Six steps to volume: the definitive guide to combat thin hair


Trying to bestow Victoria’s-Secret-level-volume to hair that is being anything but cooperative would be a test for even the most patient among us. The irony of trying to get volume and instead just weighing your hair down even more is not lost on us, so here is the definitive, step-by-step guide to get you the big, beautiful hair you deserve. 

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Step one: The deep clean

When you want extra volume, you have to make sure you’re using a shampoo that is going to give your hair a thorough clean. Clarifying shampoos are especially good for this as they rid your hair of all the build-up from hairsprays, oils and dry shampoo. Once your hair is properly clean, it will feel much lighter and it will be easier to build volume as it’s not being weighed down by product or oil residue. A good exfoliating shampoo like Aveda Invati Exfoliating Shampoo will also gently unclog pores, creating the perfect foundation for thicker hair. Hot tip: even when using a clarifying or exfoliating shampoo, it’s still essential to shampoo twice: the first time for about 30 seconds to rinse out the superficial layer of build-up, and then a second time for about two minutes, to give your hair and scalp a deeper clean. Especially if you’re like me and use dry shampoo to stretch out the time between washes. 

bh loves: Aveda Invati Advanced™ Exfoliating Shampoo, Nu Skin® Clarifying Shampoo, Hask Purifying Shampoo – Charcoal with Citrus Oil

Step two: The hair treatment

After you’ve shampooed, I would recommend skipping regular conditioner altogether and reaching straight for a deep conditioning treatment. While it may seem that this would be counterproductive as treatments can be known to weigh your hair down, if you choose the right one you will be able to build big volume. Well-taken-care-of hair will be able to build volume long term as it will decrease hair breakage, so investing in a good treatment is essential. Hot tip: If you have the time, sleep in a hair mask for extra nourishment. All you need to do is work a deep conditioner through dry or damp hair (on the ends only), put a towel over your pillow, and wash out with shampoo in the morning. You won’t even recognise that shine!

bh loves: ELEVEN Australia 3 Minute Rinse Out Repair Treatment, L’Oréal Professionnel Série Expert Absolut Repair Lipidium Masque, L’OCCITANE Aromachologie Repairing Oil

Step three: The scalp treatment  

After you’ve taken care of the lengths of your hair, it’s time to turn your attention to your scalp. Great hair starts with a great scalp, so making sure yours is in perfect conditioner promotes an environment for healthy hair to thrive. A serum like L’Oréal Professionnel Serioxyl Denser Hair Serum is formulated to help thicken hair as well as stimulate hair growth. Root sprays also give some lift to the roots of the hair, leaving it looking instantly thicker. Hot tip: After you’ve sprayed the product into your roots, flip your hair upside down and really take your time working it into your scalp, using your fingers to give your scalp a deep exfoliation and helping to work the product in at a deeper level. 

bh loves: L’Oréal Professionnel Serioxyl Denser Hair Serum, Aveda Invati Advanced™ Scalp Revitalizer.

Step four: The blow-dry 

This step is arguably the most important, and if you do it right can give even the thinnest hair a huge lift of volume. First off, grab some heat protectant and spray your hair liberally to ensure it doesn’t incur heat damage from the dryer. Now, tip your hair upside down and give your hair a blast of air from the roots, setting your dryer to a medium heat setting, as too hot may cause damage and too cool won’t create much volume. After your hair is about 80 per cent dry, flip it back and part it as you usually would. Now, grab a large, round brush and attach a narrow nozzle to your hairdryer to give your hair a more precise blow-dry. Blast hair with your blow-dryer from root to end, moving the dryer and brush vertically along hair to add some height to the lengths of your hair. Working in sections will make this easier, as you can give all your hair the special treatment. 

bh loves: Pureology Clean Volume Mousse, John Frieda Luxurious Volume Perfectly Full Mousse, TONI&GUY Heat Protection Mist, ghd Unplugged Heat Protect Spray, ELEVEN Australia Large Round Brush

Step five: The curl

The curling can be done straight after the blow-dry, but as the hair’s so clean you will need 

volume powder to give it some grip. Dust a volume powder through the roots and ends, mussing it up as you would dry shampoo. Now grab a curler, I recommend one with a large barrel like the VS Sassoon Ceramic Curler 38mm because the barrel helps you make big curls that make your hair look naturally voluminous rather than overdone. Section your hair and curl in 2-inch wide pieces, spritzing with hairspray on each individual piece. After you’ve done your whole head, leave them as tight curls for as long as you can (at a minimum, until they’ve cooled down but you can leave them for as long as you like – this will help them last longer.) After they’ve cooled down, flip your hair upside down and run your fingers through it. This will give the illusion of bigger hair, and make your hair look far thicker and more dense than it actually is. 

bh Loves: ELEVEN Australia I Want Body Volume Powder, Schwarzkopf Extra Care Push Up Volume Powder

Step six: The setting

Now you’ve completed the first five steps and have that to-die-for volume, the last thing you want is for it to go flat in a matter of hours. First things first: hair spray. I prefer a flexible hair spray, like JUSTICE Professional Workable Hairspray to avoid that crunchy, overdone look that some hairsprays can leave you with. Once you’ve hairsprayed, now all you have to worry about is the maintenance. For anyone like me who leaves a good four days between washes, a good dry shampoo is a must. The best thing about dry shampoos is that they help your hair look even more voluminous, so you’ll be able to give your hair a boost without blow drying or curling. Hot tip: Bedtime can spell the end of a great hair day for many of us, which is why a silk pillowcase is incredible for extending your style, as well as helping your hair stay healthy long term because there’s less pulling on the roots. 

bh loves: Schwarzkopf Extra Care Keratin Strength Hairspray, JUSTICE Professional Workable Hairspray, Cedel Retro Dry Shampoo for Light Hair, Johnny’s Chop Shop Power Hold Hairspray, Lilysilk Terse Silk Pillowcase

What’s your best trick for extra volume?

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