Big, bouncy, full-of-life hair is always in style, but this year, it’s been a major trend on the red carpet. Even those with thin, flat hair can achieve enviable volume once they determine which volumizing product is best for them.
Celebrity hairstylist Ted Gibson explains that volumizing mousse works by expanding each strand of hair to make it visibly grow, which sounds like a science project to us. The benefit of a mousse is that it promotes light hold, texture and volume from the roots to the ends, says celebrity hairstylist Tommy Buckett.
“All hair types benefit from volumizing mousse, but for fine hair, it’s a must,” says celebrity hairstylist Kim Kimble, adding that it works best when used before blow-drying to add definition, shape and fullness. Buckett recommends using a round brush and blow-drying upward. This will achieve that coveted ’90s supermodel look.
One to try: Oribe Grandiose Hair Plumping Mousse ($39) Buckett likes this mousse, which he says promises exaggerated body and structure without the pesky crunch that sometimes comes with mousse.
Volumizing shampoo can benefit any hair texture, but Kimble says it’s especially great for those with fine, flat hair. “Volumizing shampoo adds lift and fullness to the hair. The formula thickens your hair to build the level of hair density,” she explains. In addition to creating weightless volume, it also removes excess dirt, oil and product buildup for healthier, fuller hair. It’s one of the simplest steps to employ a volumizing product because you’re already washing your hair. “Great hair and styling starts in the shower,” adds celebrity hairstylist Adir Abergel.
One to try: BondiBoost Hair Thickening Therapy Shampoo ($30) Buckett recommends this formula, which volumizes and strengthens hair.
“Volumizing spray is great for adding instant fullness, body and shape to the hair,” says Kimble. The formulas are generally well-suited for fine, thin hair because they offer a more concentrated way to add hold and texture to hair, adds Buckett. “It creates that dramatic lift from the root of the hair,” he explains. Another benefit of volumizing spray is that it will help hold a hairstyle throughout the day. Buckett notes that sprays promote a fuller, yet more stiff style than mousse.
One to try: AVEDA Volumizing Tonic ($30) This is a quick fix for those with fine-to-medium hair that want a bit more body. Ingredients such as aloe and wheat amino acids help boost volume and shine, says Buckett.
This product starts as a paste and then transforms to a cream once it’s warmed in your hands, says Buckett. “You then apply it to your roots, and as it dries, it will turn into a powder to absorb oil, give texture and add height,” he explains. “Volumizing paste makes thin hair look fuller and healthier. The paste is light, yet able to add a bunch of volume to any hair type,” adds Kimble, who stresses that no other products she’s tried deliver the same volume that pastes do.
One to try: R+Co Mannequin Styling Paste ($31) Kimble says this formula is one of her favorite volumizing products. It gets the job done without making the hair too stiff or leaving behind a white residue.
“Volumizing serum nourishes and thickens hair without weighing it down, as well as provides texture and hold to the hair,” says Kimble. It’s great for both curly and straight hair: Kimble notes that it helps curls look smooth and natural, and for straight hair, it promotes a sleek, brilliant appearance.
One to try: Kérastase Initialiste Strengthening & Volumizing Advanced Scalp & Hair Serum ($58) This serum helps build volume while you sleep, says Gibson. “It also helps condition the scalp and soothe the hair follicles.” Apply it to towel-dried hair and let it work its magic.
“Volumizing powder is applied to dry hair at the root to add volume, lift and texture to the hair,” says Buckett. It can come in a shake-on or spray format, and it’s great for those with fine, limp hair. Powder is one of the easier volumizing products to work with and apply, notes Gibson. According to Abergel, another benefit is that it leaves the hair texture super malleable for styling.
“The more powder you put in your hair, the bigger the volume, and it doesn’t even need teasing or a blowdryer,” says Kimble. “Not only does this product create volume, but it also helps extend the life of styled hair and keep updos intact. Volumizing powder works like dry shampoo, but it just gives hair a little more volume.” Abergel says a little goes a long way.
One to try: David Mallett Volume Powder ($42) For a shake-on powder, Buckett says David Mallet’s is his favorite one to work with. Bonus, it also has a delightful green tea scent.