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How to add volume to fine hair

7 ways to volumise hair

23 Nov 2022 • 4 min read

Fine hair, it can feel like a blessing and a curse. On one hand, you don’t have to sit drying your hair for what seems like hours and it’s pretty low maintenance, but on the other hand, it can feel pretty limp and lifeless.

Thankfully, there are many ways to inject some life into thin hair. Are you ready? Here are some of our favourite tips on how to add volume to fine hair.

In this article, we’ll run through:

  • Why hair can look flat and lifeless
  • 7 different ways to volumise hair
  • Tips for volumising different hair types
  • How to add volume to hair for men

Why does my hair look flat and lifeless?

This is most likely down to your hair type. Unless styled in a particular way, people with fine hair may find that it can look flat, limp and lifeless. This basically means that each single strand of hair has a smaller diameter and therefore looks flatter on the head.

In addition to this, as people have more strands of fine hair, there’s more oil produced. This not only means that fine hair can be oily at the roots but it is also said to transport sebum very well which can lead to a heavy, limp look.1

7 ways to volumise hair

Fortunately, all is not lost. There are a variety of ways you can add volume to hair like this, from using particular products to blow-drying techniques.

Find out how to add volume to fine hair below:

  1. Make friends with dry shampoo

We’re sure you’ve already been acquainted with the life-saver that is dry shampoo, but did you know it could pump up the volume in your hair as well as soak up all that grease?

The ‘build up’ will create volume in your hair, just make sure you’re using the right colour for your hair.

You can make your own dry shampoo and use natural ingredients to match it up to your natural colour, too!

Pro tip: Instead of spraying it on your roots and brushing it out straight away, leave it for a few minutes and then gently massage it in without brushing it away.

  1. Volume blow-dry technique

One of the beauties of fine hair is that it doesn’t usually end up in a giant mess if you let it dry naturally.

On the contrary, it normally dries straight and smooth, but ultimately quite flat. That’s where blow-drying comes in to save the day – just make sure you’re doing it right.

Pro tip: We recommend putting down the round brush and ‘rough drying’ your hair using your hands and tipping your hair forward for the majority of your blow dry. Then use a brush for the last few seconds to smooth the ends and soften the style.

  1. Style it out

No matter what you do to some styles (hello straight partings!) they will end up emphasising how fine your hair is. So to avoid making your hair look flatter, here are some pointers:

  • Try a side or zig-zag parting to give a little more life to your hair. This helps to give the appearance of volume by showing less of your scalp.
  • Add some colour – highlights, low lights and multiple colours can give your hair extra depth. If you choose to use bleach, this can add texture to the individual strands and therefore make it easier to add volume.
  • Use some hot rollers for voluminous curls that last all day – the heat is your friend here, but just be sure to use a heat protectant before styling.
  • Sleep in a bun – this one is great if you want to add volume and waves to your hair without using heat.
  1. Give backcombing a go

Got 5 minutes spare to add some volume to your hair? A spot of backcombing could be just the ticket if you’ve woken up with flat, lifeless hair. Here’s a quick guide on how to backcomb like a boss:

  • Section the front of your hair into two side segments and leave the back and crown loose.
  • Brush through the top section of your loose hair and pull up so it’s taut.
  • Take your comb or backcombing brush and brush the hair from around mid-length down to the roots.
  • Repeat on the remaining loose hair, making sure to keep the backcombed hair separate so you don’t end up in a big mess!
  • Then simply part your hair again and comb your hair lightly for a smooth finish.

Pro tip: Start with hair you washed at least one day before for best results as a little more oil will make it easier to style.

  1. Leave your hair longer between washes

An unfortunately common companion to fine hair is excess oil. It’s only logical to think that washing your hair every day is good for greasy hair, when in fact, it’s likely to be contributing to your oily locks!

Try reducing the amount of times you wash your hair (dry shampoo will help) and you will hopefully find your hair gradually gets less greasy and has a thicker appearance.2

Pro tip: Remember to only condition the ends of your hair too as your roots require less moisture!

  1. When you do wash, make sure you’re using the right products

What you lather onto your hair in the shower can have a huge impact on the condition and appearance of your hair.

To get the volume you want for your fine hair, it’s important that you choose a lightweight volumising shampoo that adds moisture without weighing your hair down.

