colour causes the hair shaft to swell, so you literally end up with thicker hair. Because it penetrates rather than leaving a plastic coating on the surface, colour doesn't cause the same heaviness as volumizing mousses or gels.

It doesn't matter whether you choose a semi, a tone-on-tone or a permanent, home or salon. They'll all work. A good hairdresser can also create the illusion of volume with the clever use of highlights and foils. If you don't want to change your colour, simply choose a shade that matches your natural hue.

A perm or body wave will solve all your volume problems forever—or rather, for six to 12 weeks, when you'll need to have it done again! However, if you don't want curls, you'll have to face the laborious task of blow-drying it straight after every wash. Old-fashioned perms can be hard on your hair, too, so do your research before you take the plunge.

Now you'll have no excuse to hide under that headscarf!

Questions & Answers

Question: Is there an at home body wave kit for creating more hair volume on the market?

Answer: Yes, however not as many as you might think. There is a line of at home kits made by Ogilvie called Precisely Right that are widely used for a body wave perm type effect. I have heard good feedback from those who have tried these kits although I personally haven't.

They have one kit made specifically for thin or delicate hair which might be worth a try.

When using these types of kits, make sure to take your time and follow the instructions step-by-step. If you skip any steps or rush the process you will get less than ideal results. Too many woman (myself included) have made the mistake of rushing the process.

© 2007 Kate Swanson


VIKI GILBERT on July 23, 2018:

HI there really appreciate your tips on blow drying your hair and ensuring that it is altogether dry. My hair has just been cut and is quite short and on top of that it is quite curly. I would love your advice on how to blow dry curly hair and I also have a fringe. Should I dry this first or leave it until last and can I also use the root lifting spray as you have done for your mum? thank you so so much all the best Viki - Manchester England.

Abiya on July 14, 2018:

My hair volume is very less and in some parts the skull is visible. I am very much depressed. Shall I make it curl?

mochirajackson from Liverpool, United Kingdom on February 27, 2014:

Great hub. Thank for sharing the tip about volumising shampoos. I used quite an expensive one and it made my hair flat - now I know why! I find that dry shampoo makes my hair have more volume, so I use that, even if I've washed my hair!

torrilynn on December 07, 2013:

This was a great article on how to volumize your hair. I agree that volumizing products don't help and that you should have a good clarifying shampoo. Voted up.

oldiesmusic from United States on December 02, 2013:

Very valuable information. Thanks for debunking the myth that sleeping with your hair wet is bad.

Kate Swanson (author) from Sydney on April 09, 2013:

I must admit, I haven't tried the new dry shampoos. They went through a vogue many years ago but at the time, the powder wasn't fine enough (it's white). On my very dark hair, the end result was cleaner hair,but I looked as though I'd dunked my head in a vat of talc no matter how hard I tried to brush it out.

With the new micronisation techniques, it's likely they're much finer these days. There is also a difference between dry shampoo and volumizing powder. Dry shampoo is an absorbent which attracts oil and dirt so you can brush it out. Volumizing powder works like a hair gel without the stickiness that can weigh down fine hair.

I've heard great things from friends in the US about the Nak Done'n'dusted powder but like you, I can't find it in the stores. I'm debating about whether I'm keen enough to go to the bother of ordering it off Amazon!

Laura Schneider from Minnesota, USA on April 08, 2013:

Marisa, you're a wealth of information! I'm forwarding this to my mom, who is guilty of several of the offenses you suggest, and I'm guilty of washing my hair daily so I'll get myself a shower cap to go with the ad hoc up-do I'll implement.

One question... I've been hearing a LOT about "Dry shampoo" sprays to add volume and texture during the styling process. What's the scoop on that? I haven't been able to find any in the stores, either, by the way.

Voted up, awesome, useful!

cityalice on June 16, 2012:

Yes. Washing your hair doesn't do it any good. Usually I like my hair better if i haven't washed it for 24 hours.

Kate Swanson (author) from Sydney on April 15, 2012:

Rusti, I'm afraid it's very difficult to get volume if you have long hair! The longer the hair, the heavier it is, and even the strongest hair can't bounce under that much weight. It's a trade-off - if you want long, flowing locks, you have to sacrifice volume. If you want volume, you have to live with shorter hair.

