8 Ways to Get More Volume in Your Hair

If there’s one person who’s been blessed with flat, thin, fine, limp hair, it’s me – how I wish I had hair like the girl in the photo! And trust me, I’ve heard and read it all when it comes to trying to lift that flatness and put some hair volume into it.  Here, in no particular order, all the things I’ve tried, as well as all the tips that I could possibly find on giving your hair more volume.

1. Change your parting

Great for those with flat hair. It is a quick, easy tip that gives a temporary lift to flat hair.

2. The right haircut

Well placed layers, styles cut with a blunt end, and bobs all give volume to fine, thin hair. What to avoid: Hair cuts and styles that are heavily layered, or razor cuts. This was a big “a-ha” moment for me – once I stopped layering my hair and just went for a straight-across, blunt cut, my hair looked much, much thicker. I’m never getting layers again! (For more info about finding the right haircut, check out my post, Which Hairstyle Suits Me? How to Find Your Best Hairstyle.)

3. Volumizing Hair products

Try volumizing hair products. If you have colored your hair though, beware – some formulas can strip and fade the color. Also, because they are giving volume and are formulated not to weigh hair down, it does not contain so many conditiong agents. I remember using a volumizing shampoo from L’Oreal Professional and while it was great, my hair was quite dry – which gave it a fluffy, volumizing effect. A good leave-in conditioner that doesn’t weigh down hair is Redken Extreme Anti-Snap.

4. Blow-drying tricks

A tip all the pros use is to blow dry your hair upside down – lifting up the roots and therefore added volume. Also, apply voluming mousse and blow dry your crown area to get lift for flat hair. Blow dry hair by lifting each section to the sky, directing the hairdryer on your scalp. What to avoid: Heavy conditioners, hairsprays and styling products that will just weigh your hair down after all your hard work.

5. Dry shampoo

Batiste Dry Shampoos

Here’s a general hair tip: Don’t wash it everyday! Use dry shampoos for the days you don’t wash your hair – it revives greasy hair and gives slight volume. It really works – it’s my “must have” hair products, and I really like the ones by Batiste.

6. Teasing/ Backcombing

Backcombing your hair at the crown and smoothing some hair over it will lift hair and not make it so flat. Beware though – backcombing is very damaging.

7. Coloring

Coloring your hair instantly makes hair look thicker – particularly darker colors – and well placed high-lights and low-lights can give the illusion of dimension.

8. Perms

A semi-permanent, hassle free way to get volume is just to have a perm. You will save a lot on blow drying and products. A root perm will give lift to flat hair, a body perm will give you all around waves, so your hair will have instantly more body and volume. Unfortunately, perms are very damaging to your hair – it is best that you haven’t had any prior chemical treatments, and that your hair is relatively healthy. I would say that perms are the last straw, as it really is damaging. I’ve seen both extremes of perms – some were horrible (like mine when I was 15, updated: and my recent digital hair perm disaster) but some were really good and didn’t seem to damage at all (my best friend). So really think about it, and please get a good stylist that will do a proper job.

… That’s all from me. Safe to say I’ve tried them all, and my fail proof favorite is a perm, a blunt haircut and dry shampoo. What do you do to get volume in your hair? If you have any more tips I’d love to hear. :)

31 Responses to “8 Ways to Get More Volume in Your Hair”

  • Great tips for getting volume for our hair. I find that the only ‘trick’ that works for me is to have a root perm, but I have to agree with you that perming is quite damaging to the hair. I tried changing the parting, that helps too, but I find that that’s just for a day though, the next day, my hair falls ‘flat’ again!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • I agree, perming is the easiest to do but the damage is unbelievable! I can’t believe I used to have some ghastly perms when I was younger – great for volume but I looked a little bit electrocuted :P

    If it goes flat again, you can change it to the other side the next day, and just keep flipping sides haha :P

  • Johnson’s baby shampoo! This is a new discovery. I know I have heard people reccommend it before so I gave it a try a day ago. Very light, very soft results. only used it once though so I will have to see for sure with longer use, but so far so good. Light conditioner very important, currently not using one, mine run out but it has been fine, will research a new one shortly.

