As it turns out, there are a variety of different hair volume products and styling tricks you can use to transform hair from thin and limp to voluminous and full of body. From trying a new hair volume spray to switching up your styling habits, there’s a solution for just about everyone. Want to learn how to quickly and easily add more hair volume to your gorgeous locks? We’ve got you covered.
Since we’re going to be talking a lot about various hair volume products, like hair volume sprays and serums, it might be helpful to know a thing or two about how they actually work. Continue reading to learn everything you should know about hair volume products.
How Do Hair Volume Products Work?
So how do all of those hair volume products on the market actually work to create the effect you’re looking for? Well, it all boils down to chemistry and knowing which volume-boosting ingredients to mix together to create the best results.
The way most hair volume products work is by creating a sort of ‘net’ of nourishment around each strand of hair. This net helps strands look and feel thicker by addressing the common problems associated with limp, fine hair, like oil and sebum buildup, dryness and a weak cortex within your hair’s shaft.
Additionally, hair volume products like volumizing sprays create extra hold to actually lift your hair away from the scalp, which helps create the appearance of more hair volume. Certain types of hair volume sprays also include special ingredients that give hair a cationic charge— simply put, that charge allows the hair to achieve even more lift and weightlessness.
What Should a Good Hair Volume Spray Contain?
Hair volume sprays come in many shapes. Generally speaking, there are two types of hair volume sprays:
- Non-Aerosol hairsprays based on natural components with bigger particles and medium hold. A non-aerosol hairspray is packaged as a liquid, usually in a bottle with pump-sprayer.
- Aerosol hairsprays based on synthetic polymers or plasticizing agents with smaller particles and strong hold. An aerosol hairspray is packaged in a container under pressure and a release valve is used to emit the pressurised suspension into the air in a mist propelled by said gas.
For many years, aerosol hairsprays were the standard but in the last couple of years, non-aerosols have gained popularity, in large part because they don't harm the environment in the way traditional aerosol hairsprays do due to the content of chlorofluorocarbons.
If you really care about your hair's health, then it wouldn't be a surprise for you that I generally recommend you to avoid aerosol hair sprays. It's a good rule of thumb. Your hair will thank you later.
When looking for a good hair volume spray (or any good hair volume product really!), you should check to see just how many of these types of key ingredients they contain. The better blend of ingredients, the more hair volume you’ll achieve.
Let’s take a quick look at some of the most important ingredient types a hair volume spray can have.
Ingredients that fall into the category of humectants, such as xylitylglucoside, anhydroxylitol, glucose, glycerin, betaine, and hydrolyzed vegetable protein, can be super valuable additions to a volumizing spray.
Humectants are important because they help hair retain moisture, which can aid in boosting hair volume. They can be sugar-based like glucose or glycerin, or sometimes plant-based as well. Overall, humectants allow hair to absorb more moisture, which is critical for reducing dryness, frizz and limp strands. These should be one of the top-listed ingredients in any hair volume spray you find.
2. Copolymer and Polymers
Copolymer and other polymers like VP/VA copolymer and xanthan gum are where a good hair volume spray gets its signature ‘hold factor’. These compounds block hair from absorbing excess moisture, which helps it hold its style. When used properly, they can lift hair away from the scalp, resulting in more overall hair volume.
Being that polymers are a synthetic ingredient derived from petroleum, it’s important to make sure the volumizing spray you pick has plenty of other natural, nourishing ingredients to keep your hair looking and feeling healthy and strong. The dosage of polymers are very different from hair volume sprays. Water-based hair volume sprays typically contain a smaller amount compared to alcohol-based sprays.
3. Scalp-Supporting Ingredients
Ingredients like aloe vera leaf juice, açai and spearmint leaf oil play a critical part in maintaining proper scalp health, which in turn boosts hair volume. When you’re looking for a new volumizing spray, check the ingredients list for naturally-derived additions like açai, aloe vera and others to make sure the product is good for your scalp too.
Having a healthy scalp isn’t just important for your hair’s overall health, it also plays a big role in increasing your natural hair volume. When you use a lot of products, they tend to build up on your scalp, which in turn weighs hair down. Taking proper care of your scalp reduces this buildup, resulting in shinier, bouncier hair.