You'll love the cruise, and they often have great hairdressers! I went on a Mediterranean cruise last year with my husband, had a ball and had the best haircut I've had in ages.

Ruth McCollum from Lake Oswego, Oregon on April 15, 2012:

I have hair down to my waist. I am always up for great volume tips.Wish I could take you as my hairdresser on my cruise a vow renewal for our 30th year of marriage.

Kate Swanson (author) from Sydney on April 12, 2012:

You probably have split ends. If your hair always develops the same problem when it's long, you may have to accept the fact that you'll have to wear your hair shorter, I'm afraid.

sanchi singh from delhi on April 12, 2012:

awesome suggestions for everybody... Hope ill get few too.

My hair are very thin, hair on the head r really straight but as they grow towards the length, they have curves n after the shoulder length they are very weak lyk 1/4th of the actual hair volume on ma head. N ya i have never seen my hair in length more than 8 inches in the back.... Plz if u have any gud sugg. 4 me.

Kate Swanson (author) from Sydney on January 18, 2012:

Mickey, if you've had your hair rebonded, there's not much you can do. Your hair has basically been chemically destroyed and put back together - it's now stuck the way it is. Sorry.

MICKEY on January 18, 2012:


Shraddha on December 12, 2011:

also there are a ton of products available like styling lotion, moulding souffle, extra body root lifting spray! Aren't they essentially the same thing?

Thank you once again! x

Shraddha on December 12, 2011:

Thank you for such a prompt reply! But we don't get products by Nak here unfortunately! :( Could you maybe suggest something by Schwarzkopf, Paul Mitchell, Phyto

Redken, Sebastian, Toni&Guy or TIGI please? I can get them here in India but I dunno which brand to go for? :/

Kate Swanson (author) from Sydney on December 11, 2011:

Shraddha, try the Naks range of products, if they're available in your area.

Shraddha Gupta on December 11, 2011:

Hello! Thank you so much for the post! It has been a treasure trove of information :)

I have been struggling with fine volume-less hair and I never blow dried my hair completely which made it limp again and i would never understand why!? Thanks a lot!

So these days I just use head and shoulders (suits my hair the best and keeps dandruff at bay) and blow dry my hair (by hanging my head forward) and it does give me some volume. However, I'd like to try to use a hair-mousse or something for parties, to give my hair an extra lift and some hold. Loreal products don't bode well with me. Could you please suggest me a product which I can use for this? I have this dusting powder which keeps my hair set till i wash it off but makes my hair extremely rough!

Thanks a bunch!

Kate Swanson (author) from Sydney on October 27, 2011:

M-Teen, you don't say how long your hair is or whether you wash it every morning. Try to cut down to every other day (use dry shampoo on the in-between day), blow dry your hair and make sure it's completely dry before you stop using the dryer.

M-Teen on October 26, 2011:

hey! my hair is oily but i don't have time to wash it @ nite so i wash it in the morning. do u know how 2 keep it voluminous within an hour and 15 minutes?

Kate Swanson (author) from Sydney on October 26, 2011:

Eva, what happens if yo don't use the jojoba mask? The jojoba is very moisturizing and will make your hair even softer - if you don't have damaged hair, you don't need it. It may be making things worse!

Eva on October 25, 2011:

I have shoulder length hair and I wash it every other day. I use clarifying shampoo once every other week and every week I put hot jojoba mask. My hair just are soft after every wash, even if I wash it in the evening and let it dry overnight it's still soft. I try to use natural products for coloring, like Natural Henna Coloring products and that makes it better just for a week, still styling is hard. My hair in touch feels like baby hair (way too soft). Any advice???

Kate Swanson (author) from Sydney on October 23, 2011:

Sneha, it sounds like you need to fix the problems with your hair before you go for rebonding.

sneha oberoi on October 22, 2011:


i have wavy dry and frizzy hair..and the bad thing is months before my hair had a good volume but now they are very thin..and its having dandruff as well..m thinking of going for rebonding..will rebonding look good on my thin hair..or should not go for rebonding..

please help me out !!!


