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The battle of how to make fine hair look thicker has been going on since the dawn of time, and I’m here to help you win the war. This might sound just a bit dramatic, but as most know, those with fine, seemingly lifeless hair know this is a serious struggle—and rarely do we ever come out on top. Fortunately, with a decent amount of willpower and a few key products, there are plenty of beginner-friendly ways to get the thicker, super-full, and bouncy strands of your dreams.

Whether a Matilda Djerf blowout is your idea of serious body or you simply want to up the volume for a special occasion, here are the habits well worth mastering so you can see (and feel) results sooner than later. Some are a little old school, but all of them are almost impossible to mess up.

1. Volume Begins With Cleansing

Though root-lifting products are almost guaranteed to uplift flat strands, getting longer-lasting results requires going beyond your styling routine. And by beyond, I mean making smarter choices about the type of shampoo you use. Generally speaking, you should opt for a more invigorating shampoo that will really get the follicles on your scalp to perk up.

Ouai Fine Hair Shampoo


In the case of fine hair, anything with volumizing benefits will suit your hair best and make the job of your mousses, texturizing sprays, and curling irons a whole lot easier. To that same point, a lot of volumizing shampoos may not have ingredients whose benefits are tied directly to adding volume; some simply cleanse the hair without adding weight. So products made with heavier nutrients, like butters and oils should be avoided.

2. Use a Lightweight Conditioner

To that same point, conditioners that claim to have “hydrating” or “smoothing” benefits on the bottle most likely have oils in them that will keep your hair from gaining volume. Apply a more lightweight conditioner to the ends of your stands and work it up.

Kristin Ess The One Signature Conditioner 8 Foolproof Hacks for Making Fine Hair Look Full and Bouncy


3. Don’t Skimp on Blow Dry Protection 

The wash-and-go technique seems easy and effortless in theory. We assume that once our hair is dry, they’ll be soft beach waves you can run your fingers through. Instead, your fingers keep getting stuck in random knots as you attempt to detangle your sticky, matted hair on your lunch break (trust me — I’ve been there.) For this reason, blow-drying is quite literally a godsend but be sure to use the right kind of leave-in detangler.

Eva NycLift Off Volumizing + Thickening Mist

Eva NYC.

As with all other hair textures, those with finer strands should always use a heat protectant before grabbing the blowdryer. After that, be sure to flip your head over, and start blow-drying with a round brush
. After the dampness is gone, flip the hair back over, and begin to blow dry the rest in sections. Make sure to have a diffuser on the end of your dryer to separate and lift the strands as you continue to style. Lastly, giving the hair time to cool before you run out the door will also give it lasting power.

4. Roll It Up

If you have the time (and patience) for adding even more volume, you can keep it old-school and set your hair with velcro rollers
and clips after blow-drying. However, no need to set the entire head; roll the front pieces for about 20 minutes and that will be enough to deliver the illusion of thicker hair all over.

Drybar curlers


5. Tease It

Teasing the roots of your hair is another extra step that will amp up the results of your old school roller set or give your root-lifting stylers a head start. Simply take a rat tail comb or small brush, lift a pre-determined section of hair (size is up to you) and wiggle the brush/comb back and forth between the hairs closest to your scalp.

rat tail comb


6. Lift at the Root

After teasing, spritz a small amount of root lifter in your hair to make sure your roots stay up. This can be in either mousse
or spray form, but just make sure not to put in too much product.

7. Spray It

Hairsprays, the finishing look for most styles that emphasize volume, should have thickening or volumizing agents built into them. Use them to set your overall look and like your conditioner, avoid the ones that are made with heavy oils.

Briogeo Blossom & Bloom™ Ginseng + Biotin Hair Volumizing Spray


Though they may not feel as sticky, they’ll damage all of the hard work you just did to put the style in place.

8. Add Layers

In addition to your everyday styling tricks, a haircut with layers also creates texture with no effort on your part. Just remember that as with all haircuts, dedication to maintenance is required.

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