Fine-haired women don’t have an easy time of it. I envy my girlfriends who are genetically blessed with great hair. One friend I often traveled with has a thick mane of wavy hair. In the morning, all it took was for her to run her fingers through her hair and shake her curls back into place. A toss of her head, and she was good to go. Whereas I awakened with my hair flat and plastered to my head. No amount of head tossing would help.
Until the Farrah craze of the late 70s, I was pretty much unaware of the texture of my hair. It was only after I, like just about every other young woman, rushed to the salon for the feathered and layered cut. I was surprised when my hairdresser told me that the style would not work for my hair type. She did her best to create a modified version.
Fine hair, often described as silky and baby soft, is not necessarily thin hair, but it can be both, especially as we age. Composed of strands that are smaller in diameter and less porous than those of other hair types, it can get oily fast, and be easily damaged by dye and heat styling.
If you, too, have fine hair, you know the challenges that come with it. Fine hair is often difficult to style and can appear flat and limp. But, with the right products, you may be able to achieve fullness and thickness that will make your fine hair look its best.
While no product will change the texture (don’t I wish), the right products can make hair appear thicker and fuller. After years of trial and error, I have found the best products that work for me. I hope they will work for you, too. Here are some of my favorites.
One of the best ways to add volume to fine hair is to use a mousse. A good mousse will help to add body and fullness, without making it look or feel greasy. For me, the holy grail of mousse is Alterna Caviar. Having tried more brands than I can recall, I first came across Alterna about 10 years ago and knew I had found “the one.”
Now, I’m never without it in my arsenal of hair products. Marketed as a “lightweight densifying foam that thickens and strengthens hair” it does just that. And I like that it’s formulated without parabens, sulfates, and phthalates. You only need a dollop, so the product lasts a long time.
I first tried Bumble and Bumble salt spray when it was new on the market. With its salty sea air scent, it became my summer go to for that tousled beachy look. Now I use it year-round. I admit to having tried less costly salt sprays, rationalizing that “a salt spray is a salt spray,” but I was wrong.
Bumble and Bumble’s Surf Spray is by far the best, and I always return to it. I love B & B products, in general, and this is my favorite product in their line. One caveat: salt spray can be drying. So, don’t forget to deep condition.
A few squirts of this light and airy texture spray are all it takes to add some grip to my hair. With a fresh scent, the spray doesn’t leave my hair feeling stiff or sticky. There’s a good reason why it’s on the list of Allure Magazine’s 19 Best Dry Texture Sprays for Tousled, Voluminous Hair.
I alternate between this and Bumble and Bumble Thickening Dryspun Volume Texture Spray, which works equally well, though the scent (which I like) is more pronounced.
I discovered the Davines line a year ago, and although I’m sometimes reluctant to try new products, I’m glad I did. The duo is a bit on the pricey side, but worth it. I generally use the shampoo and thickening tonic in tandem. Both have a pleasant scent, and do, in fact, make my scalp feel energized, and my hair appear fuller. A review on Birdie.com described the shampoo as “an espresso for your hair as it kickstarts blood circulation in the scalp.” I couldn’t agree more.
If your hair is prone to frizz (as fine hair often is), you may want to try using a moisturizing oil. These products can tame flyaways, make hair smooth and shiny, and help prevent breakage. Aveda’s dry remedy is my favorite. All you need is a drop or two.
I alternate with Virtue’s Heal & Shine Hair Oil Duo for Dry or Damaged Hair which I was introduced to by way of a sample from Sephora. It comes in a travel size which I carry with me in my cosmetic bag. Now, humidity is my friend.
Have you tried any of these products? What are your favorite products for fine hair?
These products are not much use for ladies who do not live in the country where they are sold!
However, in reply to K.S.dyani, there are many, many products made for people with sensitive skin & scalp. I suggest you talk to a hairdresser/stylist at a reputable hair dressers.
I too have very fine and now thinning hair. I have been using aloe vera gel as a sort of mousse for my hair, it seems to keep my style in place. I found out about this because like a lot of you here, modern products just made my scalp itchy and sore. When I wash my hair with just a gentle natural shampoo, it goes really soft and fly away, but since using just a little dollop of aloe vera gel, it soothes my scalp and keeps my hair tidy.
Thanks for the tip about using aloe Vera gel, I’ll try it
Can you recommend a gel product, don’t know what to look for
Hi Linda, I am in the UK, and I use a company called “Naissance” they do all sorts, essential oils, shea butter, etc. I get a 500g tub of their ‘Aloe Vera Gel’. I find it soothes my scalp. I first started to use it when my scalp was very itchy and sore, and found it very beneficial, as I found out I was allergic to soya and had been using soya foods and products etc. Anyway, I kept using Aloe Vera Gel, as it was soothing for my head and body. Any good reputable brand will be good, just make sure it hasn’t got any additives in it, and preferably organic. Good luck in your search. 🙂
I have fine—and thin—hair. A lifelong struggle! Thanks for this article. I will check out some of these products.
I am extremely allergic to scents and many ingredients in hair products. I wish there were products made for those with sensitive skin and scalp.
I’m not sure if you will read my ‘post’. There are many hair products available for people with sensitive skin/scalp. Talk to a professional at your local hairdressing salon. Even the local pharmacist might know of suitable products. Good luck!
It seems that whatever goes on my hair makes my scalp scream n itch. 72 n still looking for hair products n wasting lots of $$$
Yes. I have the same problem. I even develop little itchy bumps on my scalp with most products. I try not to get them directly on my scalp when styling.
I get the itchy bumps on the scalp too after using certain products!
Oribe serene scalp thickening treatment solved this issue for me. I use it all the time now and just add a little mousse or other product to style. It’s pricey but lasts a long time.