Trich on October 19, 2011:

I have straight hair that I don't color and I swear that Shielo's Volume Line gives me more swing to my hair when I use it. I also use Shielo's Volume Hairspray (its Flexible Hold) on my daughter sometimes and I notice that her flyaways are much neater after using the Shielo brand.

The scent is AMAZING!

I have also gotten compliments on the scent from people when my hair was dry. I recommend this shampoo to anyone who is looking to stretch out their haircut visits. Your hair stays healthy and smells great.

vidisha on August 19, 2011:

hey...m a college student from bangalore.the climate here is lovely but the problem is my hair...the day i wash my hair,it feels lovely at home...i get beautiful,silky manageable hair but after i rush for college it gets unmanageable and rough..!if i sit in an AC,it again becomes silky....this is what the problem is..please help me...i really love my hair....any natural solutions?

Kate Swanson (author) from Sydney on July 29, 2011:

Kelsey, the only kind of shampoo that will wash out color is dandruff shampoo.

The only reason you use special shampoos on colored hair is because they need more moisture than non-colored hair.

Kelsey on July 29, 2011:

Is there a color safe clarifying shampoo that will also help with volume? I've heard of the Shielo brands but I've never tried any but I might start. thanks!

Kate Swanson (author) from Sydney on July 29, 2011:

Kelsey, get some clarifying shampoo and use it for a week or so, it may help. Like you say, you're choosing to have long hair which doesn't help.

Straight doesn't have to mean flat. You could try the Shielo shampoo. I'm trying out the new Schwarzkopf one, which I quite like so far.

Kelsey on July 28, 2011:

Hi Marisa,

I have VERYY straight flat hair and I also have bleached high lights which I like very much. I use suave which I read is not good on hair so I'm going to quit using it. Can you suggest a shampoo that's safe for color treated hair but also wont add more flatness to my hair. my hair is very long and I like it long which I know adds more flatness but I don't want short hair. I did wash my hair everyday but now I wash it every other day and rinse on the days I don't shampoo which is great on my hair. It's not very oily it has just the right amount even when I washed it everyday but it just has no volume whatsoever $6 and it's as straight as a bored and just lays on my shoulders. Is there anything you can recommend that will put life into my hair without damaging it because I color it? I am going into my senior year this year and I want to look great everyday and not just have straight, flat, damaged hair. help!! please and thank you :)

Freegoldman from Newyork on July 20, 2011:

Great Hub.Its really useful because I am losing a lot of hair

Kate Swanson (author) from Sydney on July 04, 2011:

@HairHelp, I have the same problem as you - hairdressers always want to cut my hair in layers, on the principle that shorter hair has more bounce - but every time I've tried it, it just makes me look like I've got no hair at all.

However, it's true that the longer your hair, the flatter it will be on top, especially if your hair's very fine. I know a blunt-cut, short bob sounds boring but it is often the best thing for very fine hair.

Have you tried coloring your hair? Colorant adds body to most types of hair - even at "at home" semi-permanent, tone-on-tone or rinse will help, and they're very easy to use.

Hair Help? on July 04, 2011:

My hair is super flat, all the time, and has lot of breakage because it is so fine. I usually sleep with it wet and it will have very, very little volume in the wrong way(it pushes my hair in the wrong directions) and I have to basically get rid of it to style it the way I want in a very, very short time in the mornings. My hair is just long and naturally straight, nothing added, no dying or perms(past or present) and I wasn't planning on getting anything done except maybe a new haircut, the last time I got layers my hair looked 5 times thinner than it already is, but the style i want calls for a few layers. I thought volume might help. I don't know if my shampoo and conditioner is good or bad but i don't wash my hair every day either. How can I add a little volume so at least the tips of my ears don't peek out every day?

Kate Swanson (author) from Sydney on June 28, 2011:

@Schaeff4prez, if your hair is very fine then you're much better off with a short cut, because long hair (below chin length) pulls your hair down. However, if (like me) you're attached to long hair, you can ask for a choppy "lob". That's a long bob but the lower part of the hair is chopped into.

