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by: Better Not Younger
September 10, 2021
Styling your thinning hair shouldn’t be something you dread in the morning. Even though our hair thins as we age, it still has a lot of life in it—we just have to treat it a little more gently and show it a lot of love. The key to loving aging hair that has thinned is pumping up that hair volume to a 10! The process for giving your strands an extra splash of volume starts at the salon and carries through to your own hair habits at home.
Whether we’re mastering no-heat styling tricks or using every tip we know to add thickness to thinning hair, there are tons of ways to get that bit of boost. Ahead, you’ll find our favorite tricks for adding volume to even the thinnest hair—including some of our best no-heat hairstyles and hacks. Say goodbye to dull, flat hair and hello to volume!
Giving your hair that extra boost of volume starts in the salon. Thin, aging hair will get a lift from a cut that’s really catered toward that hair type. The look can vary based on your exact hair type—whether it’s curly, straight or somewhere in between—but shorter styles typically allow for more va-va-voom! Without the extra weight pulling your strands down, your hair will be a bit more bouncy when you style it, however, that’s not to say you have to go short! There are plenty of longer hairstyles you can rock, no matter your age. It’s just a matter of finding that perfect shape that gives you tons of volume.
We aren’t leaving the salon just yet—there are more styling tricks that start right from the chair. By using a technique called “hair contouring,” you can make your aging hair appear fuller by just changing up the color. Hair that’s all one color can appear flat and lifeless, but by contouring it—or adding highlights and lowlights—it instantly has more dimension. With this added dimension, your hair will look more vibrant and voluminous, when all you did is change the color!
It’s important to give your hair some love while you’re washing it. Our Wake Up Call Volumizing Shampoo and Wake Up Call Volumizing Conditioner work in tandem to bring not just volume but moisture and richness to aging hair—all without weighing it down. While you’re at it, you might as well top it all off with a fortifying hair and scalp serum that nourishes the scalp, promotes thicker, healthier hair and is especially designed for women over 40.
Another trick for styling thin, aging hair is to make sure you’re nourishing it with plenty of moisture. A restorative hair mask can be used one to three times a week to treat dry, brittle, unmanageable hair. A mask will knock out frizz and keep strands silky smooth. This makes sure your hair is in tip-top form when you’re ready to style it.
As a general rule for thin hair, you want to do everything you can to make sure you aren’t weighing it down unnecessarily. This begins with a shorter haircut and goes all the way through the products you’re picking for styling. Many products that are designed for volumizing are formulated to lift at the root and thicken strands. For fine hair, though, this doesn’t always work out because the hair ends up getting too weighed down and instead falls limp. It may take some trial and error to find the right volumizing products for you, but for thinning hair, you’ll want something light!
Once you’ve found those products, you should apply them with the lightest touch. Our suggestion is to spray your products into your hands first and then use your fingers to put them where you want them. By spraying or spritzing products directly into your hair, you’re more likely to over-apply or get product where you don’t want it. Your hands can massage products like serum or mousse into just the right place without coating your strands so heavily that they fall flat.
Our caveat to the last tip is that of course some products should be directly applied to the hair—like a dry shampoo (more on this later). For those, rather than spraying them directly at the root, separate your hair into layers horizontally and apply the product that way. This way you’re getting some of that product underneath the top layer to provide lift and to prevent the top layer from becoming weighed down.
Giving your thin hair a boost right at the root will help lift the entire strand. With the Lift Me Up Hair Thickener, you’ll get a nourishing treatment that will continue to work for your hair the longer you use it. It’s a thickening spray that gently wraps around thinning hair while also giving the follicles some love. This gives your hair extra body right at the root and brings volume to each individual strand for allover fullness.
There are a couple ways you can add volume to hair while you’re blow-drying it. One option is to flip your hair upside down and blow-dry it that way. By adding heat to your hair while it’s hanging over your head, you’re encouraging the root to stand up rather than lay down. Once it’s dry and you flip it back over, it’ll have just that added bit of lift you’re looking for. We especially recommend this technique for thin, curly hair as it easily falls victim to gravity’s pull, which also loosens curls. [LINK TO CURLY HAIR TIP STORY]
Another way you can add volume while blow-drying is to consider where your normal part lies and then blow-dry the strands to the opposite side. If your natural part is in the middle, give your wet hair a side part and dry it that way. If your hair naturally parts to the left side, dry it with a middle part or part it to the right. Similar to how blow-drying upside down gives lift to the root, drying your hair while it’s unnaturally parted will do the same. When you flip your hair back to your natural part, it’ll have a bit of volume where you dried it.
And on the topic of parts, consider changing it up completely! Middle parts tend to fall flat against the head, whereas a side part adds body at the root. If you’ve been parting your hair in the middle, try one side or the other. If you’ve already been parting your hair to the side, switch to the other side. Not only do middle parts fall flat, but any part in general will eventually start to flatten as the root gets used to that position. Tricking the hair by changing the part will move that root every so slightly into a new position and before you know it, you have instant volume.
Dry shampoo does more than just mask dirty hair. When you spray on Fresh Start Scalp Renewing Dry Shampoo, the formula instantly gets to work to soak up oil at the root. In doing this, your hair gets that instant lift—because it’s cleaner!—and the dry shampoo is light enough so it won’t weigh your strands down, like the oils will. Plus, our dry shampoo dissolves quickly and is noncomedogenic so you don’t have to worry about buildup, one of the culprits of weighing down fine hair.
It’s time to channel your younger self with this one! For a no-heat styling tip that will give you volume, try backcombing your hair at the crown. Instead of teasing your hair too high (like it was done in the ‘80s), tease your hair just enough to give it some life. Lift your hair up in layers and use a fine-tooth comb to backcomb it at the root. Top it all off with a light dusting of hairspray to hold it in place.
Another great way to get that no-heat hairstyle for volume is by using rollers right at the root. Look for sponge rollers or another variety that doesn’t rely on heat (so you’re not adding too much stress to aging hair). While your hair is damp, place the rollers right at the root and then let your hair dry. This is a great overnight trick for volume when you wake up. The rollers encourage your roots to dry away from your head, which will keep them there longer during the day.
After you’ve applied a heat-protectant spray, go in with a crimping iron. Pull the top layer of your hair up so it’s out of your way, and crimp the roots underneath. You only need to crimp the hair closest to your head, because you just want that bit of lift for volume. Use a crimping iron over a curling iron because the wave pattern of the crimper will make your hair act almost like a shelf for the layer on top of it. Once you let the top layer fall down over that hair, it’ll rest on top of it with a bit of a boost instead of lying flat against your head.
For a no-heat hairstyling take on the root-lifting tip above, we love using root clips. Perfect for all hair types and textures especially curly hair, they hold hair up at the roots so hair doesn’t fall flat while it air-dries, creating natural volume.