We have lots to choose from here at H&B, including the highly-rated volumising Sea Magik Pink Salt Shampoo. Take a look at our full natural shampoo range to find the perfect volumising shampoo for you!

  1. Time for a trim

Whether you go for a short cut or just a trim, cutting your hair will may help it to weigh less which can help to add body and bounce.3

Not sure which style to go for? If you have fine hair, asking for a blunt cut is best as it helps to give off the impression of thickness.


  • There are a variety of different ways you can add volume to your hair, from specific products and styles to blow drying techniques and the food you eat

Tips for volumising different hair types

  1. Volume curly hair

While you may think that curly hair is naturally volumised, if you have fine hair this may not be the case.

But do not fear, as we have some top tips for volumising different hair types – including curls!

  • Clarify your curls – always struggle with flat hair at your roots? It could be a result of product build up, so it may be worth using a clarifying shampoo once or twice a week.
  • Try some mousse – not only is mousse used for defining curls, it can also be used for lifting roots and adding volume to fine curls. Just try and opt for a lightweight, alcohol-free version for the best results.
  • Use a diffuser – while air drying can work for people with thicker curls, flipping your hair upside down and using a diffuser on your hairdryer may help to add that extra bounce and volume.
  1. How to add volume to fine hair

We’ve already run through a lot of ways to volumise hair in this article, but we’ve got an extra tip for you if have particularly fine hair and you’re wondering how to get root volume.

The key to adding volume is to focus on the roots, so it may be worth using a root boosting product to add some structure and keep your style in place for longer.

Pro tip: If you do want to try a root booster, look for one that is lightweight so that it doesn’t do the opposite and weigh your hair down!

  1. How to add volume to thick hair

While thick hair is often lusted after, sometimes it can be tricky to lift some of that weight and add volume. So here’s some ways you can add volume to thick hair:

  • Focus on the ends of your hair – the opposite to finer hair, the key to adding volume to thick hair is to thin out the ends. This helps to take some of the weight from the lengths, making it easier to keep lifted from the roots.
  • Add some layers – equally, adding layers can help this too as the lengths of your hair will weigh less and hold their style better.
  1. How to add volume to oily hair

Struggle to add volume to your oily hair? Don’t worry there are a variety of ways you can give your locks a boost, try out some of these techniques for added volume:

  • Top up with dry shampoo – we’ve already mentioned this technique, but it’s a great way to keep oily hair volumised. Just top up in the middle of the day when you can feel your roots getting a little oily again.
  • Try a powder dust – a similar way to keep oil at bay and boost volume is to use a powder dust in your roots. Although try to work it in properly or you could end up looking a little dusty.
  • Use the right kind of brush – opt for one with faux boar bristles to distribute the oil evenly.6

How to add volume to hair for men

While men can apply some of the tips and techniques we’ve mentioned already, there are some additional ways you can add volume. These include:7

  • Sea salt spray – great for zapping moisture, salt spray can help men get that natural beach day look with plenty of volume as the lack of moisture makes it easier to style.
  • Hair putty or wax – another great way to add volume to men’s hair is to try using a hair putty or wax as it helps to keep tousled locks in place and without falling flat after an hour.

Handpicked content: Benefits of using sea salt spray

The final say

If you’re tired of having limp, lifeless hair, there are a range of different techniques you can try to give your locks the boost of volume they need.

Whether you decide to go for the chop or try using some root booster, we hope this has given you some inspiration on how to add volume to fine hair.

Your hair will be feeling its bouncy best in no time!

The advice in this article is for information only and should not replace medical care. Please check with your GP or healthcare professional before trying any supplements, treatments or remedies. Food supplements must not be used as a substitute for a varied and balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle.

Last updated: 18 June 2021


Manisha Taggar


Senior Regulatory Affairs Associate

Joined Holland & Barrett: May 2019

BSc Hons in Pharmaceutical & Cosmetic Science

Manisha started her career at a Cosmetics distributor as a Regulatory Technologist followed by a Regulatory Affairs Officer, ensuring the regulatory compliance of cosmetic products from colour cosmetics to skincare.

After 3 and half years in this role, Manisha joined Holland & Barrett as a Senior Regulatory Affairs Associate in 2019.

Manisha specialises in Cosmetic products, both own-label and branded lines, ensuring that these products and all relating marketing material comply to the EU Cosmetics Regulation.

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