    I have found my perfect regime for my hair finally! It does mean being gentle as it is easily damaged- although I have tried perms and colours my personal opinion after much experience is to work with your natural state of hair!.. I use the Redken Extreme Anti-Split as Renee has recommended (she recommended it to me a year ago, it is amazing) on towel dried hair, then I blow dry my hair with a large Head Jog Ceramic brush, and use Bumble and Bumble Surf and Turf Spray and finish with a tiny amount of Pantene Volume Hairspray! I have the finest hair and it is currently badly cut, way too much layering, thankfully finding the right regime has made it very liveable but it is a 15 minute process daily.

    Advice: stay far far away from the thinning scissors! This I have known since I was 13 but being too trusting.has let me down a few times. Spending more on a haircut is worth it if you trust a hairdresser. I had my last cut from a hairdresser I didn’t know because I couldn’t get hold of the dream hairdresser that I found the time before. Sad results. Getting a good cut makes the world of difference. Needless to say I hope to stay with the hairdresser I love so much for as long as possible!! Anyone who is looking for a hairdresser in London let me know.

    All the best to everyone struggling with fine hair, its all about getting the regime right. It has taken me a long time too. Try recomendations from others that works for them and find whats best for you. Everyone’s hair is different.

    • Hey Christine!! I have really thin, fine flat hair and I refuse to have it cut short all the time because I love having long hair, I was wondering even though it’s been 2 years since you posted, what hairdresser in London you recommend? I’m desperate for a decent one!!

      • Hi, I have thin, fine hair as well and I was born with it. Anyway, I refused to have shoulder-length hair because I’m sick of it and I’ve decided to grow it out.

        I have long hair currently, even though it’s still thin, my friends said it wasn’t obvious. (they were so shocked when I showed them just how thin my hair was) Basically I always sweep my hair to one side and lay it in front of my shoulders, that way it actually creates an illusion.

        Plus, I’ve cut my hair such that my fringe looks thick. I don’t know how my hairstylist does it but even though it is thin, it looks thick. So basically my hair from the front appears thick. I don’t use any volumizing products though.

  • I am too, blessed with the most flat hair! but i’ve found a couple products that help it look less lifeless.
    Christine (above comment) is on to something! Johnson’s baby shampoo has worked wonders on my fine, dry hair! It leaves it soft, shiny and with a bit of lift!
    Also, Got2b Fat-tastic thickening mouse!! It is truly AMAZING!!! i bought it thinking, “i’ll try it out…. but 9 times out of ten it will not work!” but i was sooo wrong!!! i use just a quarter size amount and blow dry my hair up-side down, and it lifts my roots sky-high and thickens my flat, thin hair!!!

  • My hair was flat and my ends used to be dead most of the time.

    I was referred Shielo Hair Products by a friend and I after trying it for a few weeks, I absolutely love it. Specifically, the Shielo Volume Conditioner. My hair looks more full and healthy. I used to lose two handfulls of hair in the shower and now I can barely fill up one hand. My hair is smoother and softer. It even still looks good after using the blow dryer and curling iron on it. I love the way that the conditioner leaves my hair feeling clean without stripping all of the natural oils out.

    My hair isn’t frizzy anymore either. On top of the way this product makes my hair look and feel, the conditioner smells great. My hair smells fresh and clean all day long.

  • Ohh how ive wished for less hair! I have hair for 3 people- not joking. Anyway,a look i love is that vintage 30s glamor and I was able to recreate it, with amazing results- big beautiful bouncy movie star (some said porn star) hair. But since I have a lot of hair the process takes HOURS. I think this would work great for you. the steps are 1: buy curlers and setting lotion- best product is Lotta Body* found at any Sallys Beauty. The ingredients are good for your hair. Step 2: Mix the setting lotion solution (everybody has their own combo they like, I prefer 70% setting lotion with 30% water). If this is something you decide to do often, make sure you mix the product with quality water like drinking water so minerals,etc from tap water dont build up in your hair. Step 3: comb the product throughout your hair evenly, and then begins the hard part ;) Now you pin curl your hair or use rollers. There are many many methods and youll need to google away. Youtube videos help. Youll learn a ton through trial and error. after the curls/pins are set, either sleep on it wit a silk night cap on your head or blow dry it, though i prefer the previous method. If you dont have a lot of hair, this is a wonderful way to do your hair. * Lotta body can be used for just about any type of hair and style. If you want to get rid of frizzies before they start just squirt some mixed solution in your hand and spread it through your hair. After straightening my hair with flat iron, I like running a bit on top to get rid of flyaways. this product is 200 xs better for your hair than gel/mouse/hairspray,etc Hope this helps

    – one jealously thick haired girl.