Schaeff4prez on June 28, 2011:

Thanks for all of these tips!! By I was wondering if anyone knew what a girl with fine hair could do to make it different than the every day straight? Like what kin of hair cut can I get that I can still put it in a ponytail but also look great when down?

Kate Swanson (author) from Sydney on June 23, 2011:

@wowowoo, hair below your shoulders is long. The weight of the ends is pulling your hair downwards.

If you want bounce, you need to keep your hair no longer than chin-length - anything else is too heavy for fine hair.

I'm pretty sure Suave shampoo has silicone in it to make your hair smooth - but it will also weigh your hair down and make it flatter, like Pantene. See if you can get Shielo from their website, it's cheaper and you don't need to use as much as ordinary shampoo.

Fettförbränning on June 23, 2011:

What a great guide for getting volume to your hair! will defieatly try the bed tip tonight and see if it helps me with my volume (:

wowowoo on June 23, 2011:

My hair is just past my shoulders- I got it cut just a couple of months ago. I'll see if I can switch my shampoo and conditioner- I know you listed some above. Also maybe trying that Shielo Volume stuff? Although most of the time I just use the dollar store shampoo because I don't have that much money to spend on my hair. (Suave) Is that stuff bad for your hair? Another question I have is would it hurt my hair if I dyed my hair back to its original color if I wanted to get rid my highlights? I heard you needed to do some filler thing first, but before I walk into some fancy salon I'd figure I'd check with the hair expert. :)

Tbaker on May 28, 2011:

I have color-treated hair and I needed a volumizing shampoo that would give great volume for my fine hair. I used to use this one, but I switched. I used the Shielo Volume shampoo and conditioner and it is very concentrated, so you won't need alot of product (ie. "goes a long way"). The salon I go to sells this for almost $9 more than Shielo's website online, so you won't find a better deal.

Kate Swanson (author) from Sydney on May 26, 2011:

How long is your hair, wowowoo? If your hair is that fine, you may not be able to wear it long - long hair is heavy.

The other culprit may be your shampoo and conditioner. If you have a lot of build-up that will be weighing your hair down. Get a clarifying shampoo and use it. Buy a new shampoo and avoid anything with silicones or polymers. Avoid anything that claims to be "smoothing", you want something that says it won't weigh your hair down.

wowowoo on May 26, 2011:

Well, I probably should wash my hair less. Summer is coming up so I normally do wash it once every couple of days. Normally I just towel dry my hair and hop into bed without doing anything to it. That is when I get my normal, flat hair. Thanks a ton!! :)

Kate Swanson (author) from Sydney on May 25, 2011:

Hi, wowowoo - do you really have to wash your hair every single night? Washing it so often will make it more greasy. Try to wash it every second night instead - use dry shampoo on the other night if you need to.

If your hair is long enough, I mean put it up in a hair clip while it dries.

How do you dry your hair now? Do you just go to bed with it wet? How does it look in the morning?

wowowoo on May 25, 2011:

Hey, Ms. Wright. I must shower every night before bed. I have younger siblings and cannot blow dry due to noise. How should I put volume in my thin, greasy hair? I also have highlights. You've been suggesting that clipping your hair on top of your head works- how do I do that? Also, I want volume and not curls. What kind of products should I use after my shower if I am not blow drying my hair? You seem to know what you are talking about! Thanks a ton!

deadlyking on April 25, 2011:

wonderfullllllllll!!! thanks for sharing.....

Kate Swanson (author) from Sydney on March 26, 2011:

@Mommyof4, sensible coloring won't make your hair fall out!

If you do a lot of bleaching with harsh chemicals, you can get to the point where your hair starts breaking off. Take it gently and you'll be OK.

Mommyof4 on March 24, 2011:

Wonderful tips!! I have a question. I am. 35 year old caucasian woman and my hair is thinning on top and sides due to genes (female patterned hair-loss is hereditary in my family)and it's starting to get a little noticeable , anyway, I was wondering if you know if getting color would make my problem worse? I know you said coloring adds volume, but the last thing I want is it making my hair fall out. I do still have a decent amount of hair though. Any advice would be great! :)

WomanNYC on February 23, 2011:

I have tried dozens of different conditioners but the Hydrate Conditioner from Shielo Hair succeeds them all. I have found that many conditioners can leave your hair looking a little greasy and worn down, especially if you have thin hair like me. However, after using the Hydrate Vibrancy Conditioner I feel as though I have just stepped out of a hair salon to get my hair professionally treated. It always leaves my hair with more body & shine and it smells great too! You can truly tell the difference after using it just one time.