What Other Types of Products Can Boost Hair Volume?
In addition to using a hair volume spray, there are other hair volume products you can experiment with. Here are some of the most common options you’ll find.
Foams and mousses are popular choices for adding weightless volume to hair. To apply, simply scrunch a dime-sized amount into towel-dried hair after washing. Dry your hair upside down for best results.
When used in conjunction with volumizing mousses, a volumizing spray adds even more ‘oomph’ to thin, flat strands. Like we mentioned before, just make sure the hair volume spray you choose contains a good mix of those key ingredients.
While it may seem counterintuitive that a hair oil could help lift thin strands, the opposite is true! Hair oils with nourishing ingredients like apricot kernel oil and peppermint oil can improve your hair’s overall health and texture, promoting a healthier scalp and happier, bouncier hair.
When applying hair oils, the trick is to focus the product mainly on your ends and mids. Applying too much oil around the top of your head and roots can end up weighing strands down, which is exactly the opposite of what you want.
Similar to hair oils, certain hair serums can help you achieve more hair volume in just a few minutes. Serums work by delivering highly effective, specialized ingredients that absorb directly into your hair and scalp for maximum benefits. There’s a hair serum out there for any kind of hair problem or issue, so when you’re scoping out new products, look for serums that specifically target fine hair. Try it alongside your favourite volumizing spray!
How to Achieve More Hair Volume in 5 Minutes or Less
In addition to using a volumizing spray or other hair volume products to get that lift you’re looking for, there are a few styling tips and tricks to keep in mind as well.
Lift Up Your Roots
First of all, if you’re drying your hair from the top down, you’re just asking for flat strands. After washing and applying all your favourite products, flip your head upside down, apply a volumizing spray, and then blow dry your hair. Blow drying your hair upside down creates a natural lift to your hair’s roots, giving you that extra bit of hair volume that will last all day. If you want to go for a more natural look, let nature take its course and air dry your hair. Plus, by air drying your hair you're helping prevent the negative effects of heat damage.
Switch Your Part from Time to Time
Here’s another hair volume trick you might not have heard of before: If you consistently style hair on just one side, try switching your part. When you constantly wear your hair in the same part, it ‘trains’ the hair to lay flatter. By switching up your part from time to time, you’ll be introducing some new volume and lift to your roots. Try it out!
Tease Your Hair
Teasing your hair is one of the oldest hair volume tricks in the book. Aggressive or excessive teasing can actually damage your hair, so be gentle. Start with slowly backcombing sections of your hair starting at the roots, and gently brush down for a cute, volumized look.
Finish Off with Hairspray
After you’ve blow-dried and styled your hair to your liking, coating everything down with a spritz of hairspray can help lock volume in all day. For extra hold and volume, gently flip your hair upside down and spray hairspray from the roots down to the ends.
Looking for Longer Lasting Hair Volume? Try These Hair Care Tips:
1. Start With the Scalp
A healthy head of hair always starts with the scalp. Make sure your scalp is in tip-top shape by using scalp-friendly products that nourish the hair from root to tip. It’s also a good idea to remove buildup about once every week or so. You can do this by using a gentle scalp scrub to buff away excess product buildup and dead skin.
2. Try Double Shampooing
Another way to prevent strands from getting weighed down by excess oil and buildup is by double shampooing. It’s exactly what it sounds like! Simply wash your hair twice (with a SLS sulphate-free shampoo, please), massaging your scalp gently with your fingertips to remove any stubborn dirt or oil.
3. Use the Right Hair Brush
Using the wrong brush on wet hair causes unnecessary damage and makes strands appear lifeless and limp. That’s why it’s so important to use the proper kind of hairbrush on wet or damp hair. Look for wet brushes with soft bristles that won’t pull or tug on vulnerable wet hair.
4. Change Up Your Pillowcase
Did you know you can damage your hair while you sleep? It’s true. Most pillowcases are made of cotton, which can be harsh on your hair and cause breakage or frizz as well as greasy hair that leads to flat hair. To keep your hair healthy even while you sleep, try switching up your cotton pillowcase for one made from bamboo.