  • I used to have a very nice long volumizing hair, till i highlited , i want it 2 have blond hait! and now its all falling down and damaged!! any tips to get my hait back?! i tried all conditionners and creams… and how to have it blond without damaging it ?! :s

    • Stay away from heat. Let is hair dry 80 percent then dry/style a little with your dryer. Don’t try it to death. It’s a ten sulfate free shampoo and conditioner. I put their mask on my ends and leave it in.

  • Hi ladies!
    Just happened to read this post as I googled ‘how to volumize hair’.
    Personally, I’ve really little and thin hair. I agree that perming really do works! But previously I’ve tried perming (the type the curls only the bottom part of my hair) and now the perms sort of died off already and I would like to do it again. However, I’m really confused at which type of perm would really volumized my hair and look good! Like what I’ve done before? Or the type where hair is being permed from top to bottom?

    Really hope someone would be able to give me some useful advices!(: thanks alot girls!

  • try rubbing a bit of baby powder on you hair upside down…actually workss, and having wavey hair makes my hair look a lot les flat and thin….

  • Had a terrible experience after perming my hair have since left it. Best thing to do is crimping hair in layers stays till the next wash. Also blow dring them upside down helps but lasts for few hours.

  • Loving the post renee! And if u didn’t know I change my twitter to @shekinn! :)

  • hi again…
    personally i have very thick hair so i have never had a problem with volume. However, i do know a great deal of pple who do and i have found out there is only ONE way to get very thick hair (but healthy, aka without damaging it) and that is…. (now dun be scared.. and i am serious..)

    after u shampoo ur hair (just normal shampoo)… wash ur hair with cold beer!! one small can of cold alcoholic beer (very cheap ones work great..)
    and then just massage it into ur hair (so add the beer little by little and massage) and then once its all used up and really worked into ur roots, just rinse it with warm water (better if its a bit cold) and then come out and dry ur hair as usual.. no need to blowdry or anything actually.. and it gives volume like u wouldnt believe!!!!

    hope this helps ;) happy new yr ;)


  • After many years of trying thousands of different products, i have finally found the right products that work best for my hair and making it volumised. I use Bedhead superstar thick massive hair shampoo and conditioner and use oriflame hairx volume boost shampoo too. I then put Umberto Giannini Sex bomb massive mousse on my hair and rub it all in then put oriflame hairx volume boost leave in conditioner on, brush through my hair then blow dry it with my hair upside down. thats what works best for my hair :) and it leaves it very soft and shiny too!!

  • used to have no problems getting root lift and body in my hair , recently it is limp and flat could you help

  • I’ve got the exact same problem as yours! Just that mine’s probably more serious than yours i guess. I was born with fine, thin, limp hair, and what’s more, realllly thin till i always tell stylists “I’ve been balding since the day i was born.” I guess the way to alleviate that is to keep our hair short? Like, shoulder length at most. And there are days I just dont wanna use the hair dryer cuz its really bad to do it everyday, and when i get lazy on some days. What I do is I try to use my fingers and scramble scrunch my hair when it’s semi-dried. (Like halfway through the drying process. lol) Just a little drying tip on days you’re too tired to face the dryers. :P Volumizing shampoo is essential of course! :) And yes, perm does help too! :)

  • It sounds funny but stand up side down and hair dry your hair after you’ve washed it. It think it works shoulder length hair…slightly longer or shorter than that as well. :)

  • I have to say your hair doesn’t look bad at all… I am also blessed with fine and thin hair… not sure why, these days they kept leaving me too… maybe I cursed too much… I tried everything, i mean everything I can… Just had it cut 2 weeks ago to get rid of the split ends, I thought it won’t fall that much, but still continue. Perm does work sometimes, but it make your hair fall too. also got so dry. But I do think shorter hair looks better on me than longer hair in terms of showing volume.

  • Here’s what I do-
    Once my hair is about 50% dry (after shower), I brush out my hair and then take my fingers and just kinda scratch my head all over the roots. It helps poof my hair, I discovered it once when my head itched :)
    Good luck!