Kate Swanson (author) from Sydney on February 01, 2011:

Thanks for sharing, eilujnager. The Nak product sounds like it's worth trying!

eilujnager on February 01, 2011:

Hi there, have been experimenting since I last logged in - I find the type of hairdryer you have makes a big difference to your 'finished hair'. A direct flow straight onto hair around your brush is better than those hairdryers that have a wide piece or no piece at all on the end. Without a good h/d I end up fly away and flat, no matter the product I use. Have also discovered 'done and dusted' by Nak. Good for blonde hair like mine as it thickens it up and lets me style it and it stays. Also a beach curl spray is good - Toni and Guy make one. I still have problems, but the type of cut and the length (I have short hair) but if it is just that 'bit' too long, it is worth getting it cut for the peace of mind. I find my hair will be great for a while and then 'blahhh' for a while. I just have to live with it! Thanks for a great hub.

Kate Swanson (author) from Sydney on January 29, 2011:

@Wandajean, you sound like me! It's the weight of the long ends of your hair that pulls it down. I have quite a flat head, which makes it look worse.

Using mousse and fluff drying won't work UNLESS you keep lifting it until the hair is totally, completely, absolutely dry AND totally, completely cool. Most people stop doing it far too soon. I like to make a topknot with a clip and leave it in my hair for some time after drying, to keep it lifted till it "sets".

Layering it or cutting it even shorter will help but that sounds like it would be a shame! Have you tried the ideas I suggest - if you go to bed with it wet and loose, does it have some bounce on top?

WandaJean on January 28, 2011:

Hello all I am a new member and I was hoping someone could give me some advice, my hair is normailly long..anwhere between midback to mid butt area but now that I am 46 s greying I have it short, just above my shoulders,my hair has a mind of its own some times it is very curly and other times very wavy,depending on what I use, I normally use a mousse or a serum,I love the way my hair is and everyone else does too, my problem is it is soooo flat on the I have all this bounce,wave,curl,volume but the top lies as flat as a pancake, I have tried putting mousse on and fluff drying with my fingers but it still goes flat...anways I will stop yapping lol...just one more thing any ideas suggestions, etc, thank you in advance


Amelia on January 24, 2011:

Soooo.. I'm only 12 and all I have is hairspray and my moms mosse. I could go out and buy something for under like 5 bucks casue my mom makes me pay for everything. But my hair is just before the shoulder and in the back its only like 2 inches long and its bright red but it wont hold a curl for more than an hour, gets really oily in a day and is really flat and thin( I wanted it thin one day so i guess you could say i took a razor to it really stupid). But all my friends have this full of volume hair that just comes naturally help needed dance coming in a week.

Kate Swanson (author) from Sydney on January 19, 2011:

@FineHair, I wonder if you're using too much shampoo? If you apply too much, it won't rinse out fully and will make your scalp itchy and oily. You only need a coin-sized dollop.

Also, turn down the heat. Hot water stimulates the scalp to produce MORE oil, so have your showers as cool as you can stand them - warm water cleans just as well as hot.

Look for a mild, sulfate-free shampoo that's specifically labelled as suitable for daily use.

You could also try not using shampoo at all on alternate days - just rinse your hair well in warm water.

FineHair on January 19, 2011:

Hi Marisa. I go to the gym after work so I have to wash my hair when I get home, otherwise I get sticky stinky hair. I blow dry it sometimes and other times i just sleep with it wet. It looks good in the morning but by around 10am, its oily and flat. It almost looks like I rubbed oil in it so i usually end up tying it back. Oh and if I don't wash it for one day, my hair is so oily and my scalp gets really itchy. Any suggestions on how to manage this better? I will try clarifying shampoo every other day (just wash on the day after the gym).

