When it comes to my hair, I’ll try anything in the name of volume. I’ve invested in the best mousses, texturizing sprays, and will dutifully wrap my blonde, fine hair up in Velcro rollers for hours. A volume-boosting product area I’ve often overlooked, however, is perhaps the most foundational of all: shampoos and conditioners. That’s why today, I’m diving deep and rounding up the best volumizing shampoos and conditioners to give your hair major body and enviable shine.
Surely the root (pun intended) of all good hair days begins in the shower. The way we lather up (sulfate-free, of course) creates the base for every styling product and choice that follows. With that theory in mind, we decided to dig into the ins and outs of shampooing and conditioning with fine hair (a type traditionally lacking in body).
Get ready for some major oomph and thoughtful, silicon-free formulas that won’t compromise the height of your newfound bounce.
Keep scrolling for everything you need to know to take your hair to new heights, minus the headache of booking a blowout.
Featured image by Riley Blanks
What is Fine Hair?
Defining hair as “fine” has to do with the diameter of individual hair strands. One strand of fine hair will feel wispy and barely there between your fingers, while coarse strands (packed with even more protein) will feel stiffer. Fine hair will often be smoother and silkier to the touch, but you won’t find nearly as much natural volume as you would with coarse or curly hair.
What’s the Difference Between Fine Hair and Thin Hair?
We tend to conflate fine hair with thin hair, but it’s possible to have a thick, full mane of fine, wispy strands—or conversely, a thin head of hair comprised of coarse, heavier strands. (As a thick-maned gal with extremely fine strands, I can attest!).
Ultimately, hair thinness or thickness is all about density. Hair fineness or coarseness refers to the diameter of the strands. Dialing in on your hair type is supremely helpful when it comes to finding the right shampoo and conditioner for you.
Do You Need to Condition Fine Hair?
Fine hair naturally feels smooth and silky, but that doesn’t mean you should skip conditioning. Coating the middle and ends of your locks with a conditioner will help keep fine strands from getting tangled (thin strands, whether curly or straight, are highly susceptible to this) and forming a dreaded, unbrushable knot.
What are the Best Product Ingredients for Fine Hair?
Finding your perfect fine hair fit can come down to just the right ingredients. Nourishing elements like vitamin B5, biotin, ginger, and hyaluronic acid are going to be winners for all hair types, but one lesser-known ingredient that can give a serious boost to fine hair is copolymer.
“This is a great ingredient to look for in products for fine hair,” Los Angeles hairstylist Ayano Jinnouchi explains. “It helps to add fullness and volume.”
Of course, knowing what ingredients to avoid is just as important when perfecting your fine hair routine. In general, it’s best to avoid things like parabens, sulfates, and silicones, but fine hair folks should especially keep an eye out. Silicones, in particular, can cause build-up because they’re not water-soluble—a major hindrance in the hunt for that enviable bounce. Fortunately, copolymer is an excellent water-soluble alternative if you enjoy the effects of silicone hair products.
Which Shampoo and Conditioners are Best for Fine Hair?
The following recommendations include both shampoo and conditioners. If a shampoo is recommended, you can feel confident about its conditioner counterpart (and vice versa), but we did want to call out a few conditioners that stand on their own when it comes to fine hair.
Oribe Hair Alchemy Strengthening Shampoo
Key Ingredient for Fine Hair: Multi-Action Hyaluronic Acid Complex for a boost of elasticity.
As a blonde, fine-haired gal myself, I took note when my hairstylist at Ceron Salon in Dallas (we really are big on volume here) noted how much she loved Oribe’s newest products. “All the fine hair girls are loving it,” she shared.
Oribe Hair Alchemy Strengthening Shampoo, $49
R+Co Dallas Biotin Thickening Shampoo
Key Ingredient(s) for Fine Hair: Biotin and Saw Palmetto Berry Extract, which adds body.
As a Dallasite, I would be allowed to find this sort of stereotypical “Texas big hair” marketing offensive, but for me, my city’s volume acumen is a point of pride.
R+Co Dallas Biotin Thickening Shampoo, $29
Briogeo Blossom & Bloom Ginseng + Biotin Volumizing Conditioner
Key Ingredient for Fine Hair: Maltodextrin (which increases the diameter of each strand).
In addition to ginseng, biotin, and maltodextrin, it’s important to note what’s not in this largely naturally-derived product: sulfates, silicones, and parabens.
Briogeo Blossom & Bloom Ginseng + Biotin Volumizing Conditioner, $26
Sisley Paris Hair Rituel Revitalizing Volumizing Shampoo with Camellia Oil
Key Ingredient for Fine Hair: Camellia oil, which won’t weigh hair down.
Whether it’s a Black Rose Cream Mask or hair care, the French luxury brand often comes with a heftier cost. However, I can attest that this particular product once brought my fine, brittle hair back from the brink—Sisley Paris earns its price tag.
Sisley Paris Hair Rituel Revitalizing Volumizing Shampoo with Camellia Oil, $83
What are your hair-volumizing go-to products?
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