    • Ha! This is SO awesome. I’m definitely gonna try it, thanks.

      Oh – I’ve found that if I tie my hair up in a bun for a couple of hours, and then I remove it, I get crazy volume. My mom’s friend goes to sleep in a very high bun and the next day she has tons of height on her crown.

  • Hi Renee, hello, I am Connie Ang, Founder and Principal Image Consultant of Defining My Style Image Consultancy. Want to say that I like your beauty blog lots! For increasing hair volume, I often tell my clients to blow dry their semi-wet hair head down, focusing the heat on the back hair. This trick works wonder and instantly gives hair much volume when it is completely dry. A good volumising shampoo which I often recommend is Keratase Volumising Shampoo (for fine hair; green bottle). Most volumising shampoos tend to be on the drier side but this Keratase shampoo cleans the hair gently but very effectively. Hair does not feel ‘weighed down’ after the wash but clean, soft and light. The light and bouncy feel is an essential trait of hair that is volumised.

    • Hi Connie, thank you so much for your tips! I really appreciate it. I so agree that most volumizing shampoos are on the drying side, I’ve used a few and they’ve really dried up my hair (I think their logic is that it is stripped of all moisture which weighs hair down, so it makes hair as “light” as possible and perhaps look a little more fluffly.) Thanks for your product recommendation, I’d have to look out for it! :D

  • hi,my hair is very dry and lot of hairfall when i wash my hair and apply comb on it. I am very sad when i look, my hair is now only 30%. What can i do for my hair? Pleace tell me for god say.

  • hi, my hair is so dry and lot of hair fall. Now my hair volume is only 30%. Pleace say, how can i get much hair volume?

  • Use quality products… from your brush to your flat iron to your shampoo. What has helped me a lot is buying a top quality hair brush – Maison Pearson, and a professional flat iron – GHD Professional Gold Series. I don’t use any products on my hair and use all natural Trader Joe’s or Lush shampoo and conditioner (never two in one). My next purchase will be a GHD hair dryer (I have Revlon right now). I also blow dry my hair upside down and it really helps a lot.

  • these were great tips and i have done the bow drying trick a while ago and i totally forgot about it and then now the blow dryer and all these other tips are soooooooooo true! thank you so much!

  • Fine-haired and quite scared

    Hello everyone!
    Thought I would share my woes and my tips for overcoming them!
    I was born with fine straight hair… And have battled it from the day I was born
    (okay, I’m being dramatic). But let me tell you, I have struggles with it for as long
    as I can remember. Anyways, the things that have worked best for me are these:
    1. Blow-dry upside down with mouse and heat protecting spray
    2. Before going to bed, putting my hair up in 4 buns all over my head( got CRAZY volume, but the waves may be a bit messy; just play around with it)
    3. Going to the beach and getting salt water in my hair:) haha it really does add tons of volume! A bit damaging though. For a less expensive alternative, add a teaspoon of salt to 3/4 cup water with a couple drops of alcohol and spray on roots when you need a pick-me-up, literally. Probably damaging, but then again, so are all the store bought products that work ( except for natural brands without parabens, sulfates, alcohol, and other unpronounceable words).

    This summer my mom suggested I get a body wave perm. I had been toying with the idea but didnt want to commit to that and damage my unprocessed hair. But then I thought, what could be worse than now? So I did it. Being the thrifty ppl we are, we went to a rather inexpensive place and the result was…. Not very good. For the first week or so it was okay but whether it was that the lay blows eyed my hair right afterwards or that my hair was so thin, but it didn’t take very well. So now my hair is damaged and doesn’t look that good either( unless I curl or flatiron). Great, right? Now I miss what I had.
    Needless to say , be really careful when considering a perm.
    Hope this helps!

  • I have short, color processed hair and can’t go a day without washing it because it is sticking up all over the place when I get up in the morning. For you, I would recommend the Shielo Volume Shampoo. Its EXCELLENT at protecting the colored hair, and it has worked great to keep the volume in my hair without adding any build up.

  • Thanks !!! I moved from south Florida to

    South Texas and my hsir stylist is giving me a root permformushortnob at 0900 on

    At 0900!!!i have short no needs trimming and staking more in back does she give me the cut before or after perm !!?thanks

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