Elizabeth on January 13, 2011:

Thanks Marisa for all you help and comments.

Kate Swanson (author) from Sydney on January 13, 2011:

Elizabeth, Everstrong is designed to smooth and strengthen your hair (i.e. make it less likely to break). So if split ends are your problem, Everstrong will help.

However, in general, if a shampoo makes your hair smooth, it also makes it less bouncy. The best thing is to try it for a few weeks and see how your hair reacts.

Elizabeth on January 12, 2011:

Marisa...I am using L'Oreal Everstrong (Sulfate-Free Fortify System) Bodify Shampoo and Conditioner. Do you know if this is a good product or should I use a clarifying shampoo?

Kate Swanson (author) from Sydney on January 11, 2011:

@Elizabeth, rinsing your hair is fine. Which L'Oreal product are you using? Some of the L'Oreal "volumizing" products are too heavy and weigh down the hair.

Elizabeth on January 11, 2011:

Marisa -

My hair is long and straight. I have just recently switched to using a L'Oreal shampoo/conditioner volumnizer. I don't wash my hair with shampoo/conditioner daily but I do rinse it with water. Is that ok or should I try another option?

Andrea on January 03, 2011:

This hub was an absoulte help. Thank you. You have taught me things I never knew about!!

Ah-Taisa on December 29, 2010:

im African American im going 2 try this but i think this only applys to Caucasian hair rather than both

Kate Swanson (author) from Sydney on December 28, 2010:

Kathy, I'm assuming you're not prepared to let your hair curl naturally - which is a pity, because one very nice style is to have it cut bob-style at the front, then layered into a choppy, wavy style at the back.

Otherwise, flat irons aren't that bad for your hair provided you don't have them too hot.

Kathy on December 28, 2010:

Marisa I need help I use to have long hair but got it cut to a bob style that is stacked in the back it has since grow a bit and I need to get it cut again, however i was wondering my hair is naturally curly and I am forced to flat iron my hair to keep it straight and also keep the fizz down. I heard that flat irons are bad for the hair. my hair is also thin and flat. I need a new way to style my hair so that it don't look flat or frizzy. I was hoping that you could help me


Kate Swanson (author) from Sydney on November 21, 2010:

Glad I helped, Tracey! I like the Neutrogena products, too.

Tracey on November 20, 2010:

Thanks for the tips! Most of them I had heard before but had forgotten. The clarifying shampoo made a huge difference. I used Neutrogena and also purchase an everyday shampoo by Neutrogena that promises no build up. I stopped using conditioner and styling products of any sort. I also found that you were right about hot rollers. Now I am getting compliments about my new haircut! LOL I haven't gotten my hair cut for awhile, it's just behaving better. :-)

BrandyS on October 12, 2010:

My hair was flat and my ends used to be dead most of the time.

I was referred Shielo Hair Products by a friend and I after trying it for a few weeks, I absolutely love it. Specifically, the Shielo Volume Conditioner. My hair looks more full and healthy. I used to lose two handfuls of hair in the shower and now I can barely fill up one hand. My hair is smoother and softer. It even still looks good after using the blow dryer and curling iron on it. I love the way that the conditioner leaves my hair feeling clean without stripping all of the natural oils out.

My hair isn't frizzy anymore either. On top of the way this product makes my hair look and feel, the conditioner smells great. My hair smells fresh and clean all day long.

Kate Swanson (author) from Sydney on September 20, 2010:

Cool Cookie, as I said in the article - if you've been washing your hair every day, you've over-stimulated your oil glands so yes, your hair will get oily when you cut back. However if you stick with it, it will settle down and you'll be able to wash every other day. Use a good anti-dandruff shampoo like Neutrogena or Head and Shoulders - if they don't work, you need to see a specialist as something else is wrong.

Cool Cookie on September 19, 2010:

hey,i have recently got layers in my hair, but when it dries they go all wavy (in a bad way!) but it is also really flat on the top. i have to wash my hair every day as well because i will get oily hair and really bad dandruff if i don't wash it. i want volume at the roots.. help!:)

Kate Swanson (author) from Sydney on September 14, 2010:

Alexandra, I'm glad dry shampoo works for you. My hair is almost black, and I find it's too difficult to brush every trace of the shampoo out - result, powdery-looking hair! I may try the Tresseme product, thanks.

