How to Add Volume to Your Fine Hair

Woman with fine hair

The hair texture you have can be classified as being fine, medium, or thick. Fine hair means that your hair strands have a small diameter, while a hair fiber with a larger diameter is considered thick. Medium hair texture falls somewhere in-between the two. Fine strands are more fragile and prone to breakage than thick hairs.

It is not uncommon for one individual to have a mixture of hair types. You may have fine hair at the ends and thicker towards the crown. You may also have hair that is thinner on one side of the head compared to the other.

You can identify your hair texture by feeling the thickness of a single strand between your fingers. If you can’t feel the hair strand, it is fine. If you can feel the hair lightly, it is medium. If it feels strong, then it is coarse. Professional hair stylists may use a calibrator to examine hair texture and to provide you with the exact results.

The Difference Between Fine Hair and Thin Hair

People often confuse hair texture with hair density. Fine hair and thin hair sound similar but they are completely different. Fine hair is determined by the thickness of an individual hair strand, while thin hair means having a low number of strands on your head. A person with fine-textured hair often has a lot of strands, while a person with coarse hair texture may have low-density (thin) hair.

Common Complaints About Fine Hair

  1. Individuals with fine hair often complain that their hair is hard to work with and may appear lifeless end frizzy. This type of hair texture often experiences difficulty in holding hairstyles, because it is light and tends to fall flat against the head.
  2. Fine hair typically lacks the body due to a very small diameter of the individual strand. Finer hair textures require more effort towards achieving volume.
  3. Fine hair is more prone to excessive oil and may fall flat and feel greasy soon after washing.
  4. Longer length fine hair easily collapses under its own weight, leaving your hairstyle looking flat and lifeless. Individuals with fine hair may find it difficult to grow their hair long.

What Causes Fine Hair?

The diameter of human hair can vary from person to person and it is determined by several factors:


It is very likely that your fine hair is a hereditary trait. If you have a family history of fine hair it is likely that genes contribute to your fine hair texture. Genetics may be an explanation for why East Asians have about 30% thicker hair fibers than Africans and 50% thicker than Europeans.


The diameter of human hair is smallest when one is an infant. As the child ages, hair becomes coarser. The study on the hair of approximately 18,000 Japanese females has shown that hair diameter increases to a maximum near the age of 40 and then it decreases. 


Insufficient protein intake can affect the diameter of hair fibers. Add proper amounts of proteins to your diet and make sure you are not suffering from vitamin and mineral deficiencies.  A lot of foods that contain essential omega-3s and minerals such as iron and zinc can lead to an increase in the thickness of your hair.

Chemicals Treatments

Chemical treatments such as dyes, perms, and bleaches can leave the cuticle open or damaged. This leads to more porous hair and gives an overall fuller appearance. Overuse of styling products can flatten the hair, making it appear limp and lifeless.

How to Wash Fine Hair?

Fine hair requires more frequent shampooing to maintain a healthy glow and bounce. Too frequent shampooing, especially if you use regular shampoos, can dry hair out and over-stimulate sebaceous gland secretions. Opt for a mild shampoo with volumizing properties.

Volume-boosting shampoos are designed to add body to fine, lifeless hair. Make sure to avoid shampoos and conditioners which contain silicone or polymers, as these ingredients coat the hair shaft, weighing the hair down.

When you shampoo your hair, make sure to use warm water and rinse thoroughly. Residual hair products may weigh your hair down, taking the volume out of it.

Use a clarifying shampoo once a week to remove product residues and other deposits that can weigh the hair down and add the extra “fatness” to fine hair. For color-treated hair, it is important to use a color-safe clarifying shampoo that will not cause hair color to fade more quickly.

It is advisable to use dry shampoo occasionally for cleaning fine hair. A good powder shampoo will soak up the oil and give the roots a lift, without adding weight to the hair.


Conditioners leave a film on the hair’s surface to help you with detangling and snags. However, overuse of conditioner can weigh down fine hair and make it appear flattered. Try to give your hair break from the conditioner to see how it responds.

If you decide to use a conditioner, always use a light-weight one and make sure that you are using it in the right way. Avoid conditioners with oils and silicones, which can cause build-up or make fine hair look oily. Focus on the mid-lengths and ends and avoid the roots. Apply the conditioner after all the shampoo has been rinsed off and make sure to thoroughly rinse out all conditioner to avoid product build-up.


Cover your freshly washed hair with a towel and wait until it’s about 90% dry before blow-drying. Keep the dryer on the lowest heat setting to avoid static caused by hot drying.

Try to dry your hair by turning your head upside down with the dryer focused on the root. This allows gravity to lift the hair from the scalp, resulting in added volume.

Wrapping the roots with a round brush while blow-drying hair will keep the roots lifted.

Styling Fine Hair

Natural hair tools are kinder to fine hair because some synthetic materials can encourage static. Natural bristle brushes help disperse natural oils evenly so your fine hair won’t get sticky or weighed down.

You need to clean your styling tools from time to time to remove residual products because the entrapped residues can dull your hair.

Use quality styling tools and set them at lower temperatures, as high heat encourages frizz and can damage delicate fine hair. Always use a heat-protectant spray on your hair before heat styling.

Use styling products in small amounts, as overdoing can weigh hair down and cause the volume to vanish quickly. For fine hair, it is not advisable to use hair waxes, gels, or heavy styling creams because these styling products weigh hair down, especially if you have long hair.

Use a mousse or lightweight styling spray to add body and bounce while providing the control you need.

Tricks for More Hair Volume

Hair Styles

Keeping your fine hair mid-length or shorter is the perfect place to start. Long, one-length hair will drag your hair down, making it look finer and flatter. To give the movement and volume to fine hair, ask your hairdresser about adding layers. Layered hairstyles will add body and create the appearance of fullness, while straight styles will emphasize fine hair texture.

Getting a trim often helps remove any damaged ends and keeps fine hair looking healthier and bouncier.

Getting a Perm

Women who have fine-textured or flat hair may rather benefit from getting a perm. Regular perms can help enhance the body and make the strands look thicker. Gentle body waves are perfect for adding volume to fine, straight hair. A root perm will give the roots a lift and make short, flat hair look fuller.

Color adds Volume to Fine Hair

Permanent hair color expands the hair shaft slightly, which makes fine, lifeless strands appear thicker and more voluminous. An experienced stylist can place color strategically to achieve a visual effect of density.

Semi-permanent and temporary hair dyes coat the hair shaft while providing you with the benefits of the added volume and body.

Bleaching makes the hair strands more porous and rougher, which gives the illusion thicker and fuller hair. Additionally, expertly applied highlights will create the illusion of greater depth and volume.

A professional hairdresser can create a more voluminous and fuller look by coloring your roots darker than the rest of your hair.

Hair Extensions for More Volume

Hair extensions may be an instant solution for individuals with fine hair. Hair extensions are specific hairpieces designed to increase the length or inject volume into the hair.

Clip-in extensions are temporary hair extensions that add volume fast and allow quick style changes. They are easy to apply and remove. Hair extensions come in a wide variety of colors and types to fit everyone’s hair.


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