Some of us have thin hair because we simply have fewer hairs on our heads.
Real redheads, for example, have an average 90,000 hairs, compared to brunettes who have around 120,000.
Others have plentiful hair, but each strand has an ultra-fine diameter that makes the overall effect appear scanty. This is often the case with natural blondes who have closer to 150,000 strands.
Either way, when you want your hair to appear thicker and fuller, these are the techniques that will help.
1) Start with body-building products, ranging from volumising shampoos and conditioners to fullness-boosting styling mousses and sprays. Hairdresser Phil Smith, who is a master of thicker-looking hair, explains, “They work by coating the outside of each hair with ingredients that increase the diameter of every strand, plus they contain materials to prevent static build-up, conditioning the hair without weighing it down.” (Phil makes one of the best ranges for fuller-looking hair. Look for his Be Gorgeous Big It Up line at Sainsbury’s.)
2) Concentrate on root-lift. Rather than scrunching mousse or gel patchily throughout the hair from roots to ends, target the root area so that limp hair then stands up and away from your scalp instead of lying flat. Apply it by making repeated partings across the scalp and applying product directly, then comb through any excess.
3) Turn down the heat. “Kinder temperatures are gentler on fine hair. so invest in good styling tools with temperature control,” says Kala Kilshaw, Creative director of EGO Professional. “You wouldn’t clean cashmere in a 90o hot wash, so treat fine fair like fine fabric. Use a diffuser, too, making circular movements over the scalp with medium heat and slow speed. This not only stimulates the blood supply but creates a gentle backcomb-type effect.”
4) Wind your hair around a large round brush as you blowdry, and keep the airflow moving, always pointing it downwards towards the end of your hair. This adds roundness and fullness to each section so that it won’t lie flat against your head. Make sure each section is dried thoroughly before moving on to the next. If any dampness is left in the hair, volume will quickly collapse, which is why it often falls flat as a pancake in double-quick time. Run your fingers through your hair after drying. If you can feel any ‘cool’ patches, especially at the roots, it’s probably still damp.
5) Blast each section with a cold shot. Warm hair is pliable, which means that the weight of your hair, especially if it’s long or comparatively heavy, can quickly pull out some of the body you’ve just created. However, if you chill each newly shaped section with your hairdryer’s cool shot, it’s more likely to stay put.
6) Change your parting. “It’s always good to move where you wear your parting as years of wearing it in exactly the same place can leave it flat,” suggests Phil Smith. “Moving the position you wear it will make your hair appear like it has extra body and volume.”
7) Flip your head upside down and spray a volumising hairspray into the roots to help hold all that root-lift in place. Wait a few moments for it dry before you flip your hair back again.
8) Try a little light backbrushing if there are still any flat spots. (Backcombing is more likely to damage the hair.) Recommends Kala, “Use a small acrylic bristle brush and gently backbrush sections where you want volume. Start pushing the hair towards the scalp from about one inch above the roots.”
9) Finally, don’t touch or fiddle with your hair after you’ve finished styling it because any sweat and oil in your hands will quickly weigh it down, and their extra warmth can also make hair drop.
Do you have any tips you can share with us about how you deal with thinning hair? We’d love to hear from you…
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