Alexandra on September 14, 2010:

Dry shampoo is a great way to keep hair looking fresh and clean without having to wash it often! You can skip washing for 2 or 3 days and dry shampoo will make it look shiny and not oily. I suggest Tresseme Fresh Start or really any dry shampoo you prefer. It also adds body without weighing your hair down.

Aya on September 09, 2010:

I personally wash my hair, usually every day.

sometime's I wont shampoo it though, on wkend I usually wont wash it.

Because for somebody who will use, hairspray, and many, MANY other products in their hair, its just not good to keep all of that gunk in there.

Kate Swanson (author) from Sydney on September 01, 2010:

Steffi, I don't know those two products. Some thickening products can be really heavy on your hair so they can make things worse! Towel dry your hair thoroughly before you put the mousse on, and try to put it just on the roots if you can.

steffirob0 on September 01, 2010:

marisa, thanks for the reply! do you have any other tips that will help with volume? i just bought got2b thickening mousse and thickening hairspray, but don't really know how to use them. do u have any tips on how to make them work the best?

Kate Swanson (author) from Sydney on August 30, 2010:

Steffi, if your hair is thin it's unlikely anything will give you TOOO much volume!

steffirob0 on August 30, 2010:

dear Marisa Wright, Im just going into highschool, and want volume in my hair. its flat and VERY thin. i read the clip on jclips and i liked them, but i don't want soo much volume. do you have any tips for me to get volume in my hair but not soo much that i look strange in school?

Hairstyles Selin on August 01, 2010:

Someone asked help about the greasy hair and how to shampoo it.

Hair themselves cannot be oily, it is scalp oil that makes them look oily and dirty. Usually oily scalp appears during teen ages when oil glands start working extensively. Oily scalp can be recognized with tissue-paper – on the second day after shampooing put a piece of tissue-paper to your scalp. If your scalp is oily, the tissue-paper will have oily stain on it (you can easily recognize it by looking through the paper to the light). Sometimes the oily shine can appear on the hair after 5-6 hours after person shampooed. Most of the times if oily scalp, oily shine appears on the hair on the second day after person shampooed.

The rest is kinda long to write all here, so if you would like to read the rest, please follow


Research Analyst on July 26, 2010:

Adding volume to fine hair can make a huge difference in ones overall appearance and it looks beautiful too!

Kate Swanson (author) from Sydney on July 24, 2010:

KK05, different brands suit different people. I like Garnier Fructis on my hair but I know other people who hate it. Redken is an excellent brand with no plasticizers in its products.

KK05 on July 23, 2010:

Can you rec. specific brands of shampoo? I see that you don't rec. Pantene, so I'm wondering what you DO rec.?

Thanks :)

Lola on July 05, 2010:

Wow what an amazing hub, you touched on all things to help with volume, but the best way if you can afford it is to bypass all the coloring and damage to your hair by extensions. Not only can you get any color you ever want or need, but it can help with not only volume, length and style as well. Extensions are also a great way to grow out a style you may of gotten sick of or maybe you went to the wrong stylist...yikes. Any way this hub is excellent, good job.

Tin on June 20, 2010:

Hi! Can you kindly give tips on how to add volume to recently rebonded short hair? (pixie hairstyle, to be exact)

I had my rebond yesterday and I cant wait to get rid of the flatness, plus the unwanted emphasis on my round face.

Thank you very much for your time.

MsCookM on May 16, 2010:

Nice hub! I must say that this is really informative. I'm planning to try some of your tips tomorrow. :)

Nirwan Imam on May 04, 2010:

my hairs are dry and less in volume n wavy as well..!! what hsould i do...

Kathleen Lewis from Southern Michigan on April 24, 2010:

Great advice. I have thick, wavy / curly hair that I have fought with my entire life - until recently when I finally accepted it. A good cut, shampooing with a very mild shampoo, and air drying is the only thing that works for me.

Linda Todd from Charleston on April 19, 2010:

This is great information also. I have thin and fine hair. I color my hair but can't do much about the thin part. I try and I do use get and moose and use volume products. Very good hub. Thanks for sharing.

gramarye from Adelaide - Australia on April 05, 2010:

Great hub, I'm going to try some of this!

moondive from Modena,Italy on March 18, 2010:

This is very nice hub!! Thanks for posting!

Rebecca Graf from Wisconsin on March 01, 2010:

I used to not have problem with volume. Now as I get older it is becoming increasingly flat. I'll have to try this.

Kate Swanson (author) from Sydney on February 21, 2010:

Thanks swenneberg. I do think Avon products are under-rated - I haven't tried their hair products but some of their skincare stuff is very good.

swenneberg on February 21, 2010:

Hi Marisa,

I just wanted to say thank you for the advice,I really enjoyed the article. I have always had flat hair, the type that I can't really do much with it, although sometimes I don't mind. I stopped using mousse and hairsprays and gels years ago. Recently, I started selling Avon and found some really awesome hair care products to help with such problems you stated in your article. I carry stylers and treatments as well as body building shampoo and conditioners. There are many products to chose from. These products are mostly natural and undamaging to your hair. I have got a lot more life to my hair since I have started using some of these products.

I am interested in hearing your opinion, please.

Thank you for your time.

Kate Swanson (author) from Sydney on February 19, 2010:

Katelin, I have the same problem, and I fix it by pulling all my hair up and putting it in a clip on top of my head. I leave it there while I shower, put my make-up on and get dressed.

If you have very short hair, you might have to use two or three clips.

Katelin on February 19, 2010:

Hi! I have short hair, cut to about my ears, and when I wash it, it gives me volume. So I wash it every day, otherwise if I don't it gets flat. After I wash it, I blow dry my bangs completely, and blow dry my hair a little bit, but its still wet, and then I let it air dry. My hair is poofy afterwards, but then I sleep on it, and it goes completely flat. So its fine before I sleep on it, but not after. Is there anyway I can get my hair to stay somewhat puffy even when I sleep on it? I don't have time in the morning to fix it either, so if its something I have to do in the morning, It would have to be fast. Thanks for the help!

kate on February 02, 2010:

hot curlures look easy

Kate Swanson (author) from Sydney on January 21, 2010:

@need help, teasing causes tiny breaks in the hair so it's not a good thing to do it daily. Try following some of the other tips instead - and get yourself a clarifying shampoo to make sure it's not weighed down with product. I hope you're not using Pantene or some other silicone shampoo!

need help on January 20, 2010:

my hairs just natrually flat. & i pretty much etase it everyday. because its has NOOOOOOOOOO volume. it jus lays on my head. is teasing it everyday ok?

rdelp on January 15, 2010:

My sister always complains about flat hair.

theherbivorehippi from Holly, MI on January 07, 2010:

Great Hub! I agree with you about eliminating product. 'Root lifters' definitely make your hair heavier. I went through a phase where I tried every brand imaginable until I realized it was just making me more frustrated!

Kate Swanson (author) from Sydney on January 03, 2010:

Anonymous, no product will work if you use it wrongly. Some mistakes you might be making:

1. Are you using too much? That will weigh your hair down.

2. Are you putting it on when your hair's too wet? Remember, when you're at the hairdressers, they towel dry your hair, then spend half an hour cutting it, before they apply product - so your hair is already quite dry. At home, towel-dry well, then give your hair a light once-over with the blow-dryer before you apply product.

3. Are you drying your hair thoroughly and setting it with cool air? No matter how much product you use, if you stop styling it while it's still damp, the volume will fall out.

Anonymous on January 03, 2010:

Hey, ive read your post and its really good

However, do you know how to used the Aussie volume + conditioning mousse. because i use it, and it doesn't help my hair

but all the celebs use it

please help if you can


Winterhair on December 17, 2009:

I am looking for a good hair straightener that won't extremely damage my hair and will straighten well. I am currently using a cheap Durabrand one from WalMart and it makes my hair straight but really damages it and makes it frizzy. If anyone knows of a good hair straightener that I could get